With the UK election finally here I am hoping and longing, though not trusting for an election result that we can feel proud of. After the marginal success of the Brexit, the last election and the marginal failure the Scottish Referendum many of us are in need of some hope. Teresa May was never voted for but she is the second of our female Prime Ministers and should be proof that in the Uk we are not a Patriarchy, with a Female Head of State and a woman in charge of the House of Parliament it seems as though our society would be a female friendly one. Sadly both of the female Prime Ministers, Margaret Teacher and Theresa May have been determinately antifamily, anti-society and therefore anti-mothers, daughters, grandmothers and sisters. Taking money from the poorest, making cuts to health, education and social security and making these changes so that those in the greatest need, especially the sick and disabled lose the most has not been a matter of accident but of policy. While tax breaks and take overs of publicly owned services are offered to the rich. M meanwhile the environment is let unprotected, the government tried to abandon international agreements on Human Rights. It has been an unpleasant few years for feminism.
So I am suggesting we use Philip Shepherd’s distinction of ‘partifocused’ and ‘matrifocused’, to move us beyond biology as gender and swiftly to an understanding that almost all of our world, and certainly the UK political system, is focused on Partiarchal values. This includes keeping power with the privileged, alienating the masses from the commons as well as reducing commitments to mothers. Patrifocus is so ubiquitous we cannot see it most of the time, because we are so close, but when we imagine it’s alternative its suffocating dominance is clear. Martifocus needs to also be represented to have balanced systems and a harmonised world, not just between men and women, rich and poor, nature and urban, but within each of us, work and play, adventure and security. Human development and economic progress isn’t detached from the resources of our environment and our feeling of being safe isn’t independent of the knowledge that there is no security net and an increasing amount of desperate people.
We need a different way to organise ourselves, relate to the Earth, to connect through relationships and contexts in the present. We need to recognise that society and family are real and they do matter and our wellbeing is conditional on the wellbeing of others. So I have reluctant hope, this is another opportunity to say yes to the things we all need.