In my secret heart I’ve always hoped that greater inclusion of women in running things — schools, businesses, corporations, governments, worlds — would mean it raised the tone of the place.
Which means I’ve always harbored a secret conviction that women are somehow, somewhere, better than men.
Well, Liz Truss has been as much proof as even I need that mediocre women can now rise to the heights, just like mediocre men. Maybe not in quite the same overwhelming numbers, but still, they’re starting to pop through.
And now we have Nicola Sturgeon distinguishing herself. She is not mediocre. But why does her role model have to be Machiavelli?
What’s she done? She’s spent way too long pushing through gender identity laws that basically allow easy self-ID. Women, who’ve had too much experience of male predation, object to being made even more vulnerable. Parents object to the lack of thought given to safeguarding minors. (The issue in both cases is not transness as such but opening the door to pervy males. I mean, Boy Scouts, anyone?) England objects to having different definitions of women depending which side of the Scottish border you’re on.
Polling says 59% of the Scottish population is against having males in women’s spaces or girls’ sports or all the rest of the usual examples. Thirty eight percent think it’s a good idea.
Yet in the face of such opposition, Sturgeon, with her politician’s sixth sense for following the crowd, has instead been ramming through this grossly unpopular bill. Because it’s so important to help trans people, she says.
It didn’t fit. She’s never had principles before. Why now? Why this?
She’s been pro-Scottish independence since way back, and that is a popular stand. Just shy of popular enough to win referendums, at least so far, but fairly close to 50%.
So it looks like she’s forced the trans issue to create a heads-I-win tails-you-lose situation. The UK government in London either has to let her ignore the UK-wide Equality Act, which guarantees women rights that self-ID steps on, or they have to say UK law supersedes Scottish law, which will inflame Scottish nationalism and fracture the UK even more.
Either way, she wins. She can either preen about being the wildly progressiive First Minister who gave trans people everything they want, or she can be an icon of Scottish Self-Rule leading the nation out of its chains.
Machiavelli couldn’t have set it up better. And he would have been just as happy to use a minority as mere gunpowder. If she’s a friend to trans people, they don’t need enemies.