Earlier this year, French presidential front-runner Marine Le Pen caused outrage by standing up for the right to be treated equally to men. She refused to cover her hair with a headscarf while visiting Lebanon’s Grand Mufti, saying “You can pass on my respects to the grand mufti, but I will not cover myself up.” before leaving the premises without the meeting taking place.
This event was, in my view, most likely a planned political stunt. Le Pen must have known that a headscarf would be required of her, and the cleric’s people said as much. It is also, in some ways, just a headscarf. A cultural custom sometimes can be just a cultural custom, and I don’t find women covering their hair in some belief systems to be inherently oppressive.
I believe Islam is different, and I view it far more harshly than I would view other religions or cultural customs which impose modesty on women who are visiting. This is a complex topic that I’m sure I’ll address at a later time. I believe Le Pen was right to do what she did, and I also believe there are contexts in which doing what she did would just be a bad move.
Le Pen is running to lead a country that is facing an unprecedented migrant and refugee crisis. This is made even more of a challenge by the fact that she is going up against the pro-migrant policies of countries like Germany and Sweden, as well as the European Union itself.
In some cases, you have to simply make a show of strength, even if some ways it may be a bit insensitive. Sometimes, that’s what leadership looks like. A leader will do what can be unpopular. A leader will do what many are afraid to do.
And the leaders who typically do this sort of thing have something in common.
In researching this article, I wracked my brain and tried to find examples of tough, badass female world leaders. Not just presidents, elected officials, prime ministers, or whatever other designation, but actual leaders. The sorts of women who, love them or hate them, played politics at or above the level of their male counterparts.
I found very, very few.
Margaret Thatcher, of course, came to mind immediately. They didn’t call her “Attila The Hen” for nothing.
Hillary Clinton is another. As much as I consider her to be a near-sociopathic succubus, there is no doubt that she was an equal to every man, in every room she ever walked into, in terms of toughness.
When we talk about female leaders, it’s always about “women as leaders”. It’s never leaders who happen to be women.
As a middle school aged kid, I used to dream of being the first female Prime Minister of Canada to actually serve a proper term. Of course, my views have changed a little. I don’t particularly care if women become leaders for the sake of women becoming leaders, and I have realized politics would be a horrible career choice for someone like myself.
Also, my dream was stolen by Justin Trudeau when he got elected in 2015.
Oh well. He deserves it, anyway. He totally has better hair than me! And those dreamy blue eyes! And the tolerance oozing from his neatly exfoliated pores!
I’m not even really joking. Justin Trudeau has been a pretty sh*tty leader so far for Canada. And it’s because he leads like a woman.
On the other side of the coin, we have Marine Le Pen, who I believe will win in the French election. And if she wins, she will win because she leads like a man.
The argument we need to be having isn’t whether or not men or women are better leaders. It is what sort of characteristics make a good leader – and whether or not the person in question has those characteristics. To me, it’s a no brainer. Masculine characteristics lead to good leadership – all the way from individual family patriarchies to societal patriarchies.
Sorry, feminists. Men leading families, and leading the world, isn’t a bad thing. Overall, they do a damn good job.
Take one look at the suicidal migrant policies of Germany or the Islam-fellating feminist politicians of Sweden, and you can see the problem when heart leads over mind.
I’ll take daddy Trump, thanks.
Viva la patriarchy!
That said, is there room for female leaders in government? Absolutely. It’s just that the women who will rise to the top will rarely be the sort feminists like (except, bizarrely, Hillary Clinton).
Marine Le Pen is one example. She may be a woman, but she’s not politically feminine. She, like Margaret Thatcher or Hillary Clinton, will be respected the same way any man would be.
The problem isn’t women in leadership, it’s too much femininity in leadership.
Women and men are different. Get over it. And ladies, if you want to run the world, I have two words for you.