Damion Crawford’s mistake
THE EDITOR, Sir:
Now that the dust is settled, it is now appropriate to make an analysis. The utterances and conduct of Damion Crawford on the campaign trail have unmasked a number of old issues in our politics and society, namely sex, class, shade and race.
The lasting picture that was painted by the unfortunate utterances of Mr Crawford is that Mrs Vaz was a damsel in distress pounced upon by a braggart bully brandishing a big stick, and, yes, wearing dreadlocks. Many persons (including newspaper columnists and voters) nobly rushed to her defence. What a picture! The fair maiden needs to be rescued. What a gift!
Still not enough
Despite the fact that he garnered more votes than the former East Portland Member of Parliament, it proved insufficient.
One lesson to be learned from it all is that men need to be very careful when dealing with female opponents. In this new age of political correctness and an over abundance of female sympathisers, it does not take much for someone to be branded a sexist. By the time one manages to clear his name and reputation, the election will be long past and he would have lost his deposit and possibly his good name.
By his own admission, he pointed out that the sexist label hurt him politically and personally.
Despite the fact that men have dominated politics, there is now an intrinsic sympathy for women in many matters.
Many persons, including men, will want to identify with women and their causes and efforts, as they will be seen as ‘modern’ and ‘progressive’. This, combined with women’s experience, abilities, attributes, appearance and other assets, can overwhelm many male opponents.
To the credit of Mrs Vaz, she was working long before and clearly had access to resources that her opponent did not.
Women have been making steady progress in politics since they were given the right to vote a century ago. This is a global trend. The new male politician will have to know how to deal with this or else he will be left behind in the dust, as women march on the new and dizzying political heights.