President Tweet Girl: Tackle sexism to get women running

All-male YUSU Presidential candidate lineup
All-male YUSU Presidential candidate lineup

A student whose comments over the lack of female presidents running in the YUSU Elections sparked a storm hit back today saying: “If we continue tackling sexism then more women will run for prominent YUSU roles.”

Rebecca Saw, a Goodricke interactive media student, came under fire for a tweet she sent out saying that it was “appalling” that no female students had run in the YUSU Elections.

Speaking to York Vision for the first time since, she said: “I personally didn’t run in the elections because I am only a first year and I think it’s generally agreed on that you need a few years experience of being a student to do a good job as a full time officer.

“If you want to look for reasons why no women ran for president, you don’t need to look further than the sexism that was targeted at women on the Twitter Wall during the Candidate Debate.

“I think when women consider whether to put themselves in the public eye, they are aware that it’s very likely they will face abusive comments based purely on their gender. YUSU President is the highest profile position so that is where this problem is biggest.

“In my opinion, it is a problem that is faced throughout society. I think YUSU generally do a brilliant job of promoting Women’s, BME and other minorities’ rights. I was impressed by the number of women running in other roles, and I am hopeful that if we continue tackling sexism then more women will run for prominent YUSU roles.”

One of the comments on the York Vision article claims that the lack of women in the lineup shouldn’t be blamed on the white males who chose to run and calls on York’s feminists to work together to get a female YUSU President.

Garnering over 100 votes, the comment says: “If you cared as much as you make out you do, you would have ran. Hypocrites.

“Stop blaming ‘the system’, and start realising that YOU have contributed to this problem.”

Another commenter says that “in the end its up to every single individual to consider running.”

The last female YUSU President was Anne-Marie Canning who was elected in 2007, with every President since being a male.

Despite this, 55% of students at the university are women.

Ananna Zaman, who is currently running for YUSU Women’s officer said that: “There are reasons women don’t go for president which says a lot about our university and society in general, and when people ask ‘Why didn’t you run?’, it really doesn’t help.”

Last year York Vision revealed that more joke candidates had run for President than women in the past five years.

Students go to the polls from today in the latest YUSU Elections.

2 thoughts on “President Tweet Girl: Tackle sexism to get women running

  1. Oh my god this has got so boring now. Feminists are complaining about being judged for their appearance when running for high-profile positions, when appearance is exactly what they’ve slated about this year’s presidential nominees. If you want to remove discrimination from the elections, start focusing on policies instead of making a big deal out of gender, race, etc.

  2. First of all, the whole point of an election is to discriminate, that’s the point of politics. Second women are a majority not a minority, they are a majority in society and a majority in universities; they have been so at this one for years. Third, the fact that women are not running is no reason to point to sexism, there can be many reasons. A major part of the way that men are socialised revolves around seeking status and proving your worth (not simply yourself); the external validation that brings is a massive part of a man’s sense of self and purpose in life – women have never really had those kinds of pressures in that sense (they have their own of course). It is expected that men will be the ones who are most determined to crowd into those areas; a man who is not distinguished by achievement/success is a nobody.
    It may well be that women are simply not interested; not interested in the added responsibility, the publicity, the demands on free time, the accountability; or perhaps already feel catered for already. Women have always had the power of dominating societal discourse without needed to be a front-runner; because the idea of female disapproval and upset has always had an extremely powerful effect on men (who are extremely sensitive to female (dis)approval of themselves because their mothers raise them to be). Men in power are very in tune to the need to appease women, and women are generally okay with this arrangement, since it provides them with power, and gives them deniability and non-accountability for that power; after all the person does the doing. As long as the man does as politically active women wish, they are approved of, hence why some of Obama’s most loyal supporters before selection were feminist organisations; he was politically subservient to them.
    Feminists complaining about something does not mean that ‘women’ are complaining about it; feminism is and always has been a minority position among precious princess middle class girls who use its victim narrative as a weapon to enhance their own sexist entitlement and superiority complexes, and ensure that a culture’s social narrative remains suitably woman-centred into the future.

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