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“Cameron Cuties” aren’t just pretty faces

There’s a strange debate on the Independent’s commentators blog about whether to call Conservative women “Dave’s Divas” or “Cameron’s Cuties”. But this sexist dialogue seems to have overlooked is the number of upcoming black or Asian candidates.

Last month the Daily Mail (who else) turned their attentions to female Conservative PPCs, producing a “top 80” list. It was unclear whether the women were ranked by beauty or brains, but came across as a pageant.

Interestingly, there were five Black women on the list, Helen Grant (14), Priti Patel (17), Nini Adetuberu (66), Mimi Harker (71) and Zehra Ziadi (80). Each one of these highly able candidates has since been referred to, in articles or on blogs, as a “Cameron Cutie.”

Nini Adetuberu

But absent from the Daily Mail’s list was Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a frontbench communities spokesperson and one of the most powerful women in the party.

Did the journalists of Northcliffe House, Kensington, not rate her attractive enough? It seems a strange decision.

We’ve no idea how any of these women feel about the label “Cameron’s Cuties”, but it sounds highly insulting, especially as we thought his notion had long been put to bed in the debate that followed “Blair’s Babes” after 1997.

What’s equally troubling, is what about the Black women candidates who do not make the “cuties” list? Are they not seen as future Westminster stars, or do Fleet Street’s chauvinists do not fancy them enough?

There are quite a few Black Tory women who would consider themselves MP material, and who are also well presented to say the least.

There are too many to mention, but here’s a small selection: Liza Chantelle who works in Tory HQ as a social officer; Glasgow PR consultant Hamira Khan (pictured above); businesswoman Shazia Awan; Bristol resident Nasreen Begum; Ellin Joseph from Stevenage; Parveen Hassan from Birmingham; Dr Sheila D’Souza from Westminster; or Rosalind Klass from Castle Point, Essex.

There are plenty of other upcoming Tory women (apologies to anyone we’ve forgotten!), but the basic point is we really shouldn’t be judging women politicians by their looks in the first place, let alone branding them as babes, divas or cuties simply because of their gender.

By Lester Holloway

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One Response

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