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Opinions of Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Columnist: Efe Plange

Dr. Louise Carol’s comment about Prof. Opoku-Agyemang’s nomination appalling, unfair

Efe Plange Efe Plange

Feminists, gender activists, male allies, and a significant demographic of a few level-headed people on here have been defending Dr. Louise Carol since her goof with the NPP footsoldiers.

Dr. Louise Carol came under fire for making a seemingly disparaging comment about footsoldiers in general. As a politician, the uproar was warranted but the displeasure from her party faithfuls soon descended to a level that was unfair and unprecedented.

We all recognized right from the beginning, there were two factors at play in the way her party, the NPP dealt with her: Her gender and her feminist identity.

And for this, even non-politically inclined people stood up and continue to stand up for her and defend her, even overlooking some hints of intellectual dishonesty on her part in the way she’s handled the issue so far. Solely because we know of the struggle for outspoken women and women politicians in general.

Therefore, I think it is utterly disappointing and too much of a betrayal for Dr. Louise Carol to put out a statement where she basically downplayed the nomination of Prof. Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang as the first female Vice presidential candidate of the NDC, which makes her the first female nominee from a major party and do I dare say, “winnable” political party.

Dr. Carol was the first female SRC President of a major tertiary institution in Ghana, and that has been one of her strongest backings in her own political career. Therefore I don’t think she extended Prof. Nana Jane Opoku-Agyemang this same grace, even just to be excited at the thought.

First, the statement basically downplayed her nomination by suggesting this is not the first time a woman has been nominated as Vice President and then went on to use her party’s failings to discredit her even before she gets the nod.

Dr. Louise Carol’s NPP party threw her under the bus for the flimsiest goof any party member has ever had! They literally destroyed her, and I can bet my last coin that their just ended primaries may have even been manipulated against her due to the level of hate and disdain her party has towards her.

The only people who have been consistent in their unwavering support of Dr. Carol, have been gender activists, feminists, their male allies and other level-headed non-partisan people.

These are people who are ready to defend the indefensible (Her photoshop claim and other issues). And the only reason we do this is our feminist principles, our recognition of the unfair standards women are held to and our society’s discomfort with outspoken women.

But it looks like Dr. Carol is a politician first, even before being a Christian. She’s a Politician first, before feminist. And for me, this is very unsettling and I can no longer trust her on her principles, values and integrity.

This statement she’s put out is so appalling, very unfair and extremely intellectually dishonest. She has allowed her party to “use” her to her own detriment.

As unplanned and impromptu as our online movement was and has been, we are eternally grateful for the records we’ve broken and set when it comes to leading discussions on gender in our online space. Part of what has sustained us is the collective force from small and big voices alike.

At the core of what we seek is Gender Equality: equal access to developmental opportunities, equal representation, and gender sensitivity to cultural narratives that undermine women and normalize violence against women.

Therefore, it would be intellectually dishonest of us to keep defending the indefensible and backing people like Dr. Carol who are ready to trod on these principles just for party favours.

I sincerely wish her the best her political career and hope it was all worth it.