Vitriol aimed at Louise Mensch is jealousy masquerading as public conscience

Louise Mensch's critics are forgetting that family comes first

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Louise Mensch, MP for Corby (though not for long)
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The Commentator
On 6 August 2012 11:00

Just a few hours have passed since Louise Mensch, Member of Parliament for Corby, announced that she would be resigning in an effort to spend more time with her family.

The response, while broadly supportive, has also included some from across the political spectrum lambasting Mensch for abdicating her responsibilities to her constituents for 'selfish' reasons.

Mensch's motivation for resigning can certainly, in the essence of the word, be described as 'selfish'. But the self, and the immediate extension of the self, the family, should always remain a person's priorities. There's a reason you're supposed to put your own oxygen mask on first in the event of a plane losing cabin pressure.

Mensch's explanation of why she is choosing to leave her seat in the House of Commons concerns her self and extensions - her family.

When she became a Member of Parliament, Louise Bagshawe had not yet met her husband. Over the course of just a few years, she has palpably grown as a person in both her private and professional lives.

So why, to summarise the rhetoric of her fiercest critics, should she be beholden to an effectively lame-duck parliament and thusly, her constituents (or vice versa, rather) if her personal and private circumstances dictate otherwise? This argument suggests that no one should take a job that they do not have every intention to spend the rest of their lives in. Lives change, so do ambitions and so do circumstances.

Many commentators took to Twitter to rightly ensure than Mensch's case was not viewed as a reflection of women in politics, or how they could not handle the rigours. Regrettably, despite one of Britain's best and most indefatigable prime ministers being a family woman, we seem to still be concerned with the question of women in politics, and the complications of family life.

It's easy to generalise, that's why. Instead of Mensch being viewed as an individual whose circumstances changed after the fact of election, she is being treated by some as an abdicator, with a perverse focus on what sexual organs she possesses.

It is unlikely that a Conservative candidate will hold Corby at the impending by-election. A fact not lost on angry activists and strategists. But why should Mensch bear the brunt for an unpopular government that has imperiled even some safer MPs?

The fact of the matter is that Mensch's 'selfishness' is nothing more than due personal concern and familial aspiration spun into terminology that suits the opposition and the news cycle.

As far as The Commentator is concerned, we wish Louise all the best for the future and take great comfort in the fact that some people still have concern enough for themselves and their families, which in turn leads to stronger communities (even if those communities end up in New York).

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