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THE BIG QUESTION

The big question: does sexism still exist in nursing?

Nursing Times columnist Mark Radcliffe recently argued that because nursing remains a largely female profession, its political powerlessness is caused by sexism.

Mr Radcliffe feels there is “an insidious and deeply ingrained institutional sexism that prevents any form of real consultation, partnership or mining into the expertise of nurses”.

Are nurses poorly represented politically because of gender? Is it sexism that prevents nursing from having a voice? What do you think?

Add your comments and they could be published in the magazine.

Readers' comments (14)

  • Perhaps women do not usually shout as loudly as men ?

    Is that 'sexism' ?

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  • michael stone

    Mr Radcliffe feels there is “an insidious and deeply ingrained institutional sexism that prevents any form of real consultation, partnership or mining into the expertise of nurses”.

    Patients and relatives tend to not be properly listened to, either - that one presumably is 'institutional', but it cannot be sexism.

    Perhaps this is also affected by some sort of historical 'mindset' that it is te doctors who make the decisions, and the nurses who follow instructions ?

    I have an ongoing and similar argument with many people, over whether the MCA gives 'powers' to doctors (as doctors seem to believe) or merely imposes a duty on them - so there could well be a similar 'we listen to the doctors' thing going on here, as well: it is perhaps more complicated, than 'simple sexism'.

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  • Men need to pull up their socks and enroll for nurse training....simple as

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  • I am a man, I am enrolling for nursing training! 2 Interviews within the next week.

    Bring it on!

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  • tinkerbell

    sorry but we haven't got enough time to wait for more to men enrol for nursing to sort this mess out. We up against it RIGHT NOW, this is MAKE OR BREAK time, for our NHS, our nursing profession and our society as we have become use to knowing it.

    Our NHS, our profession, our society is being DESTROYED.

    The time to act is NOW before it all becomes too late, or maybe it already is too late, too little, too late.

    The pendulum has swung from one extreme to another and it may never reach centre again. We can only hope that it can be turned around and put up a fight to save it.

    A couple of blokes enrolling for nursing now isn't going to save the day.

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  • tinkerbell

    plus we've already got a legion of men in upper management within the NHS that are doing sweet fanny adam and actively bringing about our downfall.

    We need a new womens movement in nursing. Sisters are doing it for themselves because we don't appear to have enough good men at the top to help us out on this one.

    Nothing against men in general of course.

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  • tinkerbell

    i think the bigger question is will nursing, the NHS, a compassionate society still exist in 2 years time? Answers on a pin head please.

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  • michael stone

    tinkerbell | 24-Nov-2012 2:56 pm

    So, what is the score for 'a compassionate society' at present, let alone in 2 years time ?

    About 4/10 ? 2/10 ?

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  • tinkerbell

    DH Agent - as if ! | 25-Nov-2012 12:35 pm

    I don't do statistics, i just observe what's going on around me. In 2 years time we will be back on another merrygoround of elections or is it 3 years time? It is 2012 at the moment isn't it?:)

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  • Nurses are poorly represented because the people that represent them don't do a good enough job. Nurses, historically, have been treated like doormats and so are used to it. It is difficult to change numerous generations worth of being walked over. We have no political power because, again historically, nurses would never strike...that is the real reason for political worthlessness. Successive governments have known this and so do what they like and the nursing profession rolls over backwards and allows it.
    As far as I am concerned, it has nothing to do with the profession being female dominated....it is about how the profession is viewed by those in charge and, quite clearly, nurses are viewed as worthless by Trust Bosses and Government. Introducing more men into the profession would not, suddenly, empower nurses with political weight. Personally, to say that the profession has no power because it is a female profession is sexist in itself. Oh, and I am a male nurse by the way

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  • michael stone

    'Nurses, historically, have been treated like doormats and so are used to it.'

    Nursemorph says that, and isn't that the reason nurses feel 'ignored and not listened to' ? Isn't it something to do with where nurses 'fit into the system' - the last time I asked that I had a long discussion with mike, and various nurses chipped inw ith 'we ARE autonomous', etc, but it does seem to have something to do with 'hierarchy' ?

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  • tinkerbell

    we've just got too many 'isms'.

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  • Why isn't there a regulating body that monitors sexism? It is happening. What do you do when one of your head nurses says your sexy at the work place? And the manager is friends with this person? This is degrading.
    If we want to call ourselves professionals then this language or way of thought should not be happening in any workplace.

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  • Cameron and his government seems to illustrate this themselves considering the poor representation of the fairer sex in parliament! Why?

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