Tag Archives: sexism

LibLink: Christine Jardine: Trump turns hope of #MeToo movement into despair

Donald Trump’s foul rants about Christine Blasey Ford and his assertion that it’s a scary time for young men in America are not the random uttering of an unpredictable, mercurial leader. It’s much more calculating than that. It’s a carefully targeted message to the Republican Party’s white male base that they are under threat. He wants their votes in the midterms in 4 weeks’ time. Portraying Brett Kavanaugh as the victim of a nasty leftie Democrat plot is all part of that strategy.

It must be a lot scarier for young women thinking about coming forward with allegations of sexual assault …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Vince: Bigots are not welcome in the Liberal Democrats

You can barely turn on the telly these days without seeing some politician or commentator taking a swipe at a marginalised group. If we think things are bad here, it’s exponentially worse in the US where Pod Save America host Jon Lovett described Fox News in the evenings as wall to wall white nationalism.

So it’s refreshing to see a party leader jump into the middle and say “No. This will not stand.”

Vince, in a piece on the main party website, said:

The Liberal Democrats have always been at the forefront of the fight for equality, and we have a record on these issues of which we’re very proud.

But sadly, the truth is that a very small minority of our own members do hold some views that are fundamentally incompatible with our values.

Our party’s constitution is clear:

We reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

As a liberal, I respect people’s rights to hold different views to my own, but my message to everyone is that racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, sexism, transphobia and bigotry are not welcome, and not tolerated, in the Liberal Democrats.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

There’s no hypocrisy in putting grid girls out of work

Formula 1 recently announced that they would no longer have scantily clad women acting as “grid girls” during races. This seems like a no-brainer to me, but there has been a wave of backlash against the decision. The main argument against it appears to be this:

These women have chosen to use their looks to make money, which is their free choice. And now pressure from a bunch of angry feminists has made them lose their jobs. So much for respecting women’s choices. 

Variations of this argument have recently appeared in the Mail, Mirror, Metro and Times.

And it is a terrible argument.

It wrongly assumes that feminists must support a woman’s right to be paraded for her looks on whatever platform she chooses.

But this just isn’t true. Imagine if Prime Ministers Questions decided that, to raise their viewership, a woman would introduce proceedings every week in her underwear. That would be absurd, whether it gave a job to a young woman or not. People don’t have a god-given right to dress in a sexualised way to advertise a brand. Feminists aren’t hypocrites if they don’t support giving people such a platform.

When brands like Formula One promote Grid Girls in the way that they do, it has damaging effects on other women and on society. It implies that women should be seen as decoration – only relevant for their looks – while the male drivers are heralded for their sporting ability. What kind of message does that send to young girls who see them on TV? This isn’t the same as being anti-sex, or saying that women shouldn’t be able to dress how they like in their everyday lives. It’s about context. Why should there be a platform for parading half-naked women during a race? How is that relevant to sport? 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

The Presidents Club is not the only prestigious men only event

The Presidents Club Dinner has been in the news this week, but I was reminded that this was not the only example of a men only dinner for powerful men at which women were there to provide little more than decoration and entertainment.

Two years ago, Caroline Pidgeon spoke out when the TfL chairman managed to attend 3 dinners without noticing that there were no women there. I wrote at the time:

Transport for London boss Sir Peter Hendy is under fire after he accepted an invitation to attend not one, or two, but three dinners from which women are excluded. The Independent has the story:

The CommonSpace website said that Sir Peter, 61, who receives a £348,000 salary, attended the December dinner in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Portman Square, London, as a guest of the Scottish-based bus company Alexander Dennis Ltd. Photos of the event posted on the society’s website showed a “handsome body of men enjoying their dinner” alongside another picture of female performers in thigh-cut dresses who were said to be bringing “a new spectacle to the dinner”.

The golfing society’s rules state membership is open only to “gentlemen associated with the transport industry”, and that the dinner is “for gentlemen only”. Its website described the gathering as “one of the best sporting dinners of the year. With a glamorous string quartet playing exciting music in even more exciting tight dresses, a troupe of can-can dancers and a truly fun atmosphere”. It added: “Over the years we have been privileged to welcome top men from the worlds of sport, industry, show business and politics. They always enthusiastically wave their napkins to the patriotic sounds of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and leap enthusiastically to the feet when their table’s turn comes to sing ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’. Some even do the actions!”

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Jo Swinson on The President’s Club: Time’s up on this crap

Jo Swinson’s words were reassuringly unminced this morning when she condemned the appalling behaviour which took place at the President’s Club Dinner. She praised Madison Marriage, the FT reporter who wrote about it.

All of the women were told to wear skimpy black outfits with matching underwear and high heels. At an after-party many hostesses — some of them students earning extra cash — were groped, sexually harassed and propositioned.

There is something deeply distasteful about some of the richest and most powerful men in the country behaving in that way to young women on a tiny fraction of their incomes.

Jo wasn’t just going to leave it there with a few outraged tweets, though. She thought about how to hold these people to account.

She prepared, and persuaded 40 MPs to sign, letters of complaint to the Charity Commission.

The letter calls on the Charity Commission to urgently investigate the President’s Club “because of the “serious and potentially criminal nature of the behaviour.” and asks that the organisation investigates “whether the Trustees are fit to hold such office, given their apparent failure to properly discharge their duties to protect health and safety of workers, and the reputation of the charity.”

In the letter to the President’s Club Jo states that: “There can be no place in 2018 for respectable fundraising events which objectify women and subject them to groping and harassment.”

She warns that the Trustees have failed in their duty. “Indeed not only do the reported events of last week impact on the reputation of the Presidents Club Charitable Trust, they also put at risk the reputations of charities that were being supported by the event.

“No doubt these charity partners, sponsors and donors to the Presidents Club Charitable Trust will be reassessing their involvement with your charity following these revelations.”

And then she wrote another letter to the Trustees of the Presidents’ Club which was very well-resaarched and worth  publishing in full in case anyone else needs any of the references in it to tackle another injustice.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 35 Comments

The building blocks of #metoo

Jared O’Mara is hardly the first MP to have been caught out expressing prejudiced views. It just goes to show that if you are known to have said something dodgy on the internet over a decade ago, it is likely to find its way into the hands of your political enemies.

For Liberal Democrats, though, it’s all a bit galling. O’Mara beat our Nick Clegg in a particularly cruel twist of fate in June’s General Election. His victory meant that Parliament was deprived of the most expert voice on Brexit. Where Nick fought for equality, O’Mara’s views as an adult have been far from civilised.

My first thought was to write a piece saying that he must stand down from the Women and Equalities Committee in Parliament. Thankfully pressure was brought to bear on him and he resigned this evening as our Paul Scriven had demanded. Sadly that committee still has Philip Davies on it. He, you might remember, thinks that he and other men are voiceless and being drowned out by these feminist types.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 24 Comments

LibLink: Layla Moran: If Philip Hammond thinks driving a train is so easy “even a woman can do it” maybe a career change is in order

In an article for the Independent at the weekend, Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran took Philip Hammond to task for his alleged remark that driving a train is so easy “even a woman can do it.”

She pointed out that they can, but how many women do this highly paid job?

The key fact from the latest Hammond row was glossed over, but it is the real scandal: that just 5.5 per cent of train drivers are women. And the average annual salary of a train driver is just shy of £50,000, way higher than most women earn a year. What, I want to know, are ministers doing to enable more women to drive trains?

Hammond, she said, had form for sexist remarks:

Earlier this year he accused Labour MP Mary Creagh of being “hysterical”. Her crime? Daring to ask the Chancellor about the effect of Brexit on British businesses with bases in Ireland.

The question was all too pertinent. I was talking to one of the country’s most eminent constitutional lawyers last week (sorry Philip, but she did happen to be female) who flagged up the issue of the Irish border as one of the very most intractable in Brexit negotiations. Her conclusion was that ministers have no solution, because there is no solution.

And, of course, he is not the only Tory known for such casual sexism:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Yeovil UKIP candidates blame NHS crisis on women doctors

If you listen to most experts, the reason for the crisis in the NHS comes from under-resourcing and an aging population. But, no, UKIP council candidates in Chard in Yeovil have come up with another explanation. It’s all the fault of women doctors and their career breaks and part-time doctors.  Buzzfeed has the story:

The leaflet was produced by local UKIP councillors in Somerset who suggest alleged positive discrimination in the GP hiring process could ultimately lead to local surgeries closing altogether.

“How many female Doctors are there in your surgery working 2 or 3 days a week?” it asks, warning the issue could result in thousands of patients being left without access to medical care when GPs retire.

They have a quote from Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Yeovil, Daisy Benson:

UKIP might wish we were living in the 1950s, but it’s 2017!

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

The Language of the Left – and how it alienates progressives from their own causes

 

“Privilege”, “trigger warnings”, “safe spaces”, “mansplaining”, “tone policing” and “cultural appropriation”. These terms are the Language of the Left. Anyone who has talked politics with lefties will be familiar with the way that they are thrown around in discussions willy-nilly. And each of them describes a problem which should be taken seriously.

Take “mansplaining” for example: when men explain things in a patronizing way to women, because of an imagined authority on a certain subject. This happens all the time. It happens in offices; at dinner tables; on television; in politics. If you haven’t seen this in action you’re just not looking hard enough. And “trigger warnings” serve an important purpose as well. People who suffer from PTSD after sexual assault can be severely distressed when reading descriptions of rape, for example. Flagging this up to avoid aggravating their condition is no different from warning epileptics when there will be flashing images on TV. It’s completely sensible.

But once these terms become trump cards which can automatically win arguments and shut down discussions, then mission creep seeps in, as people use them more and more lazily. People don’t just use trigger warnings to flag up distressing content any more. They splash them in front of any Daily Mail article which they disagree with, and claim they are triggered every time they hear an opinion which they don’t like.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 145 Comments

Unwelcome behaviour at Conference

As a long time conference attendee, I adore the opportunity to meet Lib Dems, old and new, and engage and enthuse with like-minded people. But sometimes behaviour boundaries are pushed and we need to make a note of them to remind ourselves to challenge insidious sexist behaviour.

On the morning of Saturday 17th September, Lib Dems received a message from the Conference office entitled ‘Conference Guidelines’ which sets out details of what is unwanted behaviour.

Contemplating this, I thought it might be interesting to relate some unwelcome behaviour I encountered. I want to do this anonymously, but am aware others have noticed similar issues and feel it’s important we stand up to and challenge incidents like this when they occur.

On one day I attended the motion on Social Security. Now, it was a strong debate, with lots of opposing views. But when making those views, it should be noted it’s unacceptable to refer to a female speaker as “darlin’”, no matter how well you might know that individual. The language is sexist and patronising. While I believe the comment was made in an attempt at friendliness, it is still derrogatory and quite simply, should be wiped out. It’s on a par to David Cameron’s “calm down dear” episode at PMQs, and where we wouldn’t take the insult from the former Prime Minister, neither should we take it from friends or acquaintances. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 145 Comments

A whole world of sexist fail in today’s Sunday Times

It’s hard to imagine how today’s Sunday Times could possibly have got it more wrong.

It trailed that it had a “tantalising secret” about Nicola Sturgeon’s private life.

That turned out to be the fact that, five years ago, she had a miscarriage. What a crass way to headline an intensely painful experience.

And to add insult to injury, the paper accompanied the article with a panel featuring childless politicians. All of them were female.

As ever, women are judged by different standards. The excellent Women 50/50 campaign group made the point visually:

It was the Sunday Times sister paper, The Times, which published that interview when Andrea Leadsom suggested that being a mum meant that she “had a real stake in the future of this country.” Some culture change in that organisation is urgently required.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

What would you do if you were Mayor of Nice?

Nice is still in shock. It’s just about a month and a half since the appalling attack which killed 84 people. That sort of carnage happening on your doorstep takes some getting over. People experience a huge range of emotions from anger to fear. What should the authorities be doing to help people through this time?

They should be reassuring people. They should be helping the whole community stand together in solidarity.

Instead, their headline response has been to pick on innocent women because of their attire on a beach. I have rarely been more annoyed by anything than the sight of a sleeping woman on a beach being surrounded by armed police and being forced to remove clothing. All this in the name of protecting women from oppression. I’m not quite sure how that works as a logical explanation.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Embrace feminism, says Justin Trudeau. Lib Dems could learn from that.

It seems that every day there’s a new reason to admire Canadian Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

The Guardian has a report of a panel session in Davos where he said that everyone should embrace feminism. He said that a more diverse team makes better decisions in both politics and business.

I particularly liked the clip in the video in which he said that his wife had reminded him that he not only had to encourage his daughter into taking leadership roles, but also to talk to his sons about treating women properly.

He also said that he thinks there will be as big changes in attitudes to equality in the next 20 years as there has been in the last 40.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 34 Comments

Swinson and Farron speak out against online abuse after threats sent to Labour MP Jess Phillips

The internet can be a torrid place, as we all know. If you’re a woman, especially one who dares express an opinion that doesn’t sit well with a very small minority of men, you are likely to get a particularly brutal form of abuse, usually coupled with threats of sexual violence.

When Labour MP Jess Phillips reacted with incredulity to Tory Phillip Davies’ request for a debate on International Men’s Day, she was subjected to some awful abuse. You know it’s bad when one of the milder things written was an observation that seeing her spirit die would be a rewarding experience. Who could possibly think that that was ok to say to anyone about anything?

Buzzfeed UK has the full story including the full tweet. They are pretty stomach turning.

It’s important to realise that women have to put up with this sort of nonsense every day. Yes, men get abuse too, but there is a gendered aspect that is chilling. A few years ago, I wrote about how demeaning it felt when a man sat next to me on a flight reading his lad’s mag with photos of very scantily clad women. I suggested that this might be something that they should not be doing in the public space and was told that I deserved to be raped, like brutal sexual violence was an acceptable reaction to disagreeing with someone.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Women not going to husband’s work event? Dear Telegraph, this is not a story

There are very many reasons to criticise the Labour Party at the moment. The way they fell into George Osborne’s political trap when they should have tied him up in knots is just one. And while I’m at it, John McDonnell, if you’re going to get a bit passive aggressive with people in the Chamber, don’t immediately apologise. Either don’t do it at all, or do it with confidence. His responses to James Cleverly and Lucy Frazer show that he’s far too easy to wind up. You just can’t give that sort of ground. The lack of front bench experience is really showing here.

There is more than enough political carnage in which the right wing press can rub Labour’s nose. It really, really doesn’t need to make a story out of Jeremy Corbyn’s wife, Laura Alvarez,  not going to the state banquet for the Chinese President. She has her own life. Why should she be obliged to go to her husband’s work event? It’s not the first time something like this has happened. A couple of years ago, one of the BBC team mentioned in censorious terms that Miriam Gonzalez Durantez had not been at Liberal Democrat conference all week. She’d gone back on Sunday night and only returned for Nick’s speech. Well, blow me down, she actually went to work? What a scandal! I complained to the BBC about that one and got precisely nowhere.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Pregnant pause

Ruth BrightHere is a picture of a woman. There is something strange about her. Can you spot it? Well of course you can. She is from a very small and curious minority. She is a Liberal Democrat activist! The bump? Well that puts her in a numerically far more significant group. 700,000 women in this country have a baby each year. Having a baby is a normal thing to do. All the time people are saying that they want more candidates to be “normal” people. But being a pregnant candidate some years ago made me feel that I was in a freak show, the ultimate “elephant in the room”. Sadly I do not think that things in the party have changed very much.

Here are my top 6 clumsy attitudes to my “political” pregnancy:

  • Doing a speech and being told by a former councillor that I mustn’t get too big;
  • Being told by a former PPC’s wife at a party fundraiser that I was “a walking caesarean”;
  • “Oh no not another one”- reaction from a party chair when he spotted my second pregnancy;
  • “I’m afraid I could spot you all the way down the corridor” – party veteran at the Commons when I was 8 months pregnant;
  • “Have you got another one in there?” comment from local treasurer at my failure to shift the post-baby weight
  • Removal of my baby birth announcement from the local party website as it might help my imminent re-selection (!).
Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 26 Comments

“No holds barred” discussion on sexism in Lib Dems to take place in Scotland

About a year and a half ago, I wrote an article about how the behaviour of some men was driving women out of politics. I said:

I’ve seen good women driven away from active politics out of sheer exasperation at the way powerful men exclude and demean them. Participation in politics should not require putting up with such behaviour and politics itself is better when it more accurately reflects the society we live in.

A start would be for us all to be much more aware of our behaviour and that of others. Men in powerful positions, have a look at your own behaviour. Do you exclude women, do you behave aggressively towards them in a way that you would never do to a man? If so, change your behaviour. Decide that you won’t do that in future. It’s not difficult.

The rest of us need to look out for women who are being treated like this and challenge disrespectful behaviour. Even if we don’t agree with what they say, we should always support their right to be heard and treated with dignity. Let’s tackle our everyday sexism.

The comments thread that followed was dominated by men, some more helpful than others, but, behind the scenes, so many women contacted me privately to share their experiences of sexism not just in our party but in others. I don’t for a minute think that our party is any more sexist than society or other political parties, but that’s not to say that we should just put up with it. This party needs to show that it is a welcoming place for everybody.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 37 Comments

Catherine Bearder MEP doesn’t need men telling her what’s important

I have to say that I am incandescent with rage at a profile of the only Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder which has appeared in the New Statesman. The implied conclusion of both the journalist and the several Liberal Democrat sources quoted seems to be that Catherine is a lightweight who needs the back-up of a group of men. She’s criticised for not pursuing their agendas and her own concerns, on massive issues like wildlife and human trafficking are dismissed by the journalist as pet projects.  Yes, that’s right, protecting vulnerable people from the brutal exploitation of modern slavery somehow is a niche issue? Not in my world.

The thing is, despite the drip-drip of patronising criticism that comes through the article Catherine comes out of it really well. What I get is an impression of a politician who, heaven forfend, is well-connected to her constituency and the people she represents. Heaven forfend! It’s hard to do that across a single UK Parliamentary seat. Across a region? That’s more challenging and Catherine does it well. That is just as important as legislative achievement.

Dave Keating, the journalist laments that the lack of political heavyweights:

The Liberal Democrats lost their Brussels heavyweights like Graham Watson, Andrew Duff and Ed McMillan-Scott.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 70 Comments

Opinion: Behave yourself, woman

When we woke up this morning, we saw that Alex Salmond had used some choice words in the House of Commons yesterday during a debate. A marvellous orator he may be, but he also appears to be fond of sexist language.

Salmond told Junior Minister Anna Soubry that she was ‘demented’ and to ‘behave yourself, woman.’ This type of language is unacceptable, and without excuse. Yet many of his supporters are attempting to excuse his behaviour on Twitter, with the main theme being that what he said is not real sexism and that I should perhaps save my ‘outrage’ for real sexism. What is real sexism though? Is it the murder and gender based violence statistics? Is it the gender pay gap? Or is it putting down women through language use? Or perhaps, it is all of the above and more. It is simply a different expression of the same underlying problem.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 47 Comments

Nicola Sturgeon faces similar press trashing to Clegg in 2010 – but with added misogyny

I might have some fairly fundamental disagreements with Nicola Sturgeon on the best future for Scotland, but I have a great deal of time for her as a human being and as a politician. She is a much cleverer tactician than Alex Salmond ever was. I am perfectly happy to argue with people on their political outlook, but I’m not struck on the sort of nasty personal mudslinging that we see at PMQs, or in Labour’s deeply misleading personal attack on Nick Clegg last year and I sure as hell am not going to make up my mind how to vote based on how someone eats a bacon sandwich. Nor, I suspect, are the rest of the population.

It appears that after her very good performance in Thursday’s Leaders’ Debate that Nicola Sturgeon is, highly predictably, being done over by the right wing press in much the same way that Nick Clegg was in 2010. Remember Nick Barlow’s wonderful way of dealing with that – the #nickcleggsfault meme on Twitter where Clegg was blamed from everything to the weather to the cat being sick?

Of course, Nicola is getting much different treatment to a man. Her clothes come in to it. The Daily Fail describes her as a “glamorous power-dressing imperatrix.” Wow. A woman goes out wearing smart clothes. How remarkable. Of course, if she rocked up for FMQs in Parliament in her jeans, they’d have something to say about that, too. On appearance, women really can’t win.

The Telegraph’s splash is a bit different. Last night, when I read their account that she’d told the French ambassador that she’d prefer David Cameron to be Prime Minister, it didn’t seem right to me. Apart from anything else, the Nicola Sturgeon I know has more sense than to be so indiscreet. The paper bases its story on a memo written by a UK Government official who wasn’t even at the meeting in question and who actually doubts its veracity. It’s all very third hand and clearly questionable.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 87 Comments

Opinion: We must not be complacent!

internationalwomensday

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. We have a lot be proud of, but there is still a long way to go.

On Friday I spoke at a hustings organised by Youth Parliament. Afterwards, I had several young women come up, inspired and engaged with what I had to say. It was brilliant to see them keen on becoming politically active.

But as I left I was approached by two teenage lads, well-spoken, but of a completely different mindset. They asked me why women should be encouraged into politics because “it is a career which suits men.” I was aghast. I could not believe that attitude could exist among young people today. I am prepared for sexism from older generations, but my generation and those younger than me surely have been brought up in a world where men and women are equal?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 6 Comments

One of my favourite broadcasting moments of the year…

It was very satisfying to see Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis demolish Daniel O’Reilly, the so-called comedian behind the controversial Dapper Laughs character. O’Reilly was axed from ITV2 following highly inappropriate material in a stage show in  which the character appeared to be encouraging violence towards and rape and harassment of women.

I’ve seen a few people suggest that his comments, while distasteful, were not beyond the pale and that too much fuss has been made about it. They were men, funnily enough. I wonder how they would feel if they lived in a world where most of the powerful characters were women, where men were routinely treated as decoration for the titillation of women. Imagine how it would then feel if a woman, as part of a comedy routine, talked about forcing them to take part in sexual acts, tying them down with tape if necessary, if he said that no didn’t really mean no. If you are sceptical you should maybe try reading Laura Bates’ Everyday Sexism book which was this week placed on Waterstone’s Book of the Year list.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 62 Comments

Lorely Burt’s Conservative opponent lectures her on sexism

It all started with an innocent tweet from Solihull MP Lorely Burt:

It’s all about this story in which Steve Webb plans to allow payment habits, good or bad, of absent parents who pay maintenance for their children. If an absent parent doesn’t pay their maintenance, then this information, passed on to credit reference agencies, could stop them getting credit or a mortgage You shouldn’t require an incentive like that to actually provide for your children, but, unfortunately, some people do.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 32 Comments

The big difference between what Olly Grender said and what the Mirror said she said

The Mirror ran a big splash yesterday saying that Liberal Democrat peer Olly Grender was complaining that her House of Lords allowance is insufficient. “We struggle to get by on £300 per day tax free allowance” screams the headline.

If you actually look at the substance of the story, there is absolutely nothing to substantiate  that total misrepresentation of what she was saying. They even run a little poll asking if you could get by on £300 tax free.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 25 Comments

Nick Clegg tackles the Daily Mail’s sexism with humour

So, this is the Daily Mail’s sadly predictable response to women being promoted to high or higher office.

Daily Fail catwalk

I guess you can’t really expect better when 7 of the top 10 stories on their sidebar could be easily headlined: “Woman goes out in public wearing clothes.” That’s actually quite low for them.

Nick Clegg responded with humour in a tweet today.

 

You …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments

Men, is your behaviour driving women out of politics?

Imagine you are in a meeting trying to make your case. How would you feel if, every time you opened your mouth to speak, somebody interrupted you before you had got to the end of your first sentence? Not just once. Every. Single.Time.

Imagine you are in a meeting, trying to make your case, but the decision has clearly been made by a small cabal of powerful men who have reached their own understanding over dinner and some booze the night before, at an event that you were not invited to.

Imagine you are in a meeting trying to do your job …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 93 Comments

How should the Liberal Democrats deal with everyday sexism?

Today’s Daily Mail has an article making various allegations of sexist attitudes towards women within the Liberal Democrats. They’ve been running similar stories all week following the Rock the Boat fringe meeting earlier. One particular woman candidate says that she was told by someone in her local party not to get pregnant because “we don’t want a baby hanging of your t**s.”

The Daily Mail is an unlikely feminist champion, but that shouldn’t detract from the need to tackle such behaviour, which includes inappropriate questions to female candidates during the selection process about their relationships or their plans to have …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 46 Comments

Chickens, eggs, Twitter and report abuse buttons

In the last 24 hours, over 40,000 people have signed an e-petition calling on Twitter to install a “report abuse button.” This was started after journalist Caroline Crialdo-Perez suffered numerous tweeted threats of rape and sexual assault in the wake of her successful campaign to have Jane Austen put on a bank note. Shewrote for the Independent about her experience both of the abuse and the support she’d received in return. Ishould warn you that if you click on the link you will see some examples of the tweets she was sent:

These are all tweets from men. Men who

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 14 Comments

Alex Salmond is quite late to the Party on all-male Muirfield

It’s another glorious weekend of sport, if you’re into that sort of thing. In Paris, the Tour de France comes to its climax on the Champs Elysees, unusually at twilight rather than mid afternoon. You wait 99 races for a British rider to win the Tour de France and it very much looks as if two are going to come along in succession. And then there’s the Open, from the beautiful East Lothian Muirfield course.

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has very famously refused to go to Muirfield because it’s all male. Credit where it’s due. He can’t go back …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Andy Murray, Virginia Wade and my experience of a small dose of Everyday Sexism

So last night I tweeted this:

In response to this Times front page:

andy murray

It got a fair few retweets, including from Graham Linehan (@Glinner) and Danny Baker (@Prodnose), and my timeline started to get busy. Responses fell into two camps.

First, Pedants (and I mean this affectionately here), who pointed out it isn’t just Virginia Wade who’s been written …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 24 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Becket 19th Oct - 11:16pm
    I agree with expats. I am copying most of these Press Releases on to my web site for local use. I will not use this...
  • User Avatarexpats 19th Oct - 9:45pm
    Tragically, Brexit divides one generation from another..........A substantial majority of my generation voted to leave.........A substantial majority of the young voted to remain....... Your generation...
  • User AvatarRobin Gardner 19th Oct - 9:37pm
    Nick Clegg took us into Government after decades in the wilderness. He had the highest post since Lloyd George who only survived as PM because...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Oct - 9:03pm
    @ Andrea "We are left with a few members of an unsuccessful pressure group. " And who do you think got us into that position...
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 19th Oct - 9:01pm
    He replaces Elliot Schrage who was a former lawyer, professor at a business school and former senior VP at Gap for Global communications. In other...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 19th Oct - 8:13pm
    Nick has many talents and abilities, but PR is not one of them. His failure to understand the PR issues surrounding the Rose Garden, Student...