This past weekend commentators, journalists, politicians and many others were left gobsmacked and scratching their heads. We had really hoped we had moved on from the sort of comments in the Sunday Mail.
Of course, it could all have been made up by a misogynistic journalist in an attempt at humour. In truth though, we all know someone who could have made those comments. When I first started working, young women were often seen as fair game for comments and even unwanted physical contact. Over the years the unions, the politicians and employment bosses have all made pretty speeches about equality. In workplace treatment, pay, opportunities. We are still waiting in many cases. In an interview about fair pay for lawyers taking on sexual abuse cases, the representative said that young newly qualified lawyers were earning as little as £12,000 a year. Maybe if any lawyers read this you could comment. It came as a shock to me.
Another place this is evident is social media and the internet in general. We all know people who suffer from disgusting behaviour by those who shout about freedom of speech. I remember unfriending a crafting friend, towards the referendum in 2014, because one of her friends thought it was okay to comment on our conversations and bombard me with vile unionist rubbish. She emailed me asking to become friends again as I had been helpful to her in exploring crafting. The male friend of hers had damaged my mental health so much I felt he had invaded my space.
The other thing that shocked me this week was Priti Patel’s Push Back policy. I know she is very right wing but she never ceases to amaze. A woman with absolutely no compassion. How was she able to become an MP? A previous government, in the 1960s, allowed her family to migrate to the UK from Uganda and set up a chain of newsagents. How can she possibly be so aggresive against other people being given similar opportunities?
Before we go blaming it all on the super rich tories, remember bullying and misogyny are not a perogative of the upper classes. We find this behaviour at all levels of society. It’s the family and the company they keep that allows this behaviour to survive.