Have we started to introduce censorship in the House of Commons? The House of Commons speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has given his view on the article published on Angela Rayner crossing and uncrossing her legs as a ploy to distract the Prime Minister.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle’s job is to determine who can and cannot speak during debates and to keep the MPs in ‘order’ stated: “I express my sympathy to Angela Rayner for this type of comment. It’s demeaning, offensive to women in Parliament and can only deter women who might be considering standing for election to the detriment of us all.”
Because of the article, Sir Lindsay Hoyle has summoned the editor of the Mail Online on Sunday and the chair of the press lobby for a meeting. He wants to discuss the issue and its effect on the parliamentary community.
The minister for Digital Economy, Chris Philp, stated that it is “offensive, misogynistic and abusive“.
The significant issue here is that no one knows who said the statement and what will be done to the person once they discover who it is. The story seems to have moved on a little to consider the role of the press in our everyday lives. Is this now moving toward some press censorship?
There are now two major issues here:
- Press censorship
- Women in Public Life, are they safe?
Press Censorship in the House of Commons
With Sir Lindsay Hoyle arranging a meeting with the newspaper and press lobby editor, are we now going to introduce press censorship because a story is unsavoury or misogynist? Indeed, we should focus on the thought pattern of the person who is looking at how a woman is sitting and ask even more fundamental questions, like, what is your view of women in the workplace, should women become members of Parliament? If the answer to the latter question is NO, I would suggest that we do not want this person in Parliament and certainly don’t want him to represent us as a whole.
Censorship is never the answer. It only allows the person doing wrong to continue going about their business without consequences. We need to stand up and state that this behaviour is unacceptable. We need to shout out when we see misogyny, sexism, or other discrimination. Otherwise, we are complicit in their behaviour.
Is it true that today someone made a misogynistic comment about how Angela Rayner was sitting in Parliament? This doesn’t answer who made the statement. Should the journalist reveal their source, or should they keep the name of the informant secret? If the editor refuses to disclose their informant, is this also censorship? Can we accept that there are times when censorship in the house of commons is acceptable? Doesn’t Angela Rayner have a right to defend herself from the author of the comments?
There is no easy answer regarding freedom of the press and censorship. In a case like this, where there is potentially misogynistic behaviour, the public must have all the information available to them to make an informed decision. However, if revealing the source of information would put them in danger, it might be necessary to withhold some details. Ultimately, it is up to the journalist to weigh the pros and cons and decide based on what they believe is in the public’s best interests.
House of Commons is it safe for Women?
Is there a problem with misogyny in Parliament, and are women welcome in the House of Commons? Their actions indeed destroy the words used by many politicians to say. Yes, women are welcome. The statement against Angela Rayner and the comment that she uses her body to control or distract Boris Johnson from political points are disgraceful. Even thinking that a professional female Member of Parliament would use her body like this is outrageous. This behaviour has come to light, as reported in a national newspaper.
What is going on in Parliament with female MP and female staff? Why do men believe they can do, say, and have whatever they want? We do not know the sex of the person who commented. But the picture is of a group of men, so it would appear that this is something that men in The House of Commons have said. Is this the only instance of misogyny in Parliament? No, it is not. There have been other reports, and more will probably come. This is an issue that needs has to be addressed
Shocking behaviour towards Women in Public Office
“At which point do you take threats seriously or dismiss them? I’ve had death threats on Twitter, or threats of violence. Do I just shrug it off, thinking it’s some person tweeting me at 3 am from California or is it someone who can access me? I have dismissed threats and considering this, I don’t think I can dismiss some of the comments directed at me. Online misogyny and death threats are all violence against women. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it any more acceptable than if it was in print or said verbally. The online world has to be safe for women as well. It’s not something that we should take and accept. It needs to be challenged, especially now.” Tulip Siddiq (Female MP).
The MP Jess Phillips reported she received over 600 rape threats via Twitter in one night. And numerous comments about her appearance. Wouls censorship in the house of commons prevent this type of attack on women in the house of commons?
Cover-up or Censorship In the House of Commons, what can we do?
- The media needs to continue to report on these types of issues. The public should know what is going on, it would be a disaster if we had censorship in the house of commons.
- Action against those who are guilty of making these comments.
- We need to make sure that this doesn’t happen again by making some changes in Parliament
But we also need to remember one thing: this is not just a problem in Parliament, but in society. While we are dealing with the issue in Parliament, we need to be working on tackling misogyny in the community. Thank you for your time.