It was fascinating to read in the Sunday Mail on 24 April 2022 that they ran an article about the deputy labour leader Angela Rayner. The article is not complimentary, but one that attacks her on her sexuality. In brief, a conservative MP has accused Angela Rayner of crossing and uncrossing her legs every time Boris Johnson stands at the dispatch box to give a speech. This action, they have suggested, distracts Boris Johnson and thus ruins his speech. This is just one example of the misogyny that still exists in the House of Commons, even in 2022. Misogyny has no place in the 21st century. It is unacceptable that women are treated this way, and it needs to stop.

Let’s have a look at this implication.

It stinks that misogyny is in the House of Commons. Why would the observer look at a woman crossing and uncrossing her legs? What is it they hope to see? We can see that this is an obvious example of misogyny as the MP is attacking Angela Rayner based on her sexuality. This sort of treatment is unacceptable and needs to stop. We need to stand up to this kind of behaviour and treat women in whatever job they do as working colleges.

Image from Daily Mail via Ken McKay ITV REX Shutterstock

Angela Rayner is a professional woman at her place of work. Are they suggesting that a woman needs to revert to the suggestion of sexual favours to distract from the topic at hand?

We have been making great strides in recent years to break down the barriers that exist for women in the workplace. This sort of attack only reinforces those barriers and makes it harder for women to succeed. We need to show that this behaviour will not be tolerated in the House of Commons or anywhere else.

This behaviour is an unacceptable attack on Angela Rayner. Can a man not hold himself to account in front of a woman and control his sexual urges? Indeed, this is something that we should have moved on from by now. We need to clarify that this kind of behaviour has no place in the House of Commons or anywhere else. We need to create a working environment where everyone is respected. Let’s make sure we stamp it out once and for all.

This is not new

This article should be based on the MP reporting this and not on a woman doing her job. How insulting and pathetic is this person? This is not new. At the beginning of April 2022, David Warburton, the MP for Somerset and Frome, was suspended after two female colleagues complained to the Parliamentary harassment /Watchdog Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS). Not forgetting the comment by Donald Trump making lewd comments about a woman when he was on his tour bus. This behaviour needs to be stopped. If we are to create a respectful and professional working environment for everyone.

It is a concern that the people we elect to represent us are so easily distracted. What kind of message does this send to the rest of the world? That we are not serious in our politics? Our politicians are more concerned with what a woman is wearing or how she is sitting rather than the critical issues they should focus on. Is this the image we want to portray to the world, and does it need to change?

Even sadder are the comments from people about the report. Some suggest that it is not a big deal and that we should move on. Others are trying to make light of the situation and joking about it. But this is not a joke. Joking about it only serves to normalise the behaviour and make it seem like it is acceptable. Misogyny is a serious problem. It is not acceptable, and we need to make sure that everyone knows that.

A stand against misogyny in the House of Commons should be a priority. We need to send a powerful message to the rest of the world that we are a modern, progressive country that does not accept this behaviour.

Examples of the comments regarding the article.

  • The Tories could get Anne Widdecombe to do the same on the other side
  • When she opens her mouth and her legs, you will find she definitely isn’t Sharon Stone
  • Imagine the stench if she did actually uncross her legs.
  • Rayner, or as she is commonly known- Bike Shed Angie – Trevor Maxwell
  • She’s a woman. What do you expect? This is their currency and they’re always quick to use it against us to get what they want. – Chris
  • Diane Abbott now planning to do the same.- Major Hindsight

Angela Rayner has stated, “I stand accused of a ‘poly’ to ‘distract the helpless PM’. By being a woman, having legs and wearing clothes, I am conspiring to put him off his stride”.

A professional woman already has to be better at their job to be taken seriously. There are other considerations that many men may not understand when a woman steps into the workplace, for example, the clothes they wear. When buying clothes, concerns like, will the skirt rise too much, showing the top of a leg when I sit down, or would a lower neckline be unprofessional? If they show too much skin, they are unprofessional. If they don’t show enough, they are prudish. It is a no-win situation for women. It should not be this way at all. Clothes do not make a person.

Looks Weight in the Public Eye

Men rarely get attacked for their looks or weight, but women in the public eye are. It is sad that women still have to put up with this nonsense in this day and age.

It is time for a change. Misogyny has no place in society! It is time to stamp out Misogyny in the House of Commons once and for all! We need to clarify that this kind of behaviour has no place in the House of Commons or anywhere else. These are things that men will never have to think about. It is just another barrier against women in the workplace.

She added that women in politics face “sexism and misogyny every day.”

Women in politics face “sexism and misogyny every day”. This is an unfortunate truth that many professional women have to face. It’s unfair, making it harder for women to succeed in politics.

From Angela Rayner’s Twitter feed
From Angela Rayner’s Twitter feed

In Conclusion

Misogyny has no place in the House of Commons or anywhere else. It is time for us to stand up and demand better from our politicians. We need to show them that we will not tolerate this sort of behaviour and that we expect them to act professionally at all times. Only then can we hope to create a working environment where everyone is treated with respect.

Read the article here