For once, I agree with Labour.
In Prime Minister’s Questions our rich, heterosexual, cisgendered, able male Prime Minister told a woman MP, a member of the shadow cabinet, to “calm down, dear”.
This was, rightly, immediately pointed out to be sexist.
The Prime Minister denied sexism, claiming that he was simply quoting an advert for a car insurance firm.
Perhaps he thought he was. Perhaps our Prime Minister genuinely believed this comment not to be sexist. This is, after all, the same man who merrily made a casually transphobic remark in the Commons. Perhaps, on his rich, heterosexual, cisgendered, able-bodied male planet, he did not think that a patronising, dismissive attitude to a woman colleague was in the slightest problematic.
Perhaps our Prime Minister had no idea that the original “Calm Down, Dear” adverts were themselves revoltingly sexist. In these ads, Michael Winner, himself a revolting sexist, patronises a woman fitting the hysterical woman trope to a T.
Casual sexism still flies. The subsequent shitstorm following the Prime Minister’s remarks has been referred to as a “sexism row”: the media appears to be presenting both sides, when what it actually achieves is simply to obfuscate the reality of the situation.
It is not PCgawnmadcantsayanythinganymore.
It was simple, blatant, casual sexism.
Thanks to Tim from beyondclicktivism for pointing out the casual transphobia exhibited by the PM.
3 thoughts on “Calm down, dear, it’s just casual sexism”
I think the advert worked because it was sending up Winner, who’s widely known to be a patronising sexist. Stripped of that context, it just becomes a sexist remark. Or someone repeating a catchphrase they heard on the telly without really getting it. Take your pick. Either way, it’s a bit shit if you’re the Prime Minister.
I may as well post this here,as it is a response to your and other people’s claims that feminism is not ‘monolithic’ and so I cannot criticise the whole of feminism when I criticise one aspect of it/one feminist.
I can still remember when David Cameron said that to Angela Eagle
and he should have definitely apologised to her even if it was banter