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Men at Westminster

(56 Posts)
OlennasWimple Sun 29-Oct-17 16:00:34

In the light of the revelations already out there, and the suggestion that there are plenty more to come, I thought it would be worth having a stand alone thread to discuss them rather than them being caught up in other threads. The way that this is being reported and commented on is interesting in itself.

For example, it's apparently Theresa May's fault that there are "sex pests" in the Cabinet (not the men themselves who are to blame)

Whilst Jeremy Hunt manages to patronise grown women with his suggestion that the people who need reassurance are "the mums and dads" of women in Westminster, not the women themselves...

QuentinSummers Sun 29-Oct-17 17:17:34

I do think Theresa May (and I expect Cameron before her) should have investigated and dealt with any allegations of harassment when they arose, rather than waiting for it to get into the press.
She needs to grow a spine and deal with it now.

FlorenceLyons Mon 30-Oct-17 09:17:56

Thanks for starting this thread, Olenna. I'm getting more and more angry about the trivialised way this is being reported. The use of the term 'sex pests'. Nick Robinson (who frankly is not covering himself with glory at the moment) asking the BBC's Westminster correspondent this morning if this is a real issue or overblown. And yes, Jeremy fricking Hunt and his 'mums and dads' comment.

These are the people who are running the country, for christ's sake. What message does it send to everyone else if they think it's ok to behave like this, and the media thinks it's ok to be all 'lads together' about it?

antimatter Mon 30-Oct-17 09:20:25

I am very upset about media trivializing it as they have so far. This makes them part of the problem and they don't realise.

I am disgusted.

BlueA4Paper Mon 30-Oct-17 09:36:11

Ffs, the Labour MP tweeting that he will be naming a colleague who has acted inappropriately - what the hell is the point, just name him.

Fucking party whips patrolling bars to stop 'bad behaviour' because of the torys wafer thin majority. So if they were in solid majority they wouldn't bother.

I am so very angry at the whole world right now (the way it works - not everyone in it obv).

OlennasWimple Mon 30-Oct-17 13:15:27

"Sex pests" sound like something along the lines of fleas or bed bugs. Not grown men using their power and privilege to sexually harass (and possibly assault) women

QuentinSummers Mon 30-Oct-17 18:38:49

I just heard Bernard Jenkins going on about how much things had improved compared to 20 years ago. It had an undertone of women should put up with It, it's not that bad. Grrrrr.

woman11017 Mon 30-Oct-17 19:36:39

Tories could lose power over this one. Stakes are high. Channel 4 news has just reported that half of the names on the circulating list are ministers.

outabout Mon 30-Oct-17 19:49:57

Women's hour this morning in a short piece about it highlighted the problem that they are not 'employees' and so can't really be disciplined or sacked. Disgraceful. This definitely needs changing.
To think that collectively they could take us into wars but can't keep their hands off other people.

Elendon Mon 30-Oct-17 19:51:55

May has already deflected solutions to be had onto Bercow. He has rejected this saying it's up to the leaders of each party within Parliament to sort it out, and rightly so.

It's going to run for a long time to deflect from the shambles that is Brexit

sorry to mention Brexit, twice

QuentinSummers Mon 30-Oct-17 20:21:45

I think May is being weak (and the other leaders).
They should withdraw the whip while they investigate at least. And remove cabinet ministers temporarily.

QuentinSummers Mon 30-Oct-17 20:25:11

The pictures in here say it all really
m.huffingtonpost.co.uk/amp/entry/women-mps-outnumber-men-during-sex-harassment-debate_uk_59f77941e4b09b5c2568457b/

angry
"Witch hunt" indeed. If anyone needs proof the patriarchy is alive and well this is it. Men can't even be arsed to turn up to discuss how to put this right.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Mon 30-Oct-17 20:28:43

I think Bernard Jenkins and his ilk just demonstrate how out of touch they are. The sort of behaviour being discussed here has been recognised in uk corporate life as unacceptable for at least two decades and I can’t think of a major company that hasn’t put in place policies, procedures and safeguards in relation to harassment. Parliament seems to be 30 years behind in terms of established best practice.
Yet these are the people legislating for and frequently slagging off uk companies. No wonder there is so little respect for them. Do as we say not as we do, eh lads? Wankers.

outabout Mon 30-Oct-17 21:00:13

Never mind withdrawing the whip, a whip should be applied, unless they like it.

SpookghosttiAndMeatboos Mon 30-Oct-17 21:06:51

The thing is, how many of us have been in jobs where we've been warned to make sure you're not alone with X, or told that X gets a bit familiar when he's drunk etc. - we've got so used to dealing with it that I think we forget the seriousness ourselves.

I think it's a good idea to get it all out in the daylight, to say that it's not acceptable to have to have a conversation with the new girl in the ladies to warn her that if So-and-so asks her to show him how to use the photocopier then she should tell him to go to IT <exchange meaningful look/>

All this faux shock that this goes on is ridiculous, but if we all have to pretend to be surprised to get something done about it, then so be it.

Elendon Mon 30-Oct-17 21:18:12

What age are you @SpookghosttiAndMeatboos

QuentinSummers Wed 01-Nov-17 18:09:37

Bumping this. Not happy at all that May has suggested claims should go to the police because of the very high burden of proof. And not happy it all appears to be being minimised by fairly ridiculous things ("fornication") being conflated and discussed with serious claims.
Plus I suspect that list is made up anyway which will massively damage credibility of women who have been harassed or assaulted angry

powershowerforanhour Wed 01-Nov-17 18:34:27

William Hague came across quite well talking about this on Radio 4 this morning.

PricklyBall Wed 01-Nov-17 18:41:49

I'm interested (from the perspective of fake news and deliberate media manipulation) in how this is playing out. The intial news was broken on the Guido Fawkes website - a list of offences without names. Now that some of the names have come out, it turns out that it's a mix of genuine sexual harrassment cases and perfectly legitimate consensual relationships.

Now "Guido Fawkes" (Paul Staines) is a self-confessed right wing libertarian who describes his politics as "Margaret Thatcher on drugs". So hardly the sort of person you'd expect to be campaigning on the side of the angels. My hunch is that he's playing a complicated propaganda game. By mixing up genuine harrassment with consensual workplace relationships, he's setting the scene for the Daily Mail, Telegraph et al. to be able to do a rebuttal along the lines of "see, I told you it was PC gorn mad - these people want forms signed in triplicate before you can so much as make a pass at a co-worker..."

Which is not to detract in the slightest from how utterly unacceptable the behaviour of the genuine sexual predators is. And I believe there are quite a number of genuine sexual predators on the list. But some are not - for example, Amber Rudd (who is divorced) is totally above board about her relationship with backbencher Kwasi Kwarteng.

I suspect that on some level we're being played - throw in some genuine cases amid a lot of deliberately misleading stuff, so that the genuine cases can be minimised. Classic piece of propaganda.

QuentinSummers Wed 01-Nov-17 19:36:03

Yes prickly that's exactly what I think
Especially when I read this kind of crap www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5037545/SARAH-VINE-hysterical-Westminster-witch-hunt.html (Sarah Vine is Michael Gove's wife)
Manufactured to do down the whole "me too" thing and get uppity women to shut up about it.
I hate being a conspiracy theorist but the whole thing is so bizarre. Also most of the more concrete allegations are already public domain. hmm

SonicBoomBoom Wed 01-Nov-17 20:59:53

I think about half the male MPs could fall here.

Good. HoC and politics generally needs a good clear out.

Jamiek80 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:52:40

If Michael Fallon has resigned solely for touching a female reporters knee I speculate that every MP will have to resign? I think there will be more to it but if there isn't is his resignation justified?

SonicBoomBoom Wed 01-Nov-17 22:14:22

It's a good excuse to bail on brexit.

OlennasWimple Thu 02-Nov-17 02:09:59

I'm looking forward to the armed forces taking allegations of improper touching as seriously as the former Defence Secretary, and getting rid of the squaddies who do more than brush against women's knees hmm
angry

(I grew up near a marines base...)

Shoxfordian Thu 02-Nov-17 15:38:35

Apparently Michael Fallon was a "casualty" of the investigations which implies he's a victim. Ugh

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