Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Laura Perrins: My sexist pig award goes to The Times for its assault on Mrs May


Welcome Dear Reader. You are about to witness a once in a lifetime performance by your co-editor. This is not something I ever do, but I know I have it here somewhere. Somewhere deep, deep down in my handbag, below the mobile phone, under the lip balm, beside the baby wipes. Ah, there it is, it was a gift from my feminist friends – my You Are a Sexist Card. And this week I am awarding it to Giles Coren at The Times for denouncing our worthy PM as “a big pointless pot of low-fat yoghurt.”

I have been waiting for some pushback on this but have not spotted any. Coren complains that, “we have been lumbered with this deathly, humourless, stooping technocrat for a leader.” He continues: “This twitchy, joyless crow. This Ealing Comedy headmistress with a gift for joke-telling that makes Thatcher look like Victoria Wood. Theresa May is so lustreless, so derivative, so repetitive, so wooden, so without hinterland, family, identity, sex, passion or wisdom, so bereft of anything like a mantle that might be passed on, that nobody, literally nobody, ever talks of who her successor might be. She is such a big, tall, pointless pot of low-fat yoghurt that there is no sense of her having anything worth inheriting or wrestling from her, bar her jewellery and the occasional pair of shoes.”

Now it is true that Coren was rude about some other politicians (as I have been), but this seems pretty sexist to me. Going for May over her policies and political performance is one thing. But going for her because she is not an entertaining monkey, well that is something else entirely.

And I am left asking myself – would this kind of piece ever be targeted at a man? The list is big but if we just dissect it, May is criticised for being ‘so without family’ (are we really doing this again – she has a husband that is family), and amazingly, she is also ‘without sex’?

First, how the hell does Coren know, and secondly what does it matter? A post-menopausal woman in a position of leadership is condemned for being ‘without sex’. I do not think even Trump would stoop so low.

He also says the only thing worth inheriting or wrestling from her is her jewellery and the occasional pair of shoes. What a surprise – the only thing worth noticing about May, our second female Prime Minister, is her fashion sense.

This is such a baiting, sexist piece in fact I am pretty sure it was written with the intention of generating lots of traffic and attention.

May is without passion, we are told. Goodness, is passion not one of the most over-rated characteristics of our times? Every job application these days requires one to be passionate about a company. Passion used to a vice, perhaps even wicked. If someone suffered from ‘passion’ he was seen to be unbalanced, unhinged and in need of help. Personally, I want a steady hand and head in Number 10, someone with substance over style – although if you ask me May has both.

You can criticise May for many things – she never got a grip on immigration when she was Home Secretary. She never managed to bring under control the police failures in Rotherham. And now as Prime Minister, arguably, she is dragging her feet over Brexit. But she does have the substance to be a great Prime Minister. Government is not the X Factor and conservative women are not there to entertain you. It is not the Labour Party, you know.

(Image: UK in Italy)

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