In response to Laura Perrins: Amazing news. Men like chatting to pretty women, Stephen T wrote:
I like Isabel Hardman, but she hasn’t handled this well. I don’t think anyone disputes that it’s both surprising and foolish for an MP to address a woman journalist in this way. I wonder what world he thinks he’s living in?
But the issue is how Isabel dealt with it. She should have firmly told the MP to his face what she thought and he would no doubt have apologised. That should have been the end of it. Hardman’s reputation for discretion and good sense would have been enhanced, which is important in her job. Instead, like the school sneak, she runs off to a whip and complains. Worse, she then takes to the facile world of social media to ‘expose’ this foolishness.
If I’d run to a boss at work every time a man or women had said something daft or unprofessional, I would have been seen as immature and untrustworthy. If I had a problem, I said so and that was the end of it. That approach is proportionate and effective. There is also a slight whiff of hypocrisy here. My guess is that male MPs are more than willing to speak to this intelligent and attractive journalist. Her attractiveness is an asset and she must know that. Then a day comes when her appearance attracts a comment she (rightly) doesn’t like and she deals with it badly. I think MPs will now trust Isabel Hardman a little less.