Yesterday at Scottish Labour’s conference in Edinburgh, MP David Hamilton stood up and delivered a speech in which he threw out cheap shots at the First Minister of Scotland. He looked at Scotland’s first female First Minister and attempted to reduce her to a mere hairstyle in order to secure some laughs. And laughs he did receive, alongside whoops and applause as he referred to Nicola Sturgeon as the “Wee lassie wi a tin helmet”.
Today is International Women’s Day, and this year it’s all about empowering women. We live in a world where women are treated unfairly, unequally. It’s a world where women are far less likely to hold high-ranking positions in top companies, where pay is grossly unequal, as women are paid on average 17.5% less than men for every equal hour worked; and where we are grossly underrepresented in the political landscape of the UK.
As David Hamilton stood on that stage making his speech and being applauded for his casual sexism, many of the women I know were standing out in the rain reaching out to their fellow voters, trying to engage with them and getting them involved in our political system.
What I don’t think David Hamilton, or those who found his comments hilarious, realises – is that it’s comments such as these that just make us ever more determined in our efforts to succeed.
We see your sexism and we raise you one finger as our journey towards an equal society continues.