UK Chancellor Phillip Hammond has started a sexist storm after comments he made about driving trains.
It was a remark made in front of the whole of cabinet during the week, while discussing rail strikes, and the stranglehold unions have on picking train staff.
The Chancellor, 61, asked why it is so rare to see female train drivers, and argued that driving a modern locomotive was so simple now that “even they can do it”.
And yes, while a woman can do it, not many do. Of the 19,000 train drivers in Britain, only just over five per cent are female.
Read more: Donald Trump goes on ‘sexist rant’ at rally.
The Sun has reported that while one MP, Jess Phillips, has told the media Hammond disgraced himself with the remark, as well as insulting half the country’s population, another has denied he even said it, putting the blame on another minister. However, there has been no official denial that Hammond made the comments.
Putting blame aside, the question is, is the comment insulting? If it was said in a different location, such as on a television show, would anyone even bat an eyelid, and instead laugh at the ‘joke’.
On the other hand, was he just highlighting a need for greater equality, but saying more were needed in the industry?
The rights of women have changed greatly over the years but it seems sexism is still front and centre of much of our lives. While the ‘traditional’ roles of males and females has changed, attitudes towards it hasn’t, but to what effect. The once appreciated wolf-whistle is frowned upon, you can’t ask someone if they have children without thoughts of discrimination, and even a list of best dressed is considered sexist.