During PMQ time last Wednesday, Jo Swinson a Liberal Democrat representative for East Dunbartonshire was left standing in he House of Commons for the duration of the half hour. Not one of the elected MPs offered Swinson a seat, despite the fact that she is 7 months pregnant.
Upon reading this, it seemed a little shocking to see comments left on the article such as: “Of course chivalry should die a death in the modern age”. The irony of it all is that Jo Swinson is the Liberal Equalities minister, which seems to throw 100 more spanners in the works, it seems political correctness has really gone mad! The entire modern movement in my opinion has gone totally ‘tits up’…
Reports suggest that Ms Swinson implied that it would’ve been quite sexist if any of the MPs had in fact offered her a seat. In fact, many women seem to actually agree with this point, Sally Peck writing: “Pregnancy is not an illness and it IS sexist to suggest that Jo Swinson ‘needed’ a seat”
The feminist movement in the 21st century is the strongest it has ever been, any form of discrimination against gender is deemed extremely offensive, and in some cases can lead to prosecution (Sexual discrimination when hiring a member of staff etc.). In fact, it was a great pain for me when it was made illegal to discriminate gender for car insurance, as personally, I rather enjoyed the cheaper bill! However, that is by the by. Today the pay gap between men and women is closer than ever, with only a 10.2% gap between wage earnings (ONS 2011).
The extent of equal rights seems to have reached a point at which now we are totally unsure of what is and what isn’t acceptable anymore? Its a sphere of extremes that seem to get very muddled when they clash in the middle.
If women want to be treated equally – then no, Swinson shouldn’t have been offered a seat. The idea of equal treatment should be seen within everything, from gentlemanly gestures, to maternity care. But the fact is, biologically we are different beings, and traditionally, this has been so since the dawn of man. I am not proposing that every women should go back to the ice age, where her man would go out hunting and she would dust the cave, but I am proposing that people should get a little perspective embedded with their opinions of what is equality.
Chivalry manners and etiquette is what makes our country so great, a true British gentlemen (such as the people we vote to run a country) should offer a seat if a women is pregnant. Furthermore, a woman should offer her seat if an elderly man is in need of it. Having respect and manners should not be viewed under the equality umbrella.
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