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Women deserve better than these outrageous behaviour excuses

Readers' letters | Published:

Oh dear. I was so pleased that at long last, your correspondent Nigel Hastilow had written something that I agreed with – Dot-com bubble (Shropshire Star, November 4) in which he quite rightly castigates some of the biggest global companies for arranging to avoid paying fair taxes to the UK. Typically, he couldn’t resist a minor sideswipe at Brussels to end the piece, but that’s Nigel for you.

Nigel Hastilow

My euphoria didn’t last long however, when I then read Hastilow’s main article – “Snowflake generation goes into meltdown” – in which he tries to belittle the efforts that women are making in exposing the cruel, dangerous and misogynist workplace conditions that generations of women have been forced to endure. The fact is that, not only in Hollywood and Westminster, women (and especially young women) have been harassed, abused and assaulted by people in positions of power over them in workplaces, and it has to stop.

Unfortunately, Nigel Hastilow is putting himself in the position of apologist for the outrageous behaviour of many men in positions of authority and power, as they exercise their right to treat young staff as fair game. He does this in a variety of ways. The first is to conflate normal workplace discourse with a spectrum of abusive behaviours. His own Domestic Goddess’s experience of her boss trying “to stick his tongue down her throat” is assault, and for him to dismiss it as “men make passes at women” is outrageous.

People know the difference between discourse and assault, and courageous women are speaking out.

The second is to accuse victims who speak out of not joining in, having no sense of humour or being miserable b’s. Among his examples, he identifies “fatuous over-reactions” and of course, not keeping a sense of proportion.

Women deserve and demand better than this, and they are unlikely to heed Nigel’s advice to “stop whingeing and grow up”.

David Askins, Lightmoor

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