He was shoring up his credentials as former Social Media Tsar by decrying the man who slapped an egg on Ed Miliband's shoulder. Tom Harris called him a loser but that wasn't the problem. The problem which Claire had rightly noted was his choice of words to describe him as a loser.
The tweet read " What a hero! Fearless protestor. Chucks an egg at EdM and runs away. Like a girl. Throws like a girl too. #loser"
The target of Harris ire was of course the protestor which was his excuse, I mean reason, however he decided to employ the analogy of a girl and this was his mistake. In using a girl as an epithet for coward with poor aim or lack of strength he equated the feminine with the negative.
Many activists on Labour's "day of days" leapt to his defence, using the predictable "PC gone mad" and "can't say anything these days" and "stop being so sensitive" and " what about free speech" (not mine obviously they only ever mean theirs) and on and on and on.
The fact that they couldn't see the sexism inherent in his commenting, is their own problem the point is it was wrong, it was evoking a stereotype and it was firmly filed in the box marked BANTER.
I'm a bit sick of banter. Banter is bullshit frankly. Its a great cover all term if what you want to be is racist or sexist or homophobic or disablist. It's condones and encouraged and it enables bigotry to take hold, become normalised and then accepted.
So this morning I decided to respond to the notion of banter, especially in relation to sexism.
I'm 45 and so have heard a fair bit of sexism as banter over the years. I decided to write a sexist tweet for every year that I've been exposed to sexism which is of course all of them. I attached the hashtag banterbigotry because that's what it is.
The thread once it kicked in, drew the ire of some men who accused me predictably of sexism. As they mansplained (brilliant word not mine) where I was going wrong and where they were absolutely correct, they failed to see that the tweets, apart from once or twice weren't only directed at men's sexism.
Sexism knows no gender in my experience.
So here they all are. They highlight the bigotry as detailed. They are a mirror to views I've heard or experienced. My views are contained in the final tweets.
Thanks for reading and if you feel the need to savage me with a bit of banter bigotry I completely understand, You're a sexist, I mean entitled to free speech Nik xx
No.1 'Girls' aren't funny, they just need to get a sense of humour when 'jokes' are made about them.
No.2 No place for 'Girls' on the board of our newspapers.Their place in our newspapers is P3 'Tits' out & smiles in place.
No 4. 'Girls' will be told what is sexist and what isn't.They have no right to individual opinion the consensus will decide.
No 5. 'Girls' will not get angry this is a male emotion. They must remain calm not 'shrill or aggressive'. They are 'Girls'
No 6. A 'Girls' role is to be a mother.If they reject this this they are 'unnatural'anyone is entitled to voice this to them.
No 7. Politics is preferably the domain of men.'Girls' can rise but in a controlled way.They must be attractive & dress well.
No 8. 'Girls' perform a vital role in the film industry.Their flesh must be displayed routinely & gratuitously (when young)
No 9. 'Girls' should not be drunk.If they endure a sexual attack this inebriation 'mitigates' the responsibility of attacker.
No 10. 'Girls" who dress provocatively, walk alone at night,express an interest in sex etc are deemed to be 'up for it'.
No 11. 'Girls" are still girls even when they are adults.If you protest 'Girls' you are 'humourless,militant harridans'.
No 12. 'Girls' should try harder to be feminine rather than feminist. They are mutually exclusive (see harridans),
No 13. 'Girls' 'cannot' drive, take directions, argue logically, think laterally, fight, do DIY, fly a plane, lead a church
No.14 The status of a 'Girls' menstral cycle is a legitimate topic for questioning. usually followed by the word love
No 15 The gender of a baby is determined by sperm.Although this is not produced by 'Girls' 'failure' is exclusively theirs.
No 16. 'Girls' who 'get' pregnant (see 'sluts') forfeit their decision making to religious doctrine most vocal usually "boys"
No 17 The female body is access all areas. Pinching, patting etc. 'Girls' who complain should be grateful (see harridans)
No 25 Genital mutilation & corrective rape oppression 4 generations,unequal pay & sexual exploitation 'girls' stop moaning
No 26 Historical aspect for women notwithstanding, Men now being oppressed by 'girls' even some of the pretty ones SEXISTS
No 27 'Girls' do not choose to be unmarried.This is a myth (see ugly/feminist/militant/bossy/opinionated/dumped/unshaved)
No 28. Hairy 'girls'=disgusting more work needed on brainwashing.Try loudly shouting "I wouldn't- not even with yours mate"
No 29 'Girls' stop talking about Sex as though you like it. It's a 'girl' chore for you like ironing (see desperate harridans)
No 30 porn is for "Boys" NOT 'Girls' You can to be in it- not behind the camera or watching it. (see sluts/gay 'girls')
No 36 'Girls' are notorious poor at maths which is why they are unsuited to "boy" jobs like being The Chancellor of Exchequer
No 38 "Girls" are useful in an objectifying role. Sexualising as children to rejection as they age it's the "equality" stupid
No 39 If 'girls" step out of line make the smack down personal. Attack anatomy/looks//comments on mothering/choices its just 'banter"