David Cameron, our Prime Minister, has a problem with the word 'feminist', it seems.
He has refused to wear a t-shirt sporting the slogan 'This is what a feminist looks like" – despite the fact that Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband both posed in the shirt for Elle magazine.
It's not the first time Cameron has shuddered away from the word 'feminist' – last year he got his knickers in a twist when asked by Red magazine whether he was a feminist. "I don't know what I'd call myself..." he stuttered. "It's up to others to attach labels."
Form an orderly queue.
So really, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that he refused to wear the shirt. Here are some of the reasons why I'm not falling off my chair in shock at the news:
1. He famously told Labour MP Angela Eagle to 'calm down, dear' during a debate in the Commons. If he'd followed it up with: 'Stick to the cooking and the ironing love' it wouldn't have been hugely out of place.
2. Criticised for a lack of women in his Cabinet, Cameron reshuffled his pack in the summer in a bid to put this right. So how many women are now in his Cabinet of 22 people? Five. That's right. Five. And that's supposed to be some sort of victory.
3. Women have been hit hardest by the Coalition's welfare reforms of the last four years. Child tax credits and child benefits have been cut. Women are more likely to be affected by cuts to public services and cuts to public sector jobs, benefiting less from any increase in jobs in the private sector, according to research by the UK Women's Budget Group.
4. Recent cuts to legal aid severely affect women, making it harder for victims of domestic abuse to claim, and forcing parents to defend themselves in family courts.
5. Cameron was a member of the infamous Bullingdon Club at Oxford University – a club whose members weren't exactly enlightened in their attitude towards women. As a former Old Etonian told the Mirror: "Women aren't allowed to formal dinners but at informal gatherings we would make them get down on all fours like a horse, whinny, and bring out hunting horns and whips." Cameron has since said that he was 'desperately embarrassed' at his Bullingdon Club past. Hooray for that.
- ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) October 27, 2014
6. Any man who describes how he made a woman 'purr' with pleasure needs to take a long, hard look at himself. Particularly when that woman happens to be, er, the Queen.
So, Cameron, you were probably quite right not to wear the t-shirt. Because when I look into your soul, that isn't what a feminist looks like at all.
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