Alex Salmond has said people offended by him telling another MP to "behave yourself, woman" don't understand the "venacular of the Scottish language".
New MP Mr Salmond told Tory minister Anna Soubry she was being "demented" during a Commons debate before he made the comment.
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But today he told Radio Five's 'Pienaar's Politics' he didn't "have a sexist bone in [his] body" and he had previously said "behave yourself man" to other men, including the host, political journalist John Pienaar.
But Guardian journalist Zoe Williams told him this defence was "ridiculous", adding: "When people say 'woman', they mean it as an insult.
"When you call someone a woman in public life. You're basically saying 'you shouldn't be in public life'."
Mr Salmond said: "I don't think Zoe knows as much about the vernacular of Scotland as perhaps other people do."
He added: “With great respect, you don’t know what I think or I don’t think.”
Nicola Sturgeon, who succeeded Mr Salmond as SNP leader and Scottish First Minister, defended Salmond, telling The Huffington Post UK that: there’s no man I know who is less sexist."
She added: "I understand it was language that not everybody thinks should be used but it was in a boisterous House of Commons debate."
On Five Live, Mr Salmond told Ms Williams that Ms Sturgeon “knows more about Scottish idioms – which I expect you know very little about”.