Casual sexism

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I fear that Walter J Allan 
(Letters, 15 June) has revealed a lack of understanding about the pervasiveness of sexism, in his defence of Alex Salmond’s rebuke to MP Anna Soubry.

I think I can safely assure Mr Allan that it would be rare for a female MP to direct attention to a male colleague’s gender in any criticism of his comments.

She might be very adroit at pointing out his errors of judgment, or his unthinking sexism, but I doubt that it would occur to her to add the word “man” at the end of her rebuke.

By referring to Ms Soubry as “woman”, Mr Salmond reduced her to a nameless representative of her sex. He compounded his offence by telling her to “behave yourself”, as if she were a naughty child who had spoken out of turn.

This is the kind of casual put-down which many women still endure in their daily lives. Mr Allan’s failure to recognise the sexist connotations of Mr Salmond’s remark simply reflects the casual acceptance of such comments even in the 21st century.

Carolyn Taylor


Broughty Ferry, Dundee