THERE are many reasons to be glad we’ve got a woman Prime Minister.
But this week saw another reminder, with a victory that will be the foundation for real change.
I’m talking about Sir Mark Lyall Grant resigning from his role as national security adviser.
The word in Whitehall is that the real reason for Sir Mark’s departure is his fondness for “mansplaining” to the ladies around him — which doesn’t go down too well when the Prime Minister is, you know, a woman.
But apparently Sir Mark has been talking over Theresa May and patronising her during intelligence meetings.
It’s not as if she didn’t warn him.
According to news reports, the PM made it clear last November that this kind of thing wouldn’t be tolerated after a meeting where Sir Mark allegedly mansplained to her.
Since then it’s been said officials have become “hyper-aware” of their attitudes towards women.
But I guess Sir Mark didn’t get the memo.
Or if he got it, he forgot to read it.
And now he is going.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that some women in Parliament are on the receiving end of, shall we say, “old-fashioned attitudes”.
Indeed, lots of politicians are condescending to everyone . . . not just women.
In the past, Tory MP Nadine Dorries has described the attitude towards women in Whitehall as “something most women have to adjust to when they first enter politics.
“We are very used to men talking over us or looking at us with glazed eyes because all they are really interested in is what they have to say”.
And when I joined the House of Lords, I met a group of female MPs in private who told me in no uncertain terms that parliament is riddled with old-school sexism.
Of course, that might have something to do with the average age of the men in Westminster.
Talking down to women in an attempt to make them feel inferior is unacceptable.
But until now, some men in Parliament have been cocooned in a very forgiving establishment that, historically, values men more than women.
In other words, they’ve been allowed to get away with it.
But not any more.
All it’s taken is for a woman to hold the most powerful job in the country.
Let’s face it, Mrs May can take care of herself, but she knows things need to change for the sake of her female colleagues.
She is all too aware of the reputation politics has for sexism and male domination is the thing that puts many women off going into the field — they can’t be bothered with it.
After all, she has been supporting Women2win, an organisation that supports and encourages getting women into politics, for more than 20 years.
So this latest development is fantastic.
It is small changes like this that will cause a sea-change in the corridors of power.
Of course, mansplaining — and the attitude that goes with it — is not unique to politics.
Most woman have been on the receiving end of patronising attitudes from men.
And there’s nothing ruder than someone speaking over you, which is basically saying: “Your opinion is not as important as mine.”
Maybe it’s easier to take a stand if you are the Prime Minister.
But what if it’s your colleague or boss?
The first step is to acknowledge it and find ways to show you are not going to let people get away with it — ultimately having the confidence to say: “That’s not OK.”
In the meantime, women have to help other women.
So if you are a senior woman and you notice a man patronising a woman in your team, you need to take a stand. Be direct.
Most mansplainers, in my experience, are like naughty schoolboys who have never been told off — which is how they get away with it.
I know I’m a woman in a man’s world but it’s been a long time since this has happened to me.
I’ve been at the top of my game for 25 years and, frankly, people wouldn’t dare.
But at a meeting recently, a man took this tone with a senior woman on my board and I intervened. I pointed it out and asked him to stop — or leave.
Now is the time to stand up and say: “That is not acceptable.”
I’M not sure how remarkable Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom’s split is.
They hooked up, broke up and got on with their lives. Even naked paddle boarding couldn’t keep them together. Or maybe that’s where it all started to go wrong . . .
Now the pair are taking “respectful, loving space” away from each other, he has found time to hit the beach (thankfully wearing trunks this time) to chat up a few bikini-clad beauties, while she has cut her hair, Jedward-style.
They say no one is to blame for the split, but I think the new haircut tells a different story.
I WAS proud to join the House of Lords in September 2014.
But anyone watching BBC2’s fly-on-the-wall documentary Meet The Lords could be forgiven for thinking that we are a bunch of spongers and old snobs, out of touch with reality.
Which is such a shame, as the House of Lords does such great work and is a great institution.
So I’d really like to set the record straight.
For those that don’t know, the House of Lords is there to examine draft laws, check government action, investigate public policy and persuade the government to make changes on a range of issues.
The people who go into the Lords are from a broad range of backgrounds, who have led distinguished lives and are knowledgeable in everything from law to science.
And while no doubt there are some Lords considered past their sell-by date, here are some members who weren’t featured in the documentary: Tanni Grey-Thompson, Robert Winston, Martha Lane Fox, Dido Harding and Julian Fellowes, all of whom use their life and work experience to change legislation through their maturity and objectivity for the good of the country.
In my experience, they do that work diligently.
Last year alone, 78 bills were put forward. Of the 3,678 changes suggested by the House of Lords, more than 1,200 were made.
This documentary made us look like a bunch of wine-quaffing losers – with viewers complaining we are paid £300 a day.
For what it’s worth, I don’t take that money, or any money for expenses.
I consider being part of the House of Lords an honour and a civic duty – the money is a perk I don’t need because I have a job.
Of course, there may be some who aren’t pulling their weight. But there are lots that really, really do.
I guess, given that she used to be the family nanny, that’s their dynamic and it works for both Jeremy and Vicky Burton.
But if, for whatever reason, my husband opted to take the First Class seat while I was in Economy, without over-reacting, I’d divorce him.
It’s the opposite of chivalrous and a real “true colours” moment.
If Vicky has any nouse, she’ll leave.
- From an imaginary restraining order to a phantom drop in NATO spending: Trump makes 99 false claims in two weeks
- Comey Memo: Trump Asked Ex-FBI Director to End Probe Into 'Good Guy' Michael Flynn and Russia
- Gonzaga's Mark Few a Hall of Fame coach despite losing 2017 NCAA Championship
- FMIA Week 16: Don’t Look Now, But Philly’s a Factor (With a Healthy QB)
- Map shows the scale of Oakland's growing homeless crisis as Supreme Court refuses to hear major case on the issue and lets stand a ruling that protects people's rights to sleep on the street in California
- Theresa May warns the 'eyes of the world are on us' in a passionate speech BACKING Boris Johnson's Brexit deal telling his opponents to 'put the national interest first' and vote for it
- Here's A List Of People Who've Left The Trump Administration So Far
- Live coverage: Schiff closes with speech highlighting claims of Trump's corruption
- Boris Johnson 'chuckles' at Trump tweets branding May's premiership 'a disaster' before saying: 'I find it hard to disagree'
- Trump Administration Officials Worried Halt to Ukraine Aid Violated Spending Law
- Tariffs and tweets: This is the new world order under Donald Trump
- James Comey testifies before Senate Intelligence Committee
- The Public Stage of the House Impeachment Inquiry
- AP FACT CHECK: Trump's selective facts on Ukraine, job myths
- Timeline for Impeaching Donald Trump: Inauguration Day 2017 to Start of Hearings November 2019
- Can Saudi Arabia's ‘great reformer’ survive the death in the consulate?
- Forget about “privacy”: Julia Angwin and Trevor Paglen on our data crisis
- Giuliani pals leveraged GOP access to seek Ukraine gas deal
- 100 op-eds that tell the story of the 2010s
- How a decade-old row over a police raid led to Damian Green's fall
Let me womansplain it very simply: Guys, don’t patronise us, as the former national security adviser Sir Mark Lyall learnt this week have 1514 words, post on www.thesun.co.uk at March 4, 2017. This is cached page on Talk Vietnam. If you want remove this page, please contact us.