Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Labour candidate speaks out on sexism after slew of “disgusting” messages

emily owen facebook sexism.jpg

A Labour party candidate has taken to Facebook to call out sexism after being inundated with “disgusting” messages on social media.

Emily Owen, running in Aberconwy, Wales, says she’s been asked about her bra size, whether she’d strip for support and “what sexual acts I'm prepared to perform to get votes”.

In a statement initially posted on her public Facebook page before she shared a screenshot on her Twitter account, under the title “polite reminder”, she explains: “This is the first time I've been under this level of public scrutiny and I have to say I'm shocked!

“If people have questions about my politics, discuss with me. If you don't agree with my reply then challenge me. I'm more than willing to engage in political conversation so let's have that debate. This is acceptable.

“What is NOT ACCEPTABLE is flooding me with messages about what sexual acts I'm prepared to perform to get votes, what bra size I am, how many votes needed for me to strip and comments suggesting the reason I'm standing is to sleep with an Oxford grad.”

Owen, 22, goes on to say she’d been “debating ignoring it” but wanted to highlight the behaviour and point out that her male opponents would likely not get the same level of abuse.

“I highly doubt you'll be asking the male candidates their penis size in order to make a decision about their politics.

“Sexism is not okay.”

Read more: “Equality and feminism matter” Female MPs denounce the vilification of women in politics

While the offensive messages in question appear to have now been removed from her Facebook page, the Daily Post newspaper reports that one example read: “I'll only vote for her if she's got a decent rack for me. Anyone know her size? I mean she's pretty enough but haven't seen much of her body yet.”

Another allegedly asked: “How many votes for a striptease?”

Meanwhile on Twitter, in response to a user claiming men were being unfairly targeted as the senders of such messages, she revealed the abuse had gone even further, saying she’d received some messages “describing how men will forcefully have sex with me without my consent.”

The would-be MP has recieved cross-party support since her post, with councillors and Twitter accounts from the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats praising her for speaking up.

Predictably, some responses underneath the Facebook post have continued the theme, with one user – seemingly referencing social media pictures used of Owen in a low-cut dress on a right-wing website – writing: “Silly girl, don't flash parts of your body and then complain when people comment on it. This is just what we need another naive socialist snowflake […] If you want to be taken seriously don't keep sexualising yourself – Emily shows a complete lack of self awareness.”

Another wrote: “How about the real questions... Who are you? What are you running for? And what are your political views. There’s enough ‘Ism’ cards floating around now days, if that's the first I hear of you, I doubt your policy is relevant.”

Read more: Female MP shares “creepy” letter telling her how to dress

But plenty came out in support, with one user writing: “It’s disgusting that men seem to think this level of sexist abuse is acceptable online. As you will probably agree not all men see pathetic sexist remarks as acceptable. Keep your head up and well done for speaking out. The more women who do speak up about sexism then hopefully the less of a sexist world my daughter will grow up in!”

Another wrote: “Sorry to hear that the idiots are out and about. I don't agree with your politics but admire you for standing.”

Images: twitter.com/Emily4Aberconwy


breastfeeding mp.jpg

Meet the hero mum MPs breastfeeding in parliaments around the world


“In these uncertain times we all need to steady each other”


Women's Equality Party leader is fighting to replace sexist MP


This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weintsein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

Mary Berry takes part in heartbreaking film about child bereavement

“I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Margot Robbie writes stirring open letter to Hollywood

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Gabrielle Union shares a powerful message about rape and harassment

The star says she’ll “keep talking out” for survivors like herself

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

Why the singer has opened up about her mental health

The singer says it was “really, really bad” during her time with the band

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Anna Faris understands why people were obsessed with her relationship

She and Chris Pratt were often hailed as #relationshipgoals

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017

Cher is starring in the Mamma Mia! sequel and we can’t wait for 2018

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?

by Susan Devaney
18 Oct 2017