We’ve just left the EU. Changes on sentencing laws for terrorists are being rushed through Parliament. Australian wildlife has been wiped out by bushfires. Oh, and then there’s the climate crisis that prime minister Boris Johnson has been accused of ignoring.
And still, all some people wanted to do this week was slut shame a female MP for her choice of outfit in the House of Commons.
Tracy Brabin was called “slag”, “slapper” and “tart” for daring to wear… an off-the-shoulder dress. Unsurprisingly, Piers Morgan waded in on the comments, calling it an “inappropriate” outfit. “Every woman wearing a dress like that knows it has the ability to fall,” he added.
Of course, a woman wearing a dress to work should not be news in 2020. But the worrying response she has received has to be called out.
That’s why it was brought up during this week’s Question Time.
“Does the panel believe that I’m appropriately addressed for this occasion?” asked a female member of the audience, who was wearing an off-the-shoulder dress.
“I’d like my daughter to be judged on the merits of what she says and not how she looks,” she added.
Labour MP Stella Creasy, who was sitting on the panel, then answered the question by directing it to Morgan.
She first pointed out that a woman’s outfit should not be the main issue in politics in 2020.
“Why are we going there with this? We nearly had World War III in Iran, we have a climate emergency, we’re talking about [tanks], I mean…”
She added: “If it was Gok Wan challenging Tracy on what she was wearing, I think she’d be worried, but it’s Piers Morgan.”
Creasy, who will continue to campaign to make misogyny a hate crime after returning from maternity leave, added: “Women cannot win. There was a shoulder in parliament, get over it – it really isn’t a big deal.”
She later gave another powerful response to a comment made on Twitter.
A viewer tweeted her, saying: “Surprised @stellacreasy hasn’t brought her kid in with her.”
The MP replied: “Nope left her in the green room with a packet of crisps and a pint of coke… she was fine.”
This is particularly significant as, after the last general election, Creasy was one of three female MPs who brought their babies to the Commons while they were sworn in to take their seats.
After campaigning for her right to take maternity leave, Creasy became the first MP to have a ‘locum MP’ take over for her maternity period.
Maybe, one day, women won’t need to worry about hateful comments being made about their parenting or choice of outfit at work.