7 of the most horrifying things Boris Johnson has said about women

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Sunday 08 March 2020 13:15
news

On International Women's Day, here's a reminder that the prime minister we elected isn't exactly a feminist ally.

1. “Just pat her on the bottom and send her on her way”

This was Johnson's advice to his successor (which he published as part of a piece) when he left as editor of The Spectator. It was a direct reference to Kimberly Quinn, who was then the publisher of the magazine, and what he suggested the editor should do when she offered advice on how to boost circulation. In case it needs repeating, this is sexual harassment.

2. Referring to Labour delegates as "hot totty"

In reference to the 1996 Labour conference in Blackpool, Johnson wrote: "Time and again the 'Tottymeter' has gone off as a young woman delegate mounts the rostrum." Lovely.

3. "Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts"

Said in 2005, while campaigning to become a Tory MP. Not only is this a horrifying objectification of women, but also somewhat insulting to men, most of whom we can only assume are just intelligent enough to ignore such nonsense.

4. Comparing professional female athletes to "glistening wet otters"

During the 2012 Olympics, Johnson entitled his weekly column in The Telegraph "Here's 20 jolly good reasons to feel cheerful about the Games," ​of which one was the "magnificent" experience of watching "semi-naked women playing beach volleyball ... glistening like wet otters".

5. "Letterboxes"

One of his most famous comments, which was in reference to women who wear burqas as recently as 2018. Because why choose sexism OR Islamophobia when you can just do both at once?!

6. Malaysian women go to university "to find men to marry"

Said at the World Islamic Economic Forum in 2013, in response to Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak saying that 68 per cent of women were going to be attending university. Why would women want to be educated when they can just be married, right?

7. The whole single mothers thing

Where to even begin with this one? Yet again, for The Spectator, in 1995, he wrote that it's "outrageous that married couples should pay for ‘the single mothers’ desire to procreate independently of men", as well as arguing that it was “feeble” for a man to be unable or unwilling to “take control of his woman” and that Britain needed to “restore women’s desire to be married”.

That's as much as we can face digging up today, folks. What was intended to be snarky now just feels... depressing. But if you need more, here's a very very long list of all the things the PM has also said about other marginalised groups too.

Happy IWD!

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