The GB News presenter has dismissed claims that “babes and huns” are “demeaning and infantilising ways of referring to women”. The ruling from Judg
The GB News presenter has dismissed claims that “babes and huns” are “demeaning and infantilising ways of referring to women”. The ruling from Judge Feeney came following the sacking of a funeral firm manager who used inappropriate language towards female staff. Mercy Muroki however argued that she is a woman of the “classic traditional kind” who appreciates “chivalry”.
Ms Muroki said: “A judge ruling on whether a man was right to be sacked for comments he made towards female colleagues has said that calling a man ‘mate’ or ‘lad’ is fine.
“But the words ‘babes’ or ‘huns’ are ‘demeaning and infantilising ways of referring to women’.
“Now, with all due respect, she is wrong.
“I understand that in the past we didn’t draw the lines quite right on what was appropriate and what was inappropriate when it came to relationships between the two sexes.
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“I understand there’s a need for conversations about consent and sexism, but I’m also a woman of the classic traditional kind.”
She went on: “I appreciate chivalry, male gestures of flattery in terms of endearment and pet names.
“I don’t go home and weep if someone on a building site whistles me.
“I don’t have an aneurysm if someone holds the door open for me and I certainly don’t initiate a mass protest against the misogyny in the workplace when one of my male colleagues calls me love or darling.
“Surely it’s all about context and tone. Judge Feeney deems the word ‘mate’ as a pet name which isn’t demeaning, except I’ve certainly heard the word ‘mate’ deployed plenty of times when people want to be condescending and passive-aggressive.”
Ms Muroki continued: “In fact, I kid you not, a black employee in America was awarded over $1 million after he sued his employer for calling him ‘boy’ as he claims it was racist because historically, pre-civil rights, white Americans routinely described black men as boys.
“Ultimately, after the case made its way through many appeals for several years, it was overturned with the Supreme Court saying that the speaker’s meaning dependent on ‘called various factors including context, tone of voice, local custom and historical usage’.
“And right context matters. The same is true of the words ‘hun’ or ‘darling’.
Ms Muroki added: “Is there really a need for this wild overcorrect correction where men become so afraid of whether their words and behavior might be perceived as sexist that they become socially awkward, weak, and ineffective at navigating an increasingly complex and competitive world of relationships.
“Judge Feeney thinks it’s demeaning and infantilising for a man to call me ‘hon’. obeyed.
“I think it’s quite infantilising of Judge Feeney to suggest that I, as a woman, should be offended by those words.”
Judge Feeney ruled at a tribunal that Mike Hartley, a funeral firm manager, used inappropriate language towards female staff.
Mr Hartley regularly called women ‘sweet’, ‘love’, ‘chick’, and ‘honey’, which he argued was the same as calling male counterparts ‘mate’ or ‘lad’.
However, the tribunal found it was inappropriate to compare the two.
Employment Judge Pauline Feeney said: “Calling someone ‘mate’ or ‘lad’ is not a ‘pet’ name in our opinion, it is a nickname.”