He calls himself a feminist, but Boris Johnson sounded more like a 1950s sexist when he suggested women only go to college to find husbands.
At the World Islamic Economic Forum in London last week, Prime Minister of Malaysia Najib Razak revealed that more than two-thirds of university entrants in his country are women— something most would see as great news for a country where certain supermarkets and cinemas have separate sections for women and groups like the Obedient Wives Club encourage women to do whatever their husbands want.
But the mayor of London evidently didn’t have progress on his mind when he chimed in to say that those women probably go to college because they've “got to find men to marry”, eliciting groans from many of the journalists in the room.
At least we can’t call him a hypocrite: Johnson did find a wife at Oxford— though he divorced her a few years later.
Journalist Jane Martinson summed up his record on women for The Guardian: “He's certainly not popular with many women at City Hall, and has been the subject of complaints about the offensive language that he hurls at female members of the London assembly. He described one of them as 'economically illiterate, addresses most of them as 'dear' and overspeaks their contributions with such words as: 'blah, blah, blah fishcakes.'"
The famously floppy-haired Tory politician likes to hide behind a carefully cultivated facade of a bumbling yet harmless eccentric. He got a disproportionate amount of the female vote after running on the slogan “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts.” He got away with calling Tony Blair “a mixture of Harry Houdini and a greased piglet.” Will his image get him off the hook yet again— or will voters hold the “bumbling buffoon” accountable for his casual sexism?
Twitter users are, anyway.