Widespread laughter

Everyday sexism, Boris Johnson division.

Boris Johnson has risked accusations of sexism after he told a City Hall audience that rising numbers of women are attending university in order to find a husband.

Well that’s a stupid way of putting it. It’s not much of a “risk,” is it. It’s the other way around – it’s uppity women who make “accusations of sexism” against important men who take a risk, not important men who say sexist shit. I know this. I still get solemn, “thoughtful” guys telling me I owe Michael Shermer an apology for pointing out that he said something sexist when he did in fact say something sexist.

Boris Johnson risked nothing by making a stupid degrading sexist joke. Nothing.

Johnson’s remark was made at last week’s launch of the World Islamic Economic Forum, where he appeared alongside the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Asked about the role of women in Islamic societies,  Razak told the Evening Standard’s Pippa Crerar:

“Before coming here my officials have told me that the latest university intake in Malaysia, a Muslim country, 68% will be women entering our universities.”

After which Boris interrupted with the suggestion that:

“They’ve got to find men to marry”

The comment was greeted with widespread laughter as well as a few groans.

See what I mean? Widespread laughter and a few groans. Contempt for women is perfectly mainstream and risk-free.



  1. felix says

    Average Age of Marriage:

    UK: Women 28.5 Men 30.7
    Malaysia Women 25.7 Men 28.0

    I would say that in the UK, since the average age of marriage (for women) is 28.9, going to university to find a husband is a bit premature.

    In Malaysia, the average age of graduation is 24-25 for bachelor degree, due to later school start.
    (so say the interwebz)

    Clearly there are many reasons that people go to university. However, I expect, based on the figures above that many Malaysian university students meet their future spouses at university, and that this is not absent from their minds when choosing to enrol.

    This does not detract from the fact that what Boris Johnson said (as reported above) was in context a sexist remark.

  2. hjhornbeck says

    That reminds me of another funny joke. A Canadian MP, Margaret Mitchell, once talked about domestic violence in the legislature.

    Don’t see the humour? I guess you have to be an MP to get the joke, because her fellow members found the topic hilarious and laughed uproariously over the notion.

    I personally find that rather scary. Not that people in power would be dismissive of domestic violence, but that they were dismissive in 1982.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *