Archive for May, 2009

(not about BFing) – M&S chairman is a sexist pig

May 31, 2009


This is about the chairman of Marks&Spencers (a large, very well-respected-by-the-mainstream British department store).
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that attitudes like this are bad for all women, but truly horrible for mothers. Because assholes like this think all women should want to stay at home and pop out kids and be happy with that, and with being treated like imbeciles. So some women fight and fight and fight against that sort of oppression, fight their way into the corporate structure and maybe, maybe get a teeny bit of grudging respect. But once you’ve got kids, you’re completely off the map for men like this. You are fulfilling part of that stereotype so they just can’t imagine that you wouldnt fulfill it all. Jerks. /uk/8075642.stm 

“Apart from the fact that you’ve got more equality than you ever can deal with, the fact of the matter is that you’ve got real democracy and there are really no glass ceilings, despite the fact that some of you moan about it all the time. Women can get to the top of any single job that they want to in the UK. You’ve got a woman fighter pilot who went in to join the Red Arrows yesterday. I mean, what else do you want to do, for God’s sake? Women astronauts. Women miners. Women dentists. Women doctors. Women managing directors. What is it you haven’t got?”

What a prick. What could I do? I was forced to write, you guessed it, a complaint. I’m amassing quite the little collection, ha ha. 

I’m writing to complain about your Chairman, although your helpful form didn’t allow any such category. I was truly outraged by his comments to the BBC.
What century is Rose living in? It is not acceptable to refer to professional women colleagues as girls. Furthermore, he makes, in the most derogatory fashion possible, material misstatements about the position of women in the corporate world and in society. He makes no effort to conceal his contempt for women in the workplace and society at large, an attitude which is totally out of order. 
I wish there was more I could do to express my contempt for him and his public comments, but I already boycott your company due to your disgusting involvement in and active support for the apartheid state of Israel, which is how I believe ‘Sir’ Stuart got his knighthood. So I guess I’ll just have to come up with some other ideas. 
How would you feel about a picket at every major city centre outlet until Rose makes a public apology?
M&S – this isn’t just any old soul-less corporation, it’s a racist, sexist, morality-free zone.

Their response regarding their chairman’s outrageous statements about women:
(I encourage you to contact her via the email addy at the bottom with your own thoughts on the matter!) 

Dear Ms 

Thank you for your email to Sir Stuart. I am a member of his personal
team so I hope you don’t mind me replying on his behalf.

I am sorry that you found Sir Stuart’s recent comments insensitive. This
was certainly not his intention.

Sir Stuart’s remarks were made during an interview with the Observer and
reflect that women have every opportunity at M&S to realise their
potential. M&S are an equal opportunities employer, and in fact 66% of
our managers are women.

With a female to male gender split of 76:24, responding to the changing
needs of women at different stages in their life is central to our HR
strategy. This is why we offer flexible and part-time working at all
levels of the business, as well as supporting working parents and
carers. This ensures we retain valuable skills and talent at M&S.

3 out of 10 members of the Board are women as are 3 out of 12 of our
Executive committee members.

I will of course let the Board of Directors know you have been in touch
and thank you again for taking the time to write.

On behalf of Sir Stuart, many thanks for contacting us.

Kind regards,


Rebecca Ashton
Executive Chairman’s Office
Telephone: 0207 9354422 

As my partner said, “I bet they’d tell you some of our best women are our friends…” (a reference to the great folk singer Phil Ochs’s turning around of ‘some of our best friends are negroes’ into ‘some of our best negroes are our friends’, in his song about racial oppression and the fight for civil rights Talking Birmingham Jam)