Boris Johnson has been criticised by a Labour MP for defending claims that women in the workplace cry more readily than men. Chi Onwurah, who worked for 20 years in a male-dominated sector as a chartered electrical engineer, said the mayor of London may be in breach of discrimination laws by defending comments made by Professor Tim Hunt.
In a newspaper column, Johnson said it is a scientific fact that women cry more readily than men, and maintained that it should not be an offence to point out a “gender difference”. Hunt, a Nobel laureate and senior scientific adviser, was forced to stand down last week after claiming that women colleagues cry when criticised.
Onwurah, who was head of technology at Ofcom before becoming an MP, said that while it was reasonable to argue that Hunt had been treated unfairly, Johnson’s comments were irresponsible because he sought to excuse views that are unacceptable in the workplace.
Perhaps such speech really is in breach of the discrimination laws. At which point fuck off to the discrimination laws. For free speech is a lot more important than the delicate feelings of an MP.