These sexism complaints are getting confused

The job looked good on paper – serving guests at an exclusive banquet in a City of London livery hall. The pay was good, too – £10.20 an hour, the London living wage and significantly more than the £7.05 for similar jobs. For Lucy, a 19-year-old corporate catering assistant, it was far too good an opportunity to turn down.

Later, she wished she had. The extra pay did not make up for the barrage of comments and bad behaviour, including persistent and unchecked harassment by a diner who made inappropriate sexual comments, asked personal questions and propositioned her for a threesome. “At some point he was ‘complimenting’ me and telling me I looked beautiful,” Lucy said.

No, the waiter should not be subject to such a barrage.


In 2016 the property magazine Estates Gazette said the industry needed to clean up its act after prostitutes were seen to be doing “brisk business” at Mipim, a four-day networking event held in Cannes. “It wasn’t subtle and it wasn’t discreet – in fact, it could hardly have been more obvious,” the article said, pointing out that sex workers had used the event’s hashtag to attract business.

This is the opposite complaint, isn’t it? No harassment, no barrage, simply consenting adults renting out their labour.

We seem to have got to a place where repeatedly asking someone who doesn’t want sex for sex is verboten. Which seems fair enough. But we’re also saying that asking someone once who does want to have sex is also verboten?

26 thoughts on “These sexism complaints are getting confused”

  1. I personally wouldn’t behave like these guys, and if I saw any man talking to my daughters like that I would properly fuck him up, but it’s very clear that the furore about this is mostly led by ugly harpies who go home from their dead end jobs on the Graun to cold, empty basement flats in Tooting, and manginas who hope that loudly proclaiming their male feminism might just get them laid.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    Although I’m not looking for it, there does appear to be a distinct lack of #metoo over this event.

  3. Back in the days of darkness and ignorance before feminism there would have been a fire breathing dragon explaining “I will not have my gels spoken to in that manner, Mr. Chaiman.” And the miscreant would have been in serious trouble. How much better everything is now, eh?

  4. After watching Paddy McGuinness on “Take Me Out” last night ,i’m even more confused, those girls like being seen as sex objects and were dressed much like those at the presidents club.

    Fuck it,,,I aint apologising for liking that shit and leering at the girls.

  5. Prostitutes have been doing a brisk trade at MIPIM and every other Cannes industry show for, er… ever. Girls head to Cannes from all over Europe and beyond and can make some serious money.

    That it was only in 2016 that the EG decided to get all puritanical about this shows how times – or at least the media – have changed.

  6. Re: the Presidents Club – I looked at the invite list that the Graun published and I know a few of the guys on it. Most, I have to say, are people I can easily see making crass comments and being gropey.

    But I also mistrust the FT coverage. Especially in a time when a hand on the knee is conflated with sexual assault. I suspect almost all of the women who worked at that event, woke up the next day, shrugged and thought “That’s £150 for a day’s work”.

  7. I’ve read that there were 100 girls at the event.

    Has the media spoken to all of them?

    Or only the ‘undercover’ Grauniad reporters who presumably went there with an agenda and looking for a story?

  8. Hypothesis:

    Feminism is a branch of socialism because it believes in the same fundamental tenet: you can have things without giving things. They object to having to do a useful job, or to fuck men to retain class status (marriage and prostitution being variants on this as a way to get things).

    Feminists dislike two groups in the sexual arena: They don’t like whores or women who make themselves pretty, because they’re competition. They’d rather they dressed down to save them work. And they don’t like that men do things like whoring or paying for strippers because that’s giving other women an advantage over them.

    They can’t say this of course, so what they do instead is to paint themselves as guardians of these women. “We want to get rid of whoring to protect women”. But feminists are rarely bothered about say, women in Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia. You don’t meet feminists that volunteer to help hookers and trying to help them out of the life (it’s generally quite conservative Christians in the vans giving cups of tea to street walkers). All of which suggests insincerity in their concerns.

  9. Are they still banging on about this?

    Typical lefties; just because the FT didn’t get any invitations they’ve wrecked it for everyone else.

  10. I said that what started off as jubilation over leftist males like Weinstein being exposed as hypocrites would be morphed by leftscum into the anti-man caper it has now become.

    It needs to squashed from the top. Anyone who kowtows to Marxist bulk-shit (orig a typo for bullshit –but how very appropriate) is leaned on from above. That would soon end the nonsense.

    Small chance of that with the FFC on the job.

  11. The extra pay did not make up for the barrage of comments and bad behaviour…

    She’s openly admitting that there is a level of pay at which such behaviour would be tolerated. Hence the apocryphal story:

    She: What kind of woman do you think I am?
    He: We’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling over the price.

  12. ‘That evening was one of the worst that Lucy experienced at the lavish banquets and dinners thrown under the umbrella of the City of London and the Livery Companies’

    So now she knows and won’t go back. Live and learn.

    Next time they have a lavish banquet they’ll be unable to hire any women to serve. Wait . . . what?

  13. They have defined ‘the other’ and they are braying coke sniffing traders from ‘the city’, evil bankers and hedge fund mangers and lecherous old billionaires. Such mythical creatures thus created they can now position themselves as the heroes of the story. The imaginary villains have no-one to defend them so our self defined white knights can triumph in their righteousness. Straight, white, middle class men are the only collective group that no one is allowed to defend and thus everyone feels OK to attack. Call yourself a washing machine salesman, hire two rent boys and offer to get them drugs? Which get out of jail free card would you like Jim, the Asian one or the Labour one? Move along nothing to see here.

    Mention of actual bad people like Rotherham taxi drivers however and it all becomes a bit awkward.

  14. Also, can we just all say “all jobs have shitty moments”?

    I’m not saying it’s nice for a waitress to be spoken to like that, but shopkeepers get robbed, teachers get sworn at by chavvy kids, the M4 can get closed on my way to work and I’m stuck for half a day. I don’t know what the female equivalent of “Man Up, Nancy” is, but whatever it is…

    And I bet if I went to all the pizza chain restaurants in Worcester, I could find waitresses with similar stories of drunken twats trying it on.

    These women wanted independence. They can stand on their feet without being passed from father to husband, they said.

  15. If they didn’t want to do this job, why on earth did they apply to do the job? You don’t apply for a hostess job thinking it’s a waitressing job, if you want to do a waitressing job you apply for a waitressing job.

    Unless the hostess job was advertised as a waitressing job, in which case I have sympathy. Just last week I applied for a job advertised as an IT support position, with a job description as an IT support position, but was actually interviewed for a management position.

  16. Hysteria, pure and unadulterated. Look out for the 3 and six month anniversary ‘features’ “looking back” on the ‘scandal’.

    I estimate that there has been more coverage and outrage over this in the Proggie media than all of the Rotherhams and Rochdales combined.

    Then again it’s Who, whom? again. Though these days “Who” is the only one which counts.

  17. “all jobs have shitty moments”

    Anon, you reminded me of the job my first wife (the Good One) had at the bank. She was a drive in teller. She used to get hit on mercilessly by men who felt insulated by being in their cars.

    EVERYONE inside the bank could hear them.

  18. “Feminists dislike two groups in the sexual arena: They don’t like whores or women who make themselves pretty, because they’re competition. “

    I have plenty of feminist friends of the modern vintage (dunno what wave we’re in now) they’re all trans-positive, anti-patriarchy, anti-gender norms, blah blah microaggressions and #everydaysexism etc. Very Laurie Penny, you might say.. and every single one of them is pro-sex-worker, and pro-sex-worker-rights. I know it wasn’t always thus. Take that as an FYI to assist with your hypothesising.

  19. TTG

    That’s definitely not the only type of feminist going, though.

    Have a gawp at @msjenniferjames on twitter – there are other “gender critical” feminists out there (ie feminism should be about biological sex, the underlying reason for discrimination against women, and the concept of socially-constructed gender should be abandoned – it’s just another way for men to get what they want, eg by getting a medical diagnosis and gender identity certificate and radical surgery and pretending to be a woman, all so they can make a bid for one of Labour’s all-women shortlist seats, the male bastard). But hers is especially fun because of the turf war between different flavours of feminism this reveals in the Labour left. For those who find the thread hard to follow cos of the acronyms thrown around, the “terfs” are “trans exclusive radical feminists” but the term mostly seems to be used as an insult for what proponents tend to describe as being “gender critical”.

  20. Interesting that £175 for “6 hours work” has now changed to £10.20 an hour and the “report someone if he says “… and dance on the table” has now changed to ‘some man said ” … and dance on the table”‘
    Talking to my mother-in-law, we agreed that if any man had tried that on when we were young the response would be a slap on the cheek and the disdain of the other guys present

  21. @MBE

    Yeah, it’s great fun. The trans thing has really torn them up. Generally, I observe that the younger generation (draw the line at, say, 40?) tend to be on board with trans activism. The old guard are the terfs. But i’m viewing a small sample. I don’t encounter many terfs unless the trans activist crowd are drawing attention to them.

    Unlike many around here, I listen to a lot of the debates, and agree with lots too. But I share common ground with this parish when it comes to delighting as they eat their own. That’s funny whoever is doing it.

  22. “Unlike many around here”

    What’s that supposed to mean?

    “I listen to a lot of the debates, and agree with lots too.”

    Debates are the presentation of opposing views. You agree with opposing views?

  23. 19-year-old Lucy said “At some point he was ‘complimenting’ me and telling me I looked beautiful,” Lucy was offended by this “persistent and unchecked harassment by a diner”.

    Why? Is she a fugly and presumed he was lying? Maybe he prefers fuglys.

    Perhaps a career as a nun would suit her, there are vacancies.

  24. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

    A lot of course tributes here seem hostile to anything that sounds like it’s come from the modern schools of feminism and gender theory.

    It’s an observation, not a criticism.

    “Debates are the presentation of opposing views. You agree with opposing views?”

    I like opposing views. Often they shape my own so that they are no longer opposing. Debates are the process of airing and refining those views. Your charctarisation of them is…. odd.

    Some people don’t welcome the current public ‘conversations’ around various feminist/gender issues. They are closed to the new ideas. Fair enough. I’m not. Hence I’m glad that people are having these conversations and all sides are having a say.

  25. I think the point is that nobody would have objected if they just hired proper sex workers and had an orgy. There was that German company which got in the news for doing just that.

    But they somehow wanted to make it “respectable” in the guise of a charity dinner. So why not just have the sex party later and do the initial charity bit properly (i.e. no fucking about with the girls – unless they are clear they want to stay on for the real money)?

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