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The sex scandal reaches Westminster - but will politics always be home to misogynistic dinosaurs

Sexual harassment claims are now ricochetting off the walls of Westminster but I fear the victims of misogynistic MPs will not be given the time of day compared to the glamorous Hollywood starlets who suffered at the hands of Weinstein.

There is now almost no institution untouched by allegations of harassment, sexual abuse or rape. The day Weinstein was exposed as a sexual predator a veritable Pandora's box was opened, and we were deluged by outpourings of wrong doing from the worlds of film, music, fashion, the arts, television and now politics.

Hollywood was just the tip of an iceberg of endemic abuse by men who use and abuse their power and get away with it because they hold the key to so many people's progress in their respective industries.

But I have to be honest and say that I think the allegations of sexual harassment have come so thick and fast over the last few weeks that people are not listening in the same way as they were at the beginning. Neither do the latest stories hold the same kind of allure as those of Weinstein's victims who were predominantly A list actresses and models.

We may not like to admit it but an accusation of sexual abuse from an unknown woman working in an MP's office in the archaic world of the House of Commons is not going to have the same appeal as an almost identical accusation from Gwyneth Paltrow. I fear the stories of the women who have been systematically harassed, intimidated, touched and belittled by male MPs will be sidelined and eventually lost to the vaults of Westminster.

The bleakest revelation regarding these allegations is the fact there is no proper system in place to allow women to air their grievances. They are stuck in the impossible position of being abused by the very men who they would have to report any grievances to. This comes as a result of the fact many women are employed directly by the MPs rather than the government.

Prime Minister Theresa May has spoken out today (Monday) pledging to put an independent mediation service in place for staff to raise their concerns about MP's behaviour and for a proper grievance procedure to follow.

I just fear that this can only go so far in a profession which has misogynistic attitudes at its very core. There is apparently a saying amongst male MPs that what happens in Westminster stays in Westminster, and just like the lad's holiday these words conjure up, Westminster runs off its own moral code where anyone who wanders into its trajectory is in danger of receiving a degrading comment and a fondle.

Many MPs live in a second home in London away from their wives and families, the atmosphere is fuelled by Parliament's many bars and there is a general bolstering of male chauvinistic spirit which means women will always suffer and always be viewed as a mere bauble to pretty up the place unless there's a monumental overhaul.

The only solution I can see is for more women to enter politics and water down the Westminster testosterone but why as a woman would you want to, when all you really have to look forward to is a grope and no maternity leave? It becomes a Catch-22 situation.


Do we resign ourselves to the fact politics will always be the home of misogynistic dinosaurs on a power trip? I can't bare to do so and yet Westminster looks set to remain the ideal breeding ground, the welcoming cave, for these male predators, even when the rest of the world has declared enough is enough.

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