London mayor Boris Johnson, Man of Magnificent Zipline Disasters, is currently under fire for making sexist comments regarding Malaysian women’s decisions to go to college. During the launch of the World Islamic Economic Forum at City Hall, London, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke about his country’s progress for women in education as Johnson appeared alongside him.
“Before coming here,” Razak said, “my officials have told me that the latest university intake in Malaysia, a Muslim country, 68% will be women entering our universities.”
Despite the critical nature of an issue such as this, Johnson found it entirely appropriate to interrupt and say that those women entering college merely ”have got to find men to marry.”
HAHA. NAILED IT, BRO.
According to reporters who were present, many people were none-too-impressed with the mayor’s words. In fact, Estates Gazette reporter Sophia Furber said there were “groans from audience members – especially from professional, hijab-wearing ladies,” which she found saddening since the Malaysians “came across as very sincere about promoting women in business.”
Women also tweeted at the mayor’s official Twitter account describing why his comments were inappropriate and totally unacceptable, as well as telling him their own experiences with why they went to college (pro-tip: it had nothing to do with finding husbands). Now, several politicians and citizens are calling on Johnson to apologize publicly.
The issue with this offhand comment — beside the fact that it wasn’t even clever — is that people absolutely still believe women go to college just to find male companions. For some inexplicable, awful reason, plenty of men (and women) feel that female students are all simply working toward a cute wittle degree to go with our matching sets of embroidered towels and pregnancy scrapbooks. And in more than a few countries, the vast majority of women do not go to college — if they are able to attend any school whatsoever. To perpetuate, or even trivialize, the sexism women face with regard to education all over the world is irresponsible as a human being, but especially as a powerful leader.
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