Slightly more intimidating was the time, ironically at a political party conference, when a man who was then the editor of a national newspaper started propositioning me in the bar, despite knowing I was in a long-term relationship, and despite my making it patently clear that I wasn’t interested. I quickly made my excuses and left, as did the women allegedly targeted by Lord Rennard, but the minute I got up to my room, my phone rang. It was the very same editor asking if he could share my room because he had omitted to book himself into a hotel. I gave him short shrift, but the experience was intimidating and unpleasant.
The worlds I inhabit are politics and the media, but women in all walks of life know that this kind of routine sexism exists in any workplace.
This isn’t sexism. This is sex. This is how male mammals behave.
This isn’t discrimination against (or among) women on the basis that they are women and not men. This part of the dance around the perpetuation of the species.
And yes, the reason that men of high status do it more often than those of low is because in that very dance high status means you’ll get your leg over more often. That’s, at least in part, what drives men into seeking high status. Expensive watches, sports cars, lavishing cash on expensive champagne, being a boss, these are all (however some will laugh at them) signifiers of high status. And thus more legovers. This is why they are done.
No, really, there is good academic research to show that splashing the cash in front of the laydeez does indeed gain more sex from them. As does pretty much any other form of status. Guitarists and singers in rock bands are higher status than the drummers in them (drum stools are often higher status than drummers) and yes, they do get more groupies.
Seriously: I’m all in favour of the birds getting a fair go at doing all these lovely jobs. Would be a pity to leave half the talents of the species at the stove really. But a little more attention paid to reality would be welcome.
All of these male behaviours might indeed be boorish: possibly even caddish. But if they didn’t work they wouldn’t be done. And the simple truth is that they do work often enough that men will carry on doing them. High status gets more gonad massaging. Thus men pursue high status as a way of getting more gonad massaging. And at the end of it all there’s this: if there weren’t women who rewarded high male status with gonad massaging then men wouldn’t pursue it and the behaviour would simply stop.