MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
Below are the opening paragraphs from a column I wrote in the Ham & High in 2010.
I got sacked from my first job.
It was a small design/advertising agency and one night during my six week trial period – one of the Directors asked if I would join him and a blue chip client for the show reel and drinks. Afterwards he offered me a lift home, insisted on stopping for a drink on the way home and as he dropped my at my mother’s house – made a pretty crude lunge at me. I told him where to go – and the next day I was fired.
I sobbed my heart out to my mother – who said it was just one of life’s lessons. Thank goodness these days (I hate to admit this was over thirty-five years ago) it isn’t just one of life’s lessons – it is sexism, bullying and discrimination – and we have laws against it!
So today I was just watching Max Clifford on the news talking about the number of celebs who are concerned that their names will surface connected with similar incidents during the Jimmy Savile era and wanting to defend themselves. What really made me mad was Clifford kept saying something like the girls were pretty happy when it got them introductions / parts / jobs – they were more then willing etc.
Has he no idea that the world worked exclusively along mens lines then? Does he really believe that there was no culpability on behalf of those men in powerful positions?
It may have been a different era. And as my column above describes – men used their power to try and take advantage of young girls. But it wasn’t right then – and it isn’t right now. That is why laws were brought in – to protect girls (and boys) from exactly this sort of abuse.