Words Betray Attitudes – an insight into prejudice!

David Cameron has been caught out twice in the past few months using inappropriate language towards women. He has, on both occasions, tried to minimise the affect of the comments, attempting to justify them and perhaps laugh them off. This weekend, however, he has issued a “deep regret” apology, explaining that, in the hothouse of Prime Minister’s Question Time, it is easy for unintentional phrases to slip out. You can watch his comment on this link.

Perhaps what Mr Cameron seems to fail to realise is that what slips out, in the heat of a situation, is what gives away a person’s inner prejudices and real biases.

It is likely that the environment in which our PM was brought up reflected the male dominated society in which he lived. He was educated at the same prep school as Princes Andrew and Edward and went on to Eton College – bastions of British male dominated society and sad reflections of established Britain. Is it any wonder that he has prejudices about women – most men in our society do – this is not an accusation of deep sexism.

It’s not whether prejudice exists within a person; it’s what that person does with them is of ultimate importance. I wonder if Mr Cameron has been coached to acknowledge how his prejudices impact on his behaviour. Why should he be any different from the other people I see? Understanding and acknowledging how socialised learning effects our attitudinal development is the first step to being able to prevent such attitudes from becoming prejudicial thoughts and discriminatory practice.

This is the work of Equality Edge coaching programme; exploring with an individual their attitudes and thoughts towards difference and the impact they have on personal behaviour – I wonder whether Mr Cameron would like some coaching?

About equalityedge

I run Equality Edge and its unique and creative "Working with Difference" project. It supports employers and managers in gaining a competitive and cost saving advantage from meeting equality and diversity best practice obligations. Coaching and workshops are used to deliver organisational, team and leadership development, assisting in improving communication and the understanding of the impact difference has on workplace behaviour.
This entry was posted in age equality, beyond diversity, discrimination, Equality & Diversity, gender equality, glass ceiling, inequality, Prejudice, Sexism, Sexuality equality, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Words Betray Attitudes – an insight into prejudice!

  1. Alan Og says:

    I think people are too quick off the mark to draw conclusions based on flimsy evidence if and when it supports their cause, and I find this “frustrating”. Of course you may be quite correct about DC’s attitudes & beliefs towards women, but I think that it is unfair to draw that conclusion on the basis of what he did or said, and then to post it on a public website. You can argue that because it’s the PM, he’s fair game, but he is an individual nonetheless with the same rights as you or I.

    You draw the conclusion that boys who attend Eton College are supportive of a world dominated by the male race, “a sad reflection on society” as you say. Is it really fair to categorise people in this manner ? Is that not showing a type of predjudice that you object to so fervently in your views around divirsity and difference. Can’t you accept that because someone goes to Eton College they may just have different views to the norm as is their right ? Can’t you accept that actually attitudes and beliefs may be changing at Eton College ? I would draw your attention to a small extract from the Eton College website “Our primary aim is to encourage each Etonian to be a self-confident, inquiring, tolerant, positive young man, a well-rounded character with an independent mind, an individual who respects the differences of others.” – Tony Little, Headmaster. Now these may be words, and I accept that actions speak louder than words, but nevertheless they are in print, and I have no reason to suggest that the headmaster or his board of governors have any reason not to try to embrace these aims. Of course, attitudes will probably have changed or are changing since DC attended Eton College !

    As I have commented before on this website and will continue to do so, I really respect people who take a stance against issues that they believe to be unfair. I have more of a problem however when they seek to make “political” capital out of events which are streamed to us via the media. The reason for that is that I see the “activists” making broad assumptions about a person, in this case DC, and I think that is grossly unfair and this actually de-values the stance they are fighting for in the first place which is a shame. Its almost as if they are waiting with bated breath to pounce on the slightest error if and when it supports their views. Consider this in the light of a manager who is constantly looking for negative evidence to support the decisions they wish to take about the individual, they may claim that they are being victimised. Different I know, but the principle at least is not disimilar to the way DC is being condemned just so that an issue can be brought to public attention.

    Nevertheless, interesting topic once more, and DC was in my view a bit “dim”, not surprising given my view of the effectiveness of leading political figures in today’s age.


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