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?