Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Roger Sutton and Sexism in The Workplace

I want to say that I am extremely disappointed in Roger Sutton because up until recently I thought him a decent bloke, but any man who can only use sexual innuendo when in conversation with women clearly sees women only as sexual objects, and not as fully-functioning human beings. We have an old bloke round our neighbourhood whom I am sure is perfectly harmless but every time you see him he has to comment about your attributes or refer to any group of women as his harem. This while his wife stands by his side - she smiles and says this is just how he is. Which reminds me of Roger Sutton's wife on tv saying similar stuff - this is just his way etc etc. It becomes old, it becomes tired, it becomes stale and as far as the local old feller goes, most of us avoid him now. 

But when you are at work, in your place of employment, when you need to work with these people, you can't avoid this kind of weary innuendo and as a woman (albeit a cranky old one now), you get fed up with it. It's not funny, it doesn't make you feel better or sexy even, it makes you feel objectified. It makes you feel like a thing. It is outright depressing. 

Roger Sutton did not own his behaviour in my eyes watching his so-called apology on the news, he down-played it, he was just a jokey bloke, he said, caught out in [a wee bit] of inappropriate behaviour. You other lads, you'd better watch out, eh. 

I say, you other lads, you should have learnt this stuff years ago, it's been a long time since the seventies when all this discussion first came to the fore. And given the stuff we are not told - we know Roger Sutton is charged with serious misconduct so he must have gone far further down the track than being a bit inappropriate. 

And here's another thing. While all this was being gone into, he got to stay at work while the woman complainant was sent home where she got to work in silent, gagged isolation. I will argue that this is an instance of institutionalised sexism, old boys club stuff. Why was it not the other way around? Why was Sutton not removed from all those other women in his office, left to put up with his "inappropriateness"?

"I'm not a victim," says Roger Sutton. "I've been seeing my psychologist." As though this is a crime against him. Words fail.


  1. Well written! I have no sympathy for him at all. The first time I was harassed at work I was 16, the final time, well I can't even remember, but I was old and it probably just faded into the background noise because you can, if you have to, tune out even the sound of a jackhammer if it is persistent enough.

    1. I reckon, thanks Bennett. We've been following this business on our media all week and I so wasn't going to comment on it but then I was reading someone else's post on FB and that post really struck a nerve and I wrote this long comment - aue! - and realised it was really a blog. My sympathies go to the person with the post who got this long, long comment on their post. I started work when I was 15 and it didn't help I suppose that mini's were in fashion then, and yeah, young girls are a target for sure. But then even commenting on mini skirts, they don't make that much difference really, you just have to be female. And you can feel really threatened in lifts or walking down the street in the dark, or even once when I was way older and dressed to work in the fish factory for crying out loud, and waiting at a bus stop in the dark, and some twit had to harass me for sex even just because I was a woman apparently with a sign saying "object' flashing over my head.