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Nusrat Ghani.

Tory MP Nusrat Ghani appears to be a little upset at the response attracted by her call for an urgent debate on Clive Lewis’s use of the word “bitch”:

The trouble is that she, along with those others who have been trying to make something of this incident, is pushing a false argument.

Nobody is denying the offensive nature of the words used by Mr Lewis – least of all Mr Lewis himself, who has apologised after being made aware that they did cause offence.

But context is everything, and his remark was made in an attempt at humour, with no offence intended – to a man. This is, at the very least, a subversion of the offensive nature of the words – albeit, in hindsight, an unsuccessful one.

The claim that the words used were gendered is easily defeated as there are many instances of men calling other men “bitch”. Indeed, one definition in the Urban Dictionary states that a bitch is a “modern-day servant; a person who performs tasks for another, usually degrading in status”.  To This Writer, it appears to be the relevant definition when considering Mr Lewis’s use of the term. Note the use of the word “person” – not “woman”. Therefore it can be someone of either gender.

Nobody female who was at the event has come forward to say they took offence at the time (to my knowledge), and my understanding is that the organisers took no complaints at the time.

So Mr Lewis used a non-gendered term of abuse, in a humorous (or attemptedly humorous) manner, while speaking to a man.

And Nusrat Ghani wants us to think it implies hatred towards women.

Yes. I would like to see a debate on the subject.

Unfortunately, it seems unlikely:

All things considered, that would be a lucky escape for Ms Ghani.


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