After more than a week of allegations of powerful, male MPs making unwanted lunges at less powerful, usually female colleagues, you might expect the weekend columnists to urge a cultural refurbishment in Westminster.
Instead, the Telegraph‘s Charles Moore seemed to view victims of sexual harassment as some kind of revolutionary advance guard. “This scandal shows that women are now on top,” the headline of his column declared. “I pray they share power with men, not crush us.”
While Moore repeated his “Amens”, the Mail on Sunday‘s Peter Hitchens did one better. He complained that women “squawking” about “wandering hands” have “lost all touch with reality”.
Charles Moore: I’ve got a mad, irrational and creepy response to the current scandal.
Peter Hitchens: Tush, you naive amateur. pic.twitter.com/kItJ1wDIlf
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) November 5, 2017
Hitchens, whose previous columns include “They squawk about Brexit”, claims that a hunt for “tellers of coarse jokes” comes at the expense of the welfare state and a constitutional crisis. Because it wasn’t like the victims of sexual harassment had waited years before finding the courage to speak out, and hadn’t already tried to deal with it through internal channels. And of course the flighty female brain can’t hold more than one concept in it at once.
Thankfully, Hitchens has found a way to help everyone concentrate – the niqab.
In the future, he suggests, “wise men at Westminster” will either make women sign a disclaimer when they meet them or enforce “the other solution” – “segregation of the sexes”.
Set aside the fact that many Muslim women who choose to wear traditional modest dress have also used the #MeToo campaign to highlight sexual harassment, there seem to be some solutions Hitchens has overlooked, as social media users pointed out:
Can I suggest an alternative safety device to the niqab Peter Hitchens? pic.twitter.com/5tAK97SKE7
— UnaPooper (@TheUnapooper) November 5, 2017
I wish someone would put a niqab on Peter Hitchens pic.twitter.com/Nx3R6BXWIL
— Tiffany Stevenson (@tiffstevenson) November 5, 2017
Amazingly, one solution didn’t require any kind of special clothing or uniform at all:
Dear Peter Hitchens and Charles Moore: the alternative to molestation isn’t the niqab.
It’s men caring about consent.
— chiller ★ (@chiller) November 5, 2017