Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Last Wolf Whistle?

The EU Consolidated Equal Treatment Directive 2006/54 is about to come into force in the UK. It finally includes real definitions of sexual harassment, harassment, direct and indirect discrimination.

The extension of the definition of sex discrimination covers any act that leads to intimidation or degradation. Sex related harassment is defined as unwanted conduct related to the sex of a person, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, and of creating a distressing intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

You would think this was a good thing. Not according to Sun columnist Fergus Shanahan. Apparently all of the above means that bar staff can now sue their employer if a customer calls them "duckie" or "luv".

For once, couldn't commentators see the good in something and not hypothesise assumptions that just aren't there? In my days as a barmaid, a simple "I'm not your luv" or "Don't call me duckie" was enough. I don't believe any barmaid would phone their lawyer for someone saying the female equivalent of "Thanks mate".

Some EU laws ARE preposterous and yes, Brown has glued us into Europe in a way that will probably come back and bite us, but don't make a joke out of something that gives men and women more protection and equality.

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