John Humphrys slammed for 'patronising' comments in heated gender debate

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John Humphrys’ comments came as he hosted BBC Radio 4 today and spoke to Jess Tye from the Advertising Standards Authority.

During the chat he said that women being good carers was “good for society” and that they “do a better job than men”.

The pair were discussing the new gender stereotyping rules which have led to two advents being banned.

One such advert for Volkswagen’s eGolf car featured a woman sitting beside a pram following scenes of two male astronauts in a scaeship and a male athlete with a prosthetic leg doing the long jump.

Jess spoke of the “real-world harms” such messages could have as she suggested they could “affect the career choices that girls or boys make”.

However, the veteran presenter appeared to not be in agreement with his guest.

John responded: “Really? You mean if a girl sees this rather charming picture of a mother sitting in the park with a baby and a pram, she might think ‘I don’t want to be an astronaut, I want to be just a caregiver’?

“And I put the word just in inverted commas because there is nothing wrong in being a caregiver, is there?”

He added: “A woman looking after a baby is, by any estimate, a very, very good and desirable thing for society.”

“By and large and this – maybe I will be attacked for this – you (women) do a better job at it than men. At least in most of our experience, I would have thought,” John continued.

“To whom is it causing harm if you show a woman sitting next to a baby in a pram? Lots of women sit next to babies in prams. How does this sort of advertising harm people?”

John’s words prompted an outcry on Twitter, with many lambasting his views as “patronising”.

One wrote: “John Humphrys doing his level best to sound like he belongs in a different century this morning.

“It’s not about one poster stereotyping women, it’s about girls growing up in an environment where so very much of what they see, hear and experience stereotypes women. #R4today.”

Another shared: “Wow, has someone told John Humphrys to intentionally make himself sound like a patronising dinosaur in this interview with the ASA? He’s not normally THIS bad #R4today.”

“John Humphrys sneering at the idea gender stereotypes cause harm or that women aren’t naturally better than men at looking after babies.

“No, there’s nothing wrong with being a care giver John. But do you know how much more than a care giver you earn? #r4today #structuralsexism,” a third wrote.

While a fourth opined: “@bbcr4today Spitting feathers at John Humphrys not understanding gender stereotypes and the devastating effect they have. He even said ‘women do better than men at looking after babies’. Time to retire, I think, John! #misogyny.”

The Volkswagen ad was banned along with a commercial for Philadelphia cheese under the new gender stereotyping rules.

The advert from food giant Mondelez saw two fathers leaving a baby on a restaurant conveyer belt as they became distracted by food.

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