Is sexism rife in 2011?

With football presenters ridiculing women in the sport and an MP calling feminism 'obnoxious bigotry', we ask whether sexism ever went away

Derogatory remarks made by two Sky Sports presenters about a female referee assistant have brought the thorny issues of gender discrimination and equality to light once again – and now a Tory MP has waded in on the debate.

Sky Sports presenters Andy Gray and Richard Keys were forced to apologise for sexist comments about assistant referee Sian Massey and Gray has since been sacked over the incident.

The presenters ridiculed 25-year-old Massey’s crucial call during the match between Wolves and Liverpool on Saturday.

It is claimed that while off air, Keys said: ‘Somebody better get down there and explain offside to her,’ to which Gray replied: ‘Can you believe that? A female linesman. Women don’t know the offside rule.’

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Apprentice star and West Ham board member Karren Brady said that the presenters’ comments made her ‘blood boil’. She told BBC Radio 5 live:

‘I’m genuinely disappointed. It never would have occurred to me that [Keys and Gray] had these views, whether public or private.’

But not everyone agrees.

Tory MP Dominic Raab has defended the comments, calling feminism as ‘obnoxious bigotry’ and suggesting men are the real victims of ‘flagrant discrimination’.

‘You cannot have a situation where, rightly, Sky Sports presenters are being picked up for sexist comments they make about women knowing the offside laws and on the other hand say that when there are blatantly sexist comments in the media regularly and no-one blinks – that is wrong.’

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‘We should be astough on all forms of sexism and, frankly, try and get away from gender warfare and the politics of difference,’ says Raab.

Do you think Gray and Keys’ comments were offensive? Should professional football embrace female officials? Do you agree that men are also subject to gender discrimination? War Raab right?

Marie Claire wants to hear from you so let us know what you think in the box below.

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