“she purred down the line”: sexism, david cameron and the queen

so hey. this is the prime minister of the united kingdom:

Britain Politicsand this is the queen of the united kingdom:


as you may have noted, the prime minister of the united kingdom is a man and the queen of the united kingdom is a woman.


so the prime minister of the united kingdom recently was, this week, caught on camera saying a deeply stupid thing about the queen re: the scotland vote. let’s listen:

the prime minister of the united kingdom said the queen of the united kingdom purred.

just so we’re all clear on what purring is, here’s 9 hours of purring…

so this is a huge big deal and the prime minister of the united kingdom (who you may also remember from this…


#FunTimes@Funerals) is going to apologize.

it’s a huge big deal because, per the guardian: “Cameron’s lapse breached the convention that the prime minister never speaks about his conversations with the monarch and put in question her traditional neutrality.”

because the prime minster’s communications with the queen are supposed to be top secret.

because the queen isn’t supposed to be political. she is supposed to be symbol.


so, in the example of scotland, the queen isn’t allowed to have FEELings about scotland.

because FEELings about scotland are, in this case, political.

and, as you may recall, the queen can’t be political.

(and we wonder why the windsors are emotionally constipated???)

thus, for the prime minister of the united kingdom to have revealed that the queen FELT relieved not to have had scotland vote itself off the island and break up her kingdom… well, that would mean the queen had FEELings which were POLITICAL. which isn’t allowed. and so, by publicly revealing the contents of a private political conversation with the queen, david cameron goofed by violating the tradition that the queen’s conversations with the prime minister- wherein she is at liberty to be political because these conversations are private- are, in fact, private.


he blabbed.

which is unfortunate.

also unfortunate? that in blabbing, he resorted to the language of a high school locker room braggart.

srsly. remember john stalker sears from 90210 season 4?


yeah, john stalker sears totally would’ve said that kelly taylor purred.

you hate to think the prime minister of the united kingdom and john stalker sears share a vocabulary, but it appears they do.

David Cameron visits Jaguar Land Rover

as the telegraph noted: “There is something ghastly about that use of “purred”, isn’t there? Something patronising and egregiously sexist. It’s as though the 88-year-old monarch were some moggy whose tummy clever Cameron had tickled until the old thing was beside herself with pleasure. Eartha Kitt purred. Fenella Fielding purred. Catwoman in a black rubber suit purrs. But Elizabeth the Second? Her Majesty is many things but, by George, she is no man’s sex kitten.”


litmus test: would david cameron


ever say that ed miliband purred?

Ed Miliband says action by the GMB to cut its funding makes a case for reform of party-union link

or barack obama?Obama speaks about the sequester in Washington

or even prince charles?Royal Wedding - Carriage Procession To Buckingham Palace And Departures

and  yet, the queen.


yes, it was stupid that he said this in the presence of members of the media who clearly had cameras rolling. but that he said it all, that he used this particular word, is problematic.

men don’t say men purr.

because the connotation of such a statement is this:


and you would never think of ed miliband like that, now would  you?

and yet the queen. that he would say that about the queen.

i’m disturbed by how this is being pegged as a political gaffe whilst the sexism underlying it has largely gone unmentioned or, if it is, it’s noted with a perfunctory nod.

it should be significantly less ok for someone who’s given her entire life to her country to be publicly degraded like this by the dude who’s in charge of it at the moment.

chris levine exhibition : lightness of being 03/2008


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