The Presidents Club story has underlined the scale of the challenge before us to end the exploitation of women – and our power to bring about change.
Published 25 January 2018
After the Financial Times exposed the harassment and exploitation of women at a men-only charity fundraiser held at the Dorchester, the Presidents Club announced yesterday that it would be closing. The event was apparently attended by politicians from Labour and the Conservatives, as well as high-profile businessmen and celebrities, showing how deeply ingrained in the establishment such attitudes are.
A Women’s Equality Party spokesperson said:
“The Presidents Club story has underlined the scale of the challenge before us to end the exploitation of women – and our power to bring about change.
“By writing about this sleazefest, Madison Marriage dragged into the light practices and attitudes that were indefensible when put under scrutiny. Nobody involved in the event – from the apparently reluctant host to the apparently captive guests and the apparently unsuspecting sponsors – has been prepared to justify it.
“While the closure of the Presidents Club is welcome, it’s important to remember that this event was not an aberration or unique. It was a product of attitudes that are prevalent throughout society, not only black-tie fundraisers attended by senior businessmen and politicians. The structural inequalities that both cause and descend from the exploitation of women require radical economic and cultural change.
“The political establishment ignores that need for change. The main parties take harassment seriously – until it affects their own political interests. Their politicians’ attendance at the Presidents Club is explained away and excused, and they drag their feet when it comes to dealing with MPs accused of harassment themselves, as illustrated again yesterday when Damian Green was greeted by cheers from his fellow Tory MPs as he joked around at Prime Minister’s Questions.”