Hayley Matthews: Women need to say no to bum slaps and pay gaps

Some women don't care how they get ahead, says Hayley
Some women don't care how they get ahead, says Hayley
Have your say

Yesterday was the start of something quite different for me. I finally wrote my #metoo story for The Scotsman. I wrote it all down, shut my eyes and braced myself for the calls, emails, texts that I knew would follow.

I woke up to a lot of messages of support, emails of encouragement (from men and women) along with a call from the BBC asking me to talk with Kaye Adams on her radio show about it.

The discussion we had was on the Presidents Club closing due to revelations of sexual harassment, why this goes on and what we should be doing about it. One of the points I made was how women need to support each other and look out for one another. All too often I’ve witnessed the opposite. I blame women for a lot of what we’re dealing with today but I’m pleased we’re coming together, finally, to deal with this. READ MORE: Hayley Matthews: Sexual harassment damaged my career but won’t beat me

I believe it’s only us that can fix the situation we see ourselves in. When I say blame women, you’ll know what I mean when I say the kind of female who would throw you in front of a bus to get ahead, the kind who sleeps with all your work colleagues to help her seek out self-worth. The one who’s constantly looking for nice ways to bring you down. “Oh that’s a nice bangle – my granny used to wear one like that.” The kind of comments a guy wouldn’t think twice about but the women know exactly the message.

The type of female who sees other women as competition. The type who’d tell you how much she wanted your job and make no effort to hide the fact that she’d do anything to get you out the way, flirting outrageously with the boss, ­cutting corners and getting away with it, sleeping with ­clients, all in a bid to take over.

Does it come down to greed and lack of self-esteem? If so, what a terrifying combination.

I suppose some men can be like that too, but these women are ruining it for us all.

READ MORE: Angela Constance: Scottish employers must tackle sexual harassment

We’re worth so much more, deserve so much more, not just to be seen as a booby bar, but as an equal human being.

It all starts with the women being strong and rallying to that message, telling our daughters that they are equal, intelligent beings, who deserve the same opportunities as their male piers.

Teaching them to say no to the bum slaps, no to the pay gaps and, maybe, just maybe, we will live in a better world one day where all our children, regardless of gender, colour, class etc can enjoy the same opportunities.

Women also have an important role to play with raising our boys. I don’t know where it went wrong for the men who have been so outrageously disgusting to me, maybe their mothers were treated poorly by their fathers, I don’t know.

However, I do know that if we teach our sons to treat women as they would want to be treated themselves, while encouraging our daughters to strive for equality, then maybe those women that I spoke about (you know the ones who offer themselves on a plate to get what they want) might end up being a dying breed.

So let’s make way for a new kind of female. The kind who gets paid the same as her male colleagues, gets the same opportunities as them and sits on the board with them, running the show.

If you don’t like it, you can always go and live on Mars.