Men behaving badly

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman….so sang Tammy Wynette in the 1968 hit, Stand by your Man. While the lyrics will no doubt sound hollow to many women, for the past week, it’s been quite hard to be a man – at least to live with the shame of being one. Men – for it is them – have been behaving very badly. 

We learned this week that a survey undertaken by the Universities of Exeter, Surrey and the Working Party on Sexual Misconduct in Surgery exposed shocking levels of sexual abuse that female surgeons have endured since, well forever it seems. 

Who knew that while you were lying sparko on the operating table, a good number of male surgeons were leering, groping and throwing around lewd banter among their female colleagues. Remember that, the next time a gimlet-eyed anaesthetist asks you to just think nice thoughts before you lapse into oblivion. 

Unsurprisingly, the revelations generated a great deal of media coverage and debate, although the outrage was not universal. One former anaesthetist did not heed his profession’s advice to think nice thoughts. Quite the contrary.

71 year old Peter Hilton wrote to the Times complaining that “the snowflake generation of young doctors, mostly female, and selected on mainly academic excellence, clearly did not do their homework…they should toughen up…”. Mr Hilton is unrepentant, while his profession closes ranks.

Toxic male behaviour was also central to the BBC’s documentary on Andrew Tate. He really is a piece of work – and might be dismissed by most right thinking people if he were not so popular and influential to many thousands of young men. Watch it and weep.

Complementing the week’s line up of unreconstructed egomaniacal blokes, the world’s two worst dressed pantomime villains met up for talks. About what, no one’s really sure. 

North Korea’s Dear Leader took his extensive entourage on a two day rail journey to visit Vladdie the Baddie at Russia’s Vostochny spaceport. The Koreans’ achingly slow train journey (top speed 37 mph and two sets of wheel changes) was mitigated somewhat by an endless supply of fine French wines and live lobsters. And, no doubt sparkling conversation.

You’ve got to hand it to the man – he may not know a good hair stylist but he sure knows how to live well. Vlad’s cold, reptilian eyes gave little away even as the clownish figure, lumbered from his limo and lurched toward him – with his suit jacket tucked into his pants. Funny if it weren’t so scary.

Speculation about what each of these brutes can give each other is mixed. North Korea really only has a vast stockpile of dodgy ammunition to trade for much needed oil, food and the goodwill of a fellow psychopath. For Vlad, it’s more about giving a message to South Korea to stop supporting the West.

In a world where there have always been bad people doing bad things, it is a deeply depressing reflection that so many of them are men.

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