The Isle of Man government has been slammed for ‘sexism’ and ‘misogyny’ after telling the public Storm Eunice had ‘changed her mind like most women’.
The Department of Infrastructure put out a post on Thursday night warning local residents about a potential road closure near Peel Beach and claimed the wind had changed direction.
The post met a backlash from locals who branded the joke ‘outdated’ and while school librarian Helen Jessopp said it was ‘offensive’ and claimed the Government ‘needed to be called out’ for it.
Now the government have claimed the message ‘fell below the standards expected’ and admitted it would ‘not happen again’.
The Facebook post said: ‘A road closure is in place for Peel Promenade 10am Friday 18 February 2022.
‘Due to a change in the wind direction this closure will not go ahead unless required.
The Isle of Man government posted about a road closure due to the start of Storm Eunice
School librarian Helen Jessopp hit out at the government, claiming it was ‘beyond a joke’
‘Thank you for your patience and understanding, but like most women Eunice changes her mind what she’s doing.’
In reaction to the post, several bemused social media users commented in disbelief, claiming it portrayed an ‘outdated’ view and was an example of a ‘micro aggression’ against women.
School librarian Helen Jessopp hit out at the government, claiming it was ‘beyond a joke’ and an example of ‘everyday sexism’.
Helen, from Port Erin, Isle of Man, said: ‘I thought it was a bit outdated and close to the wire for a government department to post something that could be considered quite inflammatory in this day and age.
‘This is an example of everyday sexism. It’s the sort of micro aggression that needs to be called out.
‘It’s so normalised and a lot of people don’t realise that it’s offensive and outdated.
Waves crash against the sea wall and Porthcawl Lighthouse in Porthcawl, Bridgend, Wales, as Storm Eunice hits the south coast
‘It comes across as it being just a bit of banter or a joke, but when it’s constant and it comes from a government department, that goes beyond a joke and a bit of banter.
‘It’s the small things that add up.’
Helen then thought she would ‘banter back’ by posting an equally ‘sweeping’ and inflammatory statement mocking the initial post.
On Facebook, Helen wrote: ‘Weird how it’s not named after a man then, seeing as like most men it’s going to get violent and unpredictably damage property and maybe people haha.’
Helen said: ‘I thought I’d banter back and make a comparison with a different sweeping statement.
‘The post very quickly got deleted almost immediately after I posted that.
‘The fact it was taken down so quickly and the writing style of it made me think it might have been someone who isn’t normally in charge of social media.
‘They might have thought it was an off-the-cuff, flippant comment and not really thinking it through.
‘I think it was probably someone who doesn’t have those comments aimed at them and realise it’s not just a stand alone thing, but one of many that people can encounter in a short period of time from different places.’
However Twitter users were divided over the comments, with some claiming it was ‘very disappointing’, while others suggested it was merely ‘old-fashioned’ humour.
Lise Pilkington said: ‘2022 and casual misogyny is still alive and well on the Isle of Man and from an @IOMGovernment department too.’
Trudie Woods said: ‘Very disappointing to see!’
Women of Mann said: ‘Poorly judged, poorly worded, poorly executed. The joke isn’t even funny, don’t understand why the OP thought it was a good idea.’
Tony said: ‘Or take it in the way intended it is called old fashioned humour not offensive or I maybe a grumpy old man can I say that.’
Adam Drewett said: ‘Are people really offended by this?! What a world we live in.’
A spokesperson for the Isle of Man Department of Infrastructure said: ‘The Department of Infrastructure is aware of a message posted on its Facebook page this morning, and subsequently amended, which fell below the standards expected of our organisation.
‘Measures are being taken to ensure this does not happen again.’