British conservative politician Ken Clarke, 76, inspired a Twitterstorm of support of Theresa May after he was caught on camera describing her as “bloody difficult.” May is one of two female candidates in the running to become the next British prime minister when David Cameron steps down, and currently is a favorite for the position.
#Bloodydifficultwoman was soon trending on the social media platform, as women (and some men) expressed their support for May and derision for Clarke’s apparent misogyny, declaring their sympathies for “bloody difficult women.”
Musing about the contest for leadership of the Conservative party, longtime lawmaker Clarke was filmed saying to former foreign minister Malcolm Rifkind, “Theresa is a bloody difficult woman but you and I worked for Margaret Thatcher. She won’t be any more difficult than that.”
Clarke was waiting to be interviewed on Sky News and it is unclear if he was aware he was being recorded. He did conceded that he “[gets] on alright with her and she is good” but was concerned May “doesn’t know much about foreign affairs.” Below is a sample of some of the reactions posted on Twitter:
You don't get very far in life and certainly not in politics without being a #BloodyDifficultWoman unless, of course, you're a man.
— Andrea Catherwood (@acatherwoodnews) July 6, 2016
Being described as a #BloodyDifficultWoman is the best thing to happen to Theresa May's leadership campaign ever….
— Tom Quante (@TomQuante) July 5, 2016
— Nicola Blackwood (@nicolablackwood) July 5, 2016
My husband keeps asking me why I'm trending on Twitter. #BloodyDifficultWoman
— Julia Hartley-Brewer #FBPE (@JuliaHB1) July 5, 2016
Raising my daughter to become a #BloodyDifficultWoman
— Kathryn Gray (@KathrynGray) July 5, 2016
As I get older, I can't get over the shock when people meet a woman who's ultimate goal isn't to be pleasant. #BloodyDifficultWoman
— Sasha de Buyl-Pisco (@sashadebuyl) July 5, 2016
I along with other strong, articulate, independent women are proud to wear the badge #bloodydifficultwoman glad it makes mysoginist insecure
— Yasmin Khan (@ykhan100) July 5, 2016
#BloodyDifficultWoman expects equal pay for work of equal value.
— Sam Smethers (@Samsmethers) July 5, 2016
I am proud and fortunate that my mum was a #BloodyDifficultWoman or else I wouldn't have survived the Great Depression.
— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) July 5, 2016
Asked by Women in the World founder Tina Brown at the London Summit last October if she cared what others thought of her, May said it was “easy to say things in order to be liked. It is much harder to do something that won’t be liked but because it is right. I try to do the right thing and what I believe on whatever issue.”
Watch Theresa May interviewed by Tina Brown at the Women in the World London Summit:
Read the full story at The Sydney Morning Herald.