You can read 19 more articles this month
VIRGIN TRAINS apologised “unreservedly” today after posting sexist comments on its official Twitter account.
Passenger Emily Cole had complained on the social networking site about being called “honey” by a member of Virgin Trains East Coast staff in a conversation about misleading instructions to passengers.
The flagship privateer’s official Twitter account then replied: “Sorry for the mess up Emily, would you prefer ‘pet’ or ‘love’ next time?”
Ms Cole told the BBC that staff at Edinburgh Waverley station had told passengers they could pay the weekend upgrade on her train home to London. Once on board the train, she was told “they’d all made a mistake” and would have to move back to standard-class seats. Ms Cole said she told the guard she would complain and he replied: “You go ahead, honey.”
She said: “In the context and, given his aggressive tone, I can only assume he didn’t like being challenged by a woman. I wouldn’t have complained if he’d used the term in a familial or affectionate way.”
It was then that she went online to vent her frustrations. She said the “patronising and belittling” response from Virgin’s official Twitter account was “just the behaviour I was complaining about” in her initial tweet.
“It wasn’t about the use of the term in isolation that’s the problem, but when these words are appropriated in such a passive-aggressive way in response to a service complaint,” she said.
“They become part of a wider systemic issue of women being patronised and belittled.”
A Virgin Trains East Coast spokesman said: “We apologise unreservedly for this tweet and for the offence caused. To avoid causing more offence we have deleted the original post.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.