Happy International Women’s Day to all my
distaff female readers. No doubt you are all busy celebrating your social, economic, cultural and political achievements.
Challenging conscious and unconscious bias, creating inclusive, flexible cultures and gender-balanced leadership is very much the norm here in the Parrot household, oh yes.
Ironic then that on the day that the media is fulfilling its moral duty to promote gender parity, the big debating point has been whether or not it was right to ask the mother of a tantruming 16-month old to leave the John Lewis store at the Trafford Centre.
I suppose it does challenge the conscious or unconscious bias on the part of the manager who ejected mum and daughter, and he certainly didn’t demonstrate much by way of cultural flexibility, but then he was from menswear, so what do you expect.
Personally, I have sympathy with both the mother and the manager. He had other shoppers complaining about the racket the child was making (this was John Lewis, you understand, not Matalan or Poundsaver) while she was trying unsuccessfully to deal with a toddler unsophisticated in the ways of acceptable social behaviour in a retail environment.
The one place the media finger hasn’t been pointed is at the shoppers who brought things to a head by complaining. Yes, a screaming child does grate on the nerves while you’re trying to choose your soft furnishings, and yes, young people should have more control of their kids, but it’s life, so get over it. Or shop at Selfridges where you get a better class of tantrum.