Cheap date – not in 2016

Siobhan Corria calls for politicians to consider the implications of the terms they use in political debates.

So Leighton Andrews referred to his Plaid colleagues as a ‘cheap date’ yesterday in the Senedd. In boring political terms, this meant that Plaid voted against the Labour Government in the Public Health Bill, causing it to fail. So what? Well the comment ‘cheap date’ is ‘so what’.

We have all heard the term ‘cheap date’ and have maybe even used it in jest with our friends on a night out. But what does it really mean? A quick google tells you that the urban dictionary describes a ‘cheap date’ as ‘Someone who gets drunk easily, especially on a date and someone who has sex afterwards’. That’s what we really mean when we use the term ‘cheap date’ isn’t it? It’s a negative reference towards women. It’s a term that should never be used in public, particularly by a an elected politician. Particularly not by a Welsh Government Minister who is the supposed champion of the Violence against women bill. Really? How easily did the comment ‘cheap date’ roll off his tongue?

Was the victim of Ched Evans a ‘cheap date?’. There would still appear to be commonly held beliefs that women are not victims if they have been drinking or have shown an interest in a man. Have we not moved on?

How can we possibly move away from the idea that men can take pleasure and camaraderie in declaring a woman a ‘cheap date’ if the term is used so flippantly by the Welsh Government Minister who brought us legislation that is supposed to address violence against women and girls? Domestic violence stems from a perception of women that includes issues of power and influence. I have worked with countless women who have been abused because their self esteem, confidence and perception of their role within their family and societal life is so low, they know nothing else. And the partners do what they do because they rise up to the stereotype of powerful man, weak woman. There is no science to what I have witnessed, it is anecdotal evidence from the ten years of working with children, young people and families.

I want my children to look at public servants and politicians as role models. I want them to develop an interest in the wider world and how political policies affect their lives and the lives of others. How can I hold Leighton Andrews up as a political role model when he uses the term ‘cheap date’ to describe his political opponents.

Siobhan Corria is an inclusion specialist in the third sector. This piece originally appeared on her LinkedIn page.

5 thoughts on “Cheap date – not in 2016

  1. What a load of rubbish. The author’s use of the term ‘we’ is offensive, as is equating this to the Ched Evans case.

    It’s also homophobic to imply that only girls get taken on dates. What about gay men? Do they not date? Stick that in your e-cigarette…!

  2. For heaven’s sake. If people are determined to take offence at trivialities there is no way to spare their feelings, The term cheap date is a very old one that dates from the decades when going out on a date did not usually result in sex. It has nothing to do with sex. Cheap means inexpensive. Take someone to a posh restaurant or buy fish and chips. The latter would be a cheap date. Applied to the male it means someone too mean to show his girlfriend a good time. Siobhan Corria manages to invoke rape and violence against women when discussing a hackneyed phrase used inappropriately, If you devalue indignation like that what can you say about actual cases of rape and violence? A sense of proportion is recommended.

  3. Siobhan, if you want your children to look at politicians as role models you will need to direct their gaze far beyond the Senedd. Yesterdays spat – triggered by a stupid remark from somebody who should know better – was then amplified by small minded opposition politicians unable to rise above it and happy to risk the health and wellbeing of the nation in order to retaliate. The incident crystallised why the institution is viewed with contempt by an increasing portion of the population. Shame on them.

    Must go now and Google ‘Short Man Syndrome’.

  4. I was a little bemused by the term “cheap date”. I didn’t know what it meant and nor did I understand the context in this case and so I am grateful to hear the explanation from an Inclusion specialist in the third sector.

    Even though I now understand the usual meaning I still can’t understand why Plaid were so pathetic as to block legislation as a result of their injured pride. To me it just confirms them as a low grade party in a low grade institution.

  5. I’m quite partial to the odd cheap date – being a bit of an inclusion specialist myself I often buy cheap Israeli dates ‘cos I know there are a lot of bigots out there who won’t…

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