A prominent donor to Britain’s UK Independence Party has triggered outrage and derision over comments regarding the dress and behavior of contemporary women.
Demetri Marchessini, 78, a Greek-born shipping tycoon in the news lately for his contributions to the fringe party UKIP, made inflammatory comments in a book he released 10 years ago but is now getting renewed attention via the UKIP-related reports. In “Women in Trousers: A Rear View,” a 2003 coffee-table book that includes photographs of women taken from behind on the streets of London and New York, Marchessini says that women who wear trousers exhibit “hostile behavior” and deliberately try to look less attractive to men.
His donations (£10,000, or $15,700) amount to some 20 percent of UKIP’s contributions so far this year, the Daily Mail reported.
"I adore women and want to see them looking beautiful. Everyone has the obligation to look as attractive as possible. It pains me to see women looking terrible,” Marchessini wrote in the book.
"Walk along any street and you see women using trousers like a uniform every single day. This is hostile behavior. They are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like. It is behavior that flies against common sense, and also flies against the normal human desire to please." Trousers, he says, are only for men. "[Since] women cannot see themselves from the rear, the vast majority are unaware that trousers are very unflattering to them,” he wrote.
The Greek donor suggested some women are inadvertently ruining their sexual appeal to men and exacerbating the falling marriage and birth rates in Britain.
Marchessini’s ex-wife Lucinda told reporters at the book launch: “He is deeply sexist.”
Many readers of the Guardian newspaper also condemned Marchessini’s views: “What an arse,” commented ‘ZachManchesterUK.’ “Another good reason to keep UKIP out,” opined ‘Kitbee.’ “Ignore him. Who would want to impress an idiot like Demetri Marchessini? He is entitled to his opinion, but who cares what he thinks?” proposed ‘woman55.’
Palash has worked as a business journalist for 21 years in New York.