London Mayor Boris Johnson is being criticized for his casual sexism after he joked that more and more women are only going to college to find a husband.
Johnson appeared at the World Islamic Economic Forum to participate in a panel debate with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“Before coming here my officials have told me that the latest university intake in Malaysia, a Muslim country, 68 percent will be women entering our universities,” Razak said.
To which Johnson replied, “They’ve got to find men to marry.”
Pippa Crerar of The Evening Standard tweeted that the remarked was “a stupid comment but it was clearly a joke and was met with the groans it deserved.”
“It was painful,” tweeted Sophia Furber, a reporter at Estates Gazette. "I don't think the Malaysians thought it was as funny as Boris did."
"I think the Malaysians were a bit taken aback by the remark,” Furber later told The Guardian. “I felt that the comment was a bit naff and not in the spirit of the event, since the Malaysians/WIEF came across as very sincere about promoting women in business. There were some groans from audience members – especially from professional, hijab-wearing ladies."
The Everyday Sexism Project called Johnson’s remark “pathetically archaic, unacceptably sexist and hopelessly out of touch.”
Johnson, who met his first wife, socialite Allegra Mostyn-Owen, while he was attending Oxford, is no stranger to allegations of sexism. Last year, female assembly members compiled a dossier regardind the "disrespectful, patronising way at meetings" that Johnson dealt with women, noted "you do not display when dealing with male assembly members."
Johnson denied that his actions were in any way sexist.