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David Cameron's 'Calm Down, Dear' Comments Toward Parliament Member Slammed As Sexist


First Posted: 04/27/11 05:36 PM ET Updated: 06/27/11 06:12 AM ET

British Prime Minister David Cameron has been labeled a chauvinist after telling a female shadow cabinet minister to "calm down, dear" during a heated exchange.

As the BBC is reporting, the British premier's comment was directed at Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Angela Eagle as she interrupted him while he was defending the government's plans to reform the National Health Service in the House of Commons.

"Calm down, dear, calm down," the Prime Minister says. Later, as the chamber erupts in outrage: "I said calm down, calm down dear. I'll say it to you if you like... I'm not going to apologize. You do need to calm down."

Though known to be one of U.K. film director Michael Winner's famed catchphrases, the "calm down" jibe has nonetheless sparked outrage among many Brits. "It's that tired old gender stereotyping, the sort that implies that if we can't even keep our emotions in check, then we obviously aren't cut out for the more serious male world of politics and debate," Cath Elliott writes in the Guardian.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, Eagle later retorted by suggesting Cameron was out of step with modern times. "I don't think any modern man would have expressed himself in that way," she said, but stopped short of asking for an apology.

Watch Cameron making the "offensive" remark here:

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |  Report Corrections