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  • Writer's pictureEmma Aslett

Family Law | One Rule For Men, Another Rule For Women

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

I read a story recently about one of Scotland’s leading pipers, Willie Armstrong, from the Red Hot Chilli Pipers, who are three highland bagpipers backed by a band.

I thought the article would be about the bands' popularity since winning the BBC talent show, “When Will I Be Famous?”, but no. Sadly, the second paragraph of the article said that Mr Armstrong “had experienced inappropriate behaviour since childhood… he believes other pipers have similar experiences and that complaints are often laughed off or dismissed…”

Have an idea what he might be referring to yet?

The practice of upskirting, i.e. taking images or videos under a person’s closing, was banned in Scotland in 2009. Only last year was it banned in England and Wales following a campaign by a woman who was targeted at a music festival.

Whilst I cannot imagine how this woman must have felt and it must be one of the degrading feelings that wash upon you, why is it still not taken seriously when it comes to men? It is still clearly an issue for men too…

Mr Armstrong says he was “weary” of the “true Scotsman” cliché and feels that men are not taken seriously if they complain of inappropriate behaviour. He says “women used to put their hands up your kilt. I used to tell my mum and dad – they would say it’s just one of those things.”

Now just imagine for a moment that there was a band with only female members (or even just a group of female friends)… and once a week at least one of those women in that group were upskirted and groped.

Can you imagine the uproar?

There would be an uproar and quite rightly so. But it should not differ from men who suffer the same experiences.

Just because this boundary cannot be crossed for women, does not mean it should be crossed for men. Not everything needs to be a feminist issue, but an equality issue.

The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal advice on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor before you embark on any course of action.

Contact me with your questions:

0207 183 4595


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