You’ve probably heard the slang term ‘birds’ that’s used for women. Well, a judge has ruled that calling women ‘birds’ is plainly sexist, even if said as a joke.
Anca Lacutas is a woman that claimed that her boss, James Kinghorn began referring to her as ‘bird’ back in 2018, and even though she immediately told him that it made her feel uncomfortable, he continued calling her that until she filed an official HR complaint. The woman, who worked as an investment banker at Barclay’s, brought the case to court, and the judge ruled that the slang term is offensive regardless if said in irony or not.
As reported by Daily Mail, Kinghorn defended himself by claiming that he saw the interactions light-hearted and was joking when he told her not to report him.
Judge John Crossfill thought otherwise, though, and ruled that the use of the phrase ‘bird’ was a misplaced use of irony and caused offense.
Additionally, the employment tribunal found that Lacatus likely didn’t feel like she was in a position to raise concerns about her boss because she feared that her career would be damaged if she did.
Lacatus stopped working for Barclay’s back in 2019 after she was made redundant, and a compensation for the two claims is set to be determined at a later hearing.