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UK train line responds to a complaint about sexist language with a sexist tweet

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Shooting themselves in the foot would be an understatement

Anna Freeman

03 Enero 2018 17:57

Virgin Trains has apologised after its official Twitter account added flame to the fire of a customer’s complaint about sexist language by asking whether she would prefer to be called ‘pet’ or ‘love.

On a day when rail passengers around the country expressed dismay after the biggest rise in fares since 2013, its social media staff was engulfed by more anger after apparently mocking the woman.

Emily Cole tweeted: ‘When virgin trains mess up and the older male train manager in the resulting conversation dismisses you with that hideously patronising word women shudder at in contexts such as these: "honey" @virgin_trainsEC.’

Virgin Trains East Coast replied: ‘Sorry for the mess up Emily, would you prefer ‘pet’ or ‘love’ next time?’

Cole said she was stunned by the response. She wrote: ‘Wonderful to see that Virgin take complaints of rude and misogynistic behaviour seriously. Stunned.’

Virgin later deleted the tweet, saying: ‘We apologise unreservedly for this tweet and for the offence caused.’

However, the damage had already been done. The incident soon went viral, and on a particularly bad day for Virgin Trains due to rail fare increases, and because a prominent rail fare protester and Labour MP broke down on a Virgin train heading to a protest.

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