Women are allowed to lust over attractive men while the opposite is labelled sexism, broadcaster Mariella Frostrup has said.
The BBC Radio 4 presenter hit out at the “double standard” which allows women to admire TV stars’ bodies in a reference to Poldark, starring Aidan Turner.
The actor regularly appears topless in the BBC series and Frostrup said she can admire a “shot of a shirtless, sea-soaked” Turner, but any man who did the same to female stars would be greeted with “cries of contrition”.
She wrote in the Radio Times: “As a woman, I can own a comment like that without too much fear of censure.”
“Indeed, there’s an undeniable sense of celebration among my girlfriends at the return of this sultry, tormented character, embodied by a delectable young thespian pleasing all viewing generations.
“But we live in confusing times and I’m the first to admit to double standards – if a male colleague had penned those preceding lines about any of Turner’s equally appealing female co-stars, his cries of contrition would be drowned out by Twitter’s Troll Chorus.”
She added that she feared “we are losing not only our sense of humour but our sense of proportion as we throw every act of perceived sexism into the #MeToo basket”.
“There’s an enormous difference between judging a person’s worth only on the basis of their physical assets and expressing admiration for a fellow human with God’s gift (allegedly) of good looks.
“Admiring Aidan Turner should be an acceptable national pastime, as a thumbs-up for the glories of humanity and another for his engaging performance.”
The full article is in Radio Times, out now.