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A row over male privilege kicked off on the first day of the Tory party conference in Manchester.
Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden described the term “male privilege” as “crass” during an interview on Times Radio.
However, fellow Tory MP Caroline Nokes hit back saying: “I don’t think it’s a crass term to use. I think it’s a fact.”
Nokes, who chairs the Women and Equalities Committee, added: “I think it’s a fact we also need to start addressing.
“There remains male privilege in the same way that we know that particularly middle class white men will have the most enormous privilege.
“So I think it’s absolutely important that we address it honestly, that we don’t try and do that via some sort of ridiculous culture war, that actually we do it through open conversation, cooperation and just making things better for everyone.”
Dowden had told presenter Tom Newton Dunn there was “more to be done” but added: “I think it’s a bit too simplistic to simply talk in terms of male privilege.
“I don’t think for example if you’re an unemployed man on a council estate outside Newcastle, you’re going to feel particularly privileged.
“So I think it’s a bit of a crass term but historically it has been the case that men have had more opportunities than women and society has rightly addressed that.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.