It doesn’t take much to whip social media into a frenzy these days. The latest target for the ire of the keyboard warriors was Labour MP for Batley and Spen, Tracy Brabin.

The source of the outrage was a square of the MPs shoulder flesh that could be seen when she leaned forward at the dispatch box in the House of Commons on Monday.

Ms Brabin’s apparent crime was to wear a dress that was cut in an off-the-shoulder style. For this faux pas, she was targeted with a deluge of misogynistic abuse online.

While commenting on the "appropriateness’’ of her outfit, some couldn’t resist the urge to throw gendered slurs her way. It’s a sad indictment on the way our society treats female politicians that these arbitrators of appropriate conduct cannot see the irony in telling a woman she looks like a "tart’’ and a "slag’’ while they bemoan how far standards have slipped.

While the online abuse she received was sadly predicable, the sexism directed towards Ms Brabin wasn’t confined to the dark recesses of the internet.

Male commentators popped up television studios to explain, with rueful expressions, why Ms Brabin’s outfit was not acceptable work attire.

The usual whataboutery was employed in the absence of a coherent argument on the issue. What if a man had showed up to work in his vest? they asked. Or his boxers? It was the tired analysis of the perpetually furious old guard.

Men like Piers Morgan, who used his Good Morning Britain soapbox to blast the MP for the "inappropriateness’’ of her outfit. His indignation was particularly curious, given how he has moulded himself into the poster boy for rallying against the easily offended.

Let’s consider what really lies behind this stooshie. Female politicians get a rough deal in our media. They are objectified and sexualised and too often it’s the contents of their wardrobe that seems to matter more than the content of their words. They face disproportionate amounts of online abuse and death threats for simply having the temerity to be a woman in public life. It was telling that some of Ms Brabin’s critics claimed her dress was ‘’distracting’’. If their ability to concentrate on what she says is dependent on what clothes she wears, then that says far more about them than it does Tracy Brabin.

The MP was right to call out the manufactured outrage for what it really was: sexism.

"This is everyday sexism, where women are continually judged for what they wear, how they look and not what they say."

Tracy Brabin’s dignified and measured response to what must have been a torrid few days only highlights the cruelty of her critics. Those people who saw a bit of shoulder and rushed to demean a woman because of it should feel thoroughly ashamed of themselves.