The Consequences of a Slap
Sarah Vine's article in the Daily Mail today is an extremely unpleasant, victim-blaming piece of twaddle. Others have already addressed Vine's victim-blaming but I want to examine the possible consequences of a slap. Rennard's victims were all younger than him and held far less political and social power. There are a number of quite serious consequences to slapping a powerful man; none of which result in the man being held accountable for perpetrating sexual harassment.
1. Loss of employment: The economic repercussions cannot be emphasised enough. Loss of employment is a real threat for women.
2. An assault charge: This isn't uncommon and, let's face it, considering those who support Rennard now do we really believe that a woman who slapped him for touching her without consent would be found not guilty?
3. Increased risk of further assault: this could be either physical or sexual but it is a very real risk. Demanding that women put themselves at further risk rather than demanding that men keep their hands to themselves is victim-blaming. It's also incredibly dangerous advice.
Sarah Vine wasn't just blaming the women for being victims of sexual harassment. She was demanding they put themselves at further risk. And, that is unforgivable.Download this post as PDF? Click here