Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

The Chivalrous Violation of Women’s Bodies by @WomenCanSee

The Chivalrous Violation of Women's Bodies
by @WomenCanSee

If women don't want to be grabbed, pulled, & kissed, we should avoid the company of gentleman.

It is a gentleman's right to display "chivalrous" drunken behaviour:
• moving to sit closely right behind the only other bus passenger- a woman…chivalry!;
• leaning over her shoulder so close she can smell the alcohol on his breath…chivalry!;
• saying "inappropriate" things to a woman stranger…chivalry!;
• attempting to kiss the hand of a stranger when it is not offered…chivalry!;
• continuing the inappropriate behaviour when a woman directly tells him to stop…chivalry!;
• following a woman after she has told him to STOP & has moved to stand beside the bus driver…chivalry!;
• grabbing a woman's hand again after she has angled her body to avoid that…chivalry!;
• pushing his torso against a woman's torso…chivalry!;
• kissing her hand again…chivalry!.

Women might think this was assault, harassment, & sexual assault, but the legal system comes to a different conclusion.

According to the magistrates the most salient factor in this encounter is not the assault by a man on a woman, nor is it the man continuing to harass & violate the woman after she has verbally & physically indicated to him to stop. Instead they have judged the salient factor to be the man's intentions. Vidas Cernevicius reports his intentions were friendly & polite, not sexual. His defence council claimed he was being a chivalrous gentleman, & the magistrates agreed. Costs covered.

Again the systems created within a patriarchal culture function to uphold the gender hierarchy: men's feelings are important; women's rights are unimportant.

Our lives & bodies are not our own, they are for men to act out chivalry upon.

Case as reported by The Leader [link: http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/150880/-chivalrous-man-who-kissed-lone-woman-s-hand-on-bus-cleared-by-court-of-sexual-assault.aspx]

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3 thoughts on “The Chivalrous Violation of Women’s Bodies by @WomenCanSee

  • carol says:

    My life has been ruined by men ! I have been victimised since I was five. Depression has been life long because of unwanted attention

  • Bronwen Davies says:

    Which magistrates, where? This is an outrageous decision. So frustrating not to know, from the story, where this court case was heard.

  • Hecuba says:

    An important Postscript: given male sexual predator Vidas Cernevicius, is currently staying in the UK and/or residing in the UK he is therefore subject to UK laws. This means ignorance of the UK law in respect of male sexual harassment of females which is a crime is not an excuse!

    If I were able to produce a document which stated that customs in the 17th/18th or even earlier allowed me as a woman to steal a male’s bag of money because he had failed to secure his money would the magistrates accept my excuse/justification? I think not.

    Finally, this supposed Lithuanian custom existed in the 17th and 18th centuries and we must not forget that in the 17th and 18th centuries here in the UK it was considered legitimate for white men to enslave non-white women and men. There were no laws criminalising said white men’s slavery over non-white women or men!

    One wonders if Lithuanian law has now criminalised males who sexually harass women? I doubt very much that Lithuania justifies male sex right to sexually prey on women by claiming ’17th/18th century male custom of a male greeting a lady includes unknown males violating a lady’s right to her personhood by sexually harassing her/kissing her hand without the express permission of the lady!