Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Telegraph writes about sexual harassment: implies victim is to blame for being un-married and not a mother

Poppy Smart, a digital marketing coordinator, raised a complaint with the West Mercia Police after experiencing sexual harassment from staff on a building site run by Fimeca Building and Maintenance. According to the Telegraph, this is the first time the police in England/Wales have investigated "wolf-whistling" as a form of sexual harassment.

We fully support the prosecution of men for engaging in sexual harassment and intimidation on the streets. Numerous construction companies have instituted policies of zero tolerance on this issue, but it is still a common occurrence (and in this case involved a sub-contractor). It is also one not limited to construction companies and the media suggestions that it is reflect their classism and inability to understand power and privilege.

We would like to see more prosecutions of men for street harassment. Wolf-whistling and cat-calling are forms of intimidation telling women that they do not deserve to be in a public space; that their value is only in their appearance. This is victim blaming. -

Whilst we were pleased to see the Telegraph publish an article on the serious nature of street harassment, we weren't overly shocked to see the subtle minimisation of Smart's experience within it:

1. the inclusion of Smart's marital status

2. the inclusion of Smart's status as a non-mother

Neither of these are facts relevant to the article. They serve only as markers for "good women". If Smart were a single mother, it's unlikely she would have gotten this level of press. Equally, if she were a married mother, there is every chance that the article would be stronger on the issue of VAWG.

It doesn't matter how severe the harassment and intimidation, Smart is still reduced to a stereotype by the Telegraph.


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One thought on “Telegraph writes about sexual harassment: implies victim is to blame for being un-married and not a mother

  • Hecuba says:

    Poppy Smart is a very courageous woman taking on men and their male pseudo sex right to subject her to systemic male sexual harassment. Ms. Smart didn’t experience ‘just one isolated incident wherein she was subjected to male sexual harassment as she walked down a public street.’ Rather Ms. Smart had to endure male sexual harassment every day as she walked from her home to her place of work.

    But male owned and male controlled Daily Telegraph took umbrage at the fact a mere woman (sic) dared to report to police that a group of males were daily subjecting her to male sexual harassment! How dare a woman hold men to account! Will women in vast numbers be rushing to report to police a male(s) are routinely subjecting them to male sexual harassment? This is what male owned Daily Telegraph is afraid will happen.

    Male owned women-hating Daily Telegraph swiftly took action in an attempt to trivialise this latest incident of pandemic male sexual harassment against women and as usual Telegraph deployed those common male created women-hating lies.

    Men always claim a ‘good woman’ is defined by whether or not she is owned by a male and because Ms. Smart isn’t currently owned by a male this means her charges against those male sexual harassers are false! Men when subjected to violence/verbal harassment from other males don’t routinely have their marital status and how many children they have or have not fathered made public in a male owned fake media newspaper! This is because men are autonomous human beings and their personal details are considered to be irrelevant.

    But crux of issue is the fact male owned Daily Telegraph does ‘get it concerning male power over women’ and because Daily Telegraph does ‘get it’ this male owned fake newspaper attempted to trivialise Ms. Smart’s courageous actions because male pseudo sex right to sexually harass women and girls is sacrosanct which means women/girls have no right to hold male sexual harassers to account.

    We women must not challenge our male masters (men have always claimed they are the masters and we are mens’ disposable slaves) – according to that bastion of male power – namely The Daily Telegraph!

    I hope this case will lead to more police forces investigating pandemic male sexual harassment against women and girls because contrary to mens’ lies – we females have the fundamental right of accessing public spheres without be routinely subjected to male sexual harassment/male threats of violence.

    News flash – men contrary to their lies – do not own public spheres.