Social media users, and other people on the show, swiftly blew the regular commentator for The Daily Mail to pieces:
A woman should not get ready for a night out and take into consideration that her outfit might get her raped 🙄 #ThisMorning
— Lisa 💁🏼 (@Lisa_de_Laat) January 23, 2017
Guests Epstein and Alison Phillips were debating whether drunk women wearing short skirts are to blame for being sexually assaulted.
Epstein later backtracked and said she didn’t “use the word blame”:
Part of the response can be seen here, from Mirror columnist Phillips:
Twitter deals damage
People took to social media to express their outrage over the remarks:
How is it a duty for a woman to 'make themselves safer' by how they dress? It's a duty to educate men that rape is not ok love #ThisMorning
— Charlotte Fox (@FoxxCharlotte) January 23, 2017
#thismorning Women in countries that wear full length robes suffer sexual assaults, so the clothing has nothing to do with it.
— Mutley (@nooouch) January 23, 2017
Epstein had said:
By the same degree I don’t leave my back door open because there is a chance somebody will break in. I don’t leave a phone on the seat. I’m just using this as an analogy to say that – I don’t let my kids play out on the street when it’s getting dark. Not because I don’t have a right to live in a free society where the back door should be allowed to be left open. But if I’m in any way increasing that level of vulnerability then I would like to remove myself from that.
But this Twitter user had another analogy for Epstein:
Omg i am so angry who is this woman. I bet she thinks little girls doing handstands are asking paedos to touch them. #thismorning
— Emma (@CraziCatLady) January 23, 2017
Host Phillip Schofield commented:
You’re making it sound like women are to blame here.
Victim blaming 101
The debate follows a worrying new survey that found that over a third of women agree with Epstein. 34% of women answered yes to the following question:
If a woman goes out late at night, wearing a short skirt, gets drunk and is then the victim of a sexual assault, is she totally or partly to blame?
38% of men also thought the women was “totally or partially” to blame.
I can think of no other crime where we are so ready to blame the victim but here women are being held responsible for the behaviour of their attacker.
This resonated with the young women we spoke to who told us about the they experience on a daily basis and the way they have to manage the situation if they are approached in a bar for example. Just saying the word ‘no’ can escalate to violence.
Dominance over women
The revelation that some men appear to be actively against equality for women is worrying. So is the minority belief across genders that women can ever be to blame for being the victim of rape. Dangerously, any kind of victim blaming can encourage people to sexually assault vulnerable people. Studies have shown that people who believe such a myth are more likely to:
engage in otherwise forbidden behavior and to rationalize and justify it after the event
People are no more likely to rape women in bikinis on the beach. And they’re no less likely to be raped in countries where they must be covered up. It’s the culture of male dominance over women that is largely to blame. Such a culture couldn’t end soon enough.
– You can join the White Ribbon campaign here.
– Call out misogynistic behaviour, and refuse to tolerate it in your communities and workplaces.
Featured image via YouTube
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?