So much for #MeToo
If you’re Irish and you were using Facebook or Twitter during the football Orla Cup Qualifiers in Copenhagen you’ve probably seen the HILARIOUS video of the Irish fans shouting at the woman leaving Victoria Secret. It’s REALLY FUNNY, a group of about 200 drunk men scream at a woman in a language not her own until she shows them the knickers in her bag. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?!
If you read that first paragraph with ever increasing blood pressure then congratulations you’re a decent human being. If you think I’m a “f*****g shrew” or “in need of a good ****.” then head on over to Facebook and join the hoards of men and women telling me just that. (Screenshots at the end.)
The video isn’t funny. I’m horrified and disappointed that people think a group of men forcing a woman to behave in a sexualised manner is entertaining. Let’s put it in context by looking at facts:
- Several hundred men
- They are drunk
- They are white
- They are Irish
- They speak English
- They shout at a woman
- She shows them her underwear
Now let’s reimagining the scene and change one or two of the adjectives above and see if that makes a difference;
- A group of several hundred Muslim men shout at a woman in Arabic until she shows them her knickers
- A group of several hundred drunk black men shout at a white woman until she shows them her knickers
- A group of several hundred drunk able bodied men shout at a disabled woman until she shows them her knickers
- A group of drunk straightmen shout at a gay man until he shows them his knickers.
- A group of several hundred drunk travellers shout at a woman until she shows them her knickers
- A group of several hundred drunk men shout at one of the teens who shop in VS until she shows them her knickers.
- A lonedrunk in dirty clothes shouts at a woman until she shows him her knickers.
- A well dressed man in a bar whispers at a woman until she shows him her underwear.
Which one is funniest? Not ONE of these scenarios is funny. Not one would be shared all over social media. Not one of those men would be hailed a ‘legend’.
The video currently doing the rounds is only funny because the assailants are white, affluent males (and I’m not interested in their earnings – if you can buy a match ticket, travel abroad and drink all day you’re affluent). Their status as white, Irish, wealthy males sanitises their behaviour.
ANYONE I know who has suggested that this video is anything other than hilarious has had abuse hurled at them.
Why? Why can’t men’s banter tolerate even the slightest query?
The reason reveals the sexism and disregard for women that lies at the heart of major Irish sporting organisations. Women are STILL expected to indulge male humour and whim without a voice. They are still expected to comply. They are still expected to make public what should be private. They are still expected to allow their bodies or that representing them to be used for public consumption. And they are expected to laugh about it.
This was my issue with the Me Too movement, while it was powerful and shocking to see so many statuses and encouraging to see women expressing solidarity for each other, it felt wrong to me. It felt like another way that women were expected to present their private lives for consumption, their trauma and fear and the isolation of having been ignored for so many years was not relevant as we indulged another societal deman on our behaviour. When the world at large decided to hear what women had been saying for decades women were once again expected to play by the rules and speak up in a way that could be managed.
Is this a world where our daughters are safe? Is this a world where our sons become men we respect? Is this a world of equals?
For the record I do not think the reaction of the woman in questions matters, I won’t be congratulating her on ‘handling it so well’ or ‘getting into the spirit of things’. A group of drunk men shouted at a woman without any knowledge of her background (1 in 5 women has experienced sexual violence) or her temperament until she did what they wanted. Hilarious. THIS is why only 15% of assaults are formally reported.
Bumbles of Rice
I saw that video shared and was horrified by how it was presented as hilarious, it was definitely harassment. That poor woman, I put myself in her shoes, she showed what she had bought out of fear!
Good on you for writing this. I’m sick of harrassment being written off as banter and being called a dry shite when I came it for what it is.
Glad I’m not the only one to think this.
That Perfect Heart
This is sexual harrassment. I hated it and was totally horrified at the amount of women who seemed to find it funny.
One of those things I couldn’t get my head around!
Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS)
I feel just the same as you, I was like ‘WHAT?’ when I heard it on the radio and the DJ was like all ‘hahaha’. NOT funny at all DUDE! All those responses on twitter are rude, hurtful and ignorant. You’ve definitely done the right thing here by sticking your neck out, well done. I’m just annoyed again reading all those ridiculous comments!!!!
I feel so disappointed that this is still ‘funny’ I really hoped we’d come past this.
I could never understand why things like this are considered just a bit of fun!
Would any of that laughing drunken mob have thought it was funny if that was their Mother or Sister this had happened to?
Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS)
I added your post on the #Blogcrush linky as my blog crush for the week 🙂 What is your twitter handle so I can follow you?
Alice | Letters to my Daughter
I didn’t see the video but would have been just as horrified. I honestly think some other women feel under pressure, perhaps unknowingly, to ‘be accepted’ and not be considered a shrew, that they convince themselves that this stuff is ok. I’ve heard more and more people calling out guys on their ‘banter’ and how it isn’t acceptable to say certain things even in jest. Keep shouting about it and, as the quote goes something like.. ‘you can’t change someone’s mind straight away, but never underestimate the power of planting a seed’. #BlogCrush
That’s really true and I recognise the feeling you’ve described, just not wanting to go against the crowd, it’s actually gotten stronger as I’ve gotten older which is something to think about!
Four Acorns / Quatre graines de chêne
Oh my, the comments you got on Twitter! Trying to put myself into this woman’s shoes, I feel like disappearing into a mouse hole. Well done for sticking your neck out and weathering the abuse, you are so right.
It takes more than insecure boys to be like
It takes more than insecure boys defending their lad culture to personally upset me! Dishearten me certainly!