Have you noticed that some people are terribly perplexed by the sex scandal gradually engulfing the BBC? Over the weekend I’ve come across several individuals, ranging from people I know to commenters on internet sites, who are questioning the veracity of the women coming forward with their stories.
For this week’s highlights package, I’ve prepared a primer of the most common queries I’ve heard or read, plus a crib sheet of possible responses. Writing it has served as a useful distraction from my own annoyance, and if you’re as pissed off about this as I am, it may provide essential pause before your arm lifts and you find yourself grabbing for the nearest heavy object to hurl at the befuddled applicant for the post of village idiot standing in front of you.
Why are they all coming out of the woodwork now? Why didn’t they say something years ago?
First up, whether you are interested in listening to these people’s stories or not, any allusion to their being some pestilential influx into your living room is rude. Unless you live in a shed, which you might if you’re asking these questions.
Secondly, if you’re fortunate enough never to have experienced the overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame a young women suffers when her personal space is deliberately invaded by an adult male in a position of superiority, I’m really pleased for you, but you’re not really qualified to contribute to this dialogue.
Try Empathy class. It’s just up the corridor.
It’s Just A Bit Of Fun. Haven’t you got a sense of humour?
I’ve got a brilliant sense of humour, capable of understanding and appreciating all manner of jokes from the most diverse of sources. Unfortunately, I’ve stretched it so far, to include so many great comedians, there’s no give left to find the amusement factor of having my tits squeezed unexpectedly from behind by some fat, sweaty bloke in a stationary cupboard.
My bad, I suppose.
Things Were Different Then.
Agreed. But they can’t have been that different if Jimmy Savile’s alleged threats to journalists about his revoking his charitable contributions if they broke the story were real. If it was ok, why all the secrecy? Jimmy Savile knew what he was doing was terribly wrong, just as Jeremy Forrest knew that falling in love with his pupil Megan Stammers was wrong.
It holds true today, just as it did then, that the adult is the responsible party in any interaction with a teenager or child and taking advantage of that responsibility is fundamentally wrong. It’s never consensual and just because a particular culture prevails, every adult should be held responsible for their actions.
If you don’t understand that, you’re probably beyond coherent argument and should head off back to your shed.
Good luck to you!