The Trivilisation of Sexual Assault on Irish Radio

You know the Benny Hill song – circus-like music from a creepy little show about a creepy little pest who chased women, trying to sexually assault them? Well it was the intro to a ‘great story in the papers today’ which Ian Dempsey chucklingly recounted to his listeners on this morning’s breakfast show.The story was about a gang of men who travel the Lake District in a car, looking for female cyclists wearing lycra shorts. Apparently, these lovable rogues lean out the car window and slap the women on the arse. The Benny Hill music continues throughout the segment as the backing track to Dempsey’s gleeful narrative, and when he gets to the part about the risk of a serious accident if the women swerve and meet oncoming traffic, he likened the story to a Monty Python sketch.The trivialisation of sexual assault and harassment of women in public places is just another example of the casual misogyny we get every day on the idiotic Irish media. I don’t want to complain directly to the station as a lone individual, because I don’t want, at best, an ‘apologies for any offense caused’ cop-out. The article mentioned that many women are too embarrassed to come forward – I think Dempsey needs a good dose of Hollaback, and I think we should collectively push for a women’s advocacy group to be invited on the show to explain exactly how this slapstick assault contributes to rape culture.The full show is here, and the offending clip is about 29 minutes into part 2 (Ian Dempsey Show, Monday April 22nd)

– Rebekah

3 responses to “The Trivilisation of Sexual Assault on Irish Radio

  1. I work with youth and adults regarding issues related to gender, and it is always surprising to me how intelligent well-meaning people do not yet understand the impact of jokes about sexualisation of women, and men. The impact is that ‘casual assaults’ like grabbing someone on the bum, touching someone intimately without permission, or kissing a drunk teenager who is passed out is not yet seen as assault, and so the victims undervalue their response, and don’t know how to feel. It is a dangerous contribution to Rape Culture and it is not funny.

  2. I know, but complaining isn’t enough. I believe the people who say this shit don’t know WHY it’s wrong because they’re sure that THEY don’t mean any harm. We need to start spelling it out for people and seeking opportunities like this to find a platform to do so.

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