Smile! You’ve just been sexually harassed

COMMENT

One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts has done it again.

Aside from saying Waleed Aly condones terrorism, thinking the weather is a conspiracy and – just this week – indicating it’s unfair NOT to target people at airports based on their religion, he’s decided to share his views on how women feel about sexual harassment.

Speaking on ABC Radio about how sexual harassment laws go too far, Senator Roberts came up with this particular gem about wolf whistles: “Some girls think that that is wonderful, they, you know, they smile.”

Look Malcolm (and any other man who’s ever wolf-whistled at a woman he doesn’t know), it’s true that some “girls” might fend off your unwanted advance with a smile. 

And maybe, it’s because they were totally stoked that you – random man on the street – decided to show your utmost respect and admiration for their feminine qualities by whistling at them like a dog.

Maybe, they’re super flattered that, while they were out minding their own business – walking to work or running to the gym or doing their shopping – some bloke decided to treat their body as nothing more than a sexual object.

Or maybe they smiled in the hope that the harassment would end with the whistle.

In the hope that the random man who decided to lavish them with unwanted advances would just go quietly away. 

Because if women say what they’re really thinking (which is too rude to print in a newspaper column), or even just put their head down and ignore their unwelcome paramours, they risk further shouting, whistling and abuse, or maybe even physical harassment.

And then they’d probably get told that they deserved it, because they didn’t accept the lovingly delivered compliment. 

Sure, outlawing wolf-whistles might be absurd, but no more absurd than politicians thinking that loud, degrading sexual harassment in public is something that actually makes women happy.

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