Jezebel reminds us that its absolutely HILARIOUS to publicly humiliate a distressed woman

I’ve been busy all week so I missed this truly spectacular piece of humanity in action. I’m not surprised people think this is funny; after all Bradley Wiggins thought it was oh-so-hilarious to suggest someone “suck me off” at a Barnado’s charity dinner. I’m hardly shocked some entitled fool on Twitter thought it was hysterically funny to harass an already distressed woman trapped with him on a plane. I’d like to say I’m shocked and surprised that Jezebel thought it was funny enough to link but I’m not. Participating in the public humiliation of women being an anti-feminist act has somehow passed them by completely. Jezebel has moments of absolute brilliance but they frequently resort to lazy stereotypes about women – and that’s without getting into the whole hiring the obviously abusive Hugo Schwyzer.

Jezebel supporting a man publicly humiliating and sexually harassing a woman who was upset is disgraceful.

What Elan Gale did was not funny and it wasn’t clever. It was the exact same manipulative and abusive behaviour women experience from men on a daily basis. Sending a woman alcohol when they are trapped on a plane with you isn’t a compliment at the best of times; sending a woman, who is in distress, alcohol to wind her up is shitty behaviour. Naming her, taking photos of her seat and then tweeting out a description of her is frightening behaviour. Telling a woman to “eat your dick” is sexual harassment. Frankly, if I were in this situation, I would assume the man was a sexual predator and I would be scared shitless on the plane. Gale’s “defence” of his behaviour, by suggesting it’s the woman’s fault for being annoying, is classic deflection and victim-blaming. It’s precisely the defence I would expect of a man with a history of violence against women.

It’s obvious the woman on the flight was upset and distressed at missing Thanksgiving. And, come on, we’ve all been there. We’ve all been distressed, angry or whatever and taken it out on someone who didn’t deserve. It’s not acceptable but it happens. And, yeah, as a teenage single mother, I’ve been in those dead-end jobs where people shout at you for things which are neither your fault nor something you have control over. I still remember being 15 and working in an in-store bakery in a huge grocery chain and a woman yelling at me for 20 minutes because our hot cross buns didn’t taste like her grandmothers. Did it make me feel like crap? Yup. Hell, if it didn’t, I probably wouldn’t remember it. It’s also the least abusive shit I’ve had to put up with at work (try being a teenage girl in a bakery for constant sexual harassment from customers who think they are the first person EVER to make a joke about buns and your ass).

A passenger on a plane being in distress and annoying the flight attendants (and other passengers) isn’t uncommon. It’s the number one reason why I believe alcohol should be prohibited on planes and trains. But, no matter how inappropriately someone behaves through distress, it is never acceptable to publicly humiliate, abuse and sexually harass them.

What Elan Gale did was clearly abusive. He targeted a women in distress and harassed her. Repeatedly. He made a threat of sexual violence and then he followed her off the plane to harass her further. The flight attendants were complicit in allowing him to further abuse this woman. She was a victim and the male flight attendant supported the abuser.

This isn’t funny. It’s male violence.

Shame on the flight attendants who colluded in helping a male passenger abuse a distressed woman.

Shame on Jezebel for claiming that the abuse of women is hilarious.

And, shame on Elan Gale for being an abusive asshole.

Comments: My policy on comments is here. If you get deleted for abusive or offensive comments, you lose the right to have any comments kept on this blog.

32 thoughts on “Jezebel reminds us that its absolutely HILARIOUS to publicly humiliate a distressed woman”

  1. I’m pleased to see I’m not the only person who thinks Elan Gale was being an asshole, at best. Even if the woman he harassed was behaving as badly as he claims, then his response marks him out as someone who is at least as much of a jerk.

    And yes, repeatedly telling someone to “suck my dick” is sexual harassment – even if he wants to claim he didn’t intend it that way, repeating it over and over certainly moves him out of “thoughtless asshole” and into “bullying asshole” territory.

    1. And I wouldn’t try to stop you. I simply mean that repeating it means that there’s no “I didn’t mean to say it” or “I just got carried away” defence, as lame as that is anyway, for someone like this to hide behind.

  2. Jezebel isn’t a feminist site at all. It pretends to be one – badly. Its symbol is a young, conventionally attractive, thickly made-up, patriarchy-compliant woman.

    Jezebel appeals to women who want to think they are feminists without having to do the actual unpleasant work of confronting men, and who don’t want to suffer the consequences of failing to please men. So basically women who want to think they are feminist without actually being feminists.

    Of course Jezebel with side with a man over an older woman. Older women have no place in Jezebel’s world of eternal youth ‘n’ beauty.

    At least a few of the commenters over there are beginning to get a clue.

    1. The “good” articles are clickbait. They’re there to draw intelligent women in. Then they try to sell them repackaged patriarchy.

      A truly feminist website would never make it to the mainstream media.

  3. I’ve just recently started internet dating in the hope of finding a partner. I didn’t reckon that giving someone a peck on the cheek allowed him to move my face by his hand and stick his tongue in for about a minute (may have been shorter, but it seemed like it) until I, after struggling to get away from his grip, managed to knee him in the balls. This was in the car park of the restaurant we visited. During lunch time.

    I didn’t reckon on not getting countless texts from a man who was told, after speaking to him, that I didn’t think it would work as I thought he was too needy.

    I’m in my fifties.

    It’s perfectly acceptable for a woman to get angry when being harassed. Especially in such a confined space. Jezebel just blows hot and cold. They are doing no one any favours by behaving in such a way.

  4. Well said.

    I totally agree. The woman may have been behaving badly, but that was no excuse for anyone to publicly humiliate and sexually harass her. Not only did Elan Gale make the conscious decision to act like a jerk, but the fact that he and others try to pass off his actions as heroic is disgusting.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, you know.

    1. “I will continue to challenge your opinion all over your blogspot until you have the decency as a human being to discuss your words with me”

      As I read that you intend to continue harassing her until she capitulates to your demands? That hardly seems decent of you sir.

      Your insistence on picking a fight on the Internet *is* tiresome and boring. It far outweighs any contribution you’ve made to the discussion. Behaving like an abusive troll is only destroying any credibility you might have had.

      That’s the truth I learned reading your comment. Is that the truth you intended to convey?

    2. You are a chauvinist. It’s quite clear from your behaviour that you have no respect for woman’s boundaries. Anyone who uses the term “feminazi” or “feminist nazi” gets deleted on this blog. If you want to engage in anti-semitic hyperbole, start your own blog because I will continue to delete your comments.

      As for threatening to continue harassing me after I’ve asked you to stop, well, it’s illegal. You may want to review UK law on this before commenting again.

    3. I totally agree. I came to Jezebel hoping they’d have a good response about why both passengers were out of line and why “eat my dick” is never an ok insult but found another congratulatory repost of Elan’s narrative.

      Insults like “eat my dick” assume it is inherently degrading and shameful to be in a female (or gay male) sexual role. The extent to which sexist/homophobic insults like this are commonplace in our culture just goes to show how ingrained the belief is that being a woman itself is shameful, degrading, or less-than.

Leave a Reply