Jo Brand, comedian and host of the popular BBC1 satirical quiz show Have I Got News For You,brilliantly explained to an all-male panel why they should take sexual harassment seriously. During the show, the male panelists were downplaying recent stories of sexual harassment in Parliament. Brand seized the opportunity on live television to educate the men.
One of the panelists, Ian Hislop, asked, "some of this is not high-level crime, is it? Not compared to Putin or Trump."
Side bar soliloquy: Let us take a moment to acknowledge that our neighbor across the pond accused our President of "high-level crime," on the same level as Putin.
After Hislop's remark, Brand chose to give a few words on the subjects of misogyny and sexism in government:
"Can I just say, as the only representative of the female gender here today, I know it’s not high-level, but it doesn’t have to be high-level for women to feel under siege in somewhere like the House of Commons. And actually, for women, if you’re constantly being harassed, even in a small way, that builds up.
"And that wears you down."
As Brand finished, the audience erupted in applause. Here's what Twitter, and women in particular, had to say about it:
First, let me hear an "Amen!"
Others showed their gratitude.
And others broke out in thunderous applause.
Caitlin Moran relished watching men having to squirm and sit silently for once, while a woman told them how things really are: "YES YES YES YES. Enjoy: faces of men learning something. Women in audience going fucking batshit."
The men were stumped, stupefied as they struggled to comprehend that "women are equal humans."
Chloë Reeves pointed out that the other panelists remained silent when the sexist comments were made: "All three male panelists had the opportunity to call out Quentin Letts's comments, but all three waited for Jo Brand to do it."
Rossalyn Warren brought it home, reminding us how real the sexism and inequality are, when she said she doesn't often see other female comedians on these TV panels: "to me it's especially significant as Jo Brand used to be the only woman I saw on a comedy panel growing up. She still is often the only one."
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal in Hollywood, numerous members of Parliament face accusations of sexual misconduct by legislative staffers. The Guardian reports senior officials are concerned that these allegations are not being taken seriously by other members of Parliament and members of their own parties.
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