UK

Rod Liddle Mocks Guardian Journalist Daisy Buchanan For Revealing Her Sexual Harassment Experience

26/08/2015 15:49 BST | Updated 27/08/2015 07:59 BST

Spectator journalist Rod Liddle has penned a deeply sarcastic response to a female Guardian columnist who revealed her experience of being groped and sexually harassed by men in public.

Daisy Buchanan wrote in The Guardian of how she was "tired of being kind to creepy men" in public after detailing being grabbed and harangued since she was a student.

Buchanan wrote how she has a "self imposed curfew" of 11pm, after being grabbed on the arm by a man who had his other hand down his trousers when she was at University. When she tried to avoid the route she met the man on, she was then uncomfortable to be asked her name by another man outside her yoga studio.

She wrote that she has stopped going out dancing because "I know from experience that... the streets are full of potentially terrifying men who might not take it well if I don’t want to stop and say hello."

She also mentioned her younger sister who was reduced to tears aged 14 when a man at a train station made comments about her legs, and a friend who felt forced to stop going running due to anxiety over "men who will shout 'compliments' and block her path to get her to slow down and talk to them".

the guardian

Buchanan's 'Comment Is Free' opinion piece

British Transport Police has reported sexual offences in and around train stations have gone up 25% in the last year. Buchanan wrote that "any travelling woman who has ever sunk down in her seat and opened her book, only to be tapped on the shoulder and asked 'What are you reading, then?' will be surprised that the numbers aren’t higher."

"I can’t believe we live like this in 2015," Buchanan wrote, adding that "women should be enjoying more freedoms than ever before, but many of us are frightened, and we’re running out of options."

But The Spectator's associate editor Rod Liddle was unimpressed with her piece. He made no attempt to hide his disapproval in an eye-wateringly contemptuous column in the current affairs magazine.

He sarcastically calls the article "deeply distressing" and refers to Buchanan's "unpleasant incursions by bestial males".

Recalling the yoga studio incident, he wrote: "A man outside the studio said to her, ‘Hello — I keep seeing you around! What’s your name?’ Yes, I know. It beggars belief that this sort of thing can still happen in this day and age."

Referring to her story of being tapped on the shoulder by a strange man while reading, he wrote: "I felt physically sick when I read about this transgression and I have had to break off from writing this article to vomit again. Just writing down the words upsets me more than I can adequately express."

He added: "Mercifully she didn’t tell us what horrible stuff occurred in the buffet; it is entirely possible that some menacing pig asked her for the correct time or perhaps inquired as to whether or not the 8.22 to Surbiton had already departed. The truth is we don’t know; Daisy may be holding back because she finds relating the encounter too distressing."

rod liddle

Rod Liddle

Mocking Buchanan's tale of being grabbed by the elbow by a man around 10 years ago, Liddle wrote: "This incident happened when Daisy was at university in York — some ten years ago at least, by my reckoning, seeing as she is now nearly 30. But these ordeals do not diminish with time, do they?

"It is a mercy that she was not so psychologically scarred as to contemplate amputating the arm touched by this madman, to rid herself of the appalling memory. As it is, she is simply a survivor, a survivor of vile abuse."

He claims that he submitted a comment on Buchanan's Guardian story, but that it never appeared: "I am not sure which of the following words in my response — narcissistic, histrionic, deluded, stupid or cow — transgressed the newspaper’s ‘community standards’. Perhaps all of them, although maybe especially ‘cow’."

Attacking The Guardian's moderation of online comments, he added: "I think that to abide by the Guardian’s community standards, you have to agree with whatever the Guardian says."

Labour leadership hopeful Jeremy Corbyn today provoked criticism by saying he would consider 'women-only' carriages on trains to prevent sexual harassment. The idea was mocked by all three of his leadership rivals.

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