A Daily Mail journalist has come under fire after she condemned the women who have spoken out about sexual harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
Speaking as part of a panel on Channel 4 News, Dame Ann Leslie said women who report incidents of inappropriate sexual behaviour “can’t have it both ways.”
Shockingly, the controversial comments came after Ann revealed that she had been asexually assaulted by the late politician, Nicholas Fairburn.
The journalist told how the former Tory MP, who died in 1995, placed his hand on her crotch during a joint appearance on an episode of BBC Radio 4's Any Questions.
“However, what I don’t like about what’s going on now is feminists have been trying all the time to say ‘oh my goodness, women must be in power, they must be strong, they will be strong’,” she said on the programme.
“They seem to spend their time now saying women are traumatised because some some silly old drunk in Parliament put his hand on her knee or anything like that. You can’t have it both ways.”
“You can't say women are strong and empowered and then say they're scared and they're going to cry and all that sort of thing.”
Her comments have been widely condemned by feminist groups across the UK with some accusing her of trivialising and dismissing the seriousness of these types of allegations.
Ann also made the ridiculous claims that women in the UK believe they “should scream and say ‘rape coming up’” if they are touched on the arm – to which fellow panellist, Guru-Murthy replied: “They don’t scream and say rape, they say stop treating me like a sexual object.”
Outraged viewers have taken to social media to stand up for the many women whose voices were belittled by the journalist's comments.
Leslie saying “wmn shdnt complain about sexual harassment bc young men are sensitive creatures” is the definition of patriarchy. JFC #C4News
— PamelaC (@FeministaPamela) November 6, 2017
— Johnny McVey (@mrjohnnymac18) November 6, 2017
How dare Dame Ann Leslie say that women reporting sexual violence are weak? They are so brave. They are so so brave. #C4News
— sianushka (@sianushka) November 6, 2017
Totally shocked and appalled by the comments of Dame Ann Leslie this evening. Anyone with courage to denounce harassment deserves respect!
— Robert Jones (@RobertJonesFPUK) November 7, 2017
Dame Ann Leslie is an ignorant and disrespectful to ALL women and girls assaulted all over the world. https://t.co/zD1ZCoN7oN
— Lisa Moorish (@LisaMoorish) November 6, 2017