Woman says man groped her on United flight, and attendants kept bringing him whiskeys.
Here's some highlights:
Over the course of the next hour, Rafieyan says the 64-year-old repeatedly groped her and sexually harassed her.
Rafieyan, a married mother of three from Warren, New Jersey, said she was too “meek” to confront the man.
“...I felt trapped. I couldn’t leave the seat because I didn’t trust him near my daughter.”
Eventually, when her daughter asked to use the bathroom, Rafieyan says she was able to get up and report the groping to one of the flight attendants, who didn’t seem surprised. “She said, ‘I’m so sorry. We felt really bad putting him next to you, but there was nothing we could do. He was doing the same kind of stuff to the other flight attendant.’”
Rafieyan claims that even after she complained, the attendant served the already intoxicated man three more whiskey drinks and a small wine bottle. He became belligerent, accused several people of stealing his passport, and then refused to sit down again until the flight attendant threatened to divert the plane and land early because of his behavior. (Emphasis mine.)
So, it would seem pretty clear to any sensible person reading this that, at the *absolute* minimum, the belligerent, drunk groper should have been moved to another seat. But he really should never have been allowed on the plane in the first place, since, it's, y'know, against the law.
What's interesting to me is that, if you read this article on nj.com, you only have to read a few comments before someone calls this woman "Another whiny soccer Mom" and another person remarks, "Everybody wants a payday, nobody wants to work anymore."
And then you have gems like this one:
"If someone intentionally touched me once, it wouldn't happen multiple times again after the first contact. Is she hoping something comes from this, like more vouchers or 15 minutes? The timing is pretty obvious. If someone touches you, you get up and refuse to sit next to the guy. Then call the authorities if the crew doesn't handle it appropriately."
*THIS* is victim-blaming. It seems very obvious to me, and probably to everyone reading this, that comments like this one blame the victim, ignore the circumstances of the assault, and reinforce the tragically sexist and inaccurate attitude that sexual assault victims are *inherently suspicious* if they choose to report the incident. And EVERY article about sexual assault is FULL of them.
These are just the first examples I happened to find. I'm sure if I had the stomach to keep looking at other articles and other sites, I would find much more egregious comments and even more disgusting examples of rape culture. However, I don't want to cry at work today. I just want to say, to anyone who doesn't see the need to protest rape culture and victim-blaming: I have my reasons. This is just one of many.
Side note: Does it not occur to this commenter that it's unlikely the woman chose when to be sexually assaulted? Does he really think she said, "United is in the news, I should cash in"?!?! She reported the incident on March 29, well before United made the news for forcefully removing a paying customer from an overbooked flight. Obviously, the incident is getting more attention than it ordinarily would because of the police brutality and "dress code" sexism, but that doesn't mean there aren't a hundred other incidents that may have failed to get national attention because of "timing".
What is more likely: that no woman got assaulted on an airplane until after a doctor was dragged from a flight? Or, lots of women have been assaulted on airplanes, so many that it's not considered news-worthy until the same airline commits another, separate, more well-reported abuse of human rights?
I'll give you one fucking guess.