A decades-old zombie lie. Last I checked, Sarah had deleted the tweet, but no sign of an apology thus far.
I’m well aware of what a minefield this is. Gender, race, class, privilege, and marginalization, just for starters. And I’m not going to speculate on her motives for repeating it.
Smarter people than I have already debunked this bullshit, so I won’t go through the details. If you want a quick backgrounder on it, just check out @JudeMacdonald‘s tweets.
(Just one parenthetical side observation in response to the braying we’ll no doubt hear about censorship and freedom of speech: there is no inherent right to be free from criticism. When people call you out on your lies and bullshit, they’re not censoring you, and they’re not attacking your freedom of expression. They’re holding you accountable.)
But I’m assuming we all remember the time when Sarah said the mayor grabbed her ass at a public event? And the way she was smeared as a liar and a loonie? Before you could say “assgate,” she’d become the the target, and was forced to defend a whole slew of attacks on her credibility and integrity, not to mention her appearance and her mental health. It’s a particularly cruel and insidious form of patriarchal bullshit, whereby women making allegations of sexist behaviour and sexual assault are dismissed as “crazy” or “hysterical.” I’ve never had to deal with it, obviously, but more than a few of my female friends have experienced it first-hand. And the connection between it and women’s reluctance to take action when they’re assaulted is well established.
I stood by Sarah Thomson at the time. I did not support her campaigns, but regardless of her politics, she should not have been subjected to what she had to deal with. Neither should anyone else taking part in public life.
Apologize, Sarah. Do the right thing.