Outrageous Victim Blaming & British Student Protests!

I realised this probably isn’t entirely a feminist issue but I am so shocked and outraged by this that I had to comment on it.

The BBC interviewed a man who is wheelchair bound due to cerebral palsy (clip here). The interviewer, who the BBC are defending, repeatedly asks the man multiple times if he in anyway provoked armed policemen to drag him from his wheelchair across the road. The man explains early in the interview that he doesn’t have the use of his arms, but the interviewer (Ben Brown) continues to ask him questions that insinuate he provoked the police to do this to him.

The BBC have defended this as “asking challenging questions” to the man, as they would anyone. This is absolutely ridiculous because I’m pretty sure if it was a rape victim they were interviewing they wouldn’t be challenging the victim by asking if it was the short skirt she was wearing or a low-cut t-shirt which provoked someone to attack her. As a comment I saw elsewhere on the BBC website said – would they have challenged Prince Charles in the same way when to see if he somehow provoked the attack on his vehicle?

This is victim blaming pure and simple, even if it was simply insinuated by the line of questioning. As the young man himself says – how could he as a disabled person in a wheelchair be any kind of threat to armed police that would justify pulling him out of his wheelchair and dragging him across the road to where they dumped him on the ground?

Complaints can be made here.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation