Groping, Live on TV

This is the Finest Nerd Czarina, and I hate the news. I might be a little bit late to react to this, especially since the incident happened in 2014, but in the last week, a video clip resurfaced of an X Factor interview, where Louis Walsh is clearly seen holding Mel B (Melanie Brown of Spice Girls fame) on her side and then casually sliding down to her butt, which he pats a few times, as though that is just something you do to a coworker. Mel B reacted by stopping the interview and calling Walsh out for his being inappropriate. She left the show later that year.

The other cohosts just laughed off the incident (disappointing as fuck) and, judging by some of the 2018 male reactions, this kind of thing continues not to be taken seriously. Mel B was criticized by these online trolls as being “dirty” or for somehow deserving the grope because of her sexuality or because she is an exhibitionist, being a performer. Others took Walsh’s side on the matter, saying that he wasn’t trying to touch her inappropriately at all. It was just camera angles and maybe her taking it too seriously. How dare she embarrass him by calling him out!

Wrong. All of it.

IF he touched her by accident, he would have quickly withdrawn his hand and apologized before she had the chance to jump up and stop the interview. (Because she didn’t jump up right away; she looked around incredulously for a few seconds before realizing what was happening.) IF it was camera angles, then Mel wouldn’t have gotten upset. As for her somehow deserving of being sexually harassed, that’s even more ridiculous. Who exactly deserves that kind of treatment? Whether she was wearing an oversized potato sack or a string bikini, she was there to do a job, which was to conduct this interview on television. She did not give any indication that she was looking for that kind of attention nor did she seem as though it was welcome when she did receive it. Men who jump to Louis Walsh’s defense are the kind of men who would, if they had a chance, touch a woman inappropriately without her consent and get off on humiliating and degrading her with their behavior. Try and change my mind! Seriously, this man grabbed her ass live on television, and people are trying to deny that it happened or somehow want to act like this isn’t what it looks like? Please.

I’m sure it isn’t hard not to sexually harass or assault someone. So just don’t do it. Don’t cat call, don’t yell at women, don’t try to humiliate them, don’t touch them, don’t grab them in private areas, don’t touch their clothing, don’t touch their hair, don’t try to get a hug or a kiss against their will, don’t follow them, don’t attack them, don’t threaten them. If you want to pick up a woman, you can do it properly, by not being an asshole, and by being man enough to accept rejection if she isn’t into you.

Not all men are like this, of course. Just the ones who are feeling defensive and want to argue with me right about now. You. You guys are the ones I’m talking to.

For the record, I hope Louis Walsh is embarrassed. I hope this incident is brought to his attention on a daily basis, and he continues to be embarrassed about it for the rest of his career, which I would hope would be cut short due to his deplorable behavior and disrespect towards his female coworkers.

person wearing red hoodie
Photo by sebastiaan stam on

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