Fashion Week Assaults Are the Tip Of The Iceberg

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - Sarah G. Schmidt's home

What.Is.Going.On? What’s going on is that women continue to be the victims of unwanted physical – and sexual – contact right out in public. During the holiest of times: Fashion Week. In most cases the assault occurs but goes without penalty.

The recent news of Gigi Hadid being grabbed and lifted by self-proclaimed prankster Vitalii Sediuk out in the street during Milan Fashion Week is alarming. So too, was hearing that Kim Kardashian was, again, touched by the same creep during Paris Fashion Week. And that’s just the start to her troubles in Paris.

This guy has a past. He has accosted celebrities including Bradley Cooper, Brad Pitt, and Will Smith. Thus, Sediuk has been banned from all red carpets in Los Angeles. Since his ban did he decide to go trans Atlantic to cause havic? WTF.

Some are splitting hairs in effort of trying to discern if the gross, unwanted acts are sexual assault, assault, or harmless.

RAINN, an anti-sexual violence organization, defines sexual assault this way…

“The term sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without explicit consent of the victim.”

Miriam-Webster define assault by law as…

“The crime of trying or threatening to hurt someone physically.”

Those hair-splitters are missing the point: they were unwanted acts. They leave nothing but disgust and darkness in the lives of the victims. No matter what the intent of the criminal was, it’s clear that the victims did not consent to the acts.

My question is why does this keep happening? Do we think as a society that because these – mostly - women have high public profiles that they can be touched against their will? Do we think because these women are beautiful, make lots of money, and wear amazing clothes that we need to “take them down a peg or two?” Is there merit to the argument that celebrities are “asking for it?”

No. No and no.

This recent - but certainly not new - outburst makes me concerned and afraid. I’m reminded of Rihanna’s past. How her former boyfriend Chris Brown beat her. I’m reminded of the Vice Broadly article that listed 44 NFLers who have been accused of physical or sexual assault.

It’s scary right here at home, too. I’m afraid of women who don’t have self-defence training or security details may not fend off an attacker. I’m afraid that women continue to be targeted and taken advantage of because of gender or size. I’m afraid that many of the women and girls in my life will become unwilling victims at some point. I’m concerned that this topic is not a priority. That makes me very afraid.

Let’s be clear; this concerns us all. Do me a solid. The next time you are out with your friends, ask the women in your group if they have ever been touched or groped at a bar, club, at school, or wherever? Now ask the men if they have been. Ask those same men if they have touched or groped a woman without her okay? No matter the number of occurrences or specifics of the responses know that it is not okay. It’s so not okay. We have to do better.

I think better starts by talking about it. Be an ally and speak out. Talk to you friends, family, young and old, about what is going on and what you can do to help make it stop. And please, if you see something, say something.