Steve Allen 4am - 7am
Caller says Chris Whitty harassment is 'what being a woman is like!'
29 June 2021, 14:30
This caller tells James O'Brien that the harassment of Professor Chris Whitty by men in a park is the kind of thing women regularly experience.
The conversation comes as Boris Johnson said he is "shocked" at the "despicable harassment" of Professor Chris Whitty after police announced they were investigating a video showing him being grabbed by two men.
Gabrielle in Dorset began by telling James:
"I think the police should've done a bit more. I feel for Chris Whitty because it's not a nice situation to be in. But I would say - that's what being a woman's like.
"That's what being a woman's like walking through a park, walking anywhere after dark. You've got to be very aware, you get hassled, it exactly sounded like the jostling in that clip."
James interjected: "Come on sweetheart, what's wrong, cheer up love, give us a smile. Am I right?"
"Exactly that," Gabrielle replied.
James continued: "The minute someone touches you as a woman, one would expect an observing police officer to intervene. Being touched against your will, particularly quite robustly. As in, getting an arm around your shoulder and you're trying to escape from that."
Gabrielle replied: "Exactly, and I think it was the same for him to be honest, he was obviously uncomfortable. But, to what extent is it going to go to? The police were hopefully watching and were going to step in. I think more should be done but I don't know what that is."
"Well I love your honesty," James replied.
"And that's the problem isn't it - because if they had waded in, to use a slightly provocative verb, then one suspects that the usual suspects would be queueing up to give them a shoeing for being too hands on and too quick off the mark.
"There are protests routinely calling him all sorts of names, and accusing him of all sorts of foul misdemeanours and indiscretions, part of some conspiracy.
"But that's the context within which he gets accosted in the park, it's important to mention it could've been people who like Nick Watt of Newsnight experienced, see him as an enemy, who see him as a threat."
Another video earlier this year drew widespread attention when a "young lad" was seen verbally haranguing Prof Whitty.
Earlier in June, he was filmed being confronted in a street in Oxford by a man who accused him of lying about coronavirus.