Sexism is not cheeky.
A BBC video from 1971 of a female reporter pinching the bottoms of unsuspecting men in England has resurfaced, courtesy of Hint Magazine. And what it reveals about our culture is, well, not that shocking.
While some men didn't seem to mind when a pretty girl touched them, many did mind. It wasn't OK to touch people inappropriately then and it still isn't now.
This (somewhat misguided) attempt to highlight the way women are groped in public spaces feels oddly timely, particularly when you remember that in the last two years, dozens of sexual assault allegations have been made against public figures like Bill Cosby and Donald Trump. And in the U.S., 2 out of 3 sexual assaults goes unreported.
In the 1971 clip, originally aired on the BBC, reporter Nicky Woodhead pinched men’s bottoms, supposedly in the name of sexual equality.
The initial reactions of the men who’ve been pinched is of fright and alarm. Many shift their tone once they see Woodhead, suggesting it was quite alright that she pinched them.
But it’s not.
Even when we flip the script and have women groping men, guess what? It’s still not OK.
Watch the whole thing here:
The stunt was clearly an attempt at tackling sexist double standards in the early ‘70s, meant to be a light-hearted way of showing ― on a small scale ― what women endure daily.
Watching the clip in 2016 is an eerie reminder that not all that much has changed.