Feminist Issue: Jimmy Savile

(image taken from Female First)

Anyone who watched the BBC’s Panorama last night: see here will be as disgusted as I am that paedophilia and exploitation of vulnerable young women was deemed to be acceptable in the 60s and 70s. Three male journalists said that they knew Savile was taking young, *underage* women to his campervan (which had a mattress on the floor) and sexually abusing them – and yet all three said: “It never occurred to me to go and report it.”

Why not?

Watching clips of Savile on Jim’ll Fix It wrapping his arm around women from Stoke Mandeville Hospital, who he was then allowed to take to his dressing room – and offering (now) convicted paedophile Gary Glitter the opportunity to do the same – was shocking. It was apparently his flirtiness and constant use of sexual innuendo that added to Savile’s appeal. But on-screen? And with vulnerable young women and girls?

What I find most outrageous, however, is the fact that although all these BBC journalists knew Savile was having inappropriate (illegal) relations with underage girls (and boys), when people started to bravely step forward with allegations – they weren’t believed. And then the documentary that had been scrupulously researched – and contained interviews and quotes from a handful of victims – was pulled, inexplicably.

Hopefully this awful case will make employers take complaints about harassment and abuse in the workplace more seriously from now on. It shouldn’t have been happening then – and it shouldn’t be happening now.

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