So, Boris (allegedly) squeezed the thigh of journalist Charlotte Edwardes 20 years ago. I mean this kind of sexual harassment is just not on and I for one am appalled. Thank God, we have moved on as a society and the casual sexual harassment that went on in the past is rapidly being exposed for the horror that it was for all victims of thigh-squeezing.
And I must confess to a certain 'mea-culpa' too. I remember now the almost weekly sexual harassment of Terry Wogan on his BBC talk show, Wogan. Week after week, woman after woman used to come in and squeeze his leg, I actually think the odd man may have done it too! And to my eternal shame, I remember, I used to laugh along, I thought it was a joke too! My God, how could I have been so naive??
Little did I realise how distressing all this must have been for Terry, and although he seemed to take it as a joke and laugh along too, maybe underneath it all he was in torment. Did he go back to his dressing room after each assault and cry at the impossible position he had been put in, the humiliation of having to endure being sexually assaulted right on screen every week for the whole country to see? Did his bosses make him play along, was there pressure from the top to just sit there and take it??! I think we need to be told, nay, DEMAND to be told!
What kind of culture existed in the BBC at the time, when an innocent man could have been subjected to such appalling behaviour for the entertainment of millions and with no regard for his 'personal space'. The term 'Housewife's Favourite' now takes on a much more insidious tone! Was Terry Wogan used by the BBC to provide sexual gratification for frustrated housewives and women everywhere? Was there a darker side to the easy banter and playful innuendoes he used to so casually drop into his broadcasts? Maybe they were secretly a cry for help from a man without friends, a 'victim' of his own 'success', whether he wanted it or not?
Terry Wogan is unfortunately, no longer with us, did the years of sexual harassment add to his stress and have a bearing on the cancer that killed him? Who knows? But at the very least, to honour his memory, I think we need a public enquiry and those women should be publicly named and shamed for the blatant harassment of a kindly gentleman just trying to make a living! The horror of it all!