Vrinda Jagota
August 04, 2016 12:07 pm
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Chelsea Handler is no stranger to speaking her mind. She criticized Mariah Carey’s weight on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM, and has called the entire country of Serbia “a shame and a disappointment.”

via giphy

Recently, she spoke out about TV commentator Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, and about how Megyn Kelly also came forward about Roger Ailes assaulting her. Chelsea argued that it’s always necessary to stick up for women and to speak out against sexual assault, saying it was Kelly and Carlon’s responsibility to speak out. She said,

“They did the right thing and I would expect nothing less. If you’re sticking up for other women that made claims that you know to be true, then yes, it is absolutely your responsibility to confirm that.”

We totally agree that everyone should do everything in their power to support women, especially when they are assault survivors. But, some of Chelsea’s language in the interview was a bit insensitive, overlooking the varied experiences people have dealing with assault.

When asked if Gretchen’s lawsuit was courageous on her part, Chelsea said:

“Did it take courage? I don’t think so. I think that it’s your duty to come forward when somebody treats you like that.” But, it’s not always simply a matter of coming forward as a victim, when you face tremendous pressure to stay silent, and when you fear people may not believe you or may blame you for the event occurring in the first place. As stated in Motto:

“A video collection showcasing the microagressions Carlson faced on a daily basis, paired with the sub-par record of women winning assault cases, indicates that it wasn’t such an easy decision for Carlson.”

While we get what Chelsea means about needing to support women, we also think it’s important to remember how hard it is to speak out, and to remain sensitive to that reality.

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