14 Aug 2007, Comments Off on Slap for Groper

Slap for Groper

Author: Helen



This delightful headline from the Herald Sun just plopped into my email inbox from Tony T; Thanks Tony! He didn’t offer any explanation except that it might come in handy. Not generally being a Hun reader, I tried to imagine what this headline would be about:

Pancake makeup for extremely ugly fish?
A gropee has slapped a groper themselves?
or,
Someone has given a groper an exceedingly light slap on the wrist for groping behaviour?

Oh wouldn’t you know.

A TEENAGER who groped a breastfeeding mum at a shopping centre has been sentenced to community service.
Mohamed Chkhaidem pleaded guilty at Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court to indecently assaulting the woman as she nursed her week-old baby.
The court heard he was traumatised over his girlfriend’s abortion when he fondled the woman in a parents’ room at Broadmeadows shopping centre on April 30.

OK, that’s the first part that caused me to moan quietly and bang my head on the desk. It was all his girlfriend’s fault for having an abortion, of course.

Defence lawyer Zarah Garde-Wilson said Chkhaidem had been ridiculed in custody because of media attention to the case.

Well, hardly surprising. But then, Garde-Wilson, prominent defender, fruitcake and enabler of Melbourne standover men, would consider that pretty harsh. Her boy, after all, ended up in the slammer for proper crimes, like murder and mayhem.

I’m not being gratuitously insulting: it’s a real problem that a personality like this is encouraging victim-blaming and self-pity among the abusers in our town.

Garde-Wilson hammers home the fact that it’s all the sluttish girlfriend’s fault:

“He was suffering a dramatic episode as a result of his partner’s abortion several months earlier, which led to his conduct,” Ms Garde-Wilson said.

Because, you see, the guy would have made a top parent.

Sgt Ellis said Chkhaidem told police he had frequented parents’ rooms for more than six months.
Chkhaidem said it made him feel better to watch women breastfeed.
Sgt Ellis said Chkhaidem drew back a privacy curtain and started a conversation with the mum.
He told her his wife had given birth, and touched her on the left breast and nipple before fleeing.
“She was fearful, and felt she contributed to the incident,” Sgt Ellis said.
He said security footage showed Chkhaidem loitering in the corridor before the attack on the mum.

I’m not complaining about the community service order he got. I think that’s completely right and proper for a first offender. But what about a bit of consciousness-raising about his behaviour from the court, instead of blaming everyone except him? By the end of the article you get the feeling he thinks he’s the one who’s had a rough deal.

Don’t you love the way “the mum” felt she’d “contributed” to her own assault? Because of course, there was so much she could have done sitting there with the baby on the breast. I’m sure there’s some kind of new-age Akido she could have learned to blow the guy back out the door through sheer mindpower. Or… what exactly was she supposed to do? Can’t we even breastfeed in a “parents’ room” without being harassed?

You know what I blame.

Comments (0)

  • Tim Sterne says:

    Great headline, although it becomes less funny once you know what it’s about. It’d make a good t-shirt slogan.

    “Sgt Ellis said Chkhaidem drew back a privacy curtain and started a conversation with the mum.”

    See, he was just there for a chat. Then one thing led to another and…well, you know, cats and uncovered meat and all that.

  • Meself says:

    Warning! Gratuitous cheap shot coming over the bow. (Yeah, but after all Tony T started it – and then ran away – leaving me holding the baby.)

    Had the gropee not been the innocent mum but Z G-W instead, would the headline have been “Grope for Slapper” ?

    (I did warn you!)

  • Tony T. says:

    Yeeow! The puns! Someone slap an injunction on that man.

  • JahTeh says:

    If he’d been frequenting parents rooms for more than six months why wasn’t this picked up by security somewhere along the line. If they’re going to shove feeding mothers into back rooms and most of them are down a long corridor out the back, then CCTV should be focused on those long corridors.

    Best argument ever for breast feeding in public.

  • Richie says:

    I remember reading about the original assault (a “groper” getting a “slap” makes it sound like a Two Ronnies sketch) earlier in the year. I’m presently getting traffic from eBaum’s World (thanks, antifeminist trolls!), who host a video of two guys running around licking women in public and laughing; shouldn’t they be getting a community service order too? Or were they just traumatised by the fact women don’t date nice guys?

  • Helen says:

    Jahteh, WORD. If I’d made that connection then this might have been a more intelligent post:

    If they’re going to shove feeding mothers into back rooms and most of them are down a long corridor out the back, then CCTV should be focused on those long corridors.
    Best argument ever for breast feeding in public.

    You are absolutely right– to conform to this nutty society’s idea of being out of sight when you do your rude breastfeeding thing, you’re actually endangering yourself; predators know there’s an isolated place with vulnerable people just waiting for them.

    Sedge – here in the femoblogosphere we don’t actually distinguish between “slapper: violate personal boundaries at will”, and “Innocent – that is, sexually inactive – woman, worthy of not having personal boundaries violated”. Even if they are Z G-W. But of course, you knew that.

    Richie, I think they should be getting a special school rather than community service.

  • Helen says:

    Tony has a slappin’ post up now, too.

  • Ann O'Dyne says:

    Paying this one in full:
    “Had the gropee not been the innocent mum but Z G-W instead, would the headline have been “Grope for Slapper” ?” …

    but have to add that legal friends have told me that every Mag in Melb just loves ZG-W’s cleavage. So much so, that her appeal against de-registration is expected to be upheld.

  • Anastasia says:

    I’ve been groped and squeezed but didn’t feel able to do anything about it – been told i should “just expect it” for being blonde and large busted.

    Does anyone have any advice on what i should do?

  • Helen says:

    Anastasia, you’re the one who’s busted.
    I’ve left “Anastasia’s” post up to illustrate… well, something or other.

  • Alex says:

    Poor boy. Imagine, him minding his own business, when suddenly some chick flops out her norks. What else was the guy supposed to do?

    In all seriousness, just found your blog and love it!

  • Alex says:

    Oops, moderated! Shouldn’t have said the ‘N’ word.

  • Helen says:

    Fished you out again, Alex.
    “Anastasia”, get lost and take your two friends Ronnie and Ronnie with you. :-p
    (Into the spaminator with you, I’ve had my fun!)

  • […] Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony is razor sharp as she slices through Australian politics and current affairs while also betraying a biting sense of humour. And because she’s also a feminist mother she views  events through a particularly critical prism, like this one here about the hidden agendas involved in the sentencing of a teenager for groping a breastfeeding mother. Cast Iron Balcony can construct a terribly compelling argument in her writing, almost effortlessly as she writes her way through an anecdote, like this terrific one here about drinks in a pub and male entitlement.    […]

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