The gold medal winning gymnast reminded people that it didn’t matter what women wear when it comes to sexual abuse and that the finger pointing directed towards women is “victim shaming.”
We are all in this together. If we are going to create change I need all your help. pic.twitter.com/q9d12z0KHn
— Alexandra Raisman (@Aly_Raisman) November 17, 2017
But fellow gymnast Gabby Douglas thought otherwise. Douglas responded to Raisman’s tweet and said women should learn to dress modestly. And it didn’t take long for gymnast Simone Biles and social media to put her on blast.
shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly 💕 & all the other women out there!
STAY STRONG pic.twitter.com/CccTzhyPcb
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 17, 2017
Dressing modestly doesn’t stop someone from being raped or assaulted. And the fact that Raisman was assaulted by the same team doctor that probably treated Douglas had many people wondering how she could possibly turn into a victim blamer.
There were those on social media who wanted to “cancel” Douglas:
Cancel Gabby Douglas. Anybody can get it. She’s not immune. Plus, weren’t her fellow gymnasts assaulted by the team doctor? Attire is entirely irrelevant in every single case, including here. pic.twitter.com/bZD4ogdm3s
— April (@ReignOfApril) November 17, 2017
Gabby Douglas with the masterclass on how to tank your brand with one tweet. Yikes. pic.twitter.com/KHG1kOuHYP
— Shane Ravello 🇹🇹 (@ShaneRavello) November 17, 2017
Yo Gabby Douglas is foul for that, as is every other woman that insinuates their “good” behavior is what protects/protected them from gendered sexual violence.
— Zoé (@ztsamudzi) November 17, 2017
Gabby Douglas will always be 16 in my mind so I thought y’all were going too hard on her bc I thought she was like 19 but she’s 22 and that’s prime twitter dragging age so have at it
— Beyonce has an uncle named Larry Beyince. Bruh…. (@DragonflyJonez) November 17, 2017
There were also those who said her age, and the fact that she grew up in a strict religious household should be taken into consideration. And, as someone on Twitter stated, “Not everyone is born quoting Audre Lorde”:
Let’s talk “cancel culture.” Personally, I am willing to give a lot of grace to young Black girls simply because the world doesn’t. I wasn’t born reading bell hooks. I had to grow. So does Gabby Douglas. And so do some of you.
— Shanita Hubbard (@msshanitarenee) November 18, 2017
Gabby Douglas is young to be a public figure, and I hope she gets the chance to learn from this, but let me make this crystal clear for you on victim-blaming: If a woman wears a fishnet bodystocking and downs a handle of vodka, the only thing she’s “asking for” is a hangover.
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) November 18, 2017
Gabby Douglas made a comment in poor taste but we as a community should show restraint in making a 22-year-old a topic of national conversation. Young people make mistakes. Let them breathe.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) November 18, 2017
I’m not canceling a 21-year-old who is still learning and growing, particularly when her ideas about sexual assault mirrors so much of what so many of us heard growing up, mimicked, and then had to unlearn.
— Evette Dionne 🤔 (@freeblackgirl) November 18, 2017
After dealing with the backlash, Douglas issued an “apology” and said she misspoke:
i didn’t correctly word my reply & i am deeply sorry for coming off like i don’t stand alongside my teammates. regardless of what you wear, abuse under any circumstance is never acceptable. i am WITH you. #metoo
— Gabby Douglas (@gabrielledoug) November 18, 2017
The damage may have already been done. Sometimes it’s probably best if people just keep their opinions to themselves. As the saying goes, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
There’s also this saying: “Clothes don’t sexually assault people, trash-ass people sexually assault people.”
source: the root