By Duncan Smith
Conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh lampooned a report in the Daily Mail claiming that women are feeling unnerved by “aggressive eye contact” from men as requirements to wear masks in public during the coronavirus pandemic spread.
From the story:
Women across the country are reporting a rise in ‘aggressive eye contact’ since the introduction of face coverings in some public places.
New laws introduced over the weekend force customers to wear face masks in all shops, stations, banks and post offices, while it is also mandatory to wear coverings on public transport.
But many women have been sharing stories online of ‘aggressive eye contact’ and ‘hard staring’ from men wearing masks, with one tweeting: ‘Grown men staring at you with a mask on is worse than when they don’t have a mask.’
UN Women UK Executive Director Claire Barnett told FEMAIL: ‘As we work to “build back better” following lockdown, we need to prevent the lack of witnesses of antisocial behavior due to less populated public spaces, as well as the anonymity face coverings can provide, leading to further rises in harassment and threatening actions towards women, girls and minoritized groups.
‘This will require widespread changes in attitudes and behavior – creating an understanding that behavior like unwanted and persistent staring is intimidating, and that we all have a role to play in making our public spaces more inclusive.’
Limbaugh made plenty of hay with the ridiculous complaints and concerns during his Tuesday program:
You think that these lunatics on the left, these behavioral cops, they couldn't get any more absurd. …
The mask camouflages who they are, and the mask allows them to hard stare at any woman they want. It's a very unnerving, unsettling experience for women. Claire Barnett said, 'We need to create an understanding that behavior like unwanted and persistent staring is intimidating.'
'Women across the country -' see, it's not just a couple of random women — no, no, no, no. 'Women across the country are reporting a rise in 'aggressive eye contact' since the introduction of face coverings in some public places.' So what are we gonna do now? What's the solution to this? Make men take off the masks? Make men only cover their mouths, but leave the nose available?
What's the solution to this? (interruption) Sunglasses. No. That's even worse because then you get to imagine what's going on behind the sunglasses and your imagination is worse than reality. What's the solution? What kind of punishment is gonna be handed out to men who are accused of this? And what is the solution gonna be?
Maybe the solution will be to ban men from public if they stare too ‘aggressively?’
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