“How dare that idiot think he has the right to man-handle a complete stranger.”
After being man-handled by a stranger outside of a Milan Fashion Week venue, Gigi Hadid is encouraging girls to learn self-defense.
As she exited a Max Mara runway show on Thursday, Vitalii Sediuk – a former Ukranian television host – grabbed Gigi from behind and lifted her off the ground. Ms. Hadid reacted quickly, understandbly shouting “let go of me” while elbowing the aggressor off of her.
Though it should be obvious that Gigi had every right to be angry and defend herself, many are downplaying the incident, and some are vilifying her just for defending herself. Some have been calling her attacker a “prankster,” implying that Gigi overreacted by “ aggressively lashing out” and “hitting a fan.”
Why is that such a problem, you ask?
To put it simply: NO ONE is ever allowed to touch you in any way without your permission. Whether it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, friend, or any random person out and about, being grabbed and lifted without consent is never okay. Vitalii’s stunt may have been a prank, but that behaviour is too often not a joke for women in America, and it’s not a laughing matter.
According to a survey conducted by Stop Street Harassment, 65% of all women say they have experienced sexual harassment on the street, and 23% report being unwantedly touched in public. So please stop making street harassment a joke, thanks!
If you’re worried about protecting yourself, take Gigi’s advice and prepare through self-defense training. If you can’t take a class, here is a video of helpful techniques.
Thanks for being a BAWSE, Gigi. We’re so happy you’re okay!