STATEMENT ON BISHOP CHARLES H ELLIS

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CONSENT IS NOT “A BORDER”

Bishop Ellis, pictured with his hand on Ariana Grande's breast, has excused himself for being “too friendly or familiar” and claimed that it was unintentional, and the result of a “hug” which he gave to all artists, male or female.

FiLiA wonders why it is that these men never have such friendly or familiar unintentional hugs with other men. Neither Bishop Ellis nor any of the long string of “overfamiliar” men who accidentally sexually assault women seem to have the same terrible difficulties in discerning the difference between a hug and a testicular grab when greeting fellow males.

Excusing this by saying he “maybe.... crossed the border” just adds insult to injury. Women's bodies are not territories to which access is granted by controls and where violation is purely administrative. 

That he compounded this with “Taco Bell” jokes about her name is beyond words. 

Women in the public eye are not fair game for the public's hands, even if those hands belong to a cleric. Whether a woman is an international superstar or a local parishioner, her boundaries are integral to her person. Bishop Ellis must understand this if he is to apologise with sincerity, and the media must understand that women’s bodily boundaries are not soluble in clothing choices. If this is to stop, all from the media to the man on the street must understand that women are entitled to bodily integrity and must refuse to accept excuses of "familiarity" from those who act in this way.