John Rhys-Davies Aggressive And Sexist Behaviour Towards Caroline Lucas Was Unacceptable And Sadly Familiar

'Oh woman!' he shouted at Lucas, banging his hands on the table.

John Rhys-Davies

by Georgia Aspinall |

Last night, actor John Rhys-Davies appeared on Question Time with a panel ofpoliticians, including Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas. The Lord of The Rings star made many controversial comments that have since been replayed across the media. However one has received bafflingly little attention: the moment that Rhys-Davies violently reacted to a statement by Caroline Lucas in a vile, aggressive and misogynistic manner.

Answering a question about Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK next month, he stated that Trump ‘represents the American people’ before Lucas interjected, ‘no he doesn’t, he lost the popular vote’.

‘Oh, woman!’ Rhys-Davies then screamed hysterically, banging his hands down on the table as her turned to face her, clapping his hands together as he shouted, ‘Do you not?! Have you ever read Kenneth Harrow and Arrow’s Theorem!? Any system of election has its problems!’

Sitting patiently, seemingly unphased at the violent outburst, Lucas simply stated ‘yes, the American one and ours more than most’ in a calm and emotionally stable fashion. Of course, that’s the reaction many women have in the face of this, sadly extremely common, scenario. Not only because we’re socialised to be polite and palatable no matter what, lest we be tarred 'too emotional’, but also because women often live in fear of men being aggressive towards us and so our instant reaction is to defuse.

The reaction we didn’t expect however, is the resounding silence after the incident. ‘I’m going to take two very quick questions from the audience,’ Fiona Bruce – the panel host – briskly moved on as if sweeping the outburst under the rug. The other panellists, including Lib Dem leader Vince Cable, Tory MP and women’s minister Victoria Atkins and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth, didn't say a word about it.

Of course, the backlash has been resounding on social media, with Shahmir Sanni – the whistle-blower on the Conservative’s role in the Brexit election fraud – receiving 10,000 likes when tweeting, ‘Every woman has seen a man react like this when they are caught off guard by common sense. Yet they stay calm & resilient. @CarolineLucas is the reason I’m voting Green in the EU elections and the general election.’

Unfortunately, Rhys-Davies won’t be party to this indictment himself, as he doesn’t have social media. And although Lucas may feel vindicated by the support, she should have been supported there and then by an immediate, televised dismissal of his behaviour. Being mansplained electoral procedure as co-leader of a large political party BY AN ACTOR is one thing, but not to receive any acknowledgement of how violently he responded and with such sexist language is unacceptable, and dangerously validating to viewers.

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Many have questioned why he was on the panel in the first place - given that in the past his comments on Muslims have been endorsed by the BNP and National Vanguard – but to then also not be held accountable when he displays such vile behaviour, with no apology to Lucas, only perpetuates the sexist political environment that does not protect women.

Caroline Lucas – a woman who has only ever tried to save the planet and improve women’s lives while she does it - deserves better. We will shout it forever.

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