In a post-Harvey Weinstein world, waxing nostalgic about the days when inappropriate physical contact and sexual harassment were more accepted by society at large (or at least less chastised) isn’t the wisest move, nor is sympathizing with people accused of sexual assault. In this (or any) context, the latest comments from guitarist Kirk Pengilly, a founding member of INXS, are pretty bizarre and ill-timed: While attending a charity event on Thursday, he spoke candidly about how much better he thought things were when the world was more openly sexist.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that when asked about the allegations surrounding Weinstein and Australian celebrity gardener Don Burke, he responded by saying that he missed how things were decades ago:
“I really loved the ’60s and ’70s when life was so simple and you could slap a woman on the butt and it was taken as a compliment, not as sexual harassment.”
The publication also reports that Pengilly “said men were starting to feel they can’t even pay a woman a compliment because it could be seen as sexual harassment.” Especially now, speaking out in favor of sexual harassment is a bold and clueless stance to take, and not one that will earn you many friends.