Gabby Douglas Apologizes To Aly Raisman After Victim-Shaming Tweets

Doug Mendoza
November 19, 2017

The controversial remark did not sit well with many, including Simone Biles who immediately came to Raisman's defense, slamming Douglas with a short but powerful message.

Responding to her former teammate Aly Raisman - who said on Twitter that women dressing "sexy" does not entitle men to shame or sexually abuse them - Douglas argued that it was incumbent on women "to dress modestly", "be classy" and not attract "the wrong crowd". "STOP VICTIM SHAMING. It is because of you that so many survivors live in fear".

Douglas was accused of "terrible sportsmanship" over social media when she skipped out on meeting President Barack Obama, attending the U.S. Olympic Committee Awards Show and going to the MTV Video Music Awards with her four teammates. "Seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you and to support her".

Fellow teammate, Simone Biles, joined the internet in calling Douglas out. Conversations about "sexiness" can be worthwhile, but are separate from conversations about the behavior of predatory men, and have no place in the discussion of rape culture. A few continued to argue that women have a responsibility to change their behavior in order to fend off assault or harassment.

With 270 comments, she undoubtedly received many messages of support, but one reply in particular had many raising an eyebrow.

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"Just to be clear", Raisman posted on Friday.

Raisman's post comes after she became the latest in a string of high-profile gymnasts to accuse former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. I had never really worked with another doctor or trainer before, and everyone said he was the best.

After her initial interview, Raisman came to realize she herself was a victim, and tried to speak again with that agent. "He always seemed like he had my back", she said, adding that now that she's older, she understands what happened and that he manipulated her.

"I didn't correctly word my reply & I am deeply sorry for coming off like I don't stand alongside my teammates", she wrote on Twitter.

Nassar has already pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, and he will be sentenced next month. Regardless of how "provocative" a woman may be dressed, an assault is never her fault, and to suggest that it is promotes a false narrative that our world is already hard-pressed to overcome.

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