Have been a massive fan of Steven fry in the past. Both his excellent comedy and his political observations. So I was amazed and aghast to see the clickbait-sounding article quoting him as telling victims of abuse to, “Get over it.”
Unsurprisingly, many have been quick to lambast him for what they see as victim bashing. And I have absolutely no problem with people drawing that conclusion IF they have seen the full interview or read the full transcript. Unfortunately many people will have drawn a strong opinion about Fry’s words just from reading the headline or being told about it. This is similar to the reaction to Adam Goodes’ Australia Day speech and underlines the importance of thinking for ourselves and checking things we hear that don’t sound right.
After my read back of the full transcript, I felt Fry to be anything but callous to the hurt and trauma suffered by victims of abuse. What he seemed to be doing was highlighting a behavioural pattern that he feels is more destructive and insidious than people realise. However that doesn't mean it wasn't a poor choice of words for a man of Fry’s intelligence and vocabulary.
I have said previously that the intent behind words or actions count for little when they have significant effects on others and Fry’s words certainly generated outrage from victims groups in many parts of the world. He cannot undo the offence and hurt he caused by clarifying his position. However there is little he can do to fix undo that. He now must live the fact that his words would have been felt as hurtful by many.