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Sydney surgeon urges women not to report sexual abuse at work, people respond

With International Women’s Day celebrations held over the weekend, there were events celebrated to honour the contribution and the work of women around the world. But one interview on ABC Radio featuring a prominent Sydney surgeon has us wondering about gender equality and how much further we still have to go.

Speaking about a colleague who’d won a legal case of sexual harassment against a male superior, senior Sydney surgeon, Dr. Gabrielle McMullin, said women should perform sexual favours to those who ask for it instead of reporting them in order to avoid losing their jobs and ruining their careers.

“Her career was ruined by this one guy asking for sex on this night. And, realistically, she would have been much better to have given him a blow job on that night,” Dr. McMullin said during an interview on ABC Radio.

“What I tell my trainees is that, if you are approached for sex, probably the safest thing to do in terms of your career is to comply with the request.

“The worst thing you can possibly do is to complain to the supervising body because then, as in Caroline’s position, you can be sure that you will never be appointed to a major public hospital.”

I am still picking up my jaw from the ground after reading that shocking statement. Comply with sexual assault, she says. Give the man a damn blow job, shut up and get on with it, she says. Say yes to sexual harassment if you want to keep your job, she says.

Following McMullin’s comments, women working in the medical field have reportedly come forward, speaking to different media outlets about their fear of losing their jobs if they open up about sexual assault in the workplace.

On one occasion, a female doctor, who preferred not to be named, told Fairfax Media that she was told by a consultant surgeon to “get some knee pads and learn to suck c***”.

This is something that goes beyond the medical profession, though, of course, and both men and women have shared their own experiences with sexism and sexual assault in the workplace on social media.

Share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

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