Minnie Driver calls Matt Damon comments on sexual assault 'Orwellian'

Roisin O'Connor

Minnie Driver has elaborated on her criticism of Matt Damon after his controversial comments about the "difference" between incidents of sexual misconduct.

Damon, whom Driver once dated and starred with in the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, said alleged sexual misconduct by powerful men involved a "spectrum of behaviour".

He noted how the ongoing sexual abuse scandal in Hollywood was in a “watershed moment” and said it was “wonderful that women are feeling empowered to tell their stories and it’s totally necessary”.

But then he said: “We live in this culture of outrage and injury, that we’re going to have to correct enough to kind of go: ‘Wait a minute. None of us came here perfect.'"

He added that he believed there was “a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation... Both of those behaviours need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated.”

Responding to Damon's interview on Twitter, Driver wrote: "God God, seriously?... Gosh it's so interesting (profoundly unsurprising) how men with all these opinions about women’s differentiation between sexual misconduct, assault and rape reveal themselves to be utterly tone deaf and as a result, systemically part of the problem."

She later told the Guardian that men “simply cannot understand what abuse is like on a daily level” and should not therefore attempt to differentiate or explain things they had not experienced themselves.

“I felt that what Matt Damon was saying was an Orwellian idea, we are all equal except that some us are more equal than others," she continued.

“Put abuse in there … that all abuse is equal but some is worse. There is no hierarchy of abuse – that if a woman is raped [it] is much worse than if woman has a penis exposed to her that she didn’t want or ask for … you cannot tell those women that one is supposed to feel worse than the other.

“And it certainly can’t be prescribed by a man. The idea of tone deafness is the idea there [is] no equivalency. How about: it’s all f**king wrong and it’s all bad, and until you start seeing it under one umbrella it’s not your job to compartmentalise or judge what is worse and what is not. Let women do the speaking up right now. The time right now is for men just to listen and not have an opinion about it for once.”

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