Decades ago, in a Playboy interview, Connery said something along the lines of, “It’s not the worst thing to slap a woman now and then.” Since then, this has been quoted and mis-quoted, and on many occasions the actor has been made out to be in favour of violence towards women.
I’ve always believed he knew what he was saying.
Trying to find out exactly what he’s said on the subject, I came across a further quote, this time from GQ magazine back in 1989, in which he explained, “I’m talking about a slap on the face and that you could do much, much worse damage to a woman, or a man, by totally demoralizing them, by taking away their whole identity.”
Why, you may ask, have I decided to revive those quotes from so long ago? What has made them topical again now?
Today on the BBC website there’s a report which tells that “Psychologists found memories of painful emotional experiences linger far longer than those involving physical pain.”
Michael Hughesman, a child psychologist, is quoted as saying: “There is something very intangible about emotional damage – with physical pain, you can see the bruise, but in emotional abuse there is often fear and anxiety which remains.”
In other words, Sean Connery may have been politically incorrect when he talked of slapping a woman, but he was probably right when he said it wasn’t the worst thing you can do to her.