At a political dinner this week, Brazil’s minister of agriculture threw a glass of wine in a senator’s face. She has since been praised on social media for doing it.
Close to 40 senators—and Brazil’s vice president Michel Temer—attended the Dec. 9 dinner hosted by senator Eunício Oliveira, reports newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
During the get-together, minister of agriculture Kátia Abreu was speaking to a group of senators when senator José Serra joined the conversation and allegedly said, “Kátia, I hear you’re a woman who likes to date a lot.” According to Abreu, she responded by telling Serra, a former presidential candidate, “You are an inelegant, impolite, arrogant man. That’s why you’ll never reach the presidency.”
According to Folha:
In the end, the minister said she threw wine in Serra’s face and said: “I never gave you that right or that boldness. Please, leave this circle, go.” Serra would then proceed to clear the room.
“I did what any honorable woman would do,” Abreu told Folha.
Serra told Folha on Thursday (Dec. 10) that his original remark was “a compliment disguised as a joke.”
“I apologized. I’ve always had respect for Kátia,” he said.
But news of the episode has spread on social media, with many tweeting in support of the minister.
More exciting than House of Cards.
The exchange of the ethics committee was ridiculous and rude, but nothing Kátia Abreu couldn’t handle with a glass of wine. Go Kátia!
According to Think Olga, a Brazilian NGO, the average Brazilian female first experiences sexual harassment at age 9.
Abreu’s reaction, and the positive response to it, may signal a welcome shift in Brazil toward speaking out against harassment.