It is common for people who have been called out, or their supporters, to retaliate with assertions that the act of calling out sexist behaviour damages the career or reputation of the perpetrator. The aim of this is to imply that the perpetrator themselves is the real victim in the whole situation, not the people he or she hurt.
Sometimes slander or libel laws are appealed to. In many jurisdictions, however, making a truthful statement is an absolute defence from slander or libel.
- Hoss Gifford's response to criticism of his Flashbelt talk referred to career destruction several times:
- "If Flashbelt had booked an adult comedian for the conference who had caused offence would you be set on destroying their career as a comedian, and work on a witch hunt to destroy their day job while you were at it? All because they did what they do, but in the wrong context."
- "There is nothing I can do to stop these people from putting their energy into destroying my career. If that's what you feel would be most productive in achieving your goals then there's nothing me or anyone else is going to say to slow you down."