Tag Archives: rape culture

Police your body

10 Mar

WOMAN, the year is 1984 and you are the dictator of your body. Keep it under tight surveillance, bending it to the will of culture. You mustn’t forget that society owns your body, but you are responsible for its upkeep.

Why do you sit like that, with your wicked unwieldy flesh spread out all over that chair? Don’t take up so much space: it’s unladylike. Fold your arms in. Cross your legs. Bow your head. That’s better.

Were you born in the West? Capitalism will help you to police your body. Buy make up to veil your face. Pay a diet club to weigh you in each week like cattle at the market. An obliging surgeon will mutilate you into shape for the right price. Contract another woman, preferably a migrant, to rip out your body hair and colour your nails. Buy clothes, lots of clothes. Far away, other women are destroying their bodies with 18/7 shifts to make them for you.

Your body is here for men’s enjoyment. However, don’t forget that there is a fine line between looking enticing and asking to be raped. Impose limits on your body to avoid the latter: curfews, avoidance of intoxication, flirting, wearing short skirts. Keep your demeanour well-policed. If anything happens to you it is your own fault and you will bear the consequences. 

The government owns your womb. Check with the state before using contraception, aborting or attempting reproduction. If you are poor in a Western country, you have no right to children. If you live in a colonised country, your role is a baby-assembly line. The nation needs your offspring to increase the size of its army.

Are you fat or aged? Retire from public life immediately for you are no longer useful. Are you young? Speak only when spoken to and, pray, do not be shrill.

Never forget it: you are the Chief Overseer, not the owner, of your body. 

Letter to Robin Thicke

21 Aug

Dear Mr Thicke,

I am writing to you out of a very real concern for your health. Following, via the media, your behaviour of late, I have reason to believe that you suffer from the relatively rare condition of Thickism. Please see the excerpt below from my Oxford Handbook of Medicine for more information on the ailment.

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There are a few recent incidents in particular that have alerted me to the possibility that you may have contracted Thickism:

1) You publicly acknowledged that your song, Blurred Lines, sounds and feels a lot like Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give it Up. You then, earlier this week, began proceedings to sue the Gaye estate in order to force them to announce that you did not, in fact, copy elements of their deceased relative’s work. This behaviour shows typical Thickist elements: your actions in raising the lawsuit are antithetical to the assertion made in your previous public statement. They also display misplaced arrogance (your song, undoubtedly, could not have been so catchy without the Marvin Gaye hooks, yet you decide to sue his family).

2) You announced in a media interview “what a pleasure it (was) to degrade women” in the video and lyrics of your misogynistic rape song Blurred Lines. Then, when called out globally for promoting rape and violence against women, you, antithetically to your first statement, announced that the song was “actually a feminist movement within itself.” This assertion, or mansplaination, shows Thickist levels of delusion.

Robin. Lets make this clear. Your song and video are not “a feminist movement.”

Blurred Lines: a song in which you and your buddies attempt to “liberate” a “good girl” by telling her that she wants “crazy, wild sex.” However, she is not asking for this. You repeat the lyrics “I know you want it” and “do it like it hurt” whilst your musical partner occasionally mentions “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.”

Then we come to the video. Three young, naked women prancing in an infantilised manner around three older, fully-clothed, predatory-looking men, who tail, bite, pull the hair of, and blow smoke in the faces of said women. Just a bit of “degrading”, “fun” (your words not mine). Violence against, and sexual objectification of, women. Is this any different to all the other examples of sexist portrayal of women we see in the media every day? No. Does that make it OK? No.

Your song lyrics– about a man in a bar who “knows” a young girl really wants “crazy, wild” sex with him but won’t say so – puts the all too common occurrence of men claiming that they thought no meant yes (the so-called but non-existent blurred lines of consent) as their excuse for raping someone. Sorry Robin. Such men are not feminists. They are rapists.

It’s not that I can’t take a sexist joke (actually I can’t), but your sexist bit of fun is damaging. Your idea that sexual consent is a blurred concept is, unfortunately, deeply ingrained in the way our society treats sexual assault. As Elizabeth Plank points out, the concept is what drives many to doubt the veracity of rape allegations. It’s why most victims never report their rape. It’s, as she says, the reason why 97% of rapists will never see a day in prison.

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Robin Thicke: feminisn’t

On another note, your sense of entitlement to the “hottest bitch in this place” (whatever the place is) shows elements of Thickist misplaced arrogance. You are not hot. Your creepy half-smirk, dark sunglasses and sinister tailing of naked young girls whilst in your full suit make you look like a perverted pantomime villain stroke sex pest. Maybe just go and put a modesty bag over your head.

Your retort to those who say your song is sexist is also a sign of Thickest arrogance and mansplaination. You say that we can’t deal with nudity and hate the human body. Please don’t patronise me Robin. My problem is not with the nude female form but with sexual objectification and songs misconstruing the meaning of sexual consent, both of which contribute to Rape Culture.

3) You directed the young naked girls in your Blurred Lines video to hold balloons carrying the slogan Robin Thicke Has A Massive Dick. My experience tells me that men who feel the need to announce in public that their manhood is sizable usually do so due to psychological complexes caused by their small penises. Again, announcing the opposite of the truth is a clear sign of Thickism. If you do have a small penis, which I strongly suspect you do, it is almost sure that you are suffering from the aforementioned condition and I suggest you seek medical help immediately.

As a form of treatment, I suggest you read The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir and perhaps donate some of the money you made from your song to your local rape crisis centre.

Sincerely,

Your feminist GP

Liberal Democrat party riddled with Phantom Hands Syndrome*

1 Jul

Nick Clegg, leader of the Liberal Democrat party has confirmed today at a press conference that the majority of the group’s female members and party activists suffer from the highly contagious phenomenon of Phantom Hands Syndrome.

The Syndrome, first discovered by Faith Healer George Boak, 70, of Lightcliffe, West Yorkshire, causes victims to imagine that they are being molested. Boak encountered the disease amongst several of his female patients, who, due to their condition, accused him of indecent assault.

Says Clegg, who had previously been criticised for initially pretending he knew nothing of the complaints, later admitting that he had ignored several party activists’ accusations of sexual harassment by Lord Rennard and finally attempted to banalise the allegations by referring to them as “unwanted attention” rather than sexual molestation, “during the twenty years that accusations were made against Lord Rennard, there was also a two decade bout of Phantom Hands amongst all our female party members. This was not a coincidence. A separate investigation into the specific allegations about Lord Rennard will take place under our disciplinary procedure. All women involved in the accusations will be disciplined and will then step down from their posts for health reasons. There is therefore no need for any Liberal Democrats to attend diversity training.

According, A4EG4S, the health organisation previously known as the NHS, “Phantom Hands is a syndrome caused by sensations that originate in the spinal cord and brain. It is most common amongst women who come into contact with chauvinistic men. It can be treated by repeatedly undermining and ridiculing the patient until she realises that she is a hysterical, lying, attention-seeking lunatic.”

On the Rennard incident, a feminist organisation commented, “sexual harassment serves to remind women that our role as a sex object will always trump any other qualities we possess and therefore we can never be on equal terms with men who also possess those qualities – be they political skills, sporting prowess or the ability to stand on a stage and make others laugh. We can always be put back in our rightful place with an unwanted, insistent brush of the thigh or an invitation to have sex with a man who holds the keys to the hatch in the glass ceiling” (quote from The F-Word.com).

Several expert commentators have suggested that self-identification as feminist and Phantom Hands syndrome may be linked.

*Please note that this news is made up by me.

What kind of rape apologist are you?

4 Jun

TRIGGER WARNING: The following contains descriptions that may serve as triggers for survivors of sexual violence

So you’ve done the Marie Claire, What Shoe Heel Are you most Like? quiz,  Glamour’s questionnaire has confirmed that – congratulations – you are ‘Ana’ enough to date Christian Grey, and you know which which romantic comedy cliché you are (that last quiz is genious, btw), but you still don’t know who you really are? Well laydeez and gentleman, don’t stress! Our quiz this week will take you one step further on your exciting journey of self-discovery through ridiculous monthly magazine quizzes as you find out, are you a rape apologist, and if so, what kind?

1) When is it ok to have sex with someone without her/his consent?

a) When they are unconscious

b) When they are asleep

c) When you perceive them to be “really fit” and a bit “slutty”

d) When they look older than 13

e) When they are drunk and/or high on drugs

f) Never

If you answered f), go straight to the “Results” section below

2) In cases of alleged rape, the accuser is obviously lying/the accuser shouldn’t have justice if the accused is…

a) Really, really good at football

b) A Left-wing, anti-corporate hero

c) A “Uni Lad” partaking in hilarious “banter”

d) A famous, arty, well-connected director

e) Her boyfriend

3) If one accuses someone else of rape apology, this is most likely because one is…

a) Lacking in compassion. Many young lives are ruined when rapists who are minors are punished for their (natural) sexual misconduct, apparently

b) A raving republican involved in a complot against wikileaks

c) A “dyke”

d) Like one of the baddies in Les Miserables

e) Confused about what rape is. “Rape isn’t always rape”

Results

If you answered mostly a), you are probably…

A CNN Style Rape Apologist!

You think it is super sad when rapists are caught 😦 If they are young (like the young star football players from Steubenville who repeatedly gang raped a girl and circulated their films of the incidents via social media) being on the sex-offenders list means they might have trouble getting a job in the future 😦

If you answered mostly b) you are probably…

A “Free Assange”-style Rape Apologist!

Along with John Pilger, Ken Loach, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and many more high profile, respectable leftie fellahs, you probably feel really sad about wikileaks founder Julian Assange being cooped up in the Ecuadorian embassy. If a gal consents to sex once, surely it’s not rape if you roll on top of her again and start going at it when she’s sleeping. And if a girl says she won’t have sex unless you wear a condom, if you don’t bother putting one on and force her legs open a bit, that’s not rape, is it? You’re with George Galloway: it’s just “bad sexual etiquette.”

If you answered mostly c), you are probably…

A Uni Lad Rape Apologist!

You think rape is hilaire!!! And, as your fave magazine (Uni Lad is voted number one lads mag for male UK university students, apparently!) has noted, 85% of rapes go unreported, so you’ll probably get away with it! Hilarious! If any “bitch” tells you that this isn’t funny, just tell her that’s she’s a “dyke” (she’s probs just bitter cos she’s ugly and no1 wants to do her!) It’s all about the bantaaaaaah! Just remember to say “surprise”!

If you answered mostly d), you are probably…

A Hollywood A-Lister  or French Foreign Minister-style Rape Apologist!

So a famous film director rapes a 13 year-old girl. So he did something that was wrong. So he sought exile in France to avoiding having to go to prison after being charged with, and pleading guilty to, unlawful sex with a minor. But, do we really have to keep on hounding the poor guy? He’s getting old now and his films are so beautiful. Plus, Polanski’s a stickler for old-fashioned romance!

If you answered mostly e), you are probably…

Nick Ross, ex-Crimewatch presenter famous for his interesting retort against Miriam O’Reilly’s complaint of BBC ageism/sexism, “I’ve never worked with a minger”! Ross rightfully points out that many victims “tend to feel dirty, embarrassed, racked with revulsion and self-blame after their rape”, and therefore suggests that we give the victims a voice in these cases and acknowledge that their rape wasn’t really rape (it would be patronising not to, says Nick), especially if the perpetrator was their boyfriend, or if the victim was drunk or high on drugs. Thanks Nick. You and Kenneth Clark, who finds date rape confusing and not always that serious, probably get on well.

If you are an aspiring Nick Ross-style rape apologist, Gloss Watch’s brilliant style-guide may help you.

If you answered f) to the first question…

I’m sorry you have to share this earth with human beings that fall into categories a) to e).

Repelling sex pests the UKIP way

20 May

Top woman’s lifestyle magazine Cosmopolitan, which is surely every woman’s bible for all the dilemmas life rudely thrusts in our faces, says that cat-calling should be taken as a compliment. Cosmo’s Features Intern states that “sometimes a bit of attention, even if it’s in the form of a jeer from a middle-aged man drilling a hole in the street, can feel quite nice.”

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Cosmo annual (care of the Onion news)

But what if, unlike Cosmo’s Features Intern, you find the practice of strangers voicing their personal evaluation of your body and sexual attractiveness infuriating and intimidating? Well, you had better modify your behaviour, demeanour and dress: if a man harasses you, it’s your fault, because men are simple beings that are incapable of changing their comportment or controlling their sexual urges (although, funnily enough, when it comes to actual groping they often manage to control such urges until there’s no one around to see, Lib Dem Lord Rennard being a case in point). And if a harasser takes things one step further and “abuses” you, well, quite frankly, you are probably mistaken. As Steve Moxon, Andres Breivik sympathiser, Jimmy Saville apologist, ex-UKIP representative and author of The Woman’s Racket argues, “There is plenty of research showing a very high proportion of even formal allegations of sexual assault to police are fabrications (likely the majority…)”.  Indeed, UKIP has embraced blame-culture, so best act now to avoid blame if you are harassed or attacked (for rape prevention tips, go here).

So, how to divert unwanted sexual attention? There are many theories, but given the rising power of UKIP and the abundance of British Citizens voting to live the UKIP way (rumour has it that the home counties have already declared independence from Europe), it is intelligent to draw some sex pest repellence tips from UKIP itself. Indeed, it is important to pay close attention to UKIP’s own suggestions of how we can repel their supporters and members, given the sex-pest-esque way senior UKIP members treat wimmin-folk.

As far as I am aware, UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who is himself open about his hobby paying young women to take their clothes off, has yet to harangue fellow high-ranking UKIP politician Godfrey Bloom for his misogynist claims that businesses are mad to hire women of child-bearing age. Apparently, for Bloom, women belong in the kitchen and bedroom.  His hobby? Taking “big-titted bimbettes” (more commonly known as female politics students) to the European parliament. To be fair to Farage, he did sack Scottish UKIP MP and regular punter John Houston after the latter advocated for free visits to brothels for civil servants, work camps for people with disabilities, execution for the mentally ill and separate communities for people with facial disfigurements.  How to avoid unwanted attention from the likes of Houston and Bloom? Well, besides leaving your big tits at home when you go out, you could also try these three simple tips:

1) Wear trousers

Demetri Marchessini, one of UKIP’s most generous donors, suggests in his book Women in Trousers: a Rear View  (a book featuring photographs of the women of London and New York and their unattractive, trouser-clad bottoms) that women are currently “using trousers like a uniform every single day. This is hostile behaviour. They are deliberately dressing in a way that is opposite to what men would like. It is behaviour that flies against common sense, and also flies against the normal human desire to please.”

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Godfrey Bloom and his “girls”

2) Wear jeans, or, if it’s winter, go bare-legged. Also consider strappy ankle shoes and, if over a size 10, try wearing a slip dress

Says UKIP supporter Joan Collins, if you are unfeminine enough, men will turn gay, which greatly reduces the danger of unwanted sexual attention. According to Collins, ankle-strap shoes are “seriously unattractive.” She also advises that women over a size 10 do not look good in slip dresses, and no one is appealing with bare legs in winter. In a damning indictment of the classic american trouser, she describes jeans as “rarely glamourous.” Levis it is then.

3) Speak. Lots. Preferably in a foreign accent

Des Lynam, ex-BBC sports presenter and prominent UKIP supporter has described the female voice as “grating and unattractive” after having to listen to wimmin-commentators throughout the past summer’s Olympic events (Lynam must surely have got on well with the late national treasure Sir Patrick Moore, fellow UKIP fan, who famously complained of women ruining the BBC). If you find that speaking with your banshee-like voice is in itself not enough to get rid of any pests, then try speaking in a foreign accent, especially one belonging to one of the poorer EU Member states, and your harasser will disappear quicker than you can say “political correctness gone mad.”

Let us close this blogpost with a poem in memory of the political career of Geoffrey Clark, recently dismissed from UKIP due to his interesting policy suggestions, which included forced abortion of fetuses with down syndrome and euthanasia for the over 80s as a solution to NHS overspending:

“WE MUST TURN THE TIDE, AND THEN ADVANCE”

=======================================

… Do you see?

It’s so much like the end of Rome

With all the Roman legions returning home

Permitting Britannia to burn, decay, alone.

But other foreign legions are returning,

Bringing a kind of cancer in their wake;

Cancer not of Britain’s doing, but one that Britons make.

Our present leaders are elected to preside

Over our ancient green and pleasant land

Just to give it all away, to an alien hand.

So this cancer slowly spreads all around us.

Then our empire crashes, near unnoticed.

Must we hand it to the strangers without protest?

Will our children hate us for an absent deed? –

The treachery of which is so apparent?

With marriage killed, what deed is more abhorrent?

First freedom, then glory, and when that fails,

Wealth, vice, corruption. Barbarism at last!

‘Tis but the same rehearsal of the past.

…So do we wait, or do we act?

We must strike out now, and turn the tide,

There is very little more time to wait,

‘Else children will have for us the guilty, nought but hate.”

By Geoffrey Clark 17.11.12

though George Gordon Byron helped with verse 6

 

Supporting the Police with further ridiculous safety tips to help me not get raped

4 Apr

Trigger warning: the following contains photos that may serve as a trigger to victims of sexual violence

It seems that the Police believe that women would not worry about their own safety if the Police did not tell them too. Therefore, in order to reduce rapes, the Police tell us to follow their top safety tips, which apparently will stop rape happening: do not drink; do not walk home alone; do not take minicabs; do not behave in a “seductive” way; do not talk to strangers; do not dress “provocatively,” etcetera etcetera. If you neglect to follow these tips and you are consequently raped, it is your own fault. The rapist has no agency in his actions. Rape is a passive phenomenon that women leave themselves open to if they do not behave in certain modest ways. Men cannot help themselves. Or so imply the Police’s anti-rape campaigns.

Let me add that the Police seem to be unaware that most rapists do not follow the “knife-wielding stranger down the dark alleyway” model (although, truth be told, some do), that most rapists are known to the victim, and that, therefore, the Police’s “tips” are redundant since the only way for a woman to avoid getting raped is to avoid being in the company of rapists, which is, unfortunately, impossible.

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Thames Valley police’s trigger-inducing anti-rape poster tells girls not to drink (and parents not to buy their daughter’s drink) less a helpless boy find himself raping them

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Sickeningly badly-judged poster from the Met Police. This poster has forced me to begin several a tube-catching day in the most foul of moods.

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West Mercia police have now apologised for the above poster, and have admitted that rapists, rather than alcohol, cause rape.

Let’s be clear – all things considered, the Police’s safety-tip-focused, don’t-get-raped campaigns are somewhat misogynist, given their focus on victim-blaming (the non-misogynist alternative would be anti-rape campaigns that encourage men not to rape). In response, the wonderful world of twitter feminists has created a few sublime #safetytipsforladies to complement the Police’s ridiculousness.

 Ladies, to avoid rape, try the following:

–       “Carry a whistle, people may think you are a high school football coach and respect your autonomy”

–       “It’s well known that rapists have evil background music accompaniment, so keep your ears open and listen!”

–       “Avoid places where there are rapists or possible rapists, the moon for example is currently men free”

–       “Fill your vagina with cement and let it dry”

–        “Safe fashion outfits include a Sherman tank, a hollowed-out rhinoceros, and a Wheelie bin with holes cut for your feet”

–       “Skin tantalizes rapists, whether visible or coquettishly covered. Leave your skin at home.”

–        “Don’t be attacked by guys with a promising future. That is the absolute WORST decision you can make.”

–        “Rapists love ponytails. Surround yourself with ponies and the rapists will be too confused to attack”

–       “Always project strong body language. Rapists are put off by women who walk on their hands continuously”

–        “The majority of rapists are known to the victim. Consider not knowing any men.”

–       “It is a fact that rapists target human ladies, so be an animorph. Transform into an eagle at the first sign of danger.”

–       “If you hide your forearms in your sleeves, the rapist will mistake you for a T-Rex and carry on his way”

–       “If you wear a broccoli safety-pinned to your lapel manly carnivorous men will be repelled and won’t rape you”

–        “Always carry a Furby. It’s a proven fact that everyone is afraid Furbies, so when attacked, throw it at the rapist.”

–        “Just accept rape cultures definition of consent. Then you can never be raped.”

–        “Take a course on personal empowerment and then wear a cape to let would-be-rapists know that you are empowered.”

–        “When approached in a bar by a man you don’t know … what were you doing in a bar anyway you slut?”

–       “Stop being a woman in public”

Letter to CNN’s rape apologists

21 Mar

Dear Ms Crowley and Ms Harlow,

After a few days away from the Anglophone media, I was this morning alerted to your news report, date 17th March, on the trial of the Steubenville rapists: the high school boys who kidnapped a 16 year old girl who was vomiting at the roadside and fell unconscious, then drove her – over a period of several hours – from party to party where they repeatedly gang raped and urinated on her. They and their delighted, laughing pals filmed the attacks whilst shouting comments such as “she is so raped,” “they raped her quicker than Mike Tyson!”, “they raped her more than the Duke lacrosse team!”; and she was “deader than Trayvon Martin” and then shared videos and photographs via social media, which, incidentally, went viral. Laurie Penny has compared these images to the photographs taken between the 1880’s and 1930’s, which show white Americans grinning beneath the naked mutilated body of a black man or woman hanging behind them from a tree. The lynching photographs were souvenirs of a collective action whose participants felt perfectly justified in what they had done, just as those Steubenville boys did. And you reinforce their sense of justification.

As you are no doubt aware, when the girl (commonly known in the media as Jane Doe) and her family reported the crime to the police, she began to receive death threats as inhabitants of the town of Steubenville, Ohio, united in an attempted mass cover up of the rapes, in order to protect the implicated young boys, who happened to be the town’s star football players.

You could say that Jane Doe has been raped many times: firstly by the boys that invaded her unconscious body; secondly by the party-goers who watched and did nothing; thirdly by the people that delighted in sharing and mocking pictures of her ordeal via social media; and now by the great masses of rape apologists who rally behind her rapists rather than her (you may count yourselves in this final category).

Pardon the digression. Back to your news report. To jog your memories, here is a link to your report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cvUCDjLDIk. I have also enclosed a transcript of your dialogue in case your internet connection is too slow for you to watch the video comfortably (see below).

In your report, the two of you, plus your “expert”, Paul Callan, express incredible levels of sadness, sympathy and regret for those poor rapists who will spend over a year in a detention centre for their crimes. You feel, I quote, “incredibly emotional” at the sight of these boys crying in court as “their lives fell apart”. Indeed, Ms Harlow, in terms of the compassion you feel for the two boys, you say that you’ve “never experienced anything like it.” All three of you lament that these boys will now be labeled as sex offenders for their whole lives, despite being “good students.”

It’s so very sad when rapists get caught, especially when they are good students. I feel your pain… I really do (I don’t) … and so I have developed a few tips to help you help other defenceless young boys in potential danger of having their lives ruined with custodial sentences and appearances on the sex offenders register:

1) Don’t commit a sex offence*

I can’t think of any more tips.

Yours sincerely,

Joanna Allan

* Kidnapping someone, repeatedly raping them, urinating on them and filming it constitutes a sex offence.

P.S. Will CNN be televising a public apology for this appalling piece of journalism?

P.P.S Your report on this trial breaks my heart. I have never been more amazed and disgusted by anything I have read or heard from a journalist.

TRANSCRIPT FROM CNN NEWS REPORT ON STEUBENVILLE VERDICT

CROWLEY: “Again, this case was played out in juvenile court, that is why there was a judge, no jury. He decided on the verdict, as well as, you heard there, talking about the sentence.

We want to go now to CNN’s Poppy Harlow. She is in Steubenville, and has been covering this trial.

I cannot imagine having just watched this on the feed coming in. How emotional that must have been sitting in the courtroom.”

POPPY HARLOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: “I’ve never experienced anything like it, Candy. It was incredibly emotional — incredibly difficult even for an outsider like me to watch what happened as these two young men that had such promising futures, star football players, very good students, literally watched as they believe their life fell apart.

One of — one of the young men, Ma’lik Richmond, when that sentence came down, he collapsed. He collapsed in the arms of his attorney, Walter Madison. He said to me, “My life is over. No one is going to want me now.”

Very serious crime here. Both found guilty of raping this 16- year-old girl at a series of parties back in August, alcohol-fueled parties. Alcohol is a huge part in this.

But Trent Mays was also found guilty on a second count and that is of felony illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material because he took a photograph of the victim laying naked on the floor that night. Trent Mays will serve two years in a juvenile detention facility. Ma’lik Richmond will serve one year on that one count that he was found guilty for.

I want to let our viewers listen because for the first time in this entire trial we have now heard from the two young men. Trent Mays stood up, apologizing to the victim’s family in court. After him, Ma’lik Richmond.”

Listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TRENT MAYS, FOUND GUILTY OF RAPING IN JUVENILE COURT: “I would really like to apologize to (INAUDIBLE), her family, my family and community. No pictures should have been sent out or should be taken. That’s all. Thank you.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: “Anything you’d like to say, Ma’lik?”

MA’LIK RICHMOND, FOUND GUILTY OF RAPE IN JUVENILE COURT:” I would like to apologize. I had no intention to do anything like that and I’m sorry to put you guys through this. (INAUDIBLE) I’m sorry.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW:” I was sitting about three feet from Ma’lik when he gave that statement. It was very difficult to watch.

You know, something that came up throughout this sentencing. Ma’lik’s father had gotten up and spoke. Ma’lik has been living with guardians. His father, a former alcoholic, gotten to a lot of trouble with the law, been in prison before.

And his father stood up and he told the court, ‘I feel responsible for this. I feel like I wasn’t there for my son.’ And before that, he came over to the bench where his son was sitting. He approached him, he hugged him and whispered in his ear.

And Ma’lik’s attorney said to us in a courtroom, I have never heard Ma’lik’s father before say, I love you. He’s never told his son that. But he just did today.

This was an incredibly emotional day. These two juveniles being carried out and they will be committed today, Candy.”

I want to bring in Paul Callan, our CNN legal contributor.

You know, Paul, a 16-year-old now just sobbing in court, regardless of what big football players they are, still sound like 16 year olds. The other one, 17. A 16-year-old victim.

The thing is, when you listen to it and you realize that they could stay until they’re 21, they are going to get credit for time served. What’s the lasting effect, though, on two young men being found guilty in juvenile court of rape, essentially?

PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, you know, Candy, we’ve seen here a courtroom drenched in tears and tragedy and, you know, Poppy’s description, I think, you know, sums it all up. But across America scenes like this happen all the time.

I know as a prosecutor and defense attorney, when that verdict is handed down, usually it’s just the family and families of the defendants and the victims, there’s always that moment of just lives are destroyed. And lives have already been destroyed by the crime. And we got a chance to see that.

But in terms of what happens now, yes, the most severe thing with these young men is being labeled as registered sex offenders. That label is now placed on them by Ohio law and, by the way, the laws in most other states now require such a designation in the face of such a serious crime.

That will haunt them for the rest of their lives. Employers, when looking up their background, will see they’re registered sex offender. When they move into a new neighborhood and somebody goes on the Internet where these things are posted. Neighbors will know they’re a registered sex offender.

It’s really something that will have a lasting impact. Much more of a lasting impact than going to a juvenile facility for one or two years.

Things people wouldn’t say about/to men

7 Mar

In an attempt to preserve and document #thingspeopledontsaytomen:

“Look how he’s dressed. What a cunttease!”

“You may well have a point, sir, but nobody will listen to you unless you stop being so shrill and hysterical”

“Raven haired George Osborne delivered the budget in his shiny black shoes and prim blue suit”

“If we had all-white, all-male shortlists we wouldn’t get very good candidates”

He’s a “Working Father”/a “Career Father”/a “Single Father”

“He’s such a whore/slut”

“Update your wardrobe with this seasons must-have colours!”

“Stop being such a big boy’s shirt”

“Let’s go over and listen to the commentary from the boys’ event.”

“Hahahaha a male mechanic? Can they even take a wheel off?”

“Don’t be so sensitive! Jokes about men being raped/beaten/murdered are just harmless banter”

“So when is she gonna put a ring on that finger?”

“He’s really clever & successful but I bet he would give it all up to be pretty. It’s a shame for him”

“Why didn’t you change your name when you got married?”

“He must be lying. He’s a manipulative attention-seeker”

“What’s up with the temper? Having your raspberry week, or what?”

“Do you want to share a school run?”

“Phwoar look at the legs on that. I was talking about the beer, honest dahlin'”

“Damn baby, how are you? You’re sexy. Why won’t you talk to me? I’m just trying to be nice, you fat bastard.”

“If you didn’t want strangers to shout things at you about your body, then you shouldn’t have worn those shorts”

“Men are really bad at spatial awareness. It’s because of cave people that men have car accidents all the time.”

“Your biological clock is ticking!”

“Oooh, a business trip! Are you going to get some time for shopping?”

“Most men secretly want to be raped. It’s nature.”

“What are you wearing?”

“Your anger at being treated like a subhuman fucktoy is probably due to a hormonal fluctuation, nothing more.”

“Nothing grosser than a man who doesn’t shave his entire body. Ewwwwwwwwww!”

“I think you’re so *brave* for not wearing make up! I wish I could get away with that.”

“GET YOUR COCK OUT FOR THE LADS/GIRLS!”

“Look at David Cameron pouring his curves into his suit.”

“All that beer is gonna go straight to his hips!”

“Don’t rape.”

“You manage to combine being a full-time scientist with being a father?! Amazing!”

“I’m going to have to ask you to change jobs, because you’ve been sexually harassed by the boss.”

“He should “save himself” for marriage”

“You’re very handsome. How come you aren’t married? Is it because you work too hard?”

“He says he was raped but he was obviously asking for it.”

Letter to John Pilger from an Assange Hater

22 Feb

Dear John,

I am writing to you as someone who had long admired you, just as I had admired Ken Loach and Noam Chomsky who join you in their unwavering Assange support, in your pursuit for “justice, freedom and truth” against imperialism. As my close friends will know, I had especially admired the three of you (that is, yourself, Loach and Chomsky) for your devotion for the largely forgotten Western Sahara cause. Yet, as Shakespeare said, lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds, and my deep admiration has turned to deeper disappointment.

In your V-Day (the international day of the global campaign to end violence against women) piece in The Guardian, you described Julian Assange’s “allies” as devoted to “an epic struggle for justice, truth and freedom.” Sadly, this piece disappoints me so much that I cannot even find it in myself to respond sarcastically, which is my normal reaction to opinions that displease me. I consider myself as anti-imperialist, pro-transparency and generally devoted to “justice, freedom and truth.” However, within my commitment to “justice, freedom and truth” I tend to include “justice, freedom and truth” for women.

Right now, in the UK and elsewhere in the world, the singular issue where “justice, freedom and truth” is most lacking, in my opinion, for women, is that of rape, or “sexual misconduct”, as you might put it. I find that, in my daily life, I am constantly preoccupied by the threat of rape, of Schrödinger’s Rapist (the stranger, who takes it upon himself to approach me, for example by cat-calling, in public, and who may or may not turn out to be my future rapist), and by the weighty “rape culture” in which a number of my actions may, in future, be considered to be “asking for” my own rape.

You claim that the allegations against Assange of “sexual misconduct” (is that a softer way for you to say “rape”?) are “falsehoods”, and imply that, since the women that accuse him had previously consented to sex with Assange, their accusations of rape are dismissible. As a woman, I find this offensive. The idea that any man with whom I have previously consented to sex can come and hump me at will – with or without a condom and certainly without my express consent – does not sit well with my idea of “justice, freedom and truth.” This idea does, however, sit well with the wider rape culture that permeates our society, in which women are expected to follow rape prevention tips if they wish to avoid being blamed for “causing” sexual assault.

I will fight for Western Sahara’s self-determination to the end, yet I will denounce the hushing-up of claims made by Saharawi women of rape by their compatriots (not that this is any worse than the lack of justice for rape survivors anywhere else, the UK included), just as I support the cause of the Palestinian people whilst simultaneously being disgusted by the placing of women’s rights in second place to those of the Palestinian nation as a whole, (which, to me, implies that the Palestinian nation is only for men). Likewise, I support efforts, such as those of wikileaks, to call out government and corporate corruption, but am equally committed to calling out Julian Assange for his lack of respect for women.

I cannot think of a situation where I would not feel hatred towards a rapist. I hate Assange for disrespecting women’s autonomy over their bodies. Therefore, I am a member of the, what you call in your article, “Julian Assange Hate Cult”. Yet, I am not a US government ally “out to crush someone who has revealed its dirty secrets.” Not everything is black and white, a dichotomy of goodies and badies. You can be an anti-imperialist and a rapist. You can be an investigative, leftie journalist and a misogynist.

Yours sincerely,

Assange Hater.

Feminazi witch-hunt of gentlemen with normal sexual preferences

13 Oct

When I was 8, I wrote to Jim’ll Fix It to request that my wish for long hair be granted (at 8, I realised that short hair was most un-princess-like and unfeminine and was rightfully pursuing actions that could rectify the situation). At the time, I was sad to receive no reply, but, since it turns out that the BBC was a 70s refuge for paedophiles, I am somewhat relieved.

Perhaps I am using the wrong terminology. According to the writer Tim Worstall, Jimmy was not a paedophile, since his “sexual preference” was for “mid-to-late adolescents” rather than children, and that Jimmy’s “attractions” are quite normal amongst males. Many commentators on Mr Worstall’s, ahem, surprising piece on male sexuality and indeed more widely, see the uproar around Jimmy’s systematic rape of girls as a necrophiliac lynching of feminist design.  They fear a wider “witch hunt” of other victims such as the late John Peel, who publicly boasted of his exploits with 13 year-olds and allegedly left a 15 year-old pregnant. Such a hunt is uncalled for, since, as music journalist David Hepworth and former BBC Director General Michael Grade helpfully pointed out on the Channel 4 news, such abuse and exploitation of minors was “just part of the showbiz mix” and was certainly not seen as “sinister”.  But, this “culture” is all behind us now. Such attitudes to the treatment of children became dead and buried when the 60s and 70s drew to a close. There is no need to spend huge sums of money investigating why the systematic sexual abuse of children was condoned at the BBC and Leeds General hospital when the country is in economic crisis. It’s all behind us now. What’s done is done and can’t be undone.

But is it done? Barnados estimates that the average age for entering prostitution in my home region of the North East is 13.  We aren’t in the 70s anymore so surely paying to use children for one’s sexual gratification shouldn’t be socially acceptable, but there are customers. Similarly, UK’s rape conviction rate stands at pitifully low 6.5% and it is estimated 95% of rapes aren’t reported in the first place. Perhaps, like Jimmy’s “sexual partners”, rape survivors fear they will not be believed. Why complain if you are likely to be dismissed or belittled (see Pilger or Chomsky on Assange’s complainants), accused of “provoking” your rapist (see rape prevention tips for reminders on how to avoid this), laughed at (I remember Leeds University men’s hockey time holding a hilarious rape victim themed fancy dress night in the Union bar back in 2004) or having your records falsified in order to bring an immediate end to your case without investigation? I would argue that the ever increasing and hugely disproportionate media attention to false allegations of rape adds to this culture of disbelieving survivors.  I would argue that this is the same culture that made Jimmy and his chums untouchable back in the 70s and continues to make other abusers untouchable today.

But not to worry! Sapphire, the Met police’s sex crime unit, has got a new strategy! Their new anti-rape campaign will “speak to women about reducing their vulnerability”. Says Mick Duthie, Detective Chief Superintendent of Sapphire, “we do need to educate people that if they go out and get hammered they are vulnerable – vulnerable to being assaulted – vulnerable to falling over and vulnerable to being raped… 80% of our victims have one form of vulnerability or another, a permanent or temporary vulnerability through drink, drugs, mental health, age. So there are things that we can do to prevent the offence happening in the first place.” It is also encouraging to hear of another vital prong of the Sapphire Strategy: convict rapists of unrelated crimes that are easier to prove. Says Duthie of rapists, “we don’t want them out there committing sexual offences so if they are disqualified from driving … this will help prevent rape.”

That’s right, victims – you have the power to stop the rape happening in the first place. Just don’t be vulnerable. Don’t fall over. Try to be mentally healthy. And the met police will help you by trying to make sure that rapists don’t have the right to drive.