Hate Male Archive 2

https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/rebuild-finances-after-financial-abuse/

The Great Replacement

The 28-year-old man awaiting trial over the Christchurch massacre wrote a self-justifying screed titled “The Great Replacement.” It begins: “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.” The 21-year-old American who allegedly killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, left behind a four-page document outlining his motivations. Its most consistent theme is the danger of Hispanic “invaders who also have close to the highest birthrate of all ethnicities in America.” The alleged shooter adds: “My motives for this attack are not at all personal. Actually the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement.”

Eric Bogle - The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Eric Bogle – The Band Played Waltzing Matilda – YouTube

The Dubliners: The Molly Maguires HQ

As a woman , I prefer real men , not ‘he’s for she’s’ or cowards in police uniform. Modern women love police men in uniform and lapdogs.

Roberta Jane Cook

Roberta Jane ready for action. Image Appledene Photographics.

The Dubliners: The Molly Maguires HQ – YouTube

www.youtube.com › watch

Logo of amjph

Am J Public Health. 2014 June; 104(6): e19–e26. Published online 2014 June. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301946PMCID: PMC4062022PMID: 24825225

Sasha Bates of Green Party Fame , feeding off the Everard Murder by a ‘well respected police officer.’ March 12th. ‘Men should have a curfew of 6pm so Women feel safer’ 🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣

This Green Party politician wants a curfew for all men after 6pm at night. Just in case you thought I was exaggerating when I call the left deranged… Nigel Farage March 12th 2021

So much for equality then. The chart below, from ONS , shows very clearly that men are very much more likely to be murdered than women. The figures for men are rising with females falling. Our multi cultural cities are safe for no decent person of any race age or gender at night. Also it should be emphasised that the Everard suspect is an experienced officer from the Metropolitan Police Diplomatic Squad with sex offence form that the police refused to investigate. So if feminists are making judgements about all men, may I make adverse judgements about all police officers ?

Men are far more likely to be killed. As for domestic violence and sex allegations, well we all know women never lie for revenge , financial gain or out of malice. They are also never violent except in self defence , as with the poor Caroline Flack case – the eternal teenager.

No they are all sweet and innocent. They should be allowed to walk where they like , dressed as they like. I think roads and motorways should be closed in case they fancy J walking. This keeping people safe has taken on a whole new meaning in a geographical space claiming to be democracy but ruled by edict. Covid lockdown is paving the way for a very strange but wholesome new normal .

One last thought, it is an offence to shout at or argue with a woman because it constitutes abuse and assault. You might be lucky to get off with a charge of mansplaining. One hopes all those single parent mums will persuade more little boys to discover their ‘feminine side’ if anyone could actually explain what that is in a world where girls are ever more masculine and do not wish to be perceived as females.

There are so many contradictions and imponderables here. But never mind, just so long as we can contain all those privileged white males, where ever you find them , maybe in the pubs, the dole queue, sleeping rough , in jails or mental hospitals. There is always gender reassignment , but what does that mean when the aim is to kill white male identity and confidence and boost girls?

If you make them into girls but don’t except MTF sex changers as female then you have made a bad situation worse. Never mind , we all know sex change has a correlation with psychosis — so maybe they will all just kill themselves. BAME are nicer people and will soon make up the numbers. That is why BLM must be respected. R,J Cook
The smug and self righteous face of feminism which has done so much to promote women only child rearing and consequent behavioural problems. They have a vested interest in finding new reasons to denigrate white males . This is especially so with the young, as privileged and in need of lessons in humility – in a geaographical space that has forfeited any claim to nation status – where their prospects have never been dimmer.

Obviously the Everard killing is a chance for more anti white male hate policies and declamations. Mustn’t mention BAME crimes or that the killer in this case was no ordinary man. He was what cops like to be called : ‘A well respected police officer.’

The matriarchy is on the march and just the right sort of cover and distraction the greedy billionaires who really run our fake democracies, love.

Women have never been made to feel so special. Everything would , of course, run so much better if they were in charge. Why not retrain sex workers as cops, whoring experience would surely be a positive and they should stop drawing attention to female sexuality. Chaperones should also be mandatory. But let’s have male safe spaces too because only a moron or liar would dare say women never lie or do wrong unless a male leads or forces them.
R.J Cook

Female Equality ( Supremacy ) means more control by elite because women do not question them or their rules. R.J Cook March 11th 2021

Women are more likely than are men to follow guidelines outlined by medical experts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, new research finds.

In an article published in Behavioral Science & Policy, New York University and Yale University researchers report that women have practiced preventive practices of physical distancing, mask wearing, and maintaining hygiene to a greater degree than men. Women were also more likely to listen to experts and exhibit alarm and anxiety in response to COVID-19.

The findings are consistent with pre-pandemic health-care behaviors, the study’s authors note.

“Previous research before the pandemic shows that women had been visiting doctors more frequently in their daily lives and following their recommendations more so than men,” explains Irmak Olcaysoy Okten, a postdoctoral researcher in NYU’s Department of Psychology and the paper’s lead author. “They also pay more attention to the health-related needs of others. So it’s not surprising that these tendencies would translate into greater efforts on behalf of women to prevent the spread of the pandemic.”

The study’s authors, who also included Anton Gollwitzer, a researcher at Yale University, and Gabriele Oettingen, a professor in NYU’s Department of Psychology, compared women and men in endorsing preventive health practices during the peak period of the pandemic in the U.S.

The researchers’ conclusions are based on three studies that employed various methodologies: a survey, on-the-street observations in different sites, and a county-level analysis of movement through GPS data from approximately 15 million smart-phone coordinates.

In the survey, researchers queried nearly 800 U.S. residents using Prolific — a research platform where individuals are compensated to complete short tasks. Questions asked about respondents’ tendency to keep social distance and to stay at home (excluding shopping), frequency of hand washing, number of days of in-person contact with family or friends, and number of days of in-person contact with others.

In all their responses, women were more likely than were men to report following these practices; in all but one of these (in-person contact with others), the differences were statistically significant.

The survey also asked about which sources of information the respondents relied on for one particular behavior — social distancing. Notably, women were significantly more likely than men to rely on the following sources when deciding to what extent they distance themselves physically from others: medical experts, other countries’ experiences, their governor, and social media.

In addition, women were much more likely then were men to attribute their behaviors to feeling anxious about the pandemic and their own health history as well as to feeling a responsibility to both themselves and to others.

In a second study, researchers observed a total of 300 pedestrians in three different U.S. locations by zip code (New York City/10012, New Haven, Conn./06511, and New Brunswick, NJ/08901) and tallied proper mask-wearing by covering the mouth and nose. They found a greater, and statistically significant, proportion of mask wearing among women (57.7 percent) than men (42.3 percent) — even though the gender distribution living in these zip codes was roughly equal.

In a final study, researchers compared overall movement as well as visits by men and women to nonessential retailers across U.S. counties. Nonessential retailers included restaurants, spas, fitness facilities, and florists, among others.

To do this, they analyzed aggregated GPS location data from approximately 3,000 U.S. counties and 15 million GPS smart-phone coordinates between March 9 and May 29. These numbers were obtained from Unacast, a company that collects mobility data from adults who have provided their consent. The researchers also took into account the fact that social distancing policies were instituted around mid-March and loosened toward the middle and end of April; as a result, social distancing increased and then decreased over time across these counties.

The results showed that tracked individuals in counties with a higher percentage of males showed comparatively less social distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed between March 9 and May 29, as measured both by movement and by visits to nonessential retailers. In this analysis, the researchers considered the tracked sample as representative of a county’s overall gender break-down.

These differences remained even after accounting for COVID-19 cases per capita in these counties, the presence of stay-at-home orders, and other demographic characteristics of the counties, such as income, education, and profession.

The authors acknowledge that the findings could have been driven by men and women holding jobs that differ — specifically, men could be more likely to hold jobs in certain sectors deemed essential and therefore exhibit greater movement. However, taking into account counties’ percentages of employment in various types of professions did not alter the differences in behavior between genders. Specifically, the results were unchanged when they controlled for counties’ percentage of workers in a long list of job areas — agriculture, mining, utilities, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, health care and social assistance, and hospitality and food services, among others.

The researchers also considered the possible impact of political orientation. Notably, however, the effect of gender distribution on reduced physical distancing over time did not substantially decrease when they accounted for counties’ percentage of votes for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“Fine-tuning health messages to alert men in particular to the critical role of maintaining social distancing, hygiene, and mask wearing may be an effective strategy in reducing the spread of the virus,” says Olcaysoy Okten.


Story Source:

Materials provided by New York University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Comment There is no scientific basis for lockdown controlling the virus. Angry support from females is essential to this appalling abuse of thinking people’s rights and livelihoods. The elite have got it covered. To argue with a woman is abuse. If it takes place in the home it is domestic violence . This is the age of La Sacred Femme. She is Devine and Mystical and Sexual and Sensual. She can create life, and nourish it. She is your mother, your sister, your …daughter etc. We are in very dangerous waters with this. Outcomes are there for those who want to see. mothers are more likely to kill and abuse childred , but it is misogyny to challenge women for their behaviour.

The criteria for domestic violence and sex offences have gotten ever easier to convict, especially since there is no legal requirement for evidence or statute of limitation. This has been women’s week, with British Feminazis across the political spectrum insisting that offences against women are a whole Mount Everest higher than already exaggerated figures suggest. The evidence is there with record numbers of one parent mothered families and maladjusted children , along with rising youth suicide. White people are the most lacking in family structure as women are encouraged to ‘be themselves.’.

Those who criticise the London Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic for giving sex change hormones to 10 year olds, miss the point that the feminazis – though ironically extreme Terf feminazis see sex change as boys plotting ultimate disguise to commit rape in ladies toilets – realise getting little boys young will prevent them developing any sympathy and understanding for so , called privileged white males.

As we see in the above article , too many young men are not towing the covid line and should be in the queue for lobotomy or anti psychotic drugs and reprogamming. Nothing must get in the way of global reset propaganda. We are all supposed to accept that we can only trust infection rates when they are made to look as if they are rising. Otherwise we are told we need more data. We are also told that we can’t really ease the restrictions or ever actually get rid of them because if we did millions would die almost instantly.

We are told that vaccines are important but we will never get rid of lockdown restrictions which will at best be intermittent, but we will never close borders to illegal economic migrants. We are told in the U.K that NHS staff are heroic, then they threaten to strike if they don’t get a 15% pay rise, while the rest of us are thrown permanently out of work. Meanwhile the girls are doing their bit, making them ideal candidates to be listened to always or face abuse charges. They are so nice that they should always be promoted and leaders. Young men need to change , especially whites because they are the one who have to give up their alleged power. They must listen to the old past it experts. R.J Cook

Toxic Feminism Posted March 10th 2021

Essay, Culture Wars, Philip Carl SalzmanJuly 11, 2018

Feminism began as a challenge to male domination and female subordination. It could have become a champion of equality and the dignity of individual human beings. Unfortunately, contemporary feminism is not a liberation from sexism. It is true that feminism rejects anti-female sexism. But in place of anti-female sexism, it does not advocate gender-blind standards; it does not advocate treating individuals as complex human beings; it does not reject reducing people to their sex/gender. On the contrary, feminism, as indicated by its name, is a movement that sees people as defined by their gender, and lobbies for the interests of females. In short, feminism does not reject sexism, but advocates anti-male sexism.

In complement to feminism’s framing of females as oppressed by males, while having their qualities of strength and intelligence underrated by men, men are framed as arrogant and insensitive, oppressive, and brutal. The systematic vilification and demonization of males is part of the feminist strategy of raising women by lowering men, by convincing people that women are good and men are bad. Note that this is simply a reversal of anti-female sexism into anti-male sexism. All males, whatever their individual qualities, are reduced to a common set of evil characteristics, while all females are celebrated as sensitive, smart, and strong.

Female victimhood is described in many feminist works. Here is one well known example, as seen through the eyes of the female protagonist in a short story: I snuck Reviving Ophelia [by Mary Pipher] from my mother’s nightstand and learned how I was going to lose myself, that my childhood was Eden but I had to leave, that in this poisonous late-twentieth-century misogynist culture, anorexia and suicide and rape and self-hate were the inevitable wages of womanhood.[1]

But acclaimed Canadian fiction writer Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, together with its television version, now in its second year, is probably better known, and the dystopian picture it presents is even more dire: Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian and theocratic state that has replaced the United States of America. Because of dangerously low reproduction rates, Handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. Offred serves the Commander and his wife, Serena Joy, a former gospel singer and advocate for “traditional values.” Offred is not the narrator’s real name. Handmaid names consist of the word “of” followed by the name of the Handmaid’s Commander. Every month, when Offred is at the right point in her menstrual cycle, she must have impersonal, wordless sex with the Commander while Serena sits behind her, holding her hands. Offred’s freedom, like the freedom of all women, is completely restricted. She can leave the house only on shopping trips, the door to her room cannot be completely shut, and the Eyes, Gilead’s secret police force, watch her every public move.[2]

The Republic of Gilead is a creation of the imagination, and is about as far from modern Western society as one could imagine. It is an attempt to think how people, in this case women, could survive and adjust to an extreme situation. But Atwood is a self-identified and celebrated feminist. What is her message to women in this work? Is she saying that men can never be trusted, and women, for their own self defense, should take control of society and keep men well away from power? If so, is that an appropriate message for 20th and 21st century Canada and America? The feminist tactic appears to be, once again, scaring women and demonizing men.

Another overt feminist anti-male expression is the demand that heterosexual females forgo intimate relations with men in favour of “political lesbianism.”[3] Here is how it is defined in a pamphlet entitled “Love Your Enemy?”: “All feminists can and should be lesbians. Our definition of a political lesbian is a woman-identified woman who does not fuck men.”[4] Political lesbianism is not a matter of sexual inclination; it is not about women attracted only to women. “It does not mean compulsory sexual activity with women.” Rather, the point is “to get rid of men from your beds and your heads.”[5] Female students at some distinguished American women’s colleges were under feminist peer pressure not to date men.[6]

Feminism classifies all men, with the exception of gays, into three categories: rapists, sexual harassers, and potential rapists and harassers. Feminism does not explain this male criminality in biological terms, because feminists reject the biological basis of sex, so that women cannot be seen to be limited by biological influences. Rather, male sexual brutality is explained as a result of our so-called misogynist “rape culture.” This is an incoherent and false idea, because our culture forbids and punishes rape.[7] The #MeToo movement, a litany of unsubstantiated claims of having been sexually harassed, is another strategic step in vilifying all men, and, by contrast, claiming innocent virtue and victimhood for all women. While some men are abusive and should be stopped, #MeToo, like “rape culture,” colours all men as abusive or potentially abusive. This provides a basis in “safety” for feminists to call for greater priority for women in all fields and the sidelining of men.[8]

Feminist particularism is shown clearly by the constantly repeated demand that when a woman makes an allegation, she must be believed. Hillary Clinton, during her campaign for the U.S. Presidency, tweeted “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”[9] Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who self-identifies as a feminist, asserts that we should “believe all allegations.”[10]

American universities and colleges responded to President Obama’s directive to prosecute sexual assault cases vigorously by jettisoning due process and the presumption of innocence.[11] At McGill University, any female who makes an allegation of sexual assault is officially labelled a “survivor.” At McGill, there is apparently a presumption of truth in any allegation, and the presumption of innocence of the accused is disregarded.[12]

What we know is that, when those accused of sexual assault are brought to court, rather than being lynched by university committees, the cases are often thrown out due to lack of evidence and credibility, and in some cases, the accusers are shown to have lied, and in some cases are indicted and sent to jail.[13]

If feminists thought of human beings as individuals, rather than as members of one good and one bad category, they might realize that many, perhaps most people lie, and that any allegation must be tested rigorously if we are concerned about justice and about avoiding punishing innocent individuals. Unfortunately, feminists are not all concerned about avoiding punishing the innocent.

“No, we haven’t gone too far, nor far enough. Male privilege, male hegemony and male chauvinism has been around for millennia all the while women and girls carrying the burden and paying the price for doing nothing but being female. The only way to change the equation is for men to begin paying that price, guilty or not.”[14] Margaret Atwood, herself a feminist literary icon, came under attack from other feminists when she called for “transparency” in inquiries about sexual assault. One critic wrote ‘Margaret Atwood’s latest op-ed is a very, very clear reminded that old cis women are not to be trusted. They care more about poor widdle [sic] accused men than they do about actual f****** rape victims. They spend as much time advocating for rapists as they do attacking victims.’ Atwood says that “she’s been called a ‘bad feminist’ for insisting on due process for Galloway, the former chair of the creative writing program, and warned the dangers of letting justice for all fall by the wayside in favor of extreme feminism.”[15] Today’s feminists apparently believe that due process and “innocent until proven guilty” are outmoded male supremacist tricks.[16]

Another unfortunate example of the feminist approach is the debate about child custody after the breakdown of a marriage. After a long-standing policy in Canada and the U.S. of favouring mothers for custody and fathers for child support payments, more recent discussion has focussed on joint custody and its advantages. Most scientific studies show that the best interests of children are served by joint custody. Children without fathers in their lives suffer a wide range of ill effects. Citing a host of North American studies, Kruk’s report points to the long-term dangers: Some 85 percent of youth in prison are fatherless; 71 percent of high school dropouts grew up without fathers, as did 90 percent of runaway children. Fatherless youth are also more prone to depression, suicide, delinquency, promiscuity, drug abuse, behavioural problems and teen pregnancy, warns the 84-page report, a compilation of dozens of studies around divorce and custody, including some of his own research over the past 20 years.[17]

But whenever legislation supporting joint custody is being considered, feminist groups such as the National Organization of Women, the League of Women Voters, Breastfeeding Coalition, National Council of Jewish Women, and UniteWomen FL, lobby and demonstrate against it.[18] In Canada, feminist lawyers have argued against joint custody.[19] In both Canada and the U.S., feminists, disregarding the best interest of children, have energetically opposed joint custody as the default arrangement for children in broken marriages. Feminists prefer to support the best interests of mothers rather than those of children. For feminists, once again, gender trumps all other values, even the well-being of children.

Feminists are never shy of demanding that gender representation in any organization or activity reflect the demography of the general population. Our self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister proudly celebrates his gender balanced cabinet having an equal number of females to males.[20]  But the pressure to favour females does not end with equal gender representation. We see this in Canadian universities, where 60 percent of the graduates are female.[21] In the United States,

On a national scale, public universities had the most even division between male and female students, with a male-female ratio of 43.6-56.4. While that difference is substantial, it still is smaller than private not-for-profit institutions (42.5-57.5) or all private schools (40.7-59.3). … It should also be noted that the national male-female ratio for 18-24 year olds is actually 51-49, meaning there are more (traditionally) college-aged males than females.[22]Do not imagine that there have been any feminist calls for the gender ratio in universities to be rebalanced.

At McGill University, the classes I taught showed an increased female dominance. In fall 2017, my senior seminar on “Immigration and Culture” had 18 registrants, all female. All of the social sciences and humanities departments, the entire Faculty of Arts, are demographically dominated by females, just as feminist ideology dominates in that Faculty, as well as in Education, Social Work, and Law. My female colleagues insisted on hiring only other females, which is pretty much what happened. There is also a major McGill campaign, complete with banners all around campus, to celebrate female scientists and direct female studies into STEM fields.[23]

But feminists are not just looking for a female demographic increase in science. They are also looking for an ideological transformation; they are advocating “feminist science,” which is “socially just science,” which should supersede objective observation and testing.[24] “Feminist science” should work at least as well as “Soviet democracy” and “scientific racism.”[25]

Female demographic domination of universities does not end with student numbers. The female Principal of McGill recently bragged that “Currently, 50 percent of McGill’s deans are female. As of July 1, when two new appointments take effect, that number will increase to 58 percent.”[26] Apparently gender imbalance is not a bad thing, when it favours females. If the trend continues, McGill University will end up a completely female institution.

A feminist lawyer invented the idea of “intersectionality,”[27] which not only identifies multiple gender, race, and class “oppressions” suffered by particular individuals, but also advises that radicals of disaffected groups unite to undermine alleged oppressors. This has led to some remarkable incoherencies, such as the alliance of feminism with Islamist Palestinians and their male supremacism and subjection of women,[28] and with antisemites such as Louis Farrakhan, black nationalist and leader of the Nation of Islam.[29] Intersectionality brings blacks to identify with “people of colour” Palestinians, and against “white” Israelis, because they identify on the basis of imagined race, in spite of Arab slave raiding in Africa and the fact that blacks are called “abid,” or slave, in the Arab world.[30]

It is difficult to know how many individuals who self-identify as feminist hope only to be treated fairly as individuals, and how many, whether implicitly or explicitly, take a female supremacist view. Certainly the feminist organizations act as if they take a supremacist approach. The net effect of toxic feminism is to reduce complex human individuals to simplistic gender categories, to dismiss all values but the partisan interests of females, and to endorse anti-male sexism.

Europe was a whore’s paradise, not just the politicians ! March 7th 2021

As someone still under surveilance for informing on herself that she is working as a prostitute , from home , for her son, Roberta Jane Cook is here looking the part of helpless whore, hopefully satisfying the police’s weird masturbatory lust and craving for injustice to feed their peculiar hybrid sexual egos.

Someone once said, caan’t recall who but maybe it was me ‘The Penis is a gun, the balls are the magazine. When it finds a target, it will shoot. It thinks it is shooting life, not death.

Feminism is fighting nature. feminism is about empowerment. It is for the lower class masses. It is about taking power from the already increasingly hopeless men. Whores are legal in Germany, relieving the tension of male doom and social hypcrisy.

This German brothel is expecting to remain closed for a second Christmas at a time when randy young Muslim and African immigrants along with cheating business types would be overflowing in this sexual emporium.

Speaking on behalf of the prostitutes, this lady says the pandemic has made life miserable.

Desperate starving German prostitutes are now going back outside into danger, desperate to earn a living during lockdown. Beneifits are not enough for living expenses which have been inflated by mass immigration raising prices. On the plus side, those young Muslim migrants want a lot of sex and their benefits are good.

This long term German brothel owner is worried for the future of his business.

Feminism invokes the old Marxist myth of ‘false consciousness.’ It was bourgeoise arrogance and inductive logic when Marx came up with it in the first place. Feminism advocates teaching women ‘self defence’ , which presumes men are always on the edge of violence. Women complain of physical and verbal abuse in the army.

They want a more feminist friendly army. To them , men, especially white ones , are the real and universal enemy. They are not clear what they want men to be except always wrong. So men seek escape with prostitutes , a world of fanatasy. Of course there are different levels of service, depending on the size of your wallet, taste and the extent of the woman’s despersation. The world has changed so much, there are even prostitutes for today’s ‘independent strong’ women.
Roberta Jane Cook , la putain exceptionnelle pour la nuit, 1990.
Image Appledene Photographique.

Empowering Women Will Solve All The World’s Problems March 7th 2021

Empowering working women to subdue working men to keep the really powerful elite very safe.  March 7th 2021

Here is a definition for you : Empowerment includes the action of raising the status of women through education, raising awareness, literacy, and training and also give training related to self defense. Women’s empowerment is all about equipping and allowing women to make life-determining decisions through the different problems in society.

Now let’s get anthropological and look at Ethiopia. Now don’t blame that country’s dictatorship because it is black. Black is good. No, the answer is to give women more power and Ethiopia will be good. Just slap the men down.

The purpose of this ( UNICEF ) study is to uncover the role of empowering women and achieving gender equality in the sustainable development of Ethiopia. To achieve this purpose, the researcher employed qualitative methodology, with secondary sources as instruments of data collection. Based on the data analysed, findings of the study show that the role of women across different dimensions of sustainable development is less reflected in the country. The use of a women’s labour force in the economic development of the country is minimal. The political sphere of the country is, by and large, reserved for men alone.

The place of women in society is also relegated to contributing minimally to the social development of the country. In addition, women’s rights are not properly being protected in order for women to participate in various the issues of their country but are subjected to abysmal violations. Moreover, women are highly affected by environmental problems, and less emphasis is given to their participation in protecting the environment.

The researcher concluded that unless women are empowered and gender equality is achieved so that women can play their role in economic, social, political, and environmental areas, the country will not achieve sustainable development with the recognition of only men’s participation in all these areas. The fact that women constitute half the entire population of the country makes empowering them to be an active part of all development initiatives in the country a compelling circumstance. Hence, this paper calls for the strong commitment of the government to empower women and utilize all the potentials of the country to bring about sustainable development.

Obviously the solution is to confine men to manual labour and sperm donations. They are the root of all evil, this study suggests.

Roberta Jane Cook

Roberta Jane Cook longs to be empowered. Image Appledene Photographics

Jilly Cooper, ‘Married men are having gay affairs because they’re ‘terrified of women’ Posted March 6th 2021

Jilly Cooper received an OBE in March
Jilly Cooper received an CBE in March Credit: Geoff Pugh/The Telegraph

1 June 2018 • 9:46am

Married men are cheating on their wives by sleeping with other men because they are “terrified of women”, erotic novelist Jilly Cooper has claimed.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, the 81-year-old author said “an adorable gay friend” of hers was surprised to find many married men using online dating sites.

“He’s just started going on the internet now and he said it is extraordinary – it is all married men wanting to have gay affairs,” said Cooper. “Do you think they are so terrified of women now it is safer to go with their own sex?”

Best known for her 1985 bestseller Riders, the first in a series of raunchy novels about upper-class polo players and show-jumpers, Cooper criticised modern men for “crying all the time” and “growing beards”.

She also suggested that recent anti-sexual harassment campaigns such as Me Too have made flirting difficult for men. “One lovely man said ‘I can’t flirt any more’. You have a mini skirt up to here, then ‘do not touch’ tattooed across your knees,” the Daily Mail quoted Cooper as saying.

Her comments have prompted a backlash on social media. Birkbeck University social science lecturer Dr Andrew Fugard branded the author a “homophobe”, while behavioral psychologist and LBC radio prsesenter Jo Hemmings wrote: “being gay isn’t a passing fad in response to women being more empowered.”

Men may have had to learn a few new behaviours (and forget others) but being gay isn’t a passing fad in response to women being more empowered/assertive. I doubt there are ANY men who have had a gay affair as a result! x— Jo Hemmings (@TVpsychologist) June 1, 2018

According to the Guardian, Cooper also hinted that she may retire from writing after her next book, a forthcoming erotic novel about footballers called Tackle. The author of more than 40 books, Cooper was awarded a CBE earlier this year for services to literature and charity.

During the same event, Cooper accused Germaine Greer of making provocative comments solely to get attention, branding the feminist author an “applause junkie.”

Greer told a Hay Festival audience earlier this week that she thought “most rape is just lazy, just careless, just insensitive”, and suggested the penalty for rape should be community service.

VCooper said: “I think [Germaine Greer] is wonderful, but she has got to the stage now where she will say something outrageous to get everyone going.”

A Very Fishy Story March 4th 2021

Salmond and Sturgeon battle: An A to Z guide to the explosive scandal at the top of Scottish politics Posted March 4th 2021

James Matthews

Scotland correspondent @jamesmatthewsky

Wednesday 3 March 2021 19:42, UK

Alex Salmond says the SNP, led by Nicola Sturgeon, was involved in a "malicious and concerted attempt" to damage his reputation
Image: Mr Salmond claims the SNP, led by Ms Sturgeon, was involved in a ‘malicious’ bid to damage his reputation

Why you can trust Sky News

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has given evidence at an inquiry looking into the mishandling of harassment complaints against her predecessor Alex Salmond.

Ms Sturgeon is facing calls to resign amid fresh claims she lied to parliament, following the Scottish government’s publication of legal advice about a court challenge by Mr Salmond in 2018.

Here’s who’s who – and why the Holyrood inquiry could deepen rifts at the heart of Scottish politics.

A

is for Alex Salmond, icon of the Scottish independence movement, who claims former colleagues in the party he once led tried to remove him from public life and even have him put in jail.

Ex-leader of the SNP Alex Salmond
Image: Mr Salmond was acquitted in 2020 of sexual assault charges against nine women

B

is for bitter enemies.

The Salmond/Sturgeon combo took Scotland to the brink of independence, now it’s all about acrimony. He alleges that the current first minister broke the ministerial code, she accuses him of creating an “alternative reality”.

C

is for conspiracy.

Alex Salmond says senior officials in the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Scottish government were involved in a “malicious and concerted effort” to damage his reputation.

D

is for the despair openly expressed by some members of Holyrood’s harassment committee, who accuse the Scottish government of undermining their inquiry by a failure to provide the information and cooperation they need to get to the truth.

E

is for evasion.

A number of government witnesses have been forced to correct or clarify evidence given under oath. Committee members have accused them of “evasion and secrecy”.

F

is for the Fairness at Work code, a civil servants’ complaints procedure drafted in 2010 following union concerns about bullying around the office of the then first minister Alex Salmond.

Nicola Sturgeon, as his then deputy FM, was given a role in dealing with complaints.

Former deputy SNP leader Angus Robertson
Image: Angus Robertson was the SNP’s deputy leader from 2016 to 2018

G

G is for Gus, or Angus Robertson.

An Edinburgh Airport manager called him in 2009 about Alex Salmond’s perceived “inappropriateness” towards female staff and he was asked to “informally broach” it with him.

Mr Salmond denied he had acted inappropriately in any way.

H

is for the harassment committee itself, which will hear evidence from Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon.

The committee of MSPs was set up to look into what lay behind the Scottish government’s mishandling of an internal inquiry into harassment complaints against Mr Salmond by two female civil servants.

I

is for identities.

There is a legal requirement to protect the identities of complainants in Alex Salmond’s criminal trial. There’s some crossover with the harassment inquiry, one of the reasons given for redactions in some of the published evidence.

J

is for judicial review, the court action that Alex Salmond took in 2018/19 to challenge the legality of the Scottish government’s investigation of harassment complaints against him.

He won and the taxpayer picked up a legal bill of more than £600,000.

K

is for Kenny MacAskill MP, Scotland’s former justice secretary and an ally of Alex Salmond.

He’s told Sky News of a text message in which one SNP official spoke of encouraging an alleged victim to give evidence in the criminal trial against Alex Salmond.

L

is for legal advice.

The Scottish parliament has twice voted to demand the release of government legal advice surrounding Alex Salmond’s judicial review. It hasn’t been forthcoming.

It might shed light on suggestions ministers ploughed on with a legal challenge despite being advised not to. The government points out that advice is typically subject to legal professional privilege and should remain confidential.

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond gives new leader Nicola Sturgeon a hug after her speech at the annual SNP party conference at Perth Concert Hall, Scotland.
Image: The pair used to be close political allies at the top of the SNP

M

is for ministerial code, which Alex Salmond claims Nicola Sturgeon breached in a number of ways.

They include allegedly misleading parliament about when she learned of complaints against him, and failing to stop her government prolonging an expensive judicial review challenge despite legal advice it was doomed to fail.

The code dictates a minister in breach of it should offer their resignation.

N

is for Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the SNP since 2014, who has made her party a racing certainty to win the forthcoming Scottish parliament elections and has helped to shape opinion polls showing unprecedented support for Scottish independence.

O

is for Operation Diem, the name of the police investigation that led to Alex Salmond’s arrest on criminal charges.

He was acquitted after a High Court trial in March 2020 of 13 sexual assault charges against nine women.

P

is for Peter Murrell, SNP chief executive and husband of Nicola Sturgeon.

Alex Salmond claims he deployed SNP staff to “recruit” staff and ex-staff to submit police complaints about him. Mr Murrell has denied plotting against Mr Salmond.

Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell
Image: Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell has denied plotting against Mr Salmond

Q

is for questions that everyone’s asking.

Among them is James Hamilton, Ireland’s former director of public prosecutions, who is an independent adviser on Scotland’s ministerial code.

As such, he’s the man conducting a parallel investigation into whether the first minister breached it. His conclusions are due in the coming weeks.

R

is for redacted.

Parts of Alex Salmond’s written submission to the harassment committee have been redacted, which means he could have difficulty referring to those subject areas in his oral evidence – and they are central to claims that Nicola Sturgeon broke the ministerial code.

S

is for sex crimes and the reporting of them.

Rape Crisis Scotland has said that aspects of the inquiry, and some of the written submissions that have been published, have undermined efforts to improve women’s confidence in reporting crimes such as sexual harassment.

T

is for the twenty-ninth of March 2018.

Did Nicola Sturgeon discuss complaints against Alex Salmond during a meeting in her office?

Sky News revealed a first-hand account of a meeting in Nicola Sturgeon’s office where complaints against Alex Salmond were discussed. She told parliament she learned of them four days later.

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon
Image: Nicola Sturgeon has accused Alex Salmond of creating an ‘alternative reality’

U

is for “unlawful”.

How a judge in the Court of Session described the Scottish government’s internal investigation into harassment complaints against Alex Salmond in January 2019.

V

is for the “Vietnam Group” – the name of a WhatsApp group involving SNP members.

The Crown Office released its communications to the committee, which decided they weren’t relevant to its work. It now wants to see texts between SNP figures that Alex Salmond believes show the effort to destroy him.

W

is for Wolffe, as in James Wolffe QC, Scotland’s lord advocate.

As head of the Crown Office and the government’s chief legal adviser, he was summoned to parliament to deny opposition claims of political influence in redacting parts of Alex Salmond’s written evidence.

X

is for the cross on the ballot paper.

How will the fallout from this saga affect the SNP at the 6 May Scottish parliament elections?

Scottish independence supporters march through Edinburgh in 2019
Image: Could the scandal damage the push for another Scottish independence vote?

Y

is for Yes, the independence campaign that took Scotland to the brink of breaking away from the UK in 2014.

In the event of an Indyref2, how far will the Sturgeon/Salmond split fracture the independence movement itself?

Z

is for zero chance of an outcome to this inquiry that suits everyone.

There’s every chance, however, that widespread dissatisfaction with the process will damage the parliament itself – what opposition MSPs have called a “crisis of credibility”.

Women’s Ultimate Weapon March 3rd 2021

It is a fact of life that women can destroy any man with sexual or violence allegations. Even when a man is found innocecent, the women’s rights groups , with press in thrall, are out in force proclaiming that another guilty man has gone free. The only possible way for a man to limit risk is to avoid being alone with women and avoid any unnecesary interaction. A man must also be very careful with language.

There is of course no way of avoiding risk with wives and girlfriends and no statute of limitations for when allegations might be made. Women say they do not want to be viewed sexually unless they choose the man on their terms. No wonder there is such a demand for viagra that it is no longer restricted to prescription and there is a big TV campaign for men to take it to please ‘their women.’

So viagra is effectively a date rape drug for men who don’t want or need sex. Women’s movements thrive on statistics for sex and violence complaints taken as truth because ‘women never lie’ ( sic ),as well as posh women not getting the ‘top job’ that they deserve. So this culture is here for the foreseeable future. The following report should be read with this in mind.

Roberta Jane Cook.
Roberta says women are doing a lot to create a mightmare and lonely world for themselves. ” It reminds me of the joke about ‘Divorced Barbie’. She comes with all of Ken’s stuff.

Staying safe is a con. Follow all the rules and there will be no excitement . Humans, hiding from real problems that the ruling class doesn’t want them to see, are going mad for obvious reasons . They won’t be able to cope with real problems when they come”.

Nicola Sturgeon has rejected the “absurd” allegation the Scottish government plotted to destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation but admitted it made serious mistakes in its investigation into complaints against him.

The first minister said her government made a “dreadful, catastrophic mistake” during its inquiry into two sexual harassment complaints against Salmond by appointing an official who had previously spoken to the complainers as its investigation officer.

That decision led to the government losing a judicial review taken by Salmond, costing taxpayers more than £600,000. “Two women were failed and taxpayers’ money was lost,” she said. “I deeply regret that.”

Closely questioned by MSPs during a marathon eight-hour evidence session at the Scottish parliament, Sturgeon insisted her former mentor was wrong to accuse her, the Scottish National party, or her officials of a vendetta or conspiracy against him.

“I must rebut the absurd suggestion that anyone acted with malice or as part of a plot against Alex Salmond,” she said in her opening statement to nine MSPs investigating the government’s botched inquiry into the harassment allegations against Salmond, which he had denied.

She later went further: “Alex Salmond has been for most of my political life, since I was 20, 21 years of age, my closest colleague. He was someone I looked up to, someone I revered. I would never have wanted to ‘get’ Alex Salmond.”

Sturgeon came under pressure from MSPs to explain why there had been repeated delays in the release of the government’s legal advice, and key internal documents, as she offered new explanations about why she had met Salmond while the harassment inquiry was under way.

Jackie Baillie, of Labour, alleged Sturgeon and Salmond had breached the confidentiality of complainers when he discussed their allegations against him in a meeting at her home on 2 April 2018, yet Sturgeon waited until early July before telling Leslie Evans, the permanent secretary, they had met.EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Former Scottish National Party leader and former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond is sworn in before giving evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee at Holyrood in Edinburgh examining the government's handling of harassment allegations against him, on February 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images) © Getty Images EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – FEBRUARY 26: Former Scottish National Party leader and former First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond is sworn in before giving evidence to a Scottish Parliament committee at Holyrood in Edinburgh examining the government’s handling of harassment allegations against him, on February 26, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andy Buchanan – Pool/Getty Images)

Sturgeon acknowledged she discussed Salmond’s criticisms of the inquiry with him five times partly because she felt loyalty towards him, but delayed telling Evans because she feared that would be seen as her interfering in the process.

Labour and Conservative MSPs accused Sturgeon’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, of breaking the government’s promises to publish all its legal advice, despite his last-minute decision to release previously secret legal papers late on Tuesday afternoon. Several weeks of legal meetings were missing from the records Swinney released; Sturgeon promised more papers would be supplied.

Those papers contained the explosive revelation that Roddy Dunlop QC, one of Scotland’s leading lawyers, who was the government’s external counsel, had been furious that government officials failed to disclose critical evidence about the prior contact of the investigating officer with the two complainants.

Sturgeon told the committee she only learned of this apparent conflict of interest and its legal significance in November 2018.

In a parallel development, the Tories said they were reconsidering their votes of no confidence against Swinney and Sturgeon, due to be heard on Thursday, after Swinney offered to release more legal information. The party said the motions were still live, but indicated they might be withdrawn.

Sturgeon was pressed on whether she had investigated allegations that a senior government official had leaked the name of a complainer to Geoff Aberdein, Salmond’s former chief of staff, before Sturgeon met Aberdein in her office at Holyrood in late March 2018.

Aberdein’s account was supported by Salmond’s lawyer Duncan Hamilton and his former spokesman Kevin Pringle, who told the committee on Tuesday Aberdein had made that claim in a conference call with him soon after he met that official.

The Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said that was “an incredibly serious issue” and potentially unlawful. Sturgeon said Aberdein’s account had been denied by the official concerned but she said the allegation was included in an investigation by James Hamilton, Ireland’s former director of public prosecutions, into whether Sturgeon broke the ministerial code.

“That was not the way, as I understand it, that happened, in the way that is being set out,” she said.

During a series of tense exchanges, Sturgeon said she had no idea who leaked news that the internal inquiry upheld the complaints against Salmond to the Record newspaper in August 2018, despite his allegations a government figure must be to blame.

“There was no part of me that wanted for this proactively to get into the public domain,” she said. The idea she would ever need to discuss this publicly made her feel “physically sick”.EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JANUARY 04: Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon reacts as she delivers a statement at Holyrood, Edinburgh, announcing that Scotland will be placed in lockdown from midnight for the duration of January with a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes on January 4, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images) © Getty Images EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 04: Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon reacts as she delivers a statement at Holyrood, Edinburgh, announcing that Scotland will be placed in lockdown from midnight for the duration of January with a legal requirement to stay at home except for essential purposes on January 4, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Andrew Milligan – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

She also admitted that before she met Salmond at her home in April 2018, she “had a lingering fear, suspicion, concern” that allegations about his conduct might emerge. She knew Sky News had contacted the government in early November 2017 about alleged incidents involving Salmond at Edinburgh airport a decade earlier – claims Salmond denied – and had discussed them with him that month.

Answering Salmond’s charges that she offered to intervene on his behalf in the government inquiry, Sturgeon said Salmond might have misunderstood what she said to him.

Her written evidence said she made clear to him she would not intervene, but Duncan Hamilton, who was present when Sturgeon met Salmond in her house on 2 April, told the committee in written evidence on Tuesday that he heard her offer to do so “if it comes to it”.

Sturgeon said Salmond may have misunderstood. “I believe I made it clear I wouldn’t intervene. [I] was perhaps trying to let a longstanding friend and colleague down gently, and maybe I did it too gently, and maybe he left with an impression I didn’t mean to give him.”

The first minister said once Salmond had set out the allegations he was facing “my head was spinning. I was experiencing a maelstrom of emotions.”

Sturgeon said the government had to investigate the allegations against Salmond, regardless of how powerful or famous he might be. She said many people, including her, had been let down by her former friend and mentor but he had not yet apologised.

“When I saw him lashing out on Friday, I don’t know whether he ever reflects on the fact that many of us feel let down by him,” she said. “That is a matter of deep personal regret.”

The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions Posted February 26th 2021

Lara Stemple, JD and Ilan H. Meyer, PhDAuthor informationArticle notesCopyright and License informationDisclaimerThis article has been cited by other articles in PMC.Go to:

Abstract

We assessed 12-month prevalence and incidence data on sexual victimization in 5 federal surveys that the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted independently in 2010 through 2012. We used these data to examine the prevailing assumption that men rarely experience sexual victimization. We concluded that federal surveys detect a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men—in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women. We identified factors that perpetuate misperceptions about men’s sexual victimization: reliance on traditional gender stereotypes, outdated and inconsistent definitions, and methodological sampling biases that exclude inmates. We recommend changes that move beyond regressive gender assumptions, which can harm both women and men.

The sexual victimization of women was ignored for centuries. Although it remains tolerated and entrenched in many pockets of the world, feminist analysis has gone a long way toward revolutionizing thinking about the sexual abuse of women, demonstrating that sexual victimization is rooted in gender norms1 and is worthy of social, legal, and public health intervention. We have aimed to build on this important legacy by drawing attention to male sexual victimization, an overlooked area of study. We take a fresh look at several recent findings concerning male sexual victimization, exploring explanations for the persistent misperceptions surrounding it. Feminist principles that emphasize equity, inclusion, and intersectional approaches2; the importance of understanding power relations3; and the imperative to question gender assumptions4 inform our analysis.

To explore patterns of sexual victimization and gender, we examined 5 sets of federal agency survey data on this topic (Table 1). In particular, we show that 12-month prevalence data from 2 new sets of surveys conducted, independently, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found widespread sexual victimization among men in the United States, with some forms of victimization roughly equal to those experienced by women.

TABLE 1—

US Federal Agency Surveys of Sexual Victimization Using Probability Samples

StudyYear of StudyConducted bySampleNo.
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)2010Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNationally representative telephone survey of 12 mo and lifetime prevalence data on sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence16 507
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)2012Bureau of Justice StatisticsLongitudinal survey of US households40 000 households
∼75 000
Uniform Crime Report (UCR)2012Federal Bureau of InvestigationNA (UCR is a cooperative statistical effort whereby 18 000 city, university, and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies report data on crimes brought to their attention.)NA
Sexual Victimization in Prisonsa and Jails Reported by Inmates; National Inmate Survey (NIS 2011–12)2011–2012Bureau of Justice StatisticsProbability sample of state and federal confinement facilities and random sampling of inmates within selected facilities92 449
Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilitiesa Reported by Youth; National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC 2012)2012Bureau of Justice StatisticsMultistage stratified survey of facilities in each state of the United States and random sample of youths within selected facilities8707

Open in a separate window

Note. NA = not available.aIn these reports, 12-month prevalence refers to 12 months, or shorter if the respondent has been in the facility for less than 12 months.

Despite such findings, contemporary depictions of sexual victimization reinforce the stereotypical sexual victimization paradigm, comprising male perpetrators and female victims. As we demonstrate, the reality concerning sexual victimization and gender is more complex. Although different federal agency surveys have different purposes and use a wide variety of methods (each with concomitant limitations), we examined the findings of each, attempting to glean an overall picture. This picture reveals alarmingly high prevalence of both male and female sexual victimization; we highlight the underappreciated findings related to male sexual victimization.

For example, in 2011 the CDC reported results from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), one of the most comprehensive surveys of sexual victimization conducted in the United States to date. The survey found that men and women had a similar prevalence of nonconsensual sex in the previous 12 months (1.270 million women and 1.267 million men).5 This remarkable finding challenges stereotypical assumptions about the gender of victims of sexual violence. However unintentionally, the CDC’s publications and the media coverage that followed instead highlighted female sexual victimization, reinforcing public perceptions that sexual victimization is primarily a women’s issue.

We explore 3 factors that lead to misperceptions concerning gender and sexual victimization. First, a male perpetrator and female victim paradigm underlies assumptions about sexual victimization.6 This paradigm serves to obscure abuse that runs counter to the paradigm, reinforce regressive ideas that portray women as victims,7 and stigmatize sexually victimized men.8 Second, some federal agencies use outdated definitions and categories of sexual victimization. This has entailed the prioritization of the types of harm women are more likely to experience as well as the exclusion of men from the definition of rape. Third, the data most widely reported in the press are derived from household sampling. Inherent in this is a methodological bias that misses many who are at great risk for sexual victimization in the United States: inmates, the vast majority of whom are male.9,10

We call for the consistent use of gender-inclusive terms for sexual victimization, objective reporting of data, and improved methodologies that account for institutionalized populations. In this way, research and reporting on sexual victimization will more accurately reflect the experiences of both women and men.Go to:

MALE PERPETRATOR AND FEMALE VICTIM PARADIGM

Feminist theory asserts that gender sex roles are based on male dominant, female submissive behaviours & that females cannot and would not commit sex crimes.
Roberta’s Image by Appledene Photographics.

The conceptualization of men as perpetrators and women as victims remains the dominant sexual victimization paradigm.11 Scholars have offered various explanations for why victimization that runs counter to this paradigm receives little attention. These include the ideas that female-perpetrated abuse is rare or nonexistent,12 that male victims experience less harm,8 and that for men all sex is welcome.13 Some posit that because dominant feminist theory relies heavily on the idea that men use sexual aggression to subordinate women,14 findings perceived to conflict with this theory, such as female-perpetrated violence against men, are politically unpalatable.15 Others argue that researchers have a conformity bias, leading them to overlook research data that conflict with their prior beliefs.16

We have interrogated some of the stereotypes concerning gender and sexual victimization, and we call for researchers to move beyond them. First, we question the assumption that feminist theory requires disproportionate concern for female victims. Indeed, some contemporary gender theorists have questioned the overwhelming focus on female victimization, not simply because it misses male victims but also because it serves to reinforce regressive notions of female vulnerability.17 When the harms that women experience are held out as exceedingly more common and more worrisome, this can perpetuate norms that see women as disempowered victims,7 reinforcing the idea that women are “noble, pure, passive, and ignorant.”13(p1719)

Related to this, treating male sexual victimization as a rare occurrence can impose regressive expectations about masculinity on men and boys. The belief that men are unlikely victims promotes a counterproductive construct of what it means to “be a man.”18 This can reinforce notions of naturalistic masculinity long criticized by feminist theory, which asserts that masculinity is culturally constructed.19 Expectations about male invincibility are constraining for men and boys; they may also harm women and girls by perpetuating regressive gender norms.

The popular image of men is that they are always well loaded , primed amd ready for action , with the female having to endure whatever, as in ths picture.
Roberta’s image copyright Appledene photographics.

Another common gender stereotype portrays men as sexually insatiable.13 The idea that, for men, virtually all sex is welcome likely contributes to dismissive attitudes toward male sexual victimization. Such dismissal runs counter to evidence that men who experience sexual abuse report problems such as depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, loss of self-esteem, and long-term relationship difficulties.20

A related argument for treating male victimization as less worrisome holds that male victims experience less physical force than do female victims,21 the implication being that the use of force determines concern about victimization. This rationale problematically conflicts with the important feminist-led movement away from physical force as a defining and necessary component of sexual victimization.22 In addition, a recent multiyear analysis of the BJS National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS) found no difference between male and female victims in the use of a resistance strategy during rape and sexual assault (89% of both men and women did so). A weapon was used in 7% of both male and female incidents, and although resultant injuries requiring medical care were higher in women, men too experienced significant injuries (12.6% of females and 8.5% of males).23

Portraying male victimization as aberrant or harmless also adds to the stigmatization of men who face sexual victimization.8 Sexual victimization can be a stigmatizing experience for both men and women. However, through decades of feminist-led struggle, fallacies described as “rape myths”24 have been largely discredited in American society, and an alternative narrative concerning female victimization has emerged. This narrative teaches that, contrary to timeworn tropes, the victimization of a woman is not her fault, that it is not caused by her prior sexual history or her choice of attire, and that for survivors of rape and other abuse, speaking out against victimization can be politically important and personally redemptive.

For men, a similar discourse has not been developed. Indeed contemporary social narratives, including jokes about prison rape,25 the notion that “real men” can protect themselves,8 and the fallacy that gay male victims likely “asked for it,”26 pose obstacles for males coping with victimization. A male victim’s sexual arousal, which is not uncommon during nonconsensual sex, may add to the misapprehension that the victimization was a welcome event.27 Feelings of embarrassment, the victim’s fear that he will not be believed, and the belief that reporting itself is unmasculine have all been cited as reasons for male resistance to reporting sexual victimization.28 Popular media also reflects insensitivity, if not callousness, toward male victims. For example, a 2009 CBS News report about a serial rapist who raped 4 men concluded, “No one has been seriously hurt.”29

The minimization of male sexual victimization and the hesitancy of victims to come forward may also contribute to a paucity of legal action concerning male sexual victimization. Although state laws have become more gender neutral, criminal prosecution for the sexual victimization of men remains rare and has been attributed to a lack of concern for male victims.30 The faulty assertion that male victimization is uncommon has also been used to justify the exclusion of men and boys in scholarship on sexual victimization.31 Perhaps such widespread exclusion itself causes male victims to assume they are alone in their experience, thereby fueling underreporting.32

Not only does the traditional sexual victimization paradigm masks male victimization, it can obscure sexual abuse perpetrated by women as well as same-sex victimization. We offer a few counterparadigmatic examples. One multiyear analysis of the NCVS household survey found that 46% of male victims reported a female perpetrator.23 Of juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89% were boys reporting abuse by female staff.33 In lifetime reports of nonrape sexual victimization, the NISVS found that 79% of self-reported gay male victims identified same-sex perpetrators.34

Despite such complexities, as recently as 2012, the National Incident Based Reporting System (a component of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program [UCR]) included male rape victims but still maintained that for victimization to be categorized as rape, at least 1 of the perpetrators had to be of the opposite sex.35 Conversely, under the NISVS definitions, for a female to fall into the “made to penetrate” category, the perpetrating receptive partner must also be female.5 (“Made to penetrate” includes anal penetration by a finger or other object, and a female could therefore be made to penetrate a male.) Additional research and analysis concerning female perpetration and same-sex abuse is warranted but is beyond the scope of this article. For now we simply highlight the concern that reliance on the male perpetrator and female victim paradigm limits understandings, not only of male victimization but of all counterparadigmatic abuse.Go to:

DEFINITIONS AND CATEGORIES OF SEXUAL VICTIMIZATION

The definitions and uses of terms such as “rape” and “sexual assault” have evolved over time, with significant implications for how the victimization of women and men is measured. Although the definitions and categorization of these harms have become more gender inclusive over time, bias against recognizing male victimization remains.

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began tracking violent crime in 1930, the rape of men was excluded. Until 2012, the UCR, through which the FBI collects annual crime data, defined “forcible rape” as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” (emphasis added).36 Approximately 17 000 local law enforcement agencies used this female-only definition for the better part of a century when submitting standardized data to the FBI.37 Meanwhile, the reform of state criminal law on rape, which began in the 1970s and eventually spread to every jurisdiction in the country, revised definitions in numerous ways, including the increased recognition of male victimization. Reforms also broadened definitions to address nonrape sexual assault.38

These state revisions left a mismatch with the limited UCR definition, forcing agencies to send only a subset of reported sexual assault to the FBI. Some localities eventually refused to parse their data according to the biased federal categories. For example, in 2010 Chicago, Illinois, recorded 84 767 reports of forcible rape under UCR, but because they refused to comply with the UCR’s outdated categorization, the FBI did not include Chicago rape data in its national count.39

In 2012 the FBI revised its 80-year-old definition of rape to the following: “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”40 Although the new definition reflects a more inclusive understanding of sexual victimization, it appears to still focus on the penetration of the victim, which excludes victims who were made to penetrate. This likely undercounts male victimization for reasons we now detail.

The NISVS’s 12-month prevalence estimates of sexual victimization show that male victimization is underrepresented when victim penetration is the only form of nonconsensual sex included in the definition of rape. The number of women who have been raped (1 270 000) is nearly equivalent to the number of men who were “made to penetrate” (1 267 000).5 As Figure 1 also shows, both men and women experienced “sexual coercion” and “unwanted sexual contact,” with women more likely than men to report the former and men slightly more likely to report the latter.5FIGURE 1—

Twelve-month sexual victimization prevalence (percentage) among adult population (noninstitutionalized) from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010, and among adult and juvenile detainees from the National Inmate Survey 2011–2012 and the National Survey of Youth in Custody, 2012: United States.

aAmong the 5 federal agency surveys we reviewed, only NISVS collected lifetime prevalence, limiting our ability to compare lifetime data across surveys. It found lifetime prevalence for men as follows: made to penetrate = 4.8%, rape = 1.4%, sexual coercion = 6.0%, and unwanted sexual contact = 11.7%. For women: rape = 18.3%, sexual coercion = 13.0%, and unwanted sexual contact = 27.2%.

bFemale detainees are significantly more likely to be sexually victimized by fellow detainees than are males; a presumably same-sex pattern of abuse that runs counter to the male perpetrator/female victim paradigm.

This striking finding—that men and women reported similar rates of nonconsensual sex in a 12-month period—might have made for a newsworthy finding. Instead, the CDC’s public presentation of these data emphasized female sexual victimization, thereby (perhaps inadvertently) confirming gender stereotypes about victimization. For example, in the first headline of the fact sheet aiming to summarize the NISVS findings the CDC asserted, “Women are disproportionally affected by sexual violence.” Similarly, the fact sheet’s first bullet point stated, “1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey.” Because of the prioritization of rape, the fact sheet failed to note that a similar number of men reported nonconsensual sex (they were “made to penetrate”).41

The fact sheet paints a picture of highly divergent prevalence of female and male abuse, when, in fact, the data concerning all nonconsensual sex are much more nuanced. Unsurprisingly, media outlets then emphasized the material the CDC highlighted in its summary material. The New York Times headline read, “Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted.”42(pA32)

In addition, the full NISVS report presents data on sexual victimization in 2 main categories: rape and other sexual violence. “Rape,” the category of nonconsensual sex that disproportionately affects women, is given its own table, whereas “made to penetrate,” the category that disproportionately affects men, is treated as a subcategory, placed under and tabulated as “other sexual violence” alongside lesser-harm categories, such as “noncontact unwanted sexual experiences,” which are experiences involving no touching.5

Additionally, much more information is provided about rape than being made to penetrate. The NISVS report gives separate prevalence estimates for completed versus attempted rape and for rape that was facilitated by alcohol or drugs. No such breakdown is given concerning victims who were made to penetrate, although such data were collected. Including these data in the report would avoid suggesting that this form of unwanted sexual activity is somehow less worthy of detailed analysis.1 These various reporting practices may draw disproportionate attention to the sexual victimization of women, implying that it is a more worrisome problem than is the sexual victimization of men.

Prioritizing rape over being made to penetrate may seem an obvious and important distinction at first glimpse. After all, isn’t rape intuitively the worst sexual abuse? But a more careful examination shows that prioritizing rape over other forms of nonconsensual sex is sometimes difficult to justify, for example, in the case of an adult forcibly performing oral sex on an adolescent girl and on an adolescent boy. Under the CDC’s definitions, the assault on the girl (if even slightly penetrated in the act) would be categorized as rape but the assault on the boy would not. According to the CDC, the male victim was “made to penetrate” the perpetrator’s mouth with his penis,5(p17) and his abuse would instead be categorized under the “other sexual violence” heading. We argue that this is neither a useful nor an equitable distinction.

By introducing the term “made to penetrate,” the CDC has added new detail to help understand what happens when men are sexually victimized. But the distinction may obscure more than it elucidates. In contrast to the term “rape,” the term “made to penetrate” is not commonly used. The CDC’s own press release about the survey, for example, uses the word “rape” (or “raped”) 7 times and makes no mention of “made to penetrate.”43 In this way, “rape” is the harm that ultimately captures media attention, funding, and programmatic intervention, whereas “made to penetrate” is relegated to a secondary, somewhat obscure harm.

Similarly, the FBI’s revised UCR definition, although a distinct improvement over the 1929 female-only definition, still seems to maintain an exclusive focus on the victim’s penetration.40 Therefore, to the extent that males experience nonconsensual sex differently (i.e., being made to penetrate), male victimization will remain vastly undercounted in federal data collection on violent crime.5

This focus on the directionality of the act runs counter to the trend toward greater gender inclusivity in sexual victimization definitions over the past 4 decades. The broader and more inclusive term “sexual assault” has replaced the term “rape” in at least 37 states.44 Not only has this change been widespread in legal definitions, but it is now standard practice to avoid the term “rape” in survey questions because of inconsistencies in how respondents perceive this term.21 Some anti–sexual violence activists may resist movement away from a term as compelling and vivid as “rape,” but others have noted that victims who choose another label may do so as a legitimate coping strategy.45

We recognize that when it comes to the impact of sexual victimization, men and women may indeed experience it differently.21 But categorizing the forms of sexual victimization that men typically experience as different and lesser than the forms of victimization that women typically experience would require considered justification. The reasons for continuing such practices would need to outweigh the drawbacks we have enumerated. We do not believe that such justification has been offered in the literature.

We therefore urge federal agencies to use care when collecting and reporting data on sexual victimization to avoid biased categorization. This does not mean that we suggest treating all sexual victimization identically. Nonconsensual penetrative acts (regardless of directionality) may be legitimately distinguished from acts that do not involve penetration. Likewise, harms that do not involve any genital contact whatsoever, such as unwelcome kissing, flashing, and sexual comments, although harmful for some victims, are categorically distinguishable because they do not involve contact with socially inviolable and physically sensitive reproductive parts of the body.

Without seeking to outline an entirely new classification scheme, we posit that “rape” as currently defined by the CDC and the FBI will continue to foster the underrecognition of the extent of male victimization. Terms such as “sexual assault” and “sexual victimization,” if defined in gender-inclusive ways, have the potential to capture the kind of abuse with which federal agencies ought to be concerned. They can be used more consistently and with less gender and heterosexist bias across crime, health, and other surveys. This would facilitate important cross-population analyses that inconsistent definitions now limit.Go to:

SAMPLING BIAS

In population-based sexual victimization studies, as in many other areas, researchers use a sampling frame that is restricted to US households. This excludes, among others, those held in juvenile detention, jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers. Because of the explosion of the US prison and jail population to nearly 2.3 million people46 and the disproportionate representation of men (93% of prisoners9 and 87% of those in jail10) among the incarcerated, household surveys—including the closely watched NCVS—miss many men, especially low-income and minority men who are incarcerated at the time the household survey is conducted. Opportunities for intersectional analyses that take race, class, and other factors into account are missed when the incarcerated are excluded. For instance, characteristics such as sexual minority and disability status, including mental health problems, place inmates at risk: among nonheterosexual prison inmates with serious psychological distress, 21% report sexual victimization.47

Of course, surveys of inmate and juvenile populations present a host of ethical, legal, and logistical challenges for surveyors. Sexual victimization in particular is risky for inmates to disclose; those who report abuse may be targeted for retaliation. The challenges of including vulnerable populations are very real, but because inmates are at great risk, their exclusion is especially likely to skew the public understanding of sexual victimization. For example, the NCVS’s household data on rape and sexual assault are widely reported in the media each year but typically without mention of the impact of excluding incarcerated individuals (or other institutionalized or homeless persons).

Recognizing the lack of data concerning incarcerated persons, the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act mandates that BJS conduct a regular comprehensive survey about sexual victimization behind bars.48 These results help fill the gap in knowledge concerning sexual victimization in the United States. We reviewed 2 of the recently released reports (Table 1), which provide results from the National Inmate Survey 2011–2012 and the National Survey of Youth in Custody, 2012.

These 2 surveys demonstrate that male and female detainees both experience sexual victimization committed by staff and other inmates and that the prevalence differs by sex (Figure 1). The National Inmate Survey 2011–2012 shows that slightly more men than women in jails and prisons reported staff sexual misconduct, which includes all incidents of sexual contact with staff (12-month prevalence for men in jails = 1.9%, men in prisons = 2.4% vs 1.4% and 2.3%47 for women, respectively). Women in jails and prisons reported more inmate-on-inmate abuse than did men (women in jails = 3.6%, women in prisons = 6.9% vs 1.4% and 1.7% for men, respectively).

In the National Survey of Youth in Custody 2012, about 9.5% of male and female juvenile detainees reported sexual victimization in the 12 months before the interview (or since detained, if < 12 months).33 But gender differences were observed: females were more likely than were males to report sexual victimization by other youths (5.4% vs 2.2%), and males were more likely than were females to report sexual victimization by facility staff (8.2% vs 2.8%).33

The examination of data from prisons, jails, and juvenile detention institutions reveals a very different picture of male sexual abuse in the United States from the picture portrayed by the household crime data alone. This discrepancy is stark when comparing the detainee findings with those of the NCVS, the longitudinal crime survey of households widely covered in the media each year. The 2012 NCVS’s household estimates indicate that 131 259 incidents of rape and sexual assault were committed against males.49 Using adjusted numbers from the detainee surveys, we roughly estimate that more than 900 000 sexual victimization incidents were committed against incarcerated males (Figure 2).

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is AJPH.2014.301946f2.jpg

Open in a separate windowFIGURE 2—

Annual incidents of sexual victimization from the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS), 2012; the National Inmate Survey-2, 2008–2009; and the National Survey of Youth in Custody 2008–2009: United States.

Note. We calculated the sex of victims in NCVS using the publicly available Victimization Analysis Tool http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=nvat. We generated a rough estimate of the number of annual incidents of sexual victimization in jails, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities by sex, using the 2008–2009 data, the most recent publicly available data on repeat incidents.50,54 (Repeat incidents were not reported in detail in 2011–2012.) To arrive at this, we multiplied a flow-adjusted number of detainees who reported at least one sexual victimization incident by the mean number of incidents of sexual victimization reported per victimized detainee. The flow-adjusted number of victims corrects for persons moving in and out of facilities during the 12-month sampling. The US Department of Justice Regulatory Impact Assessment of PREA55 provides a flow-adjusted prevalence estimate of sexual victimization. The NIS-2 and NSYC report on the number of incidents of victimization as a range; we used the middle of the range. NISVS findings are not included because data on number of incidents have not been made public.

aMen were excluded from the definition of rape.

Comparability is limited, as the inmate surveys include a much broader range of victimization, such as sex between staff and inmates that inmates report as “willing.” When guards and other staff engage in sexual activity with inmates in their care, it occurs in the context of an extreme power imbalance and is a criminal offense in all 50 states. We therefore find it worthy of inclusion. Moreover, more than half of both male and female prison and jail inmates who report staff sexual misconduct indicate that at least some of the sexual activity was “pressured”; more than one third indicate that some of it was accomplished with “force or threat of force.”50

We have presented these figures not to offer a precise overall estimate of sexual victimization in the United States but to suggest that relying solely on NCVS household surveys vastly underrecognizes sexual victimization incidents that occur among men. (Prevalence data from the NISVS serve as further evidence of the NCVS’s undercount of male and female victimization; Figure 1.)

We understand the reasons for using household surveys, and we acknowledge the complexities inherent in surveying vulnerable populations, which include not only the incarcerated but also homeless persons and those in care facilities, such as nursing homes. We underscore, however, that exclusive reliance on household methods may paint a misleading picture of sexual victimization in the United States by missing those at enormous risk. In addition to advocating greater awareness about such bias, we recommend the development of methods that would derive population estimates from the results of both household surveys and surveys of institutionalized individuals.Go to:

ADDITIONAL METHODOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS

We find it noteworthy that the newer NISVS and the BJS detainee surveys show less disparity between male and female reports of sexual victimization than does the longstanding crime survey, NCVS (Figures 1 and ​and2).2). In 2012, male victims experienced 38% of incidents, but the previous 5 years of NCVS data show even greater gender disparity. The percentage of rape and sexual assault incidents committed against males ranged from only 5% to 14% from 2007 to 2011.49 Because NCVS in an omnibus crime survey, rather than a survey focused specifically on sexual victimization, one would anticipate lower reporting overall. But what explains the marked gender disparity in reporting among these federal surveys?

Perhaps because NCVS is focused on crime, rather than on health or sexual victimization specifically, men are less likely to report unwanted sex (particularly with a female abuser) as criminal, thus leading to a greater gender disparity in the NCVS than in noncrime surveys. Additionally, the victim-sensitive survey methods used more recently in the NISVS and the BJS detainee surveys may be especially useful for eliciting male disclosure. For example, CDC researchers used graduated informed consent and frequent check-ins to build rapport and ensure participant comfort. BJS went to great lengths to reassure inmate and juvenile respondents about confidentiality, an important approach in the “snitching”-averse confinement context. The detainee surveys were also self-administered, which helps overcome disclosure resistance.

Both the NISVS and the BJS detainee surveys ask many frank, behaviorally specific questions, for example, “Did another inmate use physical force to make you give or receive oral sex or a blow job?”47(p41) and more numerous questions, strategies that generally increase reporting by acclimating respondents to the topic, desensitizing them (perhaps especially men), to the discomfort of disclosure.51 By contrast, the NCVS, an instrument meant to cover a broad range of crimes, contains only nonbehaviorally specific questions about sexual abuse. These (and perhaps still other) differences in survey methods may explain why the newer NISVS and BJS detainee data capture more male victimization than do federal crime data.

Crime and health surveys do not necessarily intend to measure the same events. But to the extent that the newer victim-sensitive methods increase the reporting of the types of sexual victimization experiences with which crime surveys ought to be concerned, such methods should be considered for the NCVS to increase the reporting of sexual crimes among women and men.Go to:

CONCLUSIONS

While recognizing and lamenting the threat that sexual victimization continues to pose for women and girls, we aim to bring into the fold the vast cohort of male victims who have been overlooked in research, media, and governmental responses. In so doing, we first argue that it is time to move past the male perpetrator and female victim paradigm. Overreliance on it stigmatizes men who are victimized,8 risks portraying women as victims,52 and discourages discussion of abuse that runs counter to the paradigm, such as same-sex abuse and female perpetration of sexual victimization.

Second, we note that to bring greater attention to the full spectrum of sexual victimization, definitions and categories of harm that federal agencies use should be revised to eliminate gendered and heterosexist bias. Specifically, the emphasis on the directionality of the sex act (i.e., the focus on victim penetration) should be abandoned. Such revisions in terminology and categorization of harms should aim to include sexual victimization regardless of the gender of victims and perpetrators. To better capture the forms of victimization with which federal agencies ought to be concerned, studies should use victim-sensitive survey methods that facilitate disclosure and may be especially prone to illicit male reporting.

Third, any comprehensive portrayal of sexual victimization in the United States must acknowledge the now extensively well-documented victimization of incarcerated persons to accurately reflect the experiences of large numbers of sexually victimized men. Because the United States disproportionately incarcerates Black, Hispanic, low-income, and mentally ill persons, accounting for the experience of the incarcerated population will help researchers and policymakers better understand the intersecting factors that lead to the sexual victimization of already marginalized groups. Homeless persons and other institutionalized individuals may be similarly vulnerable. To arrive at better estimates of sexual victimization, analytic approaches that combine data from households and nonhousehold populations are necessary.

Finally, a gender-conscious analysis of sexual victimization as it affects both women and men is needed and is not inconsistent with a gender-neutral approach to defining abuse.53 Indeed, masculinized dominance and feminized subordination can take place regardless of the biological sex or sexual orientation of the actors. We therefore advocate for the use of gender-conscious analyses that avoid regressive stereotyping, to which both women and men are detrimentally subject. This includes an understanding of how gender norms can affect the sexual victimization of all persons.53Go to:

Acknowledgments

Work on this article was supported, in part, by a grant from the Ford Foundation to the Williams Institute (grant 0130-0650).

The authors wish to thank Christina Kung, Tiffany Parnell, and Brad Sears.Go to:

Human Participant Protection

Institutional review board approval was not necessary, as we analyzed data in previously published reports.Go to:

References

1. Fitzpatrick J. The Use of International Human Rights Norms to Combat Violence Against Women. Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press; 1994. [Google Scholar]2. Crenshaw KW. Mapping the margins: intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Rev. 1991;43(6):1241–1299. [Google Scholar]3. MacKinnon CA. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1987. [Google Scholar]4. Millett K. Sexual Politics. Garden City, NY: Doubleday; 1970. [Google Scholar]5. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The National Inmate Partner And Sexual Violence Survey. 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2012.6. Copelon R. Surfacing gender: reengraving crimes against women in humanitarian law. In: Nicole Ann Dombrowski, ed. Women and War in the Twentieth Century: Enlisted With or Without Consent. New York, NY: Garland; 1990:245–266.7. Kapur R. The Tragedy of Victimization Rhetoric: Resurrecting the Native Subject in International/PostColonial Feminist Legal Politics. London, UK: Routledge; 2002. [Google Scholar]8. Scarce M. The Spectacle of Male Rape. Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toll of Stigma and Shame. New York, NY: Insight Books; 1997. [Google Scholar]9. US Department of Justice. Prisoners in 2012—advance counts. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12ac.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.10. US Department of Justice. Jail inmates at midyear 2012—statistical tables. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/jim12st.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.11. Denov MS. The myth of innocence: sexual scripts and the recognition of child sexual abuse by female perpetrators. J Sex Res. 2003;40(3):303–314. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]12. Mendel MP. The Male Survivor: The Impact of Sexual Abuse. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1995. [Google Scholar]13. Smith BV. Uncomfortable places, close spaces: female correctional workers’ sexual interactions with men and boys in custody. UCLA Law Rev. 2012;59(6):1690–1745. [Google Scholar]14. Brownmiller S. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; 1975. [Google Scholar]15. Gelles RJ. The politics of research: the use, abuse, and misuse of social science data—the cases of intimate partner violence. Fam Court Rev. 2007;45(1):42–51. [Google Scholar]16. Dutton DG, Nicholls TL. Gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1—The conflict of theory and data. Aggress Violent Behav. 2005;10(6):680–714. [Google Scholar]17. Miller AM. Sexuality, violence against women, and human rights: women make demands and ladies get protection. Health Human Rights J. 2004;7(2):16–47. [Google Scholar]18. Gear S. Behind the bars of masculinity: male rape and homophobia in and about South African men’s prisons. Sexualities. 2007;10(2):209–217. [Google Scholar]19. Kimmel MS. Masculinity as homophobia: fear, shame, and silence in the construction of gender identity. In: Gergen MM, Davis SN, editors. Toward a New Psychology of Gender. New York, NY: Routledge; 1997. pp. 223–224. [Google Scholar]20. Struckman-Johnson C, Struckman-Johnson D. Acceptance of male rape myths among college men and women. Sex Roles. 1992;7(3/4):85–100. [Google Scholar]21. Koss MP, Abbey A, Campbell R et al. Revising the SES: a collaborative process to improve assessment of sexual aggression and victimization. Psychol Women Q. 2007;31(4):357–370. [Google Scholar]22. Clay-Warner J, Burt CH. Rape reporting after reforms: have times really changed. Violence Against Women. 2005;11(2):150–176. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]23. Weiss KG. Male sexual victimization: examining men’s experiences of rape and sexual assault. Men Masc. 2010;12(3):275–298. [Google Scholar]24. Lonsway KA, Fitzgerald LF. Rape myths: in review. Psychol Women Q. 1994;18(2):133–164. [Google Scholar]25. Stemple L, Qutb S. Just what part of prison rape do you find amusing? San Francisco Chronicle. 2002. Available at: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/PRISONS-Selling-a-Soft-Drink-Surviving-Hard-2811952.php. Accessed April 10, 2014.26. Wakelin A, Long KM. Effects of victim gender and sexuality on attributions of blame to rape victims. Sex Roles. 2003;49(9/10):477–487. [Google Scholar]27. National Center for Victims of Crime. Male rape. 2008. Available at: http://www.nsvrc.org/publications/articles/male-rape. Accessed October 12, 2012.28. Groth AN, Burgess AW. Male rape: offenders and victims. Am J Psychiatry. 1980;137(7):806–810. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]29. CBS. Male-stalking rapist puzzles experts. 2009. Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/male-stalking-rapist-puzzles-experts. Accessed September 28, 2012.30. Capers B. Real rape too. 2011. Available at: http://www.californialawreview.org/assets/pdfs/99-5/02-Capers.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2012.31. Posner RA. Sex and Reason. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1992. [Google Scholar]32. Mezey G, King M. The effects of sexual assault on men: a survey of 22 victims. Psychol Med. 1989;19(1):205–209. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]33. Beck AJ, Cantor D, Hartge J, Smith T. Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth, 2012. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry12.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013.34. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The National Inmate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010. Findings on victimization by sexual orientation. 2013. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_sofindings.pdf. Accessed August 28, 2013.35. US Department of Justice. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Technical Specification. 2012. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/nibrs_technical_specification_version_1.0_final_04-16-2012.pdf. Accessed January 15, 2014.36. US Department of Justice. Crime in the United States: forcible rape. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/violent-crime/rape/rapemain.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013.37. US Department of Justice. Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook. 2004. Available at: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/handbook/ucrhandbook04.pdf. Accessed January 18, 2014.38. Berger RJ, Neuman WL, Searles P. Impact of rape law reform: an aggregate analysis of police reports and arrests. Crim Justice Rev. 1994;19(1):1–23. [Google Scholar]39. Savage C. US to expand its definition of rape in statistics. 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/07/us/politics/federal-crime-statistics-to-expand-rape-definition.html?_r=1&. Accessed September 28, 2012.40. US Department of Justice. Attorney general Eric Holder announces revisions to the uniform crime report’s definition of rape. 2012. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/attorney-general-eric-holder-announces-revisions-to-the-uniform-crime-reports-definition-of-rape. Accessed September 28, 2012.41. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The National Inmate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: fact sheet. 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_FactSheet-a.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2012.42. Rabin RC. Nearly 1 in 5 women in US survey say they have been sexually assaulted. 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/nearly 1-in-5-women-in-us-survey-report-sexual-assault.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=centers%20for%20disease%20control%20and%20prevention%20rape&st=cse. Accessed September 28, 2012.43. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence widespread in the US. 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p1214_sexual_violence.html. Accessed December 17, 2013.44. McMahon-Howard J. Does the controversy matter? Comparing the causal determinants of the adoption of controversial and noncontroversial rape law reforms. Law Soc Rev. 2011;45(2):401–434. [Google Scholar]45. Kahn AS, Jackson J, Kully C, Badger K, Halvorsen J. Calling it rape: differences in experiences of women who do or do not label their sexual assault as rape. Psychol Women Q. 2003;27(3):233–242. [Google Scholar]46. Walmsley R. World Prison Population List. 9th ed. London, UK: International Center for Prison Studies; 2012. [Google Scholar]47. Beck AJ, Berzofsky M, Caspar R, Krebs C. Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011–12. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri1112.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013. [Google Scholar]48. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. Pub. L. No. 108-79, 42 U.S.C. §§15601–15609.49. Truman J, Langton L, Planty M. 2014. Criminal victimization, 2012. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv12.pdf. Accessed January 21,50. Beck AJ, Harrison PM. Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011–12. 2010. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri0809.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.51. Sorenson SB, Stein JA, Siegel JM, Golding JM, Burnam MA. The prevalence of adult sexual assault: the Los Angeles Epidemiologic Catchment Area Project. Am J Epidemiol. 1987;126(6):1141–1153. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]52. Stemple L. Human rights, sex, and gender: limits in theory and practice. Pace Law Rev. 2012;31(3):823–836. [Google Scholar]53. Stemple L. Male rape and human rights. Hastings Law J. 2009;60(605):628. [Google Scholar]54. Beck AJ, Harrison PM, Guerino P. Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth. 2010. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry09.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.55. US Department of Justice. Regulatory impact assessment for PREA final rule. 2012. Available at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_ria.pdf. Accessed January 17, 2014.


Articles from American Journal of Public Health are provided here courtesy of American Public Health Association


Formats:

Share

Save items

View more options

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews…See all…

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all…

Links

Recent Activity

ClearTurn Off

See more…

Logo of amjph

Am J Public Health. 2014 June; 104(6): e19–e26. Published online 2014 June. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.301946PMCID: PMC4062022PMID: 24825225

The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions

Lara Stemple, JD and Ilan H. Meyer, PhDAuthor informationArticle notesCopyright and License informationDisclaimerThis article has been cited by other articles in PMC.Go to:

Abstract

We assessed 12-month prevalence and incidence data on sexual victimization in 5 federal surveys that the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted independently in 2010 through 2012. We used these data to examine the prevailing assumption that men rarely experience sexual victimization. We concluded that federal surveys detect a high prevalence of sexual victimization among men—in many circumstances similar to the prevalence found among women. We identified factors that perpetuate misperceptions about men’s sexual victimization: reliance on traditional gender stereotypes, outdated and inconsistent definitions, and methodological sampling biases that exclude inmates. We recommend changes that move beyond regressive gender assumptions, which can harm both women and men.

The sexual victimization of women was ignored for centuries. Although it remains tolerated and entrenched in many pockets of the world, feminist analysis has gone a long way toward revolutionizing thinking about the sexual abuse of women, demonstrating that sexual victimization is rooted in gender norms1 and is worthy of social, legal, and public health intervention. We have aimed to build on this important legacy by drawing attention to male sexual victimization, an overlooked area of study. We take a fresh look at several recent findings concerning male sexual victimization, exploring explanations for the persistent misperceptions surrounding it. Feminist principles that emphasize equity, inclusion, and intersectional approaches2; the importance of understanding power relations3; and the imperative to question gender assumptions4 inform our analysis.

To explore patterns of sexual victimization and gender, we examined 5 sets of federal agency survey data on this topic (Table 1). In particular, we show that 12-month prevalence data from 2 new sets of surveys conducted, independently, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) found widespread sexual victimization among men in the United States, with some forms of victimization roughly equal to those experienced by women.

TABLE 1—

US Federal Agency Surveys of Sexual Victimization Using Probability Samples

StudyYear of StudyConducted bySampleNo.
National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS)2010Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNationally representative telephone survey of 12 mo and lifetime prevalence data on sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence16 507
National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)2012Bureau of Justice StatisticsLongitudinal survey of US households40 000 households
∼75 000
Uniform Crime Report (UCR)2012Federal Bureau of InvestigationNA (UCR is a cooperative statistical effort whereby 18 000 city, university, and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies report data on crimes brought to their attention.)NA
Sexual Victimization in Prisonsa and Jails Reported by Inmates; National Inmate Survey (NIS 2011–12)2011–2012Bureau of Justice StatisticsProbability sample of state and federal confinement facilities and random sampling of inmates within selected facilities92 449
Sexual Victimization in Juvenile Facilitiesa Reported by Youth; National Survey of Youth in Custody (NSYC 2012)2012Bureau of Justice StatisticsMultistage stratified survey of facilities in each state of the United States and random sample of youths within selected facilities8707

Open in a separate window

Note. NA = not available.aIn these reports, 12-month prevalence refers to 12 months, or shorter if the respondent has been in the facility for less than 12 months.

Despite such findings, contemporary depictions of sexual victimization reinforce the stereotypical sexual victimization paradigm, comprising male perpetrators and female victims. As we demonstrate, the reality concerning sexual victimization and gender is more complex. Although different federal agency surveys have different purposes and use a wide variety of methods (each with concomitant limitations), we examined the findings of each, attempting to glean an overall picture. This picture reveals alarmingly high prevalence of both male and female sexual victimization; we highlight the underappreciated findings related to male sexual victimization.

For example, in 2011 the CDC reported results from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), one of the most comprehensive surveys of sexual victimization conducted in the United States to date. The survey found that men and women had a similar prevalence of nonconsensual sex in the previous 12 months (1.270 million women and 1.267 million men).5 This remarkable finding challenges stereotypical assumptions about the gender of victims of sexual violence. However unintentionally, the CDC’s publications and the media coverage that followed instead highlighted female sexual victimization, reinforcing public perceptions that sexual victimization is primarily a women’s issue.

We explore 3 factors that lead to misperceptions concerning gender and sexual victimization. First, a male perpetrator and female victim paradigm underlies assumptions about sexual victimization.6 This paradigm serves to obscure abuse that runs counter to the paradigm, reinforce regressive ideas that portray women as victims,7 and stigmatize sexually victimized men.8 Second, some federal agencies use outdated definitions and categories of sexual victimization. This has entailed the prioritization of the types of harm women are more likely to experience as well as the exclusion of men from the definition of rape. Third, the data most widely reported in the press are derived from household sampling. Inherent in this is a methodological bias that misses many who are at great risk for sexual victimization in the United States: inmates, the vast majority of whom are male.9,10

We call for the consistent use of gender-inclusive terms for sexual victimization, objective reporting of data, and improved methodologies that account for institutionalized populations. In this way, research and reporting on sexual victimization will more accurately reflect the experiences of both women and men.Go to:

MALE PERPETRATOR AND FEMALE VICTIM PARADIGM

The conceptualization of men as perpetrators and women as victims remains the dominant sexual victimization paradigm.11 Scholars have offered various explanations for why victimization that runs counter to this paradigm receives little attention. These include the ideas that female-perpetrated abuse is rare or nonexistent,12 that male victims experience less harm,8 and that for men all sex is welcome.13 Some posit that because dominant feminist theory relies heavily on the idea that men use sexual aggression to subordinate women,14 findings perceived to conflict with this theory, such as female-perpetrated violence against men, are politically unpalatable.15 Others argue that researchers have a conformity bias, leading them to overlook research data that conflict with their prior beliefs.16

We have interrogated some of the stereotypes concerning gender and sexual victimization, and we call for researchers to move beyond them. First, we question the assumption that feminist theory requires disproportionate concern for female victims. Indeed, some contemporary gender theorists have questioned the overwhelming focus on female victimization, not simply because it misses male victims but also because it serves to reinforce regressive notions of female vulnerability.17 When the harms that women experience are held out as exceedingly more common and more worrisome, this can perpetuate norms that see women as disempowered victims,7 reinforcing the idea that women are “noble, pure, passive, and ignorant.”13(p1719)

Related to this, treating male sexual victimization as a rare occurrence can impose regressive expectations about masculinity on men and boys. The belief that men are unlikely victims promotes a counterproductive construct of what it means to “be a man.”18 This can reinforce notions of naturalistic masculinity long criticized by feminist theory, which asserts that masculinity is culturally constructed.19 Expectations about male invincibility are constraining for men and boys; they may also harm women and girls by perpetuating regressive gender norms.

Another common gender stereotype portrays men as sexually insatiable.13 The idea that, for men, virtually all sex is welcome likely contributes to dismissive attitudes toward male sexual victimization. Such dismissal runs counter to evidence that men who experience sexual abuse report problems such as depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, loss of self-esteem, and long-term relationship difficulties.20

A related argument for treating male victimization as less worrisome holds that male victims experience less physical force than do female victims,21 the implication being that the use of force determines concern about victimization. This rationale problematically conflicts with the important feminist-led movement away from physical force as a defining and necessary component of sexual victimization.22 In addition, a recent multiyear analysis of the BJS National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS) found no difference between male and female victims in the use of a resistance strategy during rape and sexual assault (89% of both men and women did so). A weapon was used in 7% of both male and female incidents, and although resultant injuries requiring medical care were higher in women, men too experienced significant injuries (12.6% of females and 8.5% of males).23

Portraying male victimization as aberrant or harmless also adds to the stigmatization of men who face sexual victimization.8 Sexual victimization can be a stigmatizing experience for both men and women. However, through decades of feminist-led struggle, fallacies described as “rape myths”24 have been largely discredited in American society, and an alternative narrative concerning female victimization has emerged. This narrative teaches that, contrary to timeworn tropes, the victimization of a woman is not her fault, that it is not caused by her prior sexual history or her choice of attire, and that for survivors of rape and other abuse, speaking out against victimization can be politically important and personally redemptive.

For men, a similar discourse has not been developed. Indeed contemporary social narratives, including jokes about prison rape,25 the notion that “real men” can protect themselves,8 and the fallacy that gay male victims likely “asked for it,”26 pose obstacles for males coping with victimization. A male victim’s sexual arousal, which is not uncommon during nonconsensual sex, may add to the misapprehension that the victimization was a welcome event.27 Feelings of embarrassment, the victim’s fear that he will not be believed, and the belief that reporting itself is unmasculine have all been cited as reasons for male resistance to reporting sexual victimization.28 Popular media also reflects insensitivity, if not callousness, toward male victims. For example, a 2009 CBS News report about a serial rapist who raped 4 men concluded, “No one has been seriously hurt.”29

The minimization of male sexual victimization and the hesitancy of victims to come forward may also contribute to a paucity of legal action concerning male sexual victimization. Although state laws have become more gender neutral, criminal prosecution for the sexual victimization of men remains rare and has been attributed to a lack of concern for male victims.30 The faulty assertion that male victimization is uncommon has also been used to justify the exclusion of men and boys in scholarship on sexual victimization.31 Perhaps such widespread exclusion itself causes male victims to assume they are alone in their experience, thereby fueling underreporting.32

Not only does the traditional sexual victimization paradigm masks male victimization, it can obscure sexual abuse perpetrated by women as well as same-sex victimization. We offer a few counterparadigmatic examples. One multiyear analysis of the NCVS household survey found that 46% of male victims reported a female perpetrator.23 Of juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89% were boys reporting abuse by female staff.33 In lifetime reports of nonrape sexual victimization, the NISVS found that 79% of self-reported gay male victims identified same-sex perpetrators.34

Despite such complexities, as recently as 2012, the National Incident Based Reporting System (a component of the Uniform Crime Reporting Program [UCR]) included male rape victims but still maintained that for victimization to be categorized as rape, at least 1 of the perpetrators had to be of the opposite sex.35 Conversely, under the NISVS definitions, for a female to fall into the “made to penetrate” category, the perpetrating receptive partner must also be female.5 (“Made to penetrate” includes anal penetration by a finger or other object, and a female could therefore be made to penetrate a male.) Additional research and analysis concerning female perpetration and same-sex abuse is warranted but is beyond the scope of this article. For now we simply highlight the concern that reliance on the male perpetrator and female victim paradigm limits understandings, not only of male victimization but of all counterparadigmatic abuse.Go to:

DEFINITIONS AND CATEGORIES OF SEXUAL VICTIMIZATION

The definitions and uses of terms such as “rape” and “sexual assault” have evolved over time, with significant implications for how the victimization of women and men is measured. Although the definitions and categorization of these harms have become more gender inclusive over time, bias against recognizing male victimization remains.

When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began tracking violent crime in 1930, the rape of men was excluded. Until 2012, the UCR, through which the FBI collects annual crime data, defined “forcible rape” as “the carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will” (emphasis added).36 Approximately 17 000 local law enforcement agencies used this female-only definition for the better part of a century when submitting standardized data to the FBI.37 Meanwhile, the reform of state criminal law on rape, which began in the 1970s and eventually spread to every jurisdiction in the country, revised definitions in numerous ways, including the increased recognition of male victimization. Reforms also broadened definitions to address nonrape sexual assault.38

These state revisions left a mismatch with the limited UCR definition, forcing agencies to send only a subset of reported sexual assault to the FBI. Some localities eventually refused to parse their data according to the biased federal categories. For example, in 2010 Chicago, Illinois, recorded 84 767 reports of forcible rape under UCR, but because they refused to comply with the UCR’s outdated categorization, the FBI did not include Chicago rape data in its national count.39

In 2012 the FBI revised its 80-year-old definition of rape to the following: “the penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.”40 Although the new definition reflects a more inclusive understanding of sexual victimization, it appears to still focus on the penetration of the victim, which excludes victims who were made to penetrate. This likely undercounts male victimization for reasons we now detail.

The NISVS’s 12-month prevalence estimates of sexual victimization show that male victimization is underrepresented when victim penetration is the only form of nonconsensual sex included in the definition of rape. The number of women who have been raped (1 270 000) is nearly equivalent to the number of men who were “made to penetrate” (1 267 000).5 As Figure 1 also shows, both men and women experienced “sexual coercion” and “unwanted sexual contact,” with women more likely than men to report the former and men slightly more likely to report the latter.5FIGURE 1—

Twelve-month sexual victimization prevalence (percentage) among adult population (noninstitutionalized) from the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey 2010, and among adult and juvenile detainees from the National Inmate Survey 2011–2012 and the National Survey of Youth in Custody, 2012: United States.

aAmong the 5 federal agency surveys we reviewed, only NISVS collected lifetime prevalence, limiting our ability to compare lifetime data across surveys. It found lifetime prevalence for men as follows: made to penetrate = 4.8%, rape = 1.4%, sexual coercion = 6.0%, and unwanted sexual contact = 11.7%. For women: rape = 18.3%, sexual coercion = 13.0%, and unwanted sexual contact = 27.2%.

bFemale detainees are significantly more likely to be sexually victimized by fellow detainees than are males; a presumably same-sex pattern of abuse that runs counter to the male perpetrator/female victim paradigm.

This striking finding—that men and women reported similar rates of nonconsensual sex in a 12-month period—might have made for a newsworthy finding. Instead, the CDC’s public presentation of these data emphasized female sexual victimization, thereby (perhaps inadvertently) confirming gender stereotypes about victimization. For example, in the first headline of the fact sheet aiming to summarize the NISVS findings the CDC asserted, “Women are disproportionally affected by sexual violence.” Similarly, the fact sheet’s first bullet point stated, “1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey.” Because of the prioritization of rape, the fact sheet failed to note that a similar number of men reported nonconsensual sex (they were “made to penetrate”).41

The fact sheet paints a picture of highly divergent prevalence of female and male abuse, when, in fact, the data concerning all nonconsensual sex are much more nuanced. Unsurprisingly, media outlets then emphasized the material the CDC highlighted in its summary material. The New York Times headline read, “Nearly 1 in 5 Women in U.S. Survey Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted.”42(pA32)

In addition, the full NISVS report presents data on sexual victimization in 2 main categories: rape and other sexual violence. “Rape,” the category of nonconsensual sex that disproportionately affects women, is given its own table, whereas “made to penetrate,” the category that disproportionately affects men, is treated as a subcategory, placed under and tabulated as “other sexual violence” alongside lesser-harm categories, such as “noncontact unwanted sexual experiences,” which are experiences involving no touching.5

Additionally, much more information is provided about rape than being made to penetrate. The NISVS report gives separate prevalence estimates for completed versus attempted rape and for rape that was facilitated by alcohol or drugs. No such breakdown is given concerning victims who were made to penetrate, although such data were collected. Including these data in the report would avoid suggesting that this form of unwanted sexual activity is somehow less worthy of detailed analysis.1 These various reporting practices may draw disproportionate attention to the sexual victimization of women, implying that it is a more worrisome problem than is the sexual victimization of men.

Prioritizing rape over being made to penetrate may seem an obvious and important distinction at first glimpse. After all, isn’t rape intuitively the worst sexual abuse? But a more careful examination shows that prioritizing rape over other forms of nonconsensual sex is sometimes difficult to justify, for example, in the case of an adult forcibly performing oral sex on an adolescent girl and on an adolescent boy. Under the CDC’s definitions, the assault on the girl (if even slightly penetrated in the act) would be categorized as rape but the assault on the boy would not. According to the CDC, the male victim was “made to penetrate” the perpetrator’s mouth with his penis,5(p17) and his abuse would instead be categorized under the “other sexual violence” heading. We argue that this is neither a useful nor an equitable distinction.

By introducing the term “made to penetrate,” the CDC has added new detail to help understand what happens when men are sexually victimized. But the distinction may obscure more than it elucidates. In contrast to the term “rape,” the term “made to penetrate” is not commonly used. The CDC’s own press release about the survey, for example, uses the word “rape” (or “raped”) 7 times and makes no mention of “made to penetrate.”43 In this way, “rape” is the harm that ultimately captures media attention, funding, and programmatic intervention, whereas “made to penetrate” is relegated to a secondary, somewhat obscure harm.

Similarly, the FBI’s revised UCR definition, although a distinct improvement over the 1929 female-only definition, still seems to maintain an exclusive focus on the victim’s penetration.40 Therefore, to the extent that males experience nonconsensual sex differently (i.e., being made to penetrate), male victimization will remain vastly undercounted in federal data collection on violent crime.5

This focus on the directionality of the act runs counter to the trend toward greater gender inclusivity in sexual victimization definitions over the past 4 decades. The broader and more inclusive term “sexual assault” has replaced the term “rape” in at least 37 states.44 Not only has this change been widespread in legal definitions, but it is now standard practice to avoid the term “rape” in survey questions because of inconsistencies in how respondents perceive this term.21 Some anti–sexual violence activists may resist movement away from a term as compelling and vivid as “rape,” but others have noted that victims who choose another label may do so as a legitimate coping strategy.45

We recognize that when it comes to the impact of sexual victimization, men and women may indeed experience it differently.21 But categorizing the forms of sexual victimization that men typically experience as different and lesser than the forms of victimization that women typically experience would require considered justification. The reasons for continuing such practices would need to outweigh the drawbacks we have enumerated. We do not believe that such justification has been offered in the literature.

We therefore urge federal agencies to use care when collecting and reporting data on sexual victimization to avoid biased categorization. This does not mean that we suggest treating all sexual victimization identically. Nonconsensual penetrative acts (regardless of directionality) may be legitimately distinguished from acts that do not involve penetration. Likewise, harms that do not involve any genital contact whatsoever, such as unwelcome kissing, flashing, and sexual comments, although harmful for some victims, are categorically distinguishable because they do not involve contact with socially inviolable and physically sensitive reproductive parts of the body.

Without seeking to outline an entirely new classification scheme, we posit that “rape” as currently defined by the CDC and the FBI will continue to foster the underrecognition of the extent of male victimization. Terms such as “sexual assault” and “sexual victimization,” if defined in gender-inclusive ways, have the potential to capture the kind of abuse with which federal agencies ought to be concerned. They can be used more consistently and with less gender and heterosexist bias across crime, health, and other surveys. This would facilitate important cross-population analyses that inconsistent definitions now limit.Go to:

SAMPLING BIAS

In population-based sexual victimization studies, as in many other areas, researchers use a sampling frame that is restricted to US households. This excludes, among others, those held in juvenile detention, jails, prisons, and immigration detention centers. Because of the explosion of the US prison and jail population to nearly 2.3 million people46 and the disproportionate representation of men (93% of prisoners9 and 87% of those in jail10) among the incarcerated, household surveys—including the closely watched NCVS—miss many men, especially low-income and minority men who are incarcerated at the time the household survey is conducted. Opportunities for intersectional analyses that take race, class, and other factors into account are missed when the incarcerated are excluded. For instance, characteristics such as sexual minority and disability status, including mental health problems, place inmates at risk: among nonheterosexual prison inmates with serious psychological distress, 21% report sexual victimization.47

Of course, surveys of inmate and juvenile populations present a host of ethical, legal, and logistical challenges for surveyors. Sexual victimization in particular is risky for inmates to disclose; those who report abuse may be targeted for retaliation. The challenges of including vulnerable populations are very real, but because inmates are at great risk, their exclusion is especially likely to skew the public understanding of sexual victimization. For example, the NCVS’s household data on rape and sexual assault are widely reported in the media each year but typically without mention of the impact of excluding incarcerated individuals (or other institutionalized or homeless persons).

Recognizing the lack of data concerning incarcerated persons, the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act mandates that BJS conduct a regular comprehensive survey about sexual victimization behind bars.48 These results help fill the gap in knowledge concerning sexual victimization in the United States. We reviewed 2 of the recently released reports (Table 1), which provide results from the National Inmate Survey 2011–2012 and the National Survey of Youth in Custody, 2012.

These 2 surveys demonstrate that male and female detainees both experience sexual victimization committed by staff and other inmates and that the prevalence differs by sex (Figure 1). The National Inmate Survey 2011–2012 shows that slightly more men than women in jails and prisons reported staff sexual misconduct, which includes all incidents of sexual contact with staff (12-month prevalence for men in jails = 1.9%, men in prisons = 2.4% vs 1.4% and 2.3%47 for women, respectively). Women in jails and prisons reported more inmate-on-inmate abuse than did men (women in jails = 3.6%, women in prisons = 6.9% vs 1.4% and 1.7% for men, respectively).

In the National Survey of Youth in Custody 2012, about 9.5% of male and female juvenile detainees reported sexual victimization in the 12 months before the interview (or since detained, if < 12 months).33 But gender differences were observed: females were more likely than were males to report sexual victimization by other youths (5.4% vs 2.2%), and males were more likely than were females to report sexual victimization by facility staff (8.2% vs 2.8%).33

The examination of data from prisons, jails, and juvenile detention institutions reveals a very different picture of male sexual abuse in the United States from the picture portrayed by the household crime data alone. This discrepancy is stark when comparing the detainee findings with those of the NCVS, the longitudinal crime survey of households widely covered in the media each year. The 2012 NCVS’s household estimates indicate that 131 259 incidents of rape and sexual assault were committed against males.49 Using adjusted numbers from the detainee surveys, we roughly estimate that more than 900 000 sexual victimization incidents were committed against incarcerated males (Figure 2).

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is AJPH.2014.301946f2.jpg

Open in a separate windowFIGURE 2—

Annual incidents of sexual victimization from the Uniform Crime Report (UCR) and the National Crime Victim Survey (NCVS), 2012; the National Inmate Survey-2, 2008–2009; and the National Survey of Youth in Custody 2008–2009: United States.

Note. We calculated the sex of victims in NCVS using the publicly available Victimization Analysis Tool http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=nvat. We generated a rough estimate of the number of annual incidents of sexual victimization in jails, prisons, and juvenile detention facilities by sex, using the 2008–2009 data, the most recent publicly available data on repeat incidents.50,54 (Repeat incidents were not reported in detail in 2011–2012.) To arrive at this, we multiplied a flow-adjusted number of detainees who reported at least one sexual victimization incident by the mean number of incidents of sexual victimization reported per victimized detainee. The flow-adjusted number of victims corrects for persons moving in and out of facilities during the 12-month sampling. The US Department of Justice Regulatory Impact Assessment of PREA55 provides a flow-adjusted prevalence estimate of sexual victimization. The NIS-2 and NSYC report on the number of incidents of victimization as a range; we used the middle of the range. NISVS findings are not included because data on number of incidents have not been made public.

aMen were excluded from the definition of rape.

Comparability is limited, as the inmate surveys include a much broader range of victimization, such as sex between staff and inmates that inmates report as “willing.” When guards and other staff engage in sexual activity with inmates in their care, it occurs in the context of an extreme power imbalance and is a criminal offense in all 50 states. We therefore find it worthy of inclusion. Moreover, more than half of both male and female prison and jail inmates who report staff sexual misconduct indicate that at least some of the sexual activity was “pressured”; more than one third indicate that some of it was accomplished with “force or threat of force.”50

We have presented these figures not to offer a precise overall estimate of sexual victimization in the United States but to suggest that relying solely on NCVS household surveys vastly underrecognizes sexual victimization incidents that occur among men. (Prevalence data from the NISVS serve as further evidence of the NCVS’s undercount of male and female victimization; Figure 1.)

We understand the reasons for using household surveys, and we acknowledge the complexities inherent in surveying vulnerable populations, which include not only the incarcerated but also homeless persons and those in care facilities, such as nursing homes. We underscore, however, that exclusive reliance on household methods may paint a misleading picture of sexual victimization in the United States by missing those at enormous risk. In addition to advocating greater awareness about such bias, we recommend the development of methods that would derive population estimates from the results of both household surveys and surveys of institutionalized individuals.Go to:

ADDITIONAL METHODOLOGICAL LIMITATIONS

We find it noteworthy that the newer NISVS and the BJS detainee surveys show less disparity between male and female reports of sexual victimization than does the longstanding crime survey, NCVS (Figures 1 and ​and2).2). In 2012, male victims experienced 38% of incidents, but the previous 5 years of NCVS data show even greater gender disparity. The percentage of rape and sexual assault incidents committed against males ranged from only 5% to 14% from 2007 to 2011.49 Because NCVS in an omnibus crime survey, rather than a survey focused specifically on sexual victimization, one would anticipate lower reporting overall. But what explains the marked gender disparity in reporting among these federal surveys?

Perhaps because NCVS is focused on crime, rather than on health or sexual victimization specifically, men are less likely to report unwanted sex (particularly with a female abuser) as criminal, thus leading to a greater gender disparity in the NCVS than in noncrime surveys. Additionally, the victim-sensitive survey methods used more recently in the NISVS and the BJS detainee surveys may be especially useful for eliciting male disclosure. For example, CDC researchers used graduated informed consent and frequent check-ins to build rapport and ensure participant comfort. BJS went to great lengths to reassure inmate and juvenile respondents about confidentiality, an important approach in the “snitching”-averse confinement context. The detainee surveys were also self-administered, which helps overcome disclosure resistance.

Both the NISVS and the BJS detainee surveys ask many frank, behaviorally specific questions, for example, “Did another inmate use physical force to make you give or receive oral sex or a blow job?”47(p41) and more numerous questions, strategies that generally increase reporting by acclimating respondents to the topic, desensitizing them (perhaps especially men), to the discomfort of disclosure.51 By contrast, the NCVS, an instrument meant to cover a broad range of crimes, contains only nonbehaviorally specific questions about sexual abuse. These (and perhaps still other) differences in survey methods may explain why the newer NISVS and BJS detainee data capture more male victimization than do federal crime data.

Crime and health surveys do not necessarily intend to measure the same events. But to the extent that the newer victim-sensitive methods increase the reporting of the types of sexual victimization experiences with which crime surveys ought to be concerned, such methods should be considered for the NCVS to increase the reporting of sexual crimes among women and men.Go to:

CONCLUSIONS

While recognizing and lamenting the threat that sexual victimization continues to pose for women and girls, we aim to bring into the fold the vast cohort of male victims who have been overlooked in research, media, and governmental responses. In so doing, we first argue that it is time to move past the male perpetrator and female victim paradigm. Overreliance on it stigmatizes men who are victimized,8 risks portraying women as victims,52 and discourages discussion of abuse that runs counter to the paradigm, such as same-sex abuse and female perpetration of sexual victimization.

Second, we note that to bring greater attention to the full spectrum of sexual victimization, definitions and categories of harm that federal agencies use should be revised to eliminate gendered and heterosexist bias. Specifically, the emphasis on the directionality of the sex act (i.e., the focus on victim penetration) should be abandoned. Such revisions in terminology and categorization of harms should aim to include sexual victimization regardless of the gender of victims and perpetrators. To better capture the forms of victimization with which federal agencies ought to be concerned, studies should use victim-sensitive survey methods that facilitate disclosure and may be especially prone to illicit male reporting.

Third, any comprehensive portrayal of sexual victimization in the United States must acknowledge the now extensively well-documented victimization of incarcerated persons to accurately reflect the experiences of large numbers of sexually victimized men. Because the United States disproportionately incarcerates Black, Hispanic, low-income, and mentally ill persons, accounting for the experience of the incarcerated population will help researchers and policymakers better understand the intersecting factors that lead to the sexual victimization of already marginalized groups. Homeless persons and other institutionalized individuals may be similarly vulnerable. To arrive at better estimates of sexual victimization, analytic approaches that combine data from households and nonhousehold populations are necessary.

Finally, a gender-conscious analysis of sexual victimization as it affects both women and men is needed and is not inconsistent with a gender-neutral approach to defining abuse.53 Indeed, masculinized dominance and feminized subordination can take place regardless of the biological sex or sexual orientation of the actors. We therefore advocate for the use of gender-conscious analyses that avoid regressive stereotyping, to which both women and men are detrimentally subject. This includes an understanding of how gender norms can affect the sexual victimization of all persons.53Go to:

Acknowledgments

Work on this article was supported, in part, by a grant from the Ford Foundation to the Williams Institute (grant 0130-0650).

The authors wish to thank Christina Kung, Tiffany Parnell, and Brad Sears.Go to:

Human Participant Protection

Institutional review board approval was not necessary, as we analyzed data in previously published reports.Go to:

References

1. Fitzpatrick J. The Use of International Human Rights Norms to Combat Violence Against Women. Human Rights of Women: National and International Perspectives. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press; 1994. [Google Scholar]2. Crenshaw KW. Mapping the margins: intersectionality, identity politics, and violence against women of color. Stanford Law Rev. 1991;43(6):1241–1299. [Google Scholar]3. MacKinnon CA. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1987. [Google Scholar]4. Millett K. Sexual Politics. Garden City, NY: Doubleday; 1970. [Google Scholar]5. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The National Inmate Partner And Sexual Violence Survey. 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2012.6. Copelon R. Surfacing gender: reengraving crimes against women in humanitarian law. In: Nicole Ann Dombrowski, ed. Women and War in the Twentieth Century: Enlisted With or Without Consent. New York, NY: Garland; 1990:245–266.7. Kapur R. The Tragedy of Victimization Rhetoric: Resurrecting the Native Subject in International/PostColonial Feminist Legal Politics. London, UK: Routledge; 2002. [Google Scholar]8. Scarce M. The Spectacle of Male Rape. Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toll of Stigma and Shame. New York, NY: Insight Books; 1997. [Google Scholar]9. US Department of Justice. Prisoners in 2012—advance counts. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/p12ac.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.10. US Department of Justice. Jail inmates at midyear 2012—statistical tables. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/jim12st.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.11. Denov MS. The myth of innocence: sexual scripts and the recognition of child sexual abuse by female perpetrators. J Sex Res. 2003;40(3):303–314. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]12. Mendel MP. The Male Survivor: The Impact of Sexual Abuse. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; 1995. [Google Scholar]13. Smith BV. Uncomfortable places, close spaces: female correctional workers’ sexual interactions with men and boys in custody. UCLA Law Rev. 2012;59(6):1690–1745. [Google Scholar]14. Brownmiller S. Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster; 1975. [Google Scholar]15. Gelles RJ. The politics of research: the use, abuse, and misuse of social science data—the cases of intimate partner violence. Fam Court Rev. 2007;45(1):42–51. [Google Scholar]16. Dutton DG, Nicholls TL. Gender paradigm in domestic violence research and theory: Part 1—The conflict of theory and data. Aggress Violent Behav. 2005;10(6):680–714. [Google Scholar]17. Miller AM. Sexuality, violence against women, and human rights: women make demands and ladies get protection. Health Human Rights J. 2004;7(2):16–47. [Google Scholar]18. Gear S. Behind the bars of masculinity: male rape and homophobia in and about South African men’s prisons. Sexualities. 2007;10(2):209–217. [Google Scholar]19. Kimmel MS. Masculinity as homophobia: fear, shame, and silence in the construction of gender identity. In: Gergen MM, Davis SN, editors. Toward a New Psychology of Gender. New York, NY: Routledge; 1997. pp. 223–224. [Google Scholar]20. Struckman-Johnson C, Struckman-Johnson D. Acceptance of male rape myths among college men and women. Sex Roles. 1992;7(3/4):85–100. [Google Scholar]21. Koss MP, Abbey A, Campbell R et al. Revising the SES: a collaborative process to improve assessment of sexual aggression and victimization. Psychol Women Q. 2007;31(4):357–370. [Google Scholar]22. Clay-Warner J, Burt CH. Rape reporting after reforms: have times really changed. Violence Against Women. 2005;11(2):150–176. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]23. Weiss KG. Male sexual victimization: examining men’s experiences of rape and sexual assault. Men Masc. 2010;12(3):275–298. [Google Scholar]24. Lonsway KA, Fitzgerald LF. Rape myths: in review. Psychol Women Q. 1994;18(2):133–164. [Google Scholar]25. Stemple L, Qutb S. Just what part of prison rape do you find amusing? San Francisco Chronicle. 2002. Available at: http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/PRISONS-Selling-a-Soft-Drink-Surviving-Hard-2811952.php. Accessed April 10, 2014.26. Wakelin A, Long KM. Effects of victim gender and sexuality on attributions of blame to rape victims. Sex Roles. 2003;49(9/10):477–487. [Google Scholar]27. National Center for Victims of Crime. Male rape. 2008. Available at: http://www.nsvrc.org/publications/articles/male-rape. Accessed October 12, 2012.28. Groth AN, Burgess AW. Male rape: offenders and victims. Am J Psychiatry. 1980;137(7):806–810. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]29. CBS. Male-stalking rapist puzzles experts. 2009. Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/male-stalking-rapist-puzzles-experts. Accessed September 28, 2012.30. Capers B. Real rape too. 2011. Available at: http://www.californialawreview.org/assets/pdfs/99-5/02-Capers.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2012.31. Posner RA. Sex and Reason. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1992. [Google Scholar]32. Mezey G, King M. The effects of sexual assault on men: a survey of 22 victims. Psychol Med. 1989;19(1):205–209. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]33. Beck AJ, Cantor D, Hartge J, Smith T. Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth, 2012. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry12.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013.34. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The National Inmate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010. Findings on victimization by sexual orientation. 2013. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_sofindings.pdf. Accessed August 28, 2013.35. US Department of Justice. National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) Technical Specification. 2012. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/nibrs_technical_specification_version_1.0_final_04-16-2012.pdf. Accessed January 15, 2014.36. US Department of Justice. Crime in the United States: forcible rape. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/violent-crime/rape/rapemain.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013.37. US Department of Justice. Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook. 2004. Available at: http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/handbook/ucrhandbook04.pdf. Accessed January 18, 2014.38. Berger RJ, Neuman WL, Searles P. Impact of rape law reform: an aggregate analysis of police reports and arrests. Crim Justice Rev. 1994;19(1):1–23. [Google Scholar]39. Savage C. US to expand its definition of rape in statistics. 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/07/us/politics/federal-crime-statistics-to-expand-rape-definition.html?_r=1&. Accessed September 28, 2012.40. US Department of Justice. Attorney general Eric Holder announces revisions to the uniform crime report’s definition of rape. 2012. Available at: http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/attorney-general-eric-holder-announces-revisions-to-the-uniform-crime-reports-definition-of-rape. Accessed September 28, 2012.41. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The National Inmate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: fact sheet. 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_FactSheet-a.pdf. Accessed September 28, 2012.42. Rabin RC. Nearly 1 in 5 women in US survey say they have been sexually assaulted. 2011. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/15/health/nearly 1-in-5-women-in-us-survey-report-sexual-assault.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=centers%20for%20disease%20control%20and%20prevention%20rape&st=cse. Accessed September 28, 2012.43. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence widespread in the US. 2011. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2011/p1214_sexual_violence.html. Accessed December 17, 2013.44. McMahon-Howard J. Does the controversy matter? Comparing the causal determinants of the adoption of controversial and noncontroversial rape law reforms. Law Soc Rev. 2011;45(2):401–434. [Google Scholar]45. Kahn AS, Jackson J, Kully C, Badger K, Halvorsen J. Calling it rape: differences in experiences of women who do or do not label their sexual assault as rape. Psychol Women Q. 2003;27(3):233–242. [Google Scholar]46. Walmsley R. World Prison Population List. 9th ed. London, UK: International Center for Prison Studies; 2012. [Google Scholar]47. Beck AJ, Berzofsky M, Caspar R, Krebs C. Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011–12. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri1112.pdf. Accessed December 18, 2013. [Google Scholar]48. The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. Pub. L. No. 108-79, 42 U.S.C. §§15601–15609.49. Truman J, Langton L, Planty M. 2014. Criminal victimization, 2012. 2013. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/cv12.pdf. Accessed January 21,50. Beck AJ, Harrison PM. Sexual victimization in prisons and jails reported by inmates, 2011–12. 2010. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svpjri0809.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.51. Sorenson SB, Stein JA, Siegel JM, Golding JM, Burnam MA. The prevalence of adult sexual assault: the Los Angeles Epidemiologic Catchment Area Project. Am J Epidemiol. 1987;126(6):1141–1153. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]52. Stemple L. Human rights, sex, and gender: limits in theory and practice. Pace Law Rev. 2012;31(3):823–836. [Google Scholar]53. Stemple L. Male rape and human rights. Hastings Law J. 2009;60(605):628. [Google Scholar]54. Beck AJ, Harrison PM, Guerino P. Sexual victimization in juvenile facilities reported by youth. 2010. Available at: http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/svjfry09.pdf. Accessed January 19, 2014.55. US Department of Justice. Regulatory impact assessment for PREA final rule. 2012. Available at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/programs/pdfs/prea_ria.pdf. Accessed January 17, 2014.


Articles from American Journal of Public Health are provided here courtesy of American Public Health Association


Formats:

Share

Save items

View more options

Similar articles in PubMed

See reviews…See all…

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all…

Links

Recent Activity

ClearTurn Off

See more…

Support CenterSupport Center

Support CenterSupport Center

Feminist Theory And The Law  

Judith A. Baer

The Oxford Handbook of Political Science

Edited by Robert E. Goodin

Print Publication Date: Jul 2011 Subject: Political Science, Law and Politics Online Publication Date: Sep 2013 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199604456.013.0016

Abstract and Keywords

American feminists have identified law as an instrument of male supremacy since their first national gathering at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Critiques of law thus became an important part of the early feminist movement, which succeeded in eradicating the most blatant examples of legal sexism. The successes of the contemporary feminist movement might not have happened without one of those early successes: the opening of higher education to women. Contemporary feminism has had a profound and lasting impact on intellectual discourse. Many young scholars focused on gender in their research, pursuing the feminist goal “to question everything.” These scholars and their successors continue to realize the revolutionary potential of feminist thought. “Feminist jurisprudence,” as it came to be called, is law’s equivalent of feminist history, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy, and their counterparts. Feminist jurisprudence has borrowed freely and fruitfully from these cognate disciplines. This article examines the premise and presence of male bias, feminist jurisprudence and gendered reality, and feminist legal reasoning.

Keywords: law, feminism, feminist jurisprudence, bias, women, legal reasoning, legal sexism, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy

Keywords: law, feminism, feminist jurisprudence, bias, women, legal reasoning, legal sexism, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy

American feminists have identified law as an instrument of male supremacy since their first national gathering at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, the conference’s Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions listed the denial of the vote, marriage law that made a wife “civilly dead,” and divorce law “wholly regardless of the happiness of women” among the “injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her” that had inspired the meeting (Commager 1963, 315–16). Critiques of law thus became an important part of the early feminist movement, which succeeded in eradicating the most blatant examples of legal sexism. The signers of the Seneca Falls document were acting not only as social activists but also as legal theorists. Their thesis that law was designed by men for the purpose of dominating women is not far from the arguments of some contemporary feminist jurists.

Feminist scholarship was a product of the second stage of feminism that began in the late 1960s. This feminism arose from women’s growing recognition that earlier victories had not succeeded in establishing equality between the sexes. Yet the successes of the contemporary feminist movement might not have happened without one of those early successes: the opening of higher education to women. Campuses proved to be as fertile a ground for the women’s movement as they were for the civil rights, antiwar, and student movements. The enactment in 1972 of Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which extended the prohibition of sex-based discrimination to educational institutions receiving federal funds, enhanced women’s opportunities (p. 306) for postgraduate education and helped enlarge the pool of potential feminist scholars.

Twenty-first century Americans disagree on whether second-stage feminism has succeeded or failed, is alive, dead, or merely sleeping, is in stasis, crisis, or disarray, or is a positive or negative force in society. What no thoughtful and knowledgeable person can dispute is that contemporary feminism has had a profound and lasting impact on intellectual discourse. Many young scholars focused on gender in their research, pursuing the feminist goal “to question everything” (Wishik 1986, 64). These scholars and their successors continue to realize the revolutionary potential of feminist thought. “Feminist jurisprudence,” as it came to be called, is law’s equivalent of feminist history, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy, and their counterparts. Feminist jurisprudence has borrowed freely and fruitfully from these cognate disciplines. Not only has feminist jurisprudence become an integral part of legal theory, but it has also contributed to real-world legal change.

This is not to imply that feminist jurisprudence has become law’s equivalent of the pink-collar ghetto. Women legal scholars have made significant contributions in subfields that do not emphasize gender issues. No woman law professor, whatever her personal opinions about feminism, need choose feminist jurisprudence as her specialty; nor does the subfield exclude men.

Scholars who agree on little else agree that

Feminists have tried to describe for the judiciary a theory of “special rights” for women which will fit the discrete, non-stereotypical, “real” differences between the sexes. And herein lies our mistake: We have let the debate become narrowed by accepting as correct those questions which seek to arrive at a definitive list of differences. In so doing, we have adopted the vocabulary, as well as the epistemology and political theory, of the law as it is.

(Scales 1986, 1375)

Feminist theorists who distrust “the law as it is” share three fundamental premises. First, conventional legal doctrines, developed by men in a society dominated by men, have a fundamental male bias even when they are ostensibly gender-neutral. Secondly, women’s lives, for whatever reasons, are so different from men’s lives that theory developed by men does not fit women’s concrete reality. Finally, the development of feminist theory requires that women produce theory from their own experience and perspective.

1 The Premise and Presence of Bias

Feminist jurists who accept the premise of male bias insist on “asking the woman question … to identify the gender implications of rules and practices which might otherwise appear to be neutral or objective” (Bartlett 1990, 832). This approach to law (p. 307) is radical, if not revolutionary. Conventional jurisprudence requires that adjudication “must be genuinely principled, resting … on analysis and reasons quite transcending the immediate result that is achieved” (Wechsler 1961, 5). The “woman question,” on the other hand, exemplifies the result-oriented jurisprudence that conventional jurisprudence condemns. Feminists are not the first to reject law’s claim to neutrality. Marxists and the Critical Legal Studies movement had a head start, not to mention Anatole France: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread” (2002 [1894], ch. 7). Feminist scholars do not accept as equal “a scheme that affords extensive protection to the right to bear arms or to sell violent pornography, but not to control our reproductive lives” (Rhode 1990, 633).

Whether or not male decision-makers conspire to disadvantage women, policies designed for men have fit badly with women’s lives. Some scholars have concluded that modern equal protection doctrine on sexual equality has benefited men at least as much as women; for example, by requiring gender-neutral spousal support laws (Orr v. Orr 1979) but permitting interpretations of divorce and child custody law that disadvantage ex-wives (Baer 1999, ch. 4). A specialist in contract law asserted that the law’s refusal to enforce mutual agreements in nonmarital relationships injured the women plaintiffs by denying them compensation for homemaking and childrearing duties (Dalton 1985). When the second stage of feminism began, the law still allowed the defense to inquire into an alleged rape victim’s sexual history.

The problem here is not so much that men are dominant and women subordinate, as that reality is gendered. This generalization, of course, is a restatement of the second premise of feminist jurisprudence that I have identified. Feminist jurists who accept this premise differ widely in their explanations of how and why reality is gendered.

2 Feminist Jurisprudence and Gendered Reality

Feminist jurisprudence has not been satisfied with pointing out the historical fact that law was created by men (more precisely, by all-male elites) and citing current examples of legal bias in favor of men (vis-à-vis women). These two observations have scant analytical value without connections between them. Making these connections became the first major project of feminist jurisprudence. Much of this early scholarship centered around what came to be called the “difference debate” (Goldstein 1992). There have been two overlapping versions of this discourse.

(p. 308) The first version, sameness versus difference, is essentially a dispute about the meaning of gender equality under law. Wendy Williams (1981; 1984–5; 1991 [1982]) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1978) advocated across-the-board gender equality with no special treatment for women.1 Williams does not distinguish between invidious and benign sex discrimination. Therefore, she regards special benefits for women workers like pregnancy and childbearing leaves as no better than the once common, but now overruled, mandatory maternity leaves and the “fetal protection” policies that excluded women from jobs: “If we can’t have it both ways, we need to think carefully about which way we want to have it” (1991 [1982], 26). Some feminist legal scholars regard male supremacist laws as anomalies within an essentially gender-neutral system. Nadine Strossen, for example, rejects the antipornography policies favored by many feminists: “We adamantly oppose any effort to restrict sexual speech not only because it would violate our cherished First Amendment freedoms … but also because it would undermine our equality, our status, our dignity, and our autonomy” (1995, 14.)

Scholars like Williams and Strossen comprise a distinct but vocal minority among feminist legal scholars. Most feminist jurists insist that gender equality cannot be equated with sameness, but demands the recognition of and adaptation to gendered realities like the childbearing function and women’s economic disadvantages vis-à-vis men (Finley 1986; Kay 1985; Littleton 1987; West 1997; J. Williams 2000). Antipornog-raphy feminist Catharine MacKinnon insists that the First Amendment is one of several “abstract rights” that “authorize the male experience of the world” (1989, 248); giving constitutional protection to pornography effectively gives its consumers and producers license to brutalize and degrade women (1993). These responses to prevailing legal doctrines are among many feminist critiques of legal principles that feminist jurists have produced.

The second version of the debate, confusingly labeled difference versus dominance, consists of conflicting explanations of the bad fit between law and women’s lives. Participants in this discourse use various labels for the two schools of thought, but the labels establish similar dichotomies. “Difference” or “cultural” feminists posit character differences between men and women that make masculinist theories inherently biased against women, whereas “dominance” or “radical” feminists hold that these differences result from “the perspective that has been forced on women” (MacKinnon 1989, 52). Difference feminism has been heavily influenced by the pathbreaking work of psychologist Carol Gilligan. Her study of moral psychology, In a Different Voice, maintains that, while men’s moral development emphasizes “rights and noninterference,” women’s psychology is “distinctive in its greater orientation toward relationships and interdependence,” valuing “attachment” to others over “separation” from them (1982, 2, 151).

(p. 309) Robin West’s application of these arguments to jurisprudence stresses physical gender differences. “Virtually all modern American legal theorists,” she writes, accept “the ‘separation thesis’ of what it means to be a human being: a ‘human being,’ whatever else he is, is physically separate from all other human beings. … The cluster of claims that jointly constitute the ‘separation thesis’ … while usually true of men, are patently untrue of women.” Why? Because women are “connected to life and to other human beings” through four “critical material experiences:” menstruation, heterosexual penetration, pregnancy, and breastfeeding (1988, 1–3). In an effort to unite care and justice, West criticizes conventional law for failing both “to protect and nurture the connections that sustain and enlarge women’s lives” and “to intervene in those private and intimate “connections” that damage and injure” women (1997, 14).

The terms “connection thesis” and “ethic of care” have become familiar feminist concepts. The association of justice with men and care with women resonates with the observable reality that, other things being equal, women perform more caring activity than men do. The notion of a female ethic of care and nurturance may also appeal to those who share the belief of some nineteenth-century feminists that women are morally superior to men. Finally, the possibility of incorporating care into the concept of justice appeals to many feminist jurists who remain reluctant to associate care with women (Behuniak 1999). Linda McClain similarly argues for “recognizing and promoting care as a public value” that “should inform public deliberation about the meaning of personal responsibility and about the interplay of personal and public responsibility for social reproduction” and emphasizes “the indispensable role of care in fostering persons’ capacities for democratic and personal self-government” (2001, 1730).

However, difference feminism and its focus on care have met with pervasive and persuasive criticism.2 West’s explanation for gender difference now seems simplistic, exclusionary, and illogical. While the experiences West mentions are unique to women, they are not common to all women; nor does she explain how these experiences connect women to people who are not connected to them. Feminist theorists have made no better case for gender differences than did pre-feminist or outright antifeminist theorists. Difference feminism reads too much like old arguments justifying male supremacy, such as the Supreme Court’s opinion in Muller v. Oregon (1908), to gain universal feminist acceptance.

West distinguishes herself and other “cultural feminists” from radical feminists like MacKinnon. For cultural feminists, “the important difference between men and women is that women have children and men don’t;” for radical feminists, “the important difference between men and women is that women get fucked and men fuck” (West 1988, 13). West does not exaggerate or distort. MacKinnon reasons by analogy with Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle to argue that law is designed to facilitate men’s sexual access to women: “Sexuality is to feminism what work is to (p. 310) marxism: that which is most one’s own, yet most taken away” (1989, 3). Radical feminism accepts the premise of the Seneca Falls delegates that men designed the legal system to establish, or at least to preserve, male power.

MacKinnon is by far the most controversial of today’s feminist jurists. Her extreme position has provoked considerable feminist criticism.3 She has been accused both of vilifying men by depicting them as sexual predators and of denigrating women by denying their agency and autonomy (Baer 1999, 58–62). But the fact that a position is extreme does not prove it wrong. The evidence MacKinnon advances to support her thesis includes the fact that the Supreme Court recognized rights to birth control and abortion years before it invalidated fetal protection policies barring women from well-paying blue collar jobs (1989, 190, 226). As we shall see, criticism has not persuaded MacKinnon to moderate either tone or content (MacKinnon; 2005; 2006; Jeffries 2006).

Feminist jurists need not believe that law’s purpose is to entrench male supremacy in order to argue that law’s effect is to do this. “Situation jurisprudence” (Baer 1999, 55–8), like radical feminism, emphasizes male power and privilege: men get to choose what they want to do, and women are stuck with whatever is left. Feminist jurists have subjected many ostensibly neutral legal concepts to reexamination and fresh analysis in terms of “what we know as women” (Baer 1999). One example of this type of analysis is Joan Williams’s explanation of women’s competitive disadvantage in employment. Williams argues that the workplace presumes an “ideal worker” whose other responsibilities take second place to the job. Since most women have greater domestic responsibilities, devoting more time and energy to care for households and dependents than do men, women are less likely to fit the description of the ideal worker (2000).

The difference versus dominance controversy continues in the face of—and in response to—the extensive and trenchant criticism both schools of thought have received. Ironically, feminist jurisprudence has received extensive criticism for doing what it criticizes conventional scholarship for doing. Authors who have asserted that conventional jurisprudence says “person” when it means “man” have been criticized by minority feminists for saying “woman” and meaning “woman plus modifiers:” Caucasian, heterosexual, Western woman.

Angela Harris criticizes both cultural and radical feminists for “gender essentialism—the notion that a unitary, ‘essential’ woman’s experience can be isolated and described” (1990, 604). Harris maintains that race is a central component of the identities of women of color (in Europe and North America, at least), but not of white women. Therefore, the “critical material experiences” of cultural feminism and the sexual objectification of women emphasized by radical feminists are mediated through a racial context for some women but not for others. “Mainstream” Western feminist jurisprudence has encountered similar challenges made on behalf of lesbians (Brown 1990; Cain 1990) and disabled women (Baer 1999, 34–7).

(p. 311) No consensus exists within feminist theory about the possibility of locating a common essential identity. The same is true of the difference debate in its various manifestations. No one is forced to take sides, and many scholars choose to concentrate on other issues. But legal scholars on both sides and on neither side of these debates embrace the final premise of feminist jurisprudence: the need for scholarship based on women’s experience.

3 Feminist Legal Reasoning

The feminist premise of male bias applies as much to methods as to theories. Feminist critiques of method from the humanities and social sciences have influenced legal scholarship. These critiques have characterized conventional methodology as dichotomous, oppositional, hierarchical, abstract, reason-based, and emphasizing separation. Feminist alternative methodology is an intuitive/emotional, holistic, non-invasive, concrete, and contextualized epistemology of connection (Baer 1999, 72–8). It emphasizes “the distinctive features of women’s situation in a gender-stratified society” (Harding 1990, 119), “the world of concrete particulars” to which many women are relegated (Smith 1990, 19), and “women’s ways of knowing” (Belenky et al. 1986) which applies Gilligan’s work to epistemology. For MacKinnon, women’s way of knowing is through consciousness raising, “the process through which contemporary radical feminist analysis of the situation of women has been shaped and shared” (1989, 84). Consciousness raising is inductive, not deductive. It came out of the women’s discussion groups that flourished in the early years of second-wave feminism. Many members of the founding generation of feminist theory participated in these groups. Feminist jurisprudence has applied the insights of feminist epistemology to the study of legal methods. One scholar credited Gilligan’s book with helping her understand “why I felt so uncomfortable in law school” (Feminist Discourse 1985, 1). A study of law students at an Ivy League university discovered that women tended to do less well than comparable men and theorized that the Socratic method of law school teaching is an ordeal for many women (Guinier et al. 1997).

Feminist scholars’ distinctions between male and female methods work better in theory than in practice. They do not stand up when applied to concrete, particular analysis of everyday legal decision-making. “Legal feeling” (Baer 1999, 84) is as omnipresent as “maternal thinking” (Ruddick 1989); any follower of the Supreme Court knows that appeals to emotion are a common feature of the justices’ opinions. Consciousness raising combines inductive and deductive reasoning. The different versions of the process that developed encouraged participants to use concepts from feminist theory in interpreting their shared experiences. The case for a distinctively (p. 312) female epistemology has yet to be made. But feminist epistemology has had significant impact on theory and jurisprudence.

4 From the “Woman Question” to “Woman Answers”

Feminist jurisprudence has not stopped with pointing out ways in which existing law is hostile to women’s interests. Scholars have shown remarkable creativity in devising woman-oriented alternative theories. Twenty-first-century legal doctrine shows the influence of feminist inquiry, although the nexus between cause and effect is neither clear nor simple. Some feminist contributions to legal theory have yet to be put into practice, but others have gained judicial recognition. Since a single article cannot present all of this scholarship, this chapter will focus on three important and controversial innovations. The first two of these, Martha Fineman’s work on family law and Catharine MacKinnon’s analysis of the law of rape, address specific gendered legal issues. The third innovation is the concept of the “reasonable woman,” a theoretical construct that has guided decision-making in both civil and criminal law.

Martha Fineman’s studies of family law reflected widespread feminist recognition that gender neutrality might not entail sexual equality. The gradual progression of American family law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from traditional male supremacy toward gender-neutrality coincided with, reinforced, and was reinforced by feminism. One major twentieth-century innovation that had some initial feminist support was “no-fault divorce.” The old adversarial process of ending a marriage was replaced by “dissolution” premised on the assumption that the decision was mutual. At the same time, maternal preference in child custody decisions yielded to a neutral “best interests of the child” rule. But by the 1980s, feminists had discovered that the new rules often resulted in support judgments that impoverished women and children and custody arrangements that ignored or denied the fact that the mother was almost always the children’s primary caregiver (Baer 2002, 134–58.)

Fineman perceives a connection between this legal undervaluing of the mother–child bond and widespread (though decreasing) public hostility toward single and lesbian mothers. She argues that family law presupposed a “sexual family” consisting of mother, father, and children. “The neutered mother” becomes one of two parents and only half of the parental unit; “marriage and family” become inseparable. Fineman proposes abolishing marriage as a legal category and replacing sex with care and dependency as the crucial family bond. This “newly redefined legal category of family” would include “inevitable dependents along with their care-givers. The caregiving family would … be entitled to special, preferred treatment (p. 313) by the state” (1995, 231). While the caregivers could be either women or men, the result of such a change would benefit many women and might even encourage caregiving behavior among men. It would also derail the controversy over same-sex marriage.

Catharine MacKinnon’s most recent publications (2005; 2006) apply her theory of law’s maleness to criminal law. The radical transformation in the law of sexual assault in the past thirty years represents a landmark victory for second-stage feminism. The modesty of the complainant’s appearance, the prudence of her behavior, and the details of her sexual history are no longer before the court. Nonetheless, MacKinnon asserts, “The law of rape protects rapists and is written from their point of view to guarantee impunity for most rapes.” She means, she tells an interviewer, “not that all the people who wrote [the law] were rapists, but that they are a member of the group who do.” The interviewer continues:

She thinks consent in rape cases should be irrelevant. Women are so unfree that even if a woman is shown to have given consent to sex, that should never be enough to secure an acquittal. Why? “My view is that when there is force or substantially coercive circumstances between the parties, individual consent is beside the point; that if someone is forced into sex, that ought to be enough.”

(Jeffries 2006)

The classic definition of rape is “carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and (not or) without her consent.” The prosecution must prove both the presence of force and the absence of consent. Nowhere does the law distinguish between a woman’s consent (the commonest defense to a rape charge) and her submission (Schulhofer 1998, ch. 13). The elimination of consent as a defense to sexual assault, like the elimination of legal marriage, would be a change so extraordinary that it brings to mind Ruth Rosen’s metaphor for the effects of feminism: “the world split open” (2000). Neither change is even remotely likely in the foreseeable future. But less dramatic developments are bringing both family law and criminal law closer to feminist ideals. Many jurisdictions have adopted a “primary caregiver” preference in child custody cases (Baer 2002, 156–8.) And rape law is showing the effect of the “reasonable woman” standard.

The concept of the “reasonable person” is a crucial component in the law of torts, and is found also in criminal law. To be at fault is to fail to act as a reasonable person would in the same situation. For example, a defendant in a negligence suit can avoid damages by showing by a preponderance of the evidence either that he or she had acted with the “reasonable care” that the context required or by showing that the plaintiff’s failure to exercise reasonable care constituted contributory negligence (although statutes have limited or abolished this defense in some instances).

The “reasonable person” concept originated in the common law notion of the “reasonable man.” Does the substitution render the concept gender-neutral? Kim Lane Scheppele (2004) insists that in many situations the reasonable person is in effect the reasonable man. She proposes a “reasonable woman” standard for gender-related civil and criminal law.

(p. 314) The question of whether “reasonable person” means “reasonable man” is integral to the criminal law of rape and domestic violence. Scheppele discusses the case of a man who got a ride home with a woman he had just met. He invited her to his apartment and snatched her car keys; she followed him because she feared being out on the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood. After much disagreement within the state appellate courts, the Maryland Supreme Court finally upheld the conviction (State v. Rusk 1981.) “Women don’t sexualize situations as quickly as men do,” Schep-pele comments, “and so they may be slower to recognize danger in the first place” (2004, 460).

One tort, sexual harassment, is classified as sex discrimination by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Meritor v. Vinson 1986). The law recognizes two types of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment can be summarized as, “sleep with me or I’ll fire you,” or “sleep with me and I’ll promote you.” A more common form of harassment is the creation of a hostile environment in the workplace. The typical sexual harassment plaintiff is female; the typical defendant is male.

From the defendant’s standpoint, the dispositive question in a hostile environment case becomes whether his behavior was that of a reasonable person or whether the plaintiff’s reaction to his behavior met that standard. A defendant who pursues a co-worker after she has rebuffed him may well believe that his behavior is reasonable; after all, he is acting out the plot of countless works of fiction, drama, and comedy, and may even have seen this courtship technique work in real life. A defendant who tells dirty jokes or makes suggestive remarks may argue that the woman who complains about this behavior is unreasonably sensitive. Approaching sexual harassment litigation from these standpoints has the effect of authorizing men’s experiences and attitudes.

But suppose that we approach hostile environment cases from the plaintiff’s perspective. From her standpoint, the crucial questions become whether a reasonable woman would find the plaintiff’s behavior objectionable or threatening enough to create a hostile environment in the workplace. The same year Scheppele published her article, an appellate court ruled in favor of a plaintiff who received unwelcome advances: “We adopt the perspective of a reasonable woman because a sex-blind reasonable person standard tends to be male-biased and tends to systematically ignore the experiences of women” (Ellison v. Brady 1991, 880). Plaintiffs who were asked “go to the Holiday Inn” to discuss pay raises, told to fish in the supervisor’s pockets for change, or subjected to epithets like “dumb fucking broad” prevailed in court.

The reasonable woman doctrine is not without its defects and dangers. First, the concept conflates gender and role. As women gain power in the workplace, it is likely that some of them, like some men, will abuse their power. Asking what a reasonable woman might do will only confuse matters if aggressor and victim are the same sex (Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Services 1998). Might the law better adopt a “reasonable victim” rule? A second difficulty with a reasonable woman rule is that it could do real damage if applied in areas of law that are not overtly gender-sensitive. A jury in a negligence case, for example, might expect more caution and foresight from a (p. 315) reasonable woman than from her male counterpart. And think how a concept like “reasonable mother” might influence a jury!

The concept of the reasonable person has found yet another home in the area of domestic violence. Elizabeth Schneider (2000) points out that legal discourse has long been stuck on the question of why the battered women did not end the abusive relationship. This emphasis on the supposed unreasonableness of the victim’s behavior became a rationale for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to trivialize violence against women much as they once trivialized sexual assault. Feminist scholars have had much success in changing this official behavior.

Lenore Walker, a feminist sociologist, tried to explain victims’ toleration of abuse by developing a concept that she labeled the “battered woman syndrome” (1984). Walker argued that long-term abuse taught many women that they were helpless to change their situation. Activists for battered women object that “the image that the concept of learned helplessness conveys … is one of passivity and lack of agency” (Downs 1966, 155–7). But the battered woman syndrome defense has won some acquittals in trials of women who kill their abusers, even though it applies the idea of learned helplessness to someone who has displayed considerable aggression. “BWS” is an uneasy combination of two defenses against homicide charges: self-defense and diminished capacity. These two doctrines do not mesh well; the first presumes a rational actor while the latter presumes the opposite.

Efforts to protect oneself, others, or property have long been recognized as exculpating factors in criminal cases. A defendant in a homicide case who pleads self-defense must convince the factfinder(s) that he or she perceived imminent danger of serious injury or death and that this belief was reasonable in the circumstances. Juries have been known to give defendants considerable latitude under the imminent danger rule. For instance, both a Louisiana man who fatally shot a stranger who rang his doorbell by mistake and a Virginia man who killed a neighbor who swore at him during an altercation were acquitted (Baer 1999, 207–8).

Feminists have questioned whether the imminent danger requirement is as neutral as it looks. The rule would lead us to expect a woman whose husband had abused her on numerous occasions to be acquitted after she killed him during yet another violent episode, even without recourse to the battered woman syndrome. When a woman was nonetheless convicted in such a case, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a new trial that would include testimony about BWS to show that that the woman could reasonably fear that her life was in danger during the episode (State v. Kelly 1984). But most battered women who kill do not do so during an attack, and BWS may have particular significance in those types of cases. The imminent danger rule that can respond so flexibly to male experience is unresponsive to their experience. The battered woman syndrome defense asks factfinders to consider whether the defendant might overreact to a perceived threat because her reasoning capacity is defective, in the same way that an insanity plea makes comparable demands. But, while the logic of the BWS defense is problematic, the defense has entered the legal repertoire.

(p. 316) 5 Conclusion

Legal doctrine emerges from human experience. When women were excluded from the legal enterprise, man-made law was just that. The growth of feminist jurisprudence has coincided with the entry of more and more women into the lawyering, law-making, and judging professions. Relying on women’s experiences and perspectives, the first generation of feminist legal scholars has progressed from incisive analyses of law’s male bias to the creation of new doctrines, new methods, and new proposals for reform. Activists in the legal arena have changed law to embody these concepts, as the “reasonable person” example shows. The two groups of scholars and activists overlap, and each activity has infiltrated and influenced the other. But law’s male bias remains pervasive enough to make legal doctrine more responsive to men’s claims than to women’s. Both scholars and practitioners know that much work remains for later generations to do.

References

Baer, J. A. 1999. Our Lives before the Law: Constructing a Feminist Jurisprudence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton: University Press.Find this resource:

—2002. Women in American Law: The Struggle for Equality from the New Deal to the Present. New York: Holmes and Meier.Find this resource:

Bartlett, K. T. 1990. Feminist legal methods. Harvard Law Review, 103: 829–88.Find this resource:

Behuniak, S. M. 1999. A Caring Jurisprudence: Listening to Patients at the Supreme Court. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.Find this resource:

Belenky, M., Clinchy, B., Goldberger, N., and Tarule, J. 1986. Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind. New York: Basic Books.Find this resource:

Brown, W. 1990. Consciousness razing. Nation, 250: 61–4.Find this resource:

Cain, P. A. 1991. Feminist jurisprudence: grounding the theories. Pp. 263–80 in Feminist Legal Theory: Readings in Law and Gender, ed. K. T. Bartlett and R. Kennedy. Boulder Colo.: Westview.Find this resource:

Commager, H. S. (ed.) 1963. Documents in American History, 7th edn. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Find this resource:

Cornell, D. 1991. Beyond Accommodation: Ethical Feminism, Deconstruction, and the Law. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.Find this resource:

Dalton, C. 1985. An essay in the deconstruction of contract doctrine. Yale Law Journal, 94: 997–1114.Find this resource:

Downs, D. A. 1996. More Than Victims: Battered Women, the Syndrome Society, and the Law. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

DuBois, E. C., Dunlap, M. C., Gilligan, C. J., MacKinnon, C. A., Marcus, I., Menkel-Meadow, C. J., and Spiegelman, P. J. 1985. Feminist discourse, moral values, and the law: a conversation. Buffalo Law Review, 34: 11–87.Find this resource:

Feminist Discourse 1985. Moral values, and the law—a conversation. Buffalo Law Review, 55: 11–87.Find this resource:

(p. 317) Fineman, M. A. 1995. The Neutered Mother, the Sexual Family, and other Twentieth Century Tragedies. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Finley, L. 1986. Transcending equality theory: a way out of the maternity and the workplace debate. Columbia Law Review, 86: 1118–82.Find this resource:

France, A. 2002 [1894]. The Red Lily. Rockville, Md.: Wildside Press.Find this resource:

Gilligan, C. 1982. In a Different Voice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

Ginsburg, R. B. 1978. Sex equality and the Constitution. Tulane Law Review, 52: 451–3.Find this resource:

Goldstein, L. F. (ed.) 1992. Feminist Jurisprudence: The Difference Debate. Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield.Find this resource:

Guinier, L., Fine, M., and Balin, J. 1997. Becoming Gentlemen: Women’s Experience at One Ivy League Law School. Boston: Beacon Press.Find this resource:

Harding, S. 1990. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Find this resource:

Harris, A. 1990. Race and essentialism in feminist legal theory. Stanford Law Review, 42: 581–616.Find this resource:

Jeffries, S. 2006. Are women human? Interview with Catharine MacKinnon. Guardian, April 12.Find this resource:

Kay, H. H. 1985. Equality and difference: the case of pregnancy. Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, 1: 1–38.Find this resource:

Littleton, C. A. 1987. Reconstructing sexual equality. California Law Review, 75: 1279–337.Find this resource:

MacKinnon, C. A. 1987. Feminism Unmodified. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—1989. Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—1993. Only Words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—2005. Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—2006. Are Women Human? Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

McClain, L. C. 2001. Care as a public value: linking responsibility, resources, and republicanism. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 76: 1673–731.Find this resource:

Rhode, D. L. 1990. Feminist critical theories. Stanford Law Review, 42: 617–38.Find this resource:

Rosen, R. 2000. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America. New York: Penguin.Find this resource:

Ruddick, S. 1989. Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. New York: Ballantine.Find this resource:

Scales, A. M. 1986. The emergence of feminist jurisprudence: an essay. Yale Law Journal, 95: 1373–403.Find this resource:

Scheppele, K. L. 2004. The reasonable woman. Pp. 456–460 in Philosophy of Law, 7th edn., ed. J. Feinberg and J. Coleman. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; originally published 1991.Find this resource:

Schneider, E. 1986. The dialectic of rights and politics: perespectives from the women’s movement. New York University Law Review, 61: 589–615.Find this resource:

—2000. Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.Find this resource:

Schulhofer, S. J. 1998. Unwanted Sex: The Culture of Intimidation and the Failure of Law. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

Smart, C. 1989. Feminism and the Power of Law. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Smith, D. E. 1990. The Conceptual Practices of Power: A Feminist Sociology of Knowledge. Boston: Northeastern University Press.Find this resource:

Strossen, N. 1995. Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights. New York: Anchor.Find this resource:

(p. 318) Tronto, J. C. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Walker, L. 1984. The Battered Woman Syndrome. New York: Springer.Find this resource:

Wechsler, H. 1961. Principles, Politics, and Fundamental Law. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

West, R. 1997. Caring for Justice. New York: New York University Press.Find this resource:

—1988. Jurisprudence and gender. University of Chicago Law Review, 55: 1–72.Find this resource:

Williams, J. 1992. Deconstructing gender. Pp. 41–98 in Feminist Jurisprudence: The Difference Debate, ed. L. F. Goldstein. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.Find this resource:

—2000. Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do about It. New York: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Williams, W. 1981. Firing the woman to protect the fetus: the reconciliation of fetal protection with equal opportunity goals under Title VII. Georgetown Law Journal, 69: 641–704.Find this resource:

—1991 [1982]. The equality crisis: some reflections on culture, courts, and feminism. Pp. 15–34 in Feminist Legal Theory, ed. K. T. Bartlett and R. Kennedy. Boulder, Colo.: Westview.Find this resource:

—1984–5. Equality’s riddle: pregnancy and equal treatment. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 13: 325–80.Find this resource:

Wishik, H. R. 1986. To question everything: the inquiries of feminist jurisprudence. Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, 1: 64–77.Find this resource:

Cases

Ellison v. Brady. 1991. 924 F. 2d 872.

Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson. 1986. 477 U.S. 57.

Muller v. Oregon. 1908. 208 U.S. 412.

Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Services. 1998. 523 U.S. 75.

Orr v. Orr. 1979. 440 U.S. 268.

State of Maryland v. Goldberg. 1978. 41 Md. App. 58.

State v. Kelly. 1984. 478 A.2d 364.

State v. Rusk. 1981. 424 A.2d 720.

Notes:

(1) This characterization refers to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work as a feminist lawyer and law professor, not to her performance on the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

(2) Baer (1999, 40–56); MacKinnon (1987, 38–9); Schneider (1986, 589–652); Williams (1992, 41–98).

(3) Cornell (1991, 139); “Feminist Discourse” (1985, 75); Smart (1989, 77). Judith A. Baer

American feminists have identified law as an instrument of male supremacy since their first national gathering at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. Modeled on the Declaration of Independence, the conference’s Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions listed the denial of the vote, marriage law that made a wife “civilly dead,” and divorce law “wholly regardless of the happiness of women” among the “injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her” that had inspired the meeting (Commager 1963, 315–16). Critiques of law thus became an important part of the early feminist movement, which succeeded in eradicating the most blatant examples of legal sexism. The signers of the Seneca Falls document were acting not only as social activists but also as legal theorists. Their thesis that law was designed by men for the purpose of dominating women is not far from the arguments of some contemporary feminist jurists.

Feminist scholarship was a product of the second stage of feminism that began in the late 1960s. This feminism arose from women’s growing recognition that earlier victories had not succeeded in establishing equality between the sexes. Yet the successes of the contemporary feminist movement might not have happened without one of those early successes: the opening of higher education to women. Campuses proved to be as fertile a ground for the women’s movement as they were for the civil rights, antiwar, and student movements. The enactment in 1972 of Title IX of the Education Amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which extended the prohibition of sex-based discrimination to educational institutions receiving federal funds, enhanced women’s opportunities (p. 306) for postgraduate education and helped enlarge the pool of potential feminist scholars.

Twenty-first century Americans disagree on whether second-stage feminism has succeeded or failed, is alive, dead, or merely sleeping, is in stasis, crisis, or disarray, or is a positive or negative force in society. What no thoughtful and knowledgeable person can dispute is that contemporary feminism has had a profound and lasting impact on intellectual discourse. Many young scholars focused on gender in their research, pursuing the feminist goal “to question everything” (Wishik 1986, 64). These scholars and their successors continue to realize the revolutionary potential of feminist thought. “Feminist jurisprudence,” as it came to be called, is law’s equivalent of feminist history, feminist psychology, feminist philosophy, and their counterparts. Feminist jurisprudence has borrowed freely and fruitfully from these cognate disciplines. Not only has feminist jurisprudence become an integral part of legal theory, but it has also contributed to real-world legal change.

This is not to imply that feminist jurisprudence has become law’s equivalent of the pink-collar ghetto. Women legal scholars have made significant contributions in subfields that do not emphasize gender issues. No woman law professor, whatever her personal opinions about feminism, need choose feminist jurisprudence as her specialty; nor does the subfield exclude men.

Scholars who agree on little else agree that

Feminists have tried to describe for the judiciary a theory of “special rights” for women which will fit the discrete, non-stereotypical, “real” differences between the sexes. And herein lies our mistake: We have let the debate become narrowed by accepting as correct those questions which seek to arrive at a definitive list of differences. In so doing, we have adopted the vocabulary, as well as the epistemology and political theory, of the law as it is.

(Scales 1986, 1375)

Feminist theorists who distrust “the law as it is” share three fundamental premises. First, conventional legal doctrines, developed by men in a society dominated by men, have a fundamental male bias even when they are ostensibly gender-neutral. Secondly, women’s lives, for whatever reasons, are so different from men’s lives that theory developed by men does not fit women’s concrete reality. Finally, the development of feminist theory requires that women produce theory from their own experience and perspective.

1 The Premise and Presence of Bias

Feminist jurists who accept the premise of male bias insist on “asking the woman question … to identify the gender implications of rules and practices which might otherwise appear to be neutral or objective” (Bartlett 1990, 832). This approach to law (p. 307) is radical, if not revolutionary. Conventional jurisprudence requires that adjudication “must be genuinely principled, resting … on analysis and reasons quite transcending the immediate result that is achieved” (Wechsler 1961, 5). The “woman question,” on the other hand, exemplifies the result-oriented jurisprudence that conventional jurisprudence condemns. Feminists are not the first to reject law’s claim to neutrality. Marxists and the Critical Legal Studies movement had a head start, not to mention Anatole France: “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread” (2002 [1894], ch. 7). Feminist scholars do not accept as equal “a scheme that affords extensive protection to the right to bear arms or to sell violent pornography, but not to control our reproductive lives” (Rhode 1990, 633).

Whether or not male decision-makers conspire to disadvantage women, policies designed for men have fit badly with women’s lives. Some scholars have concluded that modern equal protection doctrine on sexual equality has benefited men at least as much as women; for example, by requiring gender-neutral spousal support laws (Orr v. Orr 1979) but permitting interpretations of divorce and child custody law that disadvantage ex-wives (Baer 1999, ch. 4). A specialist in contract law asserted that the law’s refusal to enforce mutual agreements in nonmarital relationships injured the women plaintiffs by denying them compensation for homemaking and childrearing duties (Dalton 1985). When the second stage of feminism began, the law still allowed the defense to inquire into an alleged rape victim’s sexual history.

The problem here is not so much that men are dominant and women subordinate, as that reality is gendered. This generalization, of course, is a restatement of the second premise of feminist jurisprudence that I have identified. Feminist jurists who accept this premise differ widely in their explanations of how and why reality is gendered.

2 Feminist Jurisprudence and Gendered Reality

Feminist jurisprudence has not been satisfied with pointing out the historical fact that law was created by men (more precisely, by all-male elites) and citing current examples of legal bias in favor of men (vis-à-vis women). These two observations have scant analytical value without connections between them. Making these connections became the first major project of feminist jurisprudence. Much of this early scholarship centered around what came to be called the “difference debate” (Goldstein 1992). There have been two overlapping versions of this discourse.

(p. 308) The first version, sameness versus difference, is essentially a dispute about the meaning of gender equality under law. Wendy Williams (1981; 1984–5; 1991 [1982]) and Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1978) advocated across-the-board gender equality with no special treatment for women.1 Williams does not distinguish between invidious and benign sex discrimination. Therefore, she regards special benefits for women workers like pregnancy and childbearing leaves as no better than the once common, but now overruled, mandatory maternity leaves and the “fetal protection” policies that excluded women from jobs: “If we can’t have it both ways, we need to think carefully about which way we want to have it” (1991 [1982], 26). Some feminist legal scholars regard male supremacist laws as anomalies within an essentially gender-neutral system. Nadine Strossen, for example, rejects the antipornography policies favored by many feminists: “We adamantly oppose any effort to restrict sexual speech not only because it would violate our cherished First Amendment freedoms … but also because it would undermine our equality, our status, our dignity, and our autonomy” (1995, 14.)

Scholars like Williams and Strossen comprise a distinct but vocal minority among feminist legal scholars. Most feminist jurists insist that gender equality cannot be equated with sameness, but demands the recognition of and adaptation to gendered realities like the childbearing function and women’s economic disadvantages vis-à-vis men (Finley 1986; Kay 1985; Littleton 1987; West 1997; J. Williams 2000). Antipornog-raphy feminist Catharine MacKinnon insists that the First Amendment is one of several “abstract rights” that “authorize the male experience of the world” (1989, 248); giving constitutional protection to pornography effectively gives its consumers and producers license to brutalize and degrade women (1993). These responses to prevailing legal doctrines are among many feminist critiques of legal principles that feminist jurists have produced.

The second version of the debate, confusingly labeled difference versus dominance, consists of conflicting explanations of the bad fit between law and women’s lives. Participants in this discourse use various labels for the two schools of thought, but the labels establish similar dichotomies. “Difference” or “cultural” feminists posit character differences between men and women that make masculinist theories inherently biased against women, whereas “dominance” or “radical” feminists hold that these differences result from “the perspective that has been forced on women” (MacKinnon 1989, 52). Difference feminism has been heavily influenced by the pathbreaking work of psychologist Carol Gilligan. Her study of moral psychology, In a Different Voice, maintains that, while men’s moral development emphasizes “rights and noninterference,” women’s psychology is “distinctive in its greater orientation toward relationships and interdependence,” valuing “attachment” to others over “separation” from them (1982, 2, 151).

(p. 309) Robin West’s application of these arguments to jurisprudence stresses physical gender differences. “Virtually all modern American legal theorists,” she writes, accept “the ‘separation thesis’ of what it means to be a human being: a ‘human being,’ whatever else he is, is physically separate from all other human beings. … The cluster of claims that jointly constitute the ‘separation thesis’ … while usually true of men, are patently untrue of women.” Why? Because women are “connected to life and to other human beings” through four “critical material experiences:” menstruation, heterosexual penetration, pregnancy, and breastfeeding (1988, 1–3). In an effort to unite care and justice, West criticizes conventional law for failing both “to protect and nurture the connections that sustain and enlarge women’s lives” and “to intervene in those private and intimate “connections” that damage and injure” women (1997, 14).

The terms “connection thesis” and “ethic of care” have become familiar feminist concepts. The association of justice with men and care with women resonates with the observable reality that, other things being equal, women perform more caring activity than men do. The notion of a female ethic of care and nurturance may also appeal to those who share the belief of some nineteenth-century feminists that women are morally superior to men. Finally, the possibility of incorporating care into the concept of justice appeals to many feminist jurists who remain reluctant to associate care with women (Behuniak 1999). Linda McClain similarly argues for “recognizing and promoting care as a public value” that “should inform public deliberation about the meaning of personal responsibility and about the interplay of personal and public responsibility for social reproduction” and emphasizes “the indispensable role of care in fostering persons’ capacities for democratic and personal self-government” (2001, 1730).

However, difference feminism and its focus on care have met with pervasive and persuasive criticism.2 West’s explanation for gender difference now seems simplistic, exclusionary, and illogical. While the experiences West mentions are unique to women, they are not common to all women; nor does she explain how these experiences connect women to people who are not connected to them. Feminist theorists have made no better case for gender differences than did pre-feminist or outright antifeminist theorists. Difference feminism reads too much like old arguments justifying male supremacy, such as the Supreme Court’s opinion in Muller v. Oregon (1908), to gain universal feminist acceptance.

West distinguishes herself and other “cultural feminists” from radical feminists like MacKinnon. For cultural feminists, “the important difference between men and women is that women have children and men don’t;” for radical feminists, “the important difference between men and women is that women get fucked and men fuck” (West 1988, 13). West does not exaggerate or distort. MacKinnon reasons by analogy with Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle to argue that law is designed to facilitate men’s sexual access to women: “Sexuality is to feminism what work is to (p. 310) marxism: that which is most one’s own, yet most taken away” (1989, 3). Radical feminism accepts the premise of the Seneca Falls delegates that men designed the legal system to establish, or at least to preserve, male power.

MacKinnon is by far the most controversial of today’s feminist jurists. Her extreme position has provoked considerable feminist criticism.3 She has been accused both of vilifying men by depicting them as sexual predators and of denigrating women by denying their agency and autonomy (Baer 1999, 58–62). But the fact that a position is extreme does not prove it wrong. The evidence MacKinnon advances to support her thesis includes the fact that the Supreme Court recognized rights to birth control and abortion years before it invalidated fetal protection policies barring women from well-paying blue collar jobs (1989, 190, 226). As we shall see, criticism has not persuaded MacKinnon to moderate either tone or content (MacKinnon; 2005; 2006; Jeffries 2006).

Feminist jurists need not believe that law’s purpose is to entrench male supremacy in order to argue that law’s effect is to do this. “Situation jurisprudence” (Baer 1999, 55–8), like radical feminism, emphasizes male power and privilege: men get to choose what they want to do, and women are stuck with whatever is left. Feminist jurists have subjected many ostensibly neutral legal concepts to reexamination and fresh analysis in terms of “what we know as women” (Baer 1999). One example of this type of analysis is Joan Williams’s explanation of women’s competitive disadvantage in employment. Williams argues that the workplace presumes an “ideal worker” whose other responsibilities take second place to the job. Since most women have greater domestic responsibilities, devoting more time and energy to care for households and dependents than do men, women are less likely to fit the description of the ideal worker (2000).

The difference versus dominance controversy continues in the face of—and in response to—the extensive and trenchant criticism both schools of thought have received. Ironically, feminist jurisprudence has received extensive criticism for doing what it criticizes conventional scholarship for doing. Authors who have asserted that conventional jurisprudence says “person” when it means “man” have been criticized by minority feminists for saying “woman” and meaning “woman plus modifiers:” Caucasian, heterosexual, Western woman.

Angela Harris criticizes both cultural and radical feminists for “gender essentialism—the notion that a unitary, ‘essential’ woman’s experience can be isolated and described” (1990, 604). Harris maintains that race is a central component of the identities of women of color (in Europe and North America, at least), but not of white women. Therefore, the “critical material experiences” of cultural feminism and the sexual objectification of women emphasized by radical feminists are mediated through a racial context for some women but not for others. “Mainstream” Western feminist jurisprudence has encountered similar challenges made on behalf of lesbians (Brown 1990; Cain 1990) and disabled women (Baer 1999, 34–7).

(p. 311) No consensus exists within feminist theory about the possibility of locating a common essential identity. The same is true of the difference debate in its various manifestations. No one is forced to take sides, and many scholars choose to concentrate on other issues. But legal scholars on both sides and on neither side of these debates embrace the final premise of feminist jurisprudence: the need for scholarship based on women’s experience.

3 Feminist Legal Reasoning

The feminist premise of male bias applies as much to methods as to theories. Feminist critiques of method from the humanities and social sciences have influenced legal scholarship. These critiques have characterized conventional methodology as dichotomous, oppositional, hierarchical, abstract, reason-based, and emphasizing separation. Feminist alternative methodology is an intuitive/emotional, holistic, non-invasive, concrete, and contextualized epistemology of connection (Baer 1999, 72–8). It emphasizes “the distinctive features of women’s situation in a gender-stratified society” (Harding 1990, 119), “the world of concrete particulars” to which many women are relegated (Smith 1990, 19), and “women’s ways of knowing” (Belenky et al. 1986) which applies Gilligan’s work to epistemology. For MacKinnon, women’s way of knowing is through consciousness raising, “the process through which contemporary radical feminist analysis of the situation of women has been shaped and shared” (1989, 84). Consciousness raising is inductive, not deductive. It came out of the women’s discussion groups that flourished in the early years of second-wave feminism. Many members of the founding generation of feminist theory participated in these groups. Feminist jurisprudence has applied the insights of feminist epistemology to the study of legal methods. One scholar credited Gilligan’s book with helping her understand “why I felt so uncomfortable in law school” (Feminist Discourse 1985, 1). A study of law students at an Ivy League university discovered that women tended to do less well than comparable men and theorized that the Socratic method of law school teaching is an ordeal for many women (Guinier et al. 1997).

Feminist scholars’ distinctions between male and female methods work better in theory than in practice. They do not stand up when applied to concrete, particular analysis of everyday legal decision-making. “Legal feeling” (Baer 1999, 84) is as omnipresent as “maternal thinking” (Ruddick 1989); any follower of the Supreme Court knows that appeals to emotion are a common feature of the justices’ opinions. Consciousness raising combines inductive and deductive reasoning. The different versions of the process that developed encouraged participants to use concepts from feminist theory in interpreting their shared experiences. The case for a distinctively (p. 312) female epistemology has yet to be made. But feminist epistemology has had significant impact on theory and jurisprudence.

4 From the “Woman Question” to “Woman Answers”

Feminist jurisprudence has not stopped with pointing out ways in which existing law is hostile to women’s interests. Scholars have shown remarkable creativity in devising woman-oriented alternative theories. Twenty-first-century legal doctrine shows the influence of feminist inquiry, although the nexus between cause and effect is neither clear nor simple. Some feminist contributions to legal theory have yet to be put into practice, but others have gained judicial recognition. Since a single article cannot present all of this scholarship, this chapter will focus on three important and controversial innovations. The first two of these, Martha Fineman’s work on family law and Catharine MacKinnon’s analysis of the law of rape, address specific gendered legal issues. The third innovation is the concept of the “reasonable woman,” a theoretical construct that has guided decision-making in both civil and criminal law.

Martha Fineman’s studies of family law reflected widespread feminist recognition that gender neutrality might not entail sexual equality. The gradual progression of American family law in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries from traditional male supremacy toward gender-neutrality coincided with, reinforced, and was reinforced by feminism. One major twentieth-century innovation that had some initial feminist support was “no-fault divorce.” The old adversarial process of ending a marriage was replaced by “dissolution” premised on the assumption that the decision was mutual. At the same time, maternal preference in child custody decisions yielded to a neutral “best interests of the child” rule. But by the 1980s, feminists had discovered that the new rules often resulted in support judgments that impoverished women and children and custody arrangements that ignored or denied the fact that the mother was almost always the children’s primary caregiver (Baer 2002, 134–58.)

Fineman perceives a connection between this legal undervaluing of the mother–child bond and widespread (though decreasing) public hostility toward single and lesbian mothers. She argues that family law presupposed a “sexual family” consisting of mother, father, and children. “The neutered mother” becomes one of two parents and only half of the parental unit; “marriage and family” become inseparable. Fineman proposes abolishing marriage as a legal category and replacing sex with care and dependency as the crucial family bond. This “newly redefined legal category of family” would include “inevitable dependents along with their care-givers. The caregiving family would … be entitled to special, preferred treatment (p. 313) by the state” (1995, 231). While the caregivers could be either women or men, the result of such a change would benefit many women and might even encourage caregiving behavior among men. It would also derail the controversy over same-sex marriage.

Catharine MacKinnon’s most recent publications (2005; 2006) apply her theory of law’s maleness to criminal law. The radical transformation in the law of sexual assault in the past thirty years represents a landmark victory for second-stage feminism. The modesty of the complainant’s appearance, the prudence of her behavior, and the details of her sexual history are no longer before the court. Nonetheless, MacKinnon asserts, “The law of rape protects rapists and is written from their point of view to guarantee impunity for most rapes.” She means, she tells an interviewer, “not that all the people who wrote [the law] were rapists, but that they are a member of the group who do.” The interviewer continues:

She thinks consent in rape cases should be irrelevant. Women are so unfree that even if a woman is shown to have given consent to sex, that should never be enough to secure an acquittal. Why? “My view is that when there is force or substantially coercive circumstances between the parties, individual consent is beside the point; that if someone is forced into sex, that ought to be enough.”

(Jeffries 2006)

The classic definition of rape is “carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and (not or) without her consent.” The prosecution must prove both the presence of force and the absence of consent. Nowhere does the law distinguish between a woman’s consent (the commonest defense to a rape charge) and her submission (Schulhofer 1998, ch. 13). The elimination of consent as a defense to sexual assault, like the elimination of legal marriage, would be a change so extraordinary that it brings to mind Ruth Rosen’s metaphor for the effects of feminism: “the world split open” (2000). Neither change is even remotely likely in the foreseeable future. But less dramatic developments are bringing both family law and criminal law closer to feminist ideals. Many jurisdictions have adopted a “primary caregiver” preference in child custody cases (Baer 2002, 156–8.) And rape law is showing the effect of the “reasonable woman” standard.

The concept of the “reasonable person” is a crucial component in the law of torts, and is found also in criminal law. To be at fault is to fail to act as a reasonable person would in the same situation. For example, a defendant in a negligence suit can avoid damages by showing by a preponderance of the evidence either that he or she had acted with the “reasonable care” that the context required or by showing that the plaintiff’s failure to exercise reasonable care constituted contributory negligence (although statutes have limited or abolished this defense in some instances).

The “reasonable person” concept originated in the common law notion of the “reasonable man.” Does the substitution render the concept gender-neutral? Kim Lane Scheppele (2004) insists that in many situations the reasonable person is in effect the reasonable man. She proposes a “reasonable woman” standard for gender-related civil and criminal law.

(p. 314) The question of whether “reasonable person” means “reasonable man” is integral to the criminal law of rape and domestic violence. Scheppele discusses the case of a man who got a ride home with a woman he had just met. He invited her to his apartment and snatched her car keys; she followed him because she feared being out on the street in an unfamiliar neighborhood. After much disagreement within the state appellate courts, the Maryland Supreme Court finally upheld the conviction (State v. Rusk 1981.) “Women don’t sexualize situations as quickly as men do,” Schep-pele comments, “and so they may be slower to recognize danger in the first place” (2004, 460).

One tort, sexual harassment, is classified as sex discrimination by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Meritor v. Vinson 1986). The law recognizes two types of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment can be summarized as, “sleep with me or I’ll fire you,” or “sleep with me and I’ll promote you.” A more common form of harassment is the creation of a hostile environment in the workplace. The typical sexual harassment plaintiff is female; the typical defendant is male.

From the defendant’s standpoint, the dispositive question in a hostile environment case becomes whether his behavior was that of a reasonable person or whether the plaintiff’s reaction to his behavior met that standard. A defendant who pursues a co-worker after she has rebuffed him may well believe that his behavior is reasonable; after all, he is acting out the plot of countless works of fiction, drama, and comedy, and may even have seen this courtship technique work in real life. A defendant who tells dirty jokes or makes suggestive remarks may argue that the woman who complains about this behavior is unreasonably sensitive. Approaching sexual harassment litigation from these standpoints has the effect of authorizing men’s experiences and attitudes.

But suppose that we approach hostile environment cases from the plaintiff’s perspective. From her standpoint, the crucial questions become whether a reasonable woman would find the plaintiff’s behavior objectionable or threatening enough to create a hostile environment in the workplace. The same year Scheppele published her article, an appellate court ruled in favor of a plaintiff who received unwelcome advances: “We adopt the perspective of a reasonable woman because a sex-blind reasonable person standard tends to be male-biased and tends to systematically ignore the experiences of women” (Ellison v. Brady 1991, 880). Plaintiffs who were asked “go to the Holiday Inn” to discuss pay raises, told to fish in the supervisor’s pockets for change, or subjected to epithets like “dumb fucking broad” prevailed in court.

The reasonable woman doctrine is not without its defects and dangers. First, the concept conflates gender and role. As women gain power in the workplace, it is likely that some of them, like some men, will abuse their power. Asking what a reasonable woman might do will only confuse matters if aggressor and victim are the same sex (Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Services 1998). Might the law better adopt a “reasonable victim” rule? A second difficulty with a reasonable woman rule is that it could do real damage if applied in areas of law that are not overtly gender-sensitive. A jury in a negligence case, for example, might expect more caution and foresight from a (p. 315) reasonable woman than from her male counterpart. And think how a concept like “reasonable mother” might influence a jury!

The concept of the reasonable person has found yet another home in the area of domestic violence. Elizabeth Schneider (2000) points out that legal discourse has long been stuck on the question of why the battered women did not end the abusive relationship. This emphasis on the supposed unreasonableness of the victim’s behavior became a rationale for law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to trivialize violence against women much as they once trivialized sexual assault. Feminist scholars have had much success in changing this official behavior.

Lenore Walker, a feminist sociologist, tried to explain victims’ toleration of abuse by developing a concept that she labeled the “battered woman syndrome” (1984). Walker argued that long-term abuse taught many women that they were helpless to change their situation. Activists for battered women object that “the image that the concept of learned helplessness conveys … is one of passivity and lack of agency” (Downs 1966, 155–7). But the battered woman syndrome defense has won some acquittals in trials of women who kill their abusers, even though it applies the idea of learned helplessness to someone who has displayed considerable aggression. “BWS” is an uneasy combination of two defenses against homicide charges: self-defense and diminished capacity. These two doctrines do not mesh well; the first presumes a rational actor while the latter presumes the opposite.

Efforts to protect oneself, others, or property have long been recognized as exculpating factors in criminal cases. A defendant in a homicide case who pleads self-defense must convince the factfinder(s) that he or she perceived imminent danger of serious injury or death and that this belief was reasonable in the circumstances. Juries have been known to give defendants considerable latitude under the imminent danger rule. For instance, both a Louisiana man who fatally shot a stranger who rang his doorbell by mistake and a Virginia man who killed a neighbor who swore at him during an altercation were acquitted (Baer 1999, 207–8).

Feminists have questioned whether the imminent danger requirement is as neutral as it looks. The rule would lead us to expect a woman whose husband had abused her on numerous occasions to be acquitted after she killed him during yet another violent episode, even without recourse to the battered woman syndrome. When a woman was nonetheless convicted in such a case, the New Jersey Supreme Court ordered a new trial that would include testimony about BWS to show that that the woman could reasonably fear that her life was in danger during the episode (State v. Kelly 1984). But most battered women who kill do not do so during an attack, and BWS may have particular significance in those types of cases. The imminent danger rule that can respond so flexibly to male experience is unresponsive to their experience. The battered woman syndrome defense asks factfinders to consider whether the defendant might overreact to a perceived threat because her reasoning capacity is defective, in the same way that an insanity plea makes comparable demands. But, while the logic of the BWS defense is problematic, the defense has entered the legal repertoire.

(p. 316) 5 Conclusion

Legal doctrine emerges from human experience. When women were excluded from the legal enterprise, man-made law was just that. The growth of feminist jurisprudence has coincided with the entry of more and more women into the lawyering, law-making, and judging professions. Relying on women’s experiences and perspectives, the first generation of feminist legal scholars has progressed from incisive analyses of law’s male bias to the creation of new doctrines, new methods, and new proposals for reform. Activists in the legal arena have changed law to embody these concepts, as the “reasonable person” example shows. The two groups of scholars and activists overlap, and each activity has infiltrated and influenced the other. But law’s male bias remains pervasive enough to make legal doctrine more responsive to men’s claims than to women’s. Both scholars and practitioners know that much work remains for later generations to do.

References

Baer, J. A. 1999. Our Lives before the Law: Constructing a Feminist Jurisprudence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton: University Press.Find this resource:

—2002. Women in American Law: The Struggle for Equality from the New Deal to the Present. New York: Holmes and Meier.Find this resource:

Bartlett, K. T. 1990. Feminist legal methods. Harvard Law Review, 103: 829–88.Find this resource:

Behuniak, S. M. 1999. A Caring Jurisprudence: Listening to Patients at the Supreme Court. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.Find this resource:

Belenky, M., Clinchy, B., Goldberger, N., and Tarule, J. 1986. Women’s Ways of Knowing: The Development of Self, Voice, and Mind. New York: Basic Books.Find this resource:

Brown, W. 1990. Consciousness razing. Nation, 250: 61–4.Find this resource:

Cain, P. A. 1991. Feminist jurisprudence: grounding the theories. Pp. 263–80 in Feminist Legal Theory: Readings in Law and Gender, ed. K. T. Bartlett and R. Kennedy. Boulder Colo.: Westview.Find this resource:

Commager, H. S. (ed.) 1963. Documents in American History, 7th edn. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Find this resource:

Cornell, D. 1991. Beyond Accommodation: Ethical Feminism, Deconstruction, and the Law. New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.Find this resource:

Dalton, C. 1985. An essay in the deconstruction of contract doctrine. Yale Law Journal, 94: 997–1114.Find this resource:

Downs, D. A. 1996. More Than Victims: Battered Women, the Syndrome Society, and the Law. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Find this resource:

DuBois, E. C., Dunlap, M. C., Gilligan, C. J., MacKinnon, C. A., Marcus, I., Menkel-Meadow, C. J., and Spiegelman, P. J. 1985. Feminist discourse, moral values, and the law: a conversation. Buffalo Law Review, 34: 11–87.Find this resource:

Feminist Discourse 1985. Moral values, and the law—a conversation. Buffalo Law Review, 55: 11–87.Find this resource:

(p. 317) Fineman, M. A. 1995. The Neutered Mother, the Sexual Family, and other Twentieth Century Tragedies. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Finley, L. 1986. Transcending equality theory: a way out of the maternity and the workplace debate. Columbia Law Review, 86: 1118–82.Find this resource:

France, A. 2002 [1894]. The Red Lily. Rockville, Md.: Wildside Press.Find this resource:

Gilligan, C. 1982. In a Different Voice. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

Ginsburg, R. B. 1978. Sex equality and the Constitution. Tulane Law Review, 52: 451–3.Find this resource:

Goldstein, L. F. (ed.) 1992. Feminist Jurisprudence: The Difference Debate. Lanham, Md: Rowman and Littlefield.Find this resource:

Guinier, L., Fine, M., and Balin, J. 1997. Becoming Gentlemen: Women’s Experience at One Ivy League Law School. Boston: Beacon Press.Find this resource:

Harding, S. 1990. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge? Thinking from Women’s Lives. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Find this resource:

Harris, A. 1990. Race and essentialism in feminist legal theory. Stanford Law Review, 42: 581–616.Find this resource:

Jeffries, S. 2006. Are women human? Interview with Catharine MacKinnon. Guardian, April 12.Find this resource:

Kay, H. H. 1985. Equality and difference: the case of pregnancy. Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, 1: 1–38.Find this resource:

Littleton, C. A. 1987. Reconstructing sexual equality. California Law Review, 75: 1279–337.Find this resource:

MacKinnon, C. A. 1987. Feminism Unmodified. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—1989. Toward a Feminist Theory of the State. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—1993. Only Words. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—2005. Women’s Lives, Men’s Laws. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

—2006. Are Women Human? Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

McClain, L. C. 2001. Care as a public value: linking responsibility, resources, and republicanism. Chicago-Kent Law Review, 76: 1673–731.Find this resource:

Rhode, D. L. 1990. Feminist critical theories. Stanford Law Review, 42: 617–38.Find this resource:

Rosen, R. 2000. The World Split Open: How the Modern Women’s Movement Changed America. New York: Penguin.Find this resource:

Ruddick, S. 1989. Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. New York: Ballantine.Find this resource:

Scales, A. M. 1986. The emergence of feminist jurisprudence: an essay. Yale Law Journal, 95: 1373–403.Find this resource:

Scheppele, K. L. 2004. The reasonable woman. Pp. 456–460 in Philosophy of Law, 7th edn., ed. J. Feinberg and J. Coleman. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; originally published 1991.Find this resource:

Schneider, E. 1986. The dialectic of rights and politics: perespectives from the women’s movement. New York University Law Review, 61: 589–615.Find this resource:

—2000. Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press.Find this resource:

Schulhofer, S. J. 1998. Unwanted Sex: The Culture of Intimidation and the Failure of Law. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

Smart, C. 1989. Feminism and the Power of Law. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Smith, D. E. 1990. The Conceptual Practices of Power: A Feminist Sociology of Knowledge. Boston: Northeastern University Press.Find this resource:

Strossen, N. 1995. Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women’s Rights. New York: Anchor.Find this resource:

(p. 318) Tronto, J. C. Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care. New York: Routledge.Find this resource:

Walker, L. 1984. The Battered Woman Syndrome. New York: Springer.Find this resource:

Wechsler, H. 1961. Principles, Politics, and Fundamental Law. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Find this resource:

West, R. 1997. Caring for Justice. New York: New York University Press.Find this resource:

—1988. Jurisprudence and gender. University of Chicago Law Review, 55: 1–72.Find this resource:

Williams, J. 1992. Deconstructing gender. Pp. 41–98 in Feminist Jurisprudence: The Difference Debate, ed. L. F. Goldstein. Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield.Find this resource:

—2000. Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What To Do about It. New York: Oxford University Press.Find this resource:

Williams, W. 1981. Firing the woman to protect the fetus: the reconciliation of fetal protection with equal opportunity goals under Title VII. Georgetown Law Journal, 69: 641–704.Find this resource:

—1991 [1982]. The equality crisis: some reflections on culture, courts, and feminism. Pp. 15–34 in Feminist Legal Theory, ed. K. T. Bartlett and R. Kennedy. Boulder, Colo.: Westview.Find this resource:

—1984–5. Equality’s riddle: pregnancy and equal treatment. New York University Review of Law and Social Change, 13: 325–80.Find this resource:

Wishik, H. R. 1986. To question everything: the inquiries of feminist jurisprudence. Berkeley Women’s Law Journal, 1: 64–77.Find this resource:

Cases

Ellison v. Brady. 1991. 924 F. 2d 872.

Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson. 1986. 477 U.S. 57.

Muller v. Oregon. 1908. 208 U.S. 412.

Oncale v Sundowner Offshore Services. 1998. 523 U.S. 75.

Orr v. Orr. 1979. 440 U.S. 268.

State of Maryland v. Goldberg. 1978. 41 Md. App. 58.

State v. Kelly. 1984. 478 A.2d 364.

State v. Rusk. 1981. 424 A.2d 720.

Notes:

(1) This characterization refers to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s work as a feminist lawyer and law professor, not to her performance on the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

(2) Baer (1999, 40–56); MacKinnon (1987, 38–9); Schneider (1986, 589–652); Williams (1992, 41–98).

(3) Cornell (1991, 139); “Feminist Discourse” (1985, 75); Smart (1989, 77). Judith A. Baer

Judith A. Baer is Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University.

Judith A. Baer is Professor of Political Science at Texas A&M University.

Feminists Politics asserts that gender stereotypes are based on male dominant fenale submissive stereotypes. Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

Startpage Government.se

Search Search

Huvudnavigering

We use cookies on government.se to regularly improve the website. You can choose whether or not to accept cookies. Read more about cookies.

Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices of Sweden

A Feminist Government

Sweden has the first feminist government in the world. This means that gender equality is central to the Government’s priorities – in decision-making and resource allocation. A feminist government ensures that a gender equality perspective is brought into policy-making on a broad front, both nationally and internationally. Women and men must have the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is a human right and a matter of democracy and justice.

Gender equality is also part of the solution to society’s challenges and a matter of course in a modern welfare state – for justice and economic development. The Government’s most important tool for implementing feminist policy is gender mainstreaming, of which gender-responsive budgeting is an important component.

Related navigation

Feminist policy must make a difference in people’s daily lives and experiences

 Prime Minister and Minister of Gender Equality
“Gender equality is a matter of justice. We see the inequality between women and men as a social problem. And this is where policy can create change,” say Stefan Löfven and Åsa Lindhagen. Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices of Sweden

Feminist policy must make a difference in people’s daily lives and experiences

Since 21 January 2019, Sweden has a new feminist Government. “We will use our policies to build a society in which all people have equal value and equal rights, opportunities and responsibilities, and in which no one is limited by their gender,” say Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and Minister for Gender Equality Åsa Lindhagen.

Illustration: Annika Carlsson

The Governments sub-targets for gender equality

Foto på man och två barn.
Jämställdhetsintegrering. Foto: Folio

Information material

Gender-equality – central to the Swedish Government’s policy-making

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices

Feminist policy for a gender-equal society

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven: “It is with strength and pride that I continue to lead the work of our feminist government. This work obliges all government ministers to contribute to the development and implementation of policy that gives women and men, girls and boys the same power to shape society and their own lives. This is how we build a stronger society and a safer Sweden. “

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices

Vigorous efforts to combat violence

Minister for Gender Equality, with responsibility for anti-discrimination and anti-segregation Åsa Lindhagen: “Everyone should be safe in their own home. We must strengthen efforts to combat men’s violence against women and honour-based violence and oppression. Adults and children subjected to violence must receive support and help quickly. We also need to work preventively to combat destructive masculinity norms and ensure that people who use violence stop doing so.”

EU- och handelsminister Ann Linde
EU- och handelsminister Ann Linde Foto: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Feminist foreign policy

Minister for Foreign Affairs Ann Linde: “During the five years that Sweden has been pursuing a feminist foreign policy, it has become clear that it is needed and that it works. It is needed because women are in a worse position than men throughout the world – in terms of rights, representation and resources. Experience also shows that it is working. Sweden has made a difference to millions of women’s lives, including through our support to sexual and reproductive health and rights, our engagement for women’s participation in peace processes and our efforts to promote women’s social and economic rights. Interest from around the world is great and a number of countries have been inspired by us, including France, Canada and Mexico. I will continue to pursue the feminist foreign policy wholeheartedly throughout the world.”

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

Gender equality contributes to economic development

Minister for Finance Magdalena Andersson: “Getting more women born abroad into work is important for the economy, but even more important for gender equality. No matter where you were born, you have the right to make the same journey towards self-determination through your own income, as many women did in Sweden in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.”

Portrait of Lena Hallengren
Lena Hallengren, Minister for Health and Social Affairs Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

Stronger gender-equality in the welfare sector

Minister for Health and Social Affairs Lena Hallengren: “Universal welfare has been and remains crucial for Sweden’s successful gender equality work. Our country must have medical care and elderly care that are of the absolute highest standard. A majority of those who work in the welfare sector are women and it is through their hard work that Sweden functions. These women – and men – must have a well-balanced working life so that they stay healthy up to and beyond pension age.”

Portrait of Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson
Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices

It is men who must change

Minister for Justice and Migration Morgan Johansson: “Last term of office, the most stringent legislation on sexual crime Sweden has ever had was introduced. Sweden now has a Consent Act, tougher penalties and better support for victims of crime. We also need more early measures to prevent violence, and we need to continue supporting women’s shelters and victim support groups. If men’s sexual harassment and sexual offences against women are to cease, it is men who must change.”

Arbetsmarknadsminister Eva Nordmark
Arbetsmarknadsminister Eva Nordmark. Foto: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Half the power, full pay

Minister for Employment Eva Nordmark: “A gender-equal working life is a necessary condition for Sweden’s future development. Parental responsibility must be divided equally and everyone must be able to combine career and family. We must continue our vigorous efforts to tackle the inequality that leads to women having a higher rate of sickness absence than men. This applies to both the physical and the psychosocial work environment.”

Photo: Kristiah Pohl/Regeringskansliet

A toxin-free environment is an important gender equality issue

Minister for Environment and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lövin: “The environment and sustainability are gender equality issues. Around the world we see how girls and women in particular are being severely affected by the results of climate change. Yet women are under-represented in the forums in which decisions are taken that affect the climate and, ultimately, people’s everyday lives. Women of child-bearing age and children are also the groups that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of dangerous substances throughout the world. By protecting the most vulnerable groups, we create a good environment for everyone.”

Ardalan Shekarabi
Ardalan Shekarabi Foto: Kristian Pohl, Regeringskansliet

Gender inequality in society affects us our whole lives

Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi. “Gender inequality affects people throughout their lives. We must achieve more gender-equal responsibility for children and families, increase gender equality in the labour market so that women are not overrepresented in ill health statistics, and reduce the pay gap between women and men to even out the differences in pensions. The struggle for a gender-equal society must continue throughout all phases of life.”

Pressbild på utrikeshandels­minister och ­minister med ansvar för nordiska frågor Anna Hallberg.
Utrikeshandels­minister och ­minister med ansvar för nordiska frågor Anna Hallberg. Foto: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Feminist trade policy

Minister for Foreign Trade, with responsibility for Nordic affairs Anna Hallberg: “Investing in equality is smart. Excluding women from economic opportunities is probably the biggest waste in the world. As well as being smart and right, gender equality is also good for the economy. When women participate in the labour market as employees or entrepreneurs, their power over their own lives increases and the whole of society is strengthened. Sweden will pursue a feminist trade policy. This means that a gender analysis must be applied to all trade agreements.”

Peter Eriksson
Minister for International Development Cooperation Photo: Ninni Andersson/Government Offices

Feminist development policy

Minister for International Development Cooperation Peter Eriksson: “Women and girls are still subjected to systematic discrimination and subjugation throughout the world. In recent years we have also seen setbacks in efforts for global gender equality and girls’ and women’s opportunities for empowerment and independence. Sweden’s feminist foreign and development policy works as a counterweight and is essential for countless women and girls. I am proud to represent Sweden’s feminist government and will devote my full energies to pursuing these issues.”

Portrait of Tomas Eneroth.
Minster for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

Sweden must be the most gender-equal country in the world

Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth: “The transport sector must be more gender-equal. Pursuing gender equality efforts is not just the right thing to do, it is also a matter of survival for the entire sector. This involves creating the conditions for more women to discover the shipping, aviation, railway and road haulage industries. This is where people should want to apply, develop and remain. The sector has to increase the pace of this. I will not tire of reminding people of this. Sweden must be the most gender-equal country in the world.”

Foto: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

Zero tolerance of sexual harassment applies to all

Minister for Higher Education and Research Matilda Ernkrans: “Me too has shed light on sexual harassment and abuses. There are far too many precarious jobs at universities and other higher education institutions, and research shows that this makes women particularly vulnerable. Too many women keep quiet about harassment so as not to jeopardise their own career or education. People must be able to speak up in academia so that irregularities are uncovered and immediate action is taken. Zero tolerance of sexual harassment must of course apply to both students and staff. I want to create safe higher education institutions in which women and men can work on equal terms and have the same opportunities to enjoy an academic career.”

Pressfoto tagen framifrån på civilminister Lena Micko.
Civilminister Lena Micko. Foto: Ninni Andersson/Regeringskansliet

Active gender equality efforts are a given in a modern central government administration

Minister for Public Administration Lena Micko: “As the person responsible for central government employer policy, I’m proud that the proportion of women managers in central government administration continues to increase, and that the proportion of women working part-time in central government is decreasing. The gender pay gap between central government employees has more than halved since the turn of the millennium, but there is still a lot to do when it comes to gender equality. It’s obvious to me that central government, as an employer, must be characterised by active gender equality efforts.”

Portrait of Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg
Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices

Women’s lack of security is one of the biggest gender equality challenges of our time

Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg: “For women and men to have the same power to shape society and their own lives, it is crucial that we all feel free to live exactly as we wish. Unfortunately this is not the situation today, when women are the ones who feel most unsafe and the proportion of women who say that they have been subjected to sexual crime is increasing. Putting an end to men’s violence against women and improving women’s safety is therefore absolutely crucial if we are to achieve the gender equality policy objectives. The way to achieve this involves more police employees and giving the police better and sharper tools in the form of effective and necessary legislation. We have begun work on this, but a great deal more will be needed during this electoral period.”

Portrait of Ms Amanda Lind
Amanda Lind, Minister for Culture and Democracy, with responsibility for sport Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

Our democracy is founded on principles of equal rights for all

Minister for Culture and Democracy with responsibility for sport Amanda Lind: “Gender equality is a prerequisite for all people having equal rights and opportunities. The Me too movement showed that there is a long way to go until this is a reality. We have a great deal of work left to do to permanently break the culture of silence and to put an end to discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse. In Sweden, it shouldn’t matter who you are – you should have the opportunity to take part in our democracy, express your opinions and practice and experience culture and sport.”

Portrait of Ibrahim Baylan
Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Regeringskansliet

State-owned companies are showing the way on gender equality

Minister for Enterprise Ibrahim Baylan: “Gender equality and sustainability are areas in which the Government has shown the way in its governance of state-owned companies. The portfolio of state-owned companies is currently perhaps one of the world’s most gender-equal in terms of make-up of governing boards. The issue of gender equality is important for a dynamic and successful business sector. I want to continue pushing for state-owned companies to make use of the skills of both women and men, as well as people with different backgrounds and experience.”

Portrait of Jennie Nilsson.
Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

Equal conditions throughout the country – for all

Minister for Rural Affairs Jennie Nilsson: “For me it is a given that the conditions for living and working throughout the country should be equal – regardless of sex or where in the country you live. Together we must improve gender equality in several sectors in my area of responsibility, strengthen welfare in rural areas and ensure that more people – not least women – are able to live and work in Sweden’s rural areas.”

Portrait of Peter Hultqvist
Peter Hultqvist, Minister for Defence Photo: Kristian Pohl/Goverment Offices of Sweden

Equal rights and obligations

Minister for Defence Peter Hultqvist: “Gender equality is as much about equal rights as it is about equal obligations. The fact that the reactivated national total defence service is equal for both men and women is very positive. This is both right in itself, and leads to a better and stronger defence.”

Anna Ekström
Minister for Education Anna Ekström. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices

Education free from restrictive gender roles

Minister for Education Anna Ekström: “Everyone is entitled to education. Every individual should be able to shape their life without being held back by restrictive gender roles.”

Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

A more gender-equal construction industry builds a better society

Minister for Financial Markets and Housing, Deputy Minister for Finance Per Bolund: “The construction industry needs to be more gender-equal. This is important not least to attract more young people, both men and women, to work in it.”

Portrait of Hans Dahlgren
Hans Dahlgren, Minister for EU Affairs Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden

A Europe where everyone has the same opportunities

Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren: “I want a Europe where no one questions the place of women in the labour market. Where girls and boys have the same opportunities and where the conditions are gender equal. The principle of gender equality is a given in European cooperation, but the EU can do even better. Decisions taken in the EU affect all citizens, and gender equality must be factored into them. Gender equality aspects must be considered in both work on the budget and in concrete legislative proposals. I will continue my efforts to strengthen the gender perspective in all of the EU’s policy areas.”

Portrait of Anders Ygeman.
Minister for Energy and Digitalisation Anders Ygeman. Photo: Kristian Pohl/Government Offices of Sweden.

More women on our IT education programmes

Minister for Energy and Digital Development Anders Ygeman:”Sweden is a successful country within digitalisation, but to retain our position we need more digital specialists. An important part of achieving this is working to ensure that more women choose to study on IT education programmes. We need to highlight the women role models working in this area today, and we need more of them. Everyone’s skills are needed for Sweden to be best in the world at using the opportunities of digitalisation. “

State feminism: co-opting women’s voices Posted February 26th 2021

Feminism is being used by some states as a political proxy to gloss over economic policies that hurt women, meanwhile, grass roots women’s rights activism is looking for new ways to reach parliament. Jennifer Allsopp reports from UK Feminista Summer School 2012 Jennifer Allsopp 19 September 2012

Lately, one might be fooled into thinking that feminism has had a revival in mainstream British politics. We are told that Prime Minister David Cameron is the “most feminist leader the Conservative party has ever had” and a new generation of ‘feminist Tories’ is on the rise. They are out to rescue left wing feminists from their post-capitalist ‘utopias’ with a healthy dose of pragmatism; they want to ‘convert’ us and make us realise that we need to settle for “achievable small changes within a flawed system rather than holding out for revolutionary dreams”. The Conservative Liberal Democrat coalition government is using this free-market feminism to justify economic policies that hurt women. In this respect it can be seen as a form of ‘state feminism’ – a feminism sanctioned by the state. This state feminism is not to be confused with the all too absent feminisation of the British state.

Judging by the response of 300 participants at a Summer School held in Bristol this weekend by UK Feminista, a national grass-roots “movement of ordinary men and women campaigning for gender equality”, many remain unconvinced by the current government’s commitment to women’s rights. The number of feminist activist groups has doubled since the coalition came to power in 2010 and many feminists are becoming explicitly radicalised by the frustrations wrought by austerity policies, attacks on women’s reproductive rights and the increasing objectification of women’s bodies; they are turning to alternative and creative means to influence change. Whilst this is something to celebrate, it also reveals a crisis in British politics. The government appears to be breaking political trust between the state and women, putting many feminists off politics with a capital P.

 UK Feminista.

Women’s equality activists outside parliament. Photo: UK Feminista.

Internationally, women’s rights campaigners have been at the forefront of lobbying governments against austerity measures and proposing feminist alternatives. In a panel discussion on ‘How to create a feminist economy’ at this week’s Summer School, Sue Cohen of the Single Parent Action Network (SPAN) explained why: “we are seeing a return to economic patriarchy; the worst of times”. In the UK, women of all ages are being disproportionately affected by economic policies which they have had little say in shaping. Following David Cameron’s recent reshuffle earlier this month, the Treasury is now without a single female minister for the first time in 16 years at a time when it is dealing with the biggest economic recession since the Second World War. Joanne Kaye of the public service trade union UNISON explained how in this context the invisible care economy is being totally ignored; women’s rights are being looked at largely in terms of economic productivity, as if it were simply a question of reducing the deficit by getting “more women into work”. Single parents are now classified as ‘adult workers’ not ‘parent workers’ in Britain once their children turn 5, meanwhile the cost of childcare continues to soar and there remain huge obstacles to flexible working: “the result”, says Sue, “is a return to the male breadwinner model”. Sonia Mitralia from the Initiative of Greek Women Against the Debt and Austerity Measures explained a similar conservative shift in Greece, where 60% of young women are unemployed.

Panels at the Summer School on ‘How to build a diverse feminist movement’ and ‘Feminists take on the global economy’ revealed how the co-option of women’s rights into the economic priorities of states is not unique to anti-austerity politics in Europe but has the effect of damaging women the world over. Kalpana Wilson from the South Asia Solidarity Network explained how land grabs in India have a disproportionate effect on women’s livelihoods, meanwhile measures which seek to empower women through economic entrepreneurship often instrumentalise and reify gender binaries. She cited one official involved in running microcredit self-help groups in Gudjarat: “women can be located easily…they cannot run away, leaving their homes; they can be persuaded to repay more easily as they feel shame more quickly and consider non repayment a matter of family honour”. As in the UK, much of the discourse around women’s economic empowerment in developing economies is not simply about the fact that ignoring half of the potential workforce is against the principles of productivity; it is dependent on the idea that women will work harder. Women are seen as “empowered, enterprising and with infinite resilience”. 

The feminism of most of the activists I met at the UK Feminista Summer School bears little resemblance to this free-market feminism currently in vogue in Westminster and promoted by financial institutions around the world. Indeed, many participants explained their activism as a counter force to this ‘state feminism’ which they see as capitalist and intrinsically anti-feminist: “state feminism is the feminism they create for us” said one participant, “a political proxy for real change”. Other participants felt that it was unhelpful for governments to talk of feminism at all. Given their commitment to capitalist definitions of progress, can states ever truly be feminist? Is state feminism not a form of co-option? A failure to engage with the plurality of women’s voices in society through the imposition of a monolithic definition of what women want?

The idea of ‘state feminism’, with its glossing of policies that hurt women, goes some way in helping us to understand the oppression of feminist movements that challenge states’ neoliberal ideology of progress. Alternative means to advance women’s rights are seen as a direct threat to the economic priorities of the government. In India, for example, the introduction of militarised SEZ (Special Economic Zones) creates a space of exception where “the government is giving all possible advantages to companies at the expense of human rights”. Summer School participants were moved as Kapana spoke of a woman called Soni Sori in Chhattisgarh, India who has been detained and tortured on the grounds of sedition and violence against the state. Her crime has been to speak out against land grabs and police bribes and their effect on women; “the imprisonment”, Kapana explained, “is happening in the name of economic growth”.

Discussions with direct action groups such as UK Uncut at the Summer School suggest that we are seeing an increasing intolerance of opposition to government policies in Britain, with tactics employed by the state including violence and humiliation. One feminist activist told me that after participating in a peaceful demonstration against austerity she was arrested, and had her bra confiscated for 6 months. A fellow feminist activist was detained overnight, during which time she was denied permission to use her own tampon.

The UK Feminista Summer School made me realise the real challenges many feminists fight, both abroad and also in the UK. Speaking up for women’s rights can lead to stigmatisation, bullying and ridicule. In a consciousness raising workshop on the first day of the Summer School, participants were invited to reflect on what being a feminist feels like. For many the experience was a fusion of positive and negative experiences: “power, liberation, honesty, hope, respect, reassuring, trying to live as a whole person and fighting for the means to control that, … isolated, exhausting, lonely, belittled, on the outside, all-consuming (bad), in everyday life I still feel my views are extreme”. A 17 year old student who has recently founded a feminist group at her school told me how a boy in her class had said he would ‘spank her ass’ to bring her back down to earth after she’d returned from her feminist Summer School. We are regularly reminded that women face the same kind of ridicule by politicians: for their Indian dancing, “frustration” and for not ‘calming down dear’. The fact is that many women simply cannot relate to those in power; they don’t feel that they are “on our side” and they don’t feel like they are being listened to. State feminism remains completely unworkable in the UK for many reasons, but the bottom line is that women haven’t even been involved in the creation of the policy for which it provides the smokescreen.

Discussions during the Summer School suggest that this lack of involvement is leading to the disengagement of many feminists in politics at many levels. Several participants told me they do not vote, with one 20 year old activist qualifying this by explaining that “the problem with politics is that it is a constraining environment”. Another added, “the people at the top just don’t get it”. A session on ‘Parliament, politicians and persuasion…reaching MPs and influencing government’ on the Sunday afternoon did little to change this preconception. It was a language class on ‘how to talk to Tories’ in which we were taught the mantras “it’s better to tweak what’s there than try to overthrow it” and “how can we make do?” When lobbying Tories we were reminded to make sure that “there is no suggestion that this is in any way radical”. Young women and men are expected to appeal to the state feminism articulated by those in positions of power. This has the effect of silencing critiques of the government’s economic agenda which are dismissed as hopelessly utopian.

This situation raises a crucial question about the accessibility of politics in the present context, both in terms of lobbying or direct participation. Modern feminists recognise that the fact of political power is far from sufficient grounds for political legitimacy; among other elements, a key component of such legitimacy comes from experience. A key safeguard against the hegemony of state feminism in this context is to have a plurality of women in government, and in order to make this happen we need a culture change in politics. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party recognised this on International Women’s Day when he said, “there are far too few women who feel attracted to politics. … we in politics have a particular duty to show that we are prepared to change.”

Campaigns which seek to enhance women’s representation, such as Women into Politics by the WEA and the Fawcett Society’s ‘Counting Women In’ are a good place to start, but politicians should be doing more. The UK is ranked 50th out of 188 countries in the national league of women’s representation in Parliament, and 12th out of 27 in the EU. Cameron’s new cabinet, where men outnumber women 5 to 1 simply won’t do: “enough is enough”.

Through the organisation of a Feminist Lobby of Parliament on October 24th, UK Feminista hopes to “put women’s equality at the top of the political agenda”. If politicians are serious about increasing women’s voice in Parliament they should take the opportunity to meet with the those who attend; they should take the time to listen. Meanwhile, women will continue to carve out new forms of the ‘political’ on the ground.

Live discussion: Why is everyone

What do “Feminists” really want? Posted February 26th 2021

1

The use of quotes around Feminists was deliberate because the ones I can’t stand are not the true feminists. The ones I can’t stand, who will say that telling a woman not to be in a dark alley by herself or try to avoid obvious dangerous situations is “mansplaining” and “apologizing for the rapists” or “you are the rapist”, are the “feminists”. The feminists are the women (and  some men) who believe that women should get the same treatment that men do especially in terms of ability to be employed and in wages. Before I go any further, I will say that I do agree that women should be treated equally in equal circumstances. I truly do not believe that a man should be paid more or get more benefits for doing the exact same job that a woman does, and I believe the same goes for women. I personally do not believe most men who call themselves feminist, however, whether they are feminists or “feminists”. I feel like most men who say that is what they are just want to gain favor with women or they want to get the heat off of them; just take ESPN for example. Apparently it is not good enough anymore that if you truly do not beat women or sexually harass them to just not do it; now you have to constantly say that you do not hit women or sexually harass them. What I find ironic is these guys who do say it usually get caught up in or have been caught up in something involving domestic abuse, or an accusation or sexual abuse. Some of the accusations are true and others are and angry woman or a gold digger.

“Feminists” and some feminists argue that men still get privilege outside of employment opportunities and higher wages, but I would counter that women have been given a power that rivals the “privilege” that men have. They can make damaging accusations and on the occasion that they were lying, nothing usually happens to them legally. They do not even have to actually get you to force yourself on them. The groupies that these celebrities have sex with, I have no doubt, gave up the sex more than willingly and after giving up the sex willingly, they just have to turn around and say that they did not consent. If the man is successful in his career, the only real hit he may take is to his reputation, which in the public eye still means a lot, but what the woman just did is get paid for consensual sex. If you are not famous and you are not successful, however, you might be fucked. You are almost guaranteed to go to prison a lot longer than a successful man, and your chances of just getting a decent job are severely damaged really even if you win your case. I am not giving a pass to guilty men however. If a man does rape women or does beat women solely because “she got out of hand” or she “talks back” or because she is just weaker than him, he is an awful man. I personally look at violence toward women in the same way I look at being violent toward another man. I would not hit a woman just for insulting me or “running her mouth” because I would not hit a man just because of what he said.

“Feminists”, feminists, and the law, however, do need to make up their mind on violence. They want “equality”, but if I fight a man, I am probably gonna do some time, especially if I won the fight; I’m definitely doing time if I fight a woman, but the reverse is not true for females. A female is not likely do much time if any at all whether she fights a man or another woman. I understand the argument that some use where they state that men are capable of doing more damage to a woman or another man in MOST cases. My argument to that is I cannot use that excuse if I throw a punch at another man who is taller than me, bigger than me, in better shape than me if he retaliates and beats me up. If I swing at him and end up getting beat up, then I just shouldn’t have been fucking with him. Just because someone has a bulletproof vest, should they go start a gun fight? should they be allowed to start a gunfight because they have a bulletproof vest? The bulletproof vest in women’s case is the law and the media.

It is the same thing with this stance that “feminists” take against taking precautions to help prevent sexual assault. It is never okay for any man, woman, or child to raped or sexually assaulted, but does that mean that one should not take precautions against it just because is is wrong and it is illegal? At the college I go to, school has just started back up and there are a lot of women who dress with asscheeks hanging out of their shorts and shirts that are barely shirts. I will not argue that women CANNOT wear this type of clothing because it is nice to look at as a guy and also because it is their right to wear what they want. It is clearly not illegal for women to show off that much skin and I do not think it should be; what I am saying though is that just because me and many other men can see a woman dressed like this and move on with our day does not mean every man can or will act like that. Not everybody will snatch your cash if you walk around flashing it, but that does not mean you should do it because not everyone will do it.

At the end of the rant, all I am really asking for is more clarity on what “feminists” want when they ask for “equality” and of course if we are to continue down the path of equality (which I do think is a good thing), then there should be more actual equality. Right now we are in a situation where women want the equality, but they don’t want equality. If I hit a man, he is likely to hit me back and if I get beat up as the smaller or weaker (typical, although usually correct, argument by women) man, I will be told that I should not have messed with that guy. Most seem to think that it is OKAY for women to hit women and for women to hit men, but It’s frowned upon for men to fight men and you will be exiled if you even think that a woman can provoke a man to hit back. I am not saying that all men should hit all women or even hit all women back. I don’t support hitting anyone over what they said and I do not even support hitting someone solely because you KNOW you can overpower them. If women continue to think that men CANNOT hit them back, they potentially put themselves in danger if they hit the wrong man.

easoned feminist’ Jessica Valenti has written in the Guardian about catcalling and the detrimental effect it is having on her self-esteem as she grows older. Valenti mourns ‘the hellishness of my teen years’, ruined by unsolicited comments from strange men, and feels even more sorry for herself now, a slightly older mother who gets fewer catcalls and feels like she is becoming ‘invisible to men’.

Feminists are never happy: whistle at them, and it’s an act of abusive male entitlement; don’t whistle at them, and you’re ignoring women, treating them as invisible. What are men to do?

Our relationship towards social interaction is changing. Strangers avoid speaking to each other on the street and men just don’t catcall as much as they did 30 years ago. Even if they did, feminists like Valenti forget the difference between words and actions. If a bloke told me he liked my legs, and if I didn’t feel like taking it as a compliment that day, I could easily brush it off with a well-known hand sign or shout back at him.

Valenti’s complaint about having once been catcalled too much and now not being catcalled enough reminded me of an episode of the British hit series Green Wing in which Joanna, the age-obsessed head of office, is so upset by not being catcalled by builders that she strips to the waist in a bid to get their attention. Valenti can’t seem to decide which is stronger: her need to fear men or to be desired by them. ‘When you’re brought up to feel that the most important thing you can be is attractive to men, the absence of their attention – even negative attention – can feel distressing,’ she complains. Like much of modern feminism, this is clearly all about her and her emotional needs. It has zilch to do with real politics or women’s issues.

So on the one hand, feminist arguments have become a way for women to avoid public life. Not content with calling on society to censor certain images and adverts in order to help women feel more ‘safe’ in public, now some feminists want to be invisible in public.

Last year, a young woman walked the streets of New York City for ten hours wearing normal clothes, and was filmed so as to expose the prevalence of street harassment. Not once in the video is the young woman insulted; nor is anything obscene said. Most of the time strangers simply say things like ‘hello beautiful’ or ‘god bless you mami’. Hollaback, the feminist campaign against street harassment, argues that this kind of social interaction ‘creates a cultural environment that makes gender-based violence OK’. Rather than suggest women respond then and there, they want to encourage them to take photographs of the culprits and submit them to the site, in order to create a ‘crowd-sourced initiative to end street harassment’ and ‘take on one of the final new frontiers for women’s rights around the world’. 

The new reluctance to be involved in public life can also be seen in the ridiculous trend in New York where young women ‘choose not to dress for a man’s gaze, even when the weather seems to dictate the baring of skin’. Young women wearing suede, polo necks and woollen socks in June is not so different to young Muslim women who cover themselves head-to-toe in burqas: both want to cut themselves off from daily interaction; from the everyday dialogue of public life.

Then there’s the flipside: feminists who miss being catcalled and hate being invisible. I wish they’d make their minds up. Needing catcalls to validate your self-esteem is almost as bad as treating catcalls as quasi-criminal acts that wreck one’s self-esteem. But all the time, it seems to be the feminist’s self-esteem that is most important, and to hell with the needs and chatter of everyone else in the public sphere.

It’s hard to take these women seriously. Valenti once wrote an article advising against sleeping with a man who has an all-male bookshelf, and the young woman who appeared in the Hollaback video is now suing the filmmakers for making money off the back of the film’s popularity online. But this idea that women should be separate from the hustle and bustle of life is very dangerous. Women’s liberation fought for the right of women to leave the home and become involved in the public sphere; feminists now want to convert this realm into a series of safe spaces and censored zones. If you don’t like what someone says to you on the street, say something back, put your headphones on, or just laugh – it’s really not that bad.Written byElla Whelan

7 Things Feminists Want Non-Feminists To Know Posted February 26th 2021

Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty ImagesBy Elizabeth EnochsNovember 2, 2015

As a staunch feminist who proudly writes, reads, and watches a lot of stuff about gender equality, I have a really difficult time understanding why so many people refuse to identify themselves as feminists — especially given that feminism is supposed to be for everyone. Clearly, though, feminism and feminists are still widely misunderstood and misrepresented in today’s society. It’s really frustrating. I can’t speak for all feminists, but personally, I want everyone to feel comfortable identifying as feminist. If any non-feminists are reading this, let me just say that there are several things we would like you to know about who we are and what we actually believe.

More like this

Roxane Gay: “Publishing Knows What They Paid Me, And They Should Be Ashamed”By K.W. Colyard7 Books That Will Teach You The Women’s History Your School Never Did By Lauren Sharkey and K.W. Colyard3 Women Share How Coronavirus-Fueled Racism Has Affected ThemBy Leila BarghoutyHow Jennifer Rudolph Walsh Overcame Her Fear Of Public SpeakingBy Princess Gabbara

According to a 2013 HuffPost/YouGov poll, about 82 percent of Americans believe in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes, but only 18 percent of Americans actually identify themselves as feminists. Additionally, a Vox poll from earlier this year confirms that the percentage of Americans who call themselves feminists in 2015 is standing firm at 18 percent — but that 85 percent of those same people polled believe in “equality for women.” Now, I majored in English for a reason, but it’s painfully obvious that the math just doesn’t add up here. So maybe it’s time for this friendly neighborhood feminist to set a few things straight.

Whether you claim to be a feminist or not — hell, whether you even believe in the equality of the sexes or not — there are so many things feminists want you to know. For starters, here are seven of them.

1. Feminism = Gender Equality

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Webster’s dictionary couldn’t make it more clear: Feminism is, by definition, “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” So feminism is just another word for gender equality. That is all.

2. Feminists Don’t Hate Men

People assume with shocking frequency that because I’m a feminist, I hate men. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. I love men! My late grandfather was one of my biggest inspirations, some of my favorite authors are men, and I have a handful of rowdy male cousins who double as my friends and confidants. Again, I am not a mouthpiece for all feminists everywhere, but I’ve never met a feminist who hates men. I don’t know where this stereotype comes from, but I can tell you that it is complete and utter bullsh*t. Plus, it doesn’t even make sense, because many feminists are men.

3. Feminists Don’t Think Women Are Better Than Men

This doesn’t mean that feminists don’t think certain women are better humans than certain men are. I mean, hello, Emma Watson definitely seems nicer than Donald Trump. That said, the goal of feminism is not to advance one gender more than the other — it’s about campaigning for women to have access to the rights and opportunities that the majority of men have never had to think twice about.

I promise that feminists don’t want to marginalize or oppress the male gender. We’re not trying to take over the world. We would, however, appreciate it if more men were on our team.

4. The Term “Feminist” Isn’t Just For Women

Perhaps due to the fact that the term “feminist” contains the word “fem,” a lot of people seem to think it’s off-limits to dudes. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like I said before, feminism is for all of us. There’s no feminist handbook stating that only females can call themselves feminists. In fact, feminists like myself love it when men refer to themselves as feminists, because the feminist movement is not meant to encourage an “us against them” mentality. Feminism is supposed to be for everyone, because gender equality is for everyone.

Men everywhere, this is your invitation to start calling yourself a feminist. You’re not breaking any rules, I swear.

5. There Are Many Types Of Feminists

Not all feminists are the liberal, agnostic, bra-optional heathens like myself, and that’s awesome. Feminists can be stay-at-home moms or CEOs. Feminists can be pro-life or avidly pro-choice. Feminists can wax themselves hairless, wear makeup, and sport an endless string of crop tops, or they can not care at all about such things. Feminists can take their husbands names after marriage, or do something else. Feminists can be sexually attracted to men, women, or both. Feminists come in all races, religions, and nationalities.

There isn’t just one way to be a feminist. If you’ve heard differently, then you’ve been misinformed.

6. When You Say You’re Not A Feminist, We Hear That You Believe Women Are Second-Class Citizens

I will never be able to wrap my head around this. Saying “I’m a feminist” is literally just like saying, “I support the equality of the sexes.” When people (especially females) say they aren’t feminists, it makes less than zero sense to me. And I can’t budge on this. I just can’t.

7. Saying You’re Not A Feminist Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Actually A Practicing Feminist

Statistically, it’s highly likely that you’re a feminist, even if you don’t want to call yourself one. If you want your daughter, sister, wife, girlfriend, buddy, coworker, mom, teacher, boss, and/or any other woman in your life to experience full gender equality, then you’re a feminist. Of course, no one can convince you to start calling yourself a feminist if you’re not comfortable with the term. But guess what? You don’t have to call yourself a feminist to be a feminist. But if you support gender equality, then we would love to “officially” have you on our team.

Images: Julie Jordan Scott/Flickr, Giphy/(7)

Surviving Your Thirties: AKA the
Panic Years Posted February 25th 2021

Nell Frizzell on Motherhood, Aging, and the Demands of the Biological Clock

Via Flatiron Books By Nell Frizzell


February 10, 2021

The morning of my 33rd birthday, I woke up in bed beside a man I love, with a two-week-old baby breathing so gently beside me that, for the 578th time in his life, I had to reach out a hand and touch his face to check that he was alive. My stomach was wet mud. My eyes were lychees of restless weeping. I hadn’t slept for more than three straight hours since the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was wearing a sanitary pad the size of a blow-up mattress, and I smelled like fermenting milk. As a pinkish dawn kissed the treetops along the River Lea, I dressed in an XL gray men’s tracksuit and my boyfriend’s socks, slipped out of my baking one-bedroom flat, crossed the footbridge into Walthamstow Marshes, faced the sun, and howled.

In less time than it took my sister to pass her driving test, I had undergone a fundamental life change. I threw away the security of a relationship, confronted the finite nature of my fertility, acted at times with careless depravity, and took on, eventually, an entirely new identity. These changes resulted in me having a baby, but whether it’s ending a long-term relationship, moving to a new country, changing your career, getting married, or having a breakdown, huge things tend to happen to us during this nameless period around our late twenties, thirties, and often into our forties, and many of them are irreversible. Becoming a parent is the only decision that comes with a biological deadline, the only one that cannot be reversed: it is therefore the one decision that throws all others into such sharp focus. You can get a new job, move to a new house, make new friends, find new partners, but once you’re a parent, you’re a parent for life.

And yet this period has no name. Unlike childhood, adolescence, menopause, or the midlife crisis, we have no common term for the tumult of time, hormones, social pressure, and maternal hunger that smacks into many women like a train at the end of their twenties and early thirties. There is no medical term, no compound German word, nothing in Latin, Arabic, or French. Astrology may refer to the seven-year cycles of the Saturn return, but this nebulous phrase speaks little of the grit and girth, the blood and weeping, the travel and transformation that I have witnessed, both in myself and the people around me.

While in the midst of it, you feel as though you are twisting through a web of impossible decisions—about work, money, love, location, career, contraception, and commitment—each one pulling like a thread on all the others, impossible to untangle or move through without unraveling the whole thing. In hindsight, many, if not all, of those decisions were rendered so intense by the pulsing, beating, inescapable knowledge that your fertility is finite, that you are running out of eggs, and that one day your body will no longer give you the option to have children.

VIDEO FROM LIT HUB:

Helen Macdonald and James Rebanks talk to Andy Fryers at the Hay Festival Winter Weekend

These years are compelled by the eternal question: Should I have a baby, and if so, when, how, why, and with whom? That question then creeps into every area of your life. It is the rat-a-tat of the tracks beneath your feet. The bassline to everything. Whether you want to be a parent or not, as a person in your late twenties and thirties, perhaps even into your forties, the slow march of unfertilized opportunity brings an urgency to your life that no other period can quite match. You have to decide what you want, now, before your body takes the choice away from you.

That there are several words for adolescence in every major European language and not a single one for this second transformative time in a woman’s life speaks of two things: that language often lets us down, and that we have never really taken this period seriously. Too often, our journey out of youth, through fertility, and into a new emotional maturity is dismissed as broodiness, anxiety, or “merely” the ticking of the biological clock. In fact, it is a complex focal point of every pressure, contradiction, and fear faced by Western women today, from fertility and finance to love, work, and self-worth.

It is because we haven’t identified this period with a name that we’re not prepared properly for it when it comes, and we haven’t developed the tools to navigate it. This is a problem if women are then made to feel that everything that happens during this time is somehow only our responsibility, ours to confront, carry, and resolve, alone. By adjusting women’s bodies with contraception and allowing men to live as eternal teenagers—uncertain jobs, short-term flings, adolescent hobbies—we have placed the burden of whether to try for a baby almost entirely at women’s feet. We shield men from the reality of fertility, family, and female desire, because we have been conditioned to consider them uninteresting or unattractive. Throughout my twenties and into my thirties, I tried desperately to appear casual and carefree, believing that any hint at my true, complicated desires—in my case, for love, commitment, independence, a successful career, and ultimately a baby too—would render me single forever. I silenced myself, because I thought it made me more attractive. I tucked my weaknesses, my wants, and my womb out of sight. Becoming a parent is the only decision that comes with a biological deadline, the only one that cannot be reversed.

I spoke to my friends, of course, but not always with total honesty, which meant that they, also, didn’t truly open up to me. By putting on a brave face and acting as if we were in control, we all somehow missed the fact that we were on the same train. Without the common shorthand of language and labels to communicate our experience, we became fragmented, uncertain, anxious, and embarrassed. Well, no more. I am here to crack my neck, unhook my bra, and give this thing a name.

I’ve come up with plenty of suggestions along the way, formal and informal. Firstly, the jokes: fecund choice, egg roulette, whore crux, ova panic. There are the rural possibilities: winnowing, as in the sorting of grain; lacuna, a gap or space in bone; Rubicon, a river that appears impossible to cross; the dimmet, that magical time between daylight and twilight. There are the Latin ideas: reortempus, the time of decision; procogravidum, to be heavy with doubt, quasitinciens, to be pregnant with questions. Then there are the Germanic options: Schwangerfast, to be almost pregnant; Wechselperiode, the changing period; Trockenlege, to adapt and dry out. All apt, all better than nothing, but none bringing to mind the choking, creeping, bewildering nature of the beast.

In the end, like the classification of some newly recognized flower or virulent weed, I’m calling it the Flux: a physical and emotional transformation found growing in the soil of the Panic Years. In the landscape, “flux” means the flowing of water; in our bodies it is the discharge of blood; in physics, the state of constant change. The Flux is the gap between adolescence and midlife, during which women lose that constructed artifice of control over their lives, confront their fertility, and build themselves new identities. The Flux is a specific process, provoked by biology, society, and politics, that drives so many of us through the Panic Years like, well, women possessed.

The Panic Years is not a guide to finding the right man, getting your ideal job, learning to love yourself, how to get pregnant, or the best way to raise a child. It is about what happens when you’re heading toward the grown-up cutlery and matching sheets of adult life, and wondering if you should have a baby, if you only want one because you were brought up to want one, or if you’d even be able to have one if you tried. It is about trying to establish a career before you disappear into maternity leave; it is about wanting stability while your friendship group splinters into the parents and the not-parents; it’s about not just looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, but a potential parent for your theoretical child; it is about fertility, gender inequality, and social stigma. It is about why you find yourself doing the Panicked Math that if you meet someone, and you date for a year, and if it takes two years to get pregnant, but if you were to aim for this job, and if your period started at thirteen, and your mom’s eggs ran out at 40… until suddenly you’re not doing math anymore but asking something bald and blank and unending: Who am I and what do I want from life?

In my case, the Panic Years began at a house party visiting my friends in Liverpool, wearing a silver dress, standing in the disintegrating kitchen of a dead landlady whose lodger had put her ashes in a corner cupboard and thrown rugs over the rotten floorboards. My period was a month overdue and I was waking at four-thirty most mornings with my mouth full of fear and sickness. I’d left my boyfriend behind to come and visit my friends. As I looked around that green kitchen I was gripped with a thought that had been quietly lying under everything for weeks: I might be pregnant. I didn’t want to be pregnant. Not like this, not now. I didn’t want to be trapped that way. I knew it then with a clarity that frightened me. My body was telling me, before my mind had even realized, that I was unhappy. My womb had let off an emergency flare and, duly, I watched it burn. A month later, I was single, not actually pregnant after all, sitting in a greasy spoon in Walthamstow and marking my 28th birthday, alone, over a cup of instant coffee.

Without the anchor of a partner, I spun into a world of work, parties, sweat, deadlines, running, travel, and cigarettes. Without the counterweight of love, and with the explosive ambition of a young journalist, I discovered that I could say yes to anything, everything. In fact, the more I said yes, the less I had to think. For a whole year my one professional rule was to say yes to absolutely every commission that came my way. I also went camping, had sex with men who couldn’t love me and whom I couldn’t love, pitched articles to newspapers I’d looked up to all my life, swam on windy beaches, wrote my heart out, asked myself if I really wanted a baby after all, cried for days before my period, made clothes, went on the radio, cut my hair, and listened to my records. The Flux is a specific process, provoked by biology, society, and politics, that drives so many of us through the Panic Years like, well, women possessed.

One morning, in the speckled gray of early consciousness, I woke up with the tang of something familiar in my mouth, like the snatches of a song you used to sing at school. In my own bedroom, under my own pictures, under my own bedding smelling of my own washing powder, I was finally recalling who I was.

Which is all very well, but by this point I was 30, and my female friends, who until that moment had been eating toast and drinking tea with me, ripping through their heartstrings and laughing in the face of time, suddenly grabbed their bags and were off: boyfriends, houses, engagement rings, weddings, pregnancies, babies. The race was on—against time, against our bodies, against the half-life of sperm and, inevitably, against one another. I knew, because I’d been there when it had happened, that my mother got menopause early—at 40—and so I had probably inherited less time than my peers; I was facing a shorter deadline. As a result, my Panic Years were particularly intense, my sprint for security more acute, my need to get my shit together relatively extreme. And yet somehow, I hadn’t heard the announcement, hadn’t even bought my ticket. The people I loved most were slipping away from me, while I was left behind, staggering in their wake.

Less than two years later, I was in love. This man, with his shoulders like scaffolding and a chin like a peat shovel, arrived into my life unexpected, unpredicted, and unannounced. Just like that, I had boarded the train. I didn’t know the destination, but I knew I was going somewhere. And yet, what I’d imagined to be the solution to my disquiet turned out to just be the doorway to more questions. Big questions.

For any woman entering a new relationship during the Panic Years, the future is pockmarked by the sort of existential decisions that can bring you to your knees. What does it mean for a working woman in an unaffordable country facing a climate disaster to commit to a partner, let alone the future of a child? How do you react when your best friend announces that she is pregnant? Is yours a different path? What if your partner doesn’t want children? What if they want children but just not yet, not now, not like this? Is this the time to move to a new country, change careers, buy an insanely expensive coat, fuck it all up, and sleep with somebody’s brother, buy a house somewhere cheap and go freelance? Should you buy a dog?

Like your teeth being cracked out of your jaw so the cold wind can rush over your every exposed nerve, you realize that you have lost control again. Your body is held, suspended by contraception in a state of false infertility, while your mind races through the futures being lost. You may be on the train, but you forgot, somehow, to check the destination, and now, fists clenched and eyes burning, the world is sliding past you in a liquid blur. Love cannot stem the flow of eggs leaving your body, a warm bed doesn’t help you decide what you want to do for a career, a partner doesn’t end the civil war between brain and womb, a plus-one doesn’t necessarily make you feel whole. Three years after leaving my last relationship I realized once again something painful and something true: the Panic Years do not end with sex or shared towels; they aren’t simply quieted by the weight of another body in your bed.

As I careened around my life, ending relationships, trying to earn more money, sharing my rented flat with friends I loved, going to therapy, strengthening my body, and having sex with increasingly kind people, I saw absolutely nothing tying those decisions together. As I move into my mid-thirties and away from all the dust and drama that blinded me to the long view, I see that the prospect of motherhood had been hovering over me all along. It had been my engine, preparing me for launch. Of course. Throughout the Panic Years, my body and my mind were unconsciously breaking up my old life in order to pave the way for a new one, one in which I could decide, if I wanted, to try for a baby. As Luke Turner writes, in his beautiful memoir Out of the Woods: “The decision to dynamite the foundations of a life will always throw rubble in unexpected directions.” Because, as reluctant as I have been to recognize it, and admit it to the people who mattered, I probably always wanted a baby. As I move into my mid-thirties and away from all the dust and drama that blinded me to the long view, I see that the prospect of motherhood had been hovering over me all along.

In many ways, I coined the phrase The Panic Years for the Nell at 28, who stood in that kitchen in Liverpool, in her silver dress, beside another woman’s urn and felt sick with panic at what might happen. But really, it’s for everyone: those embarking on their Flux, those in the midst of the disorientation, those who are curious about motherhood whether they see themselves doing it or not, those who have been through it all and are looking for recognition, and for the men and women who just want to understand what’s going on all around them. I want to show why a 30th birthday party can seem like a one-woman wedding, what it’s like to be the only single person at a dinner party, how to cope with being sexually rejected in a very small tent, why you might start accidentally crying when your boss asks where you see yourself in five years’ time, how it feels to get your period after wondering if you’re pregnant, the fever that descends when you decide you want to try for a baby, what it’s like to imagine throwing that baby against the wall.

It is time to celebrate the thundering libido of the 30-year-old as she drags herself up a mountain with a conspiracy theorist and his receding hairline. To wade through your own ambivalence about what might be the biggest decision of your life. To describe the lace-edged hell of other people’s baby showers. To relate how it feels to piss on a stick in a dripping toilet and hold your entire future in four centimeters of acidic paper.

The moment has come to ask the big questions: Where are we and how did we get here? How do we liberate ourselves from our social conditioning, why do relationships end, why do people still get married, when does a fetus become a baby, what is the right salary, what is a family, how significant is turning 35, and how should we allocate the responsibility for contraception? As the weight of all these questions, and more, come crashing down on the shoulders of women in their twenties, thirties, and forties, it is time to start looking for answers.

__________________________________

Nell Frizzell Panic Years Motherhood

Excerpted from The Panic Years: Dates, Doubts, and the Mother of All Decisions by Nell Frizzell. Used with the permission of Flatiron Books, a division of Macmillan. Copyright © 2021 by Nell Frizzell.

Nell Frizzell
Nell Frizzell

Nell Frizzell is a freelance journalist who writes a column for Vogue and also writes for the Guardian, Elle, Vice, Buzzfeed, the Independent, the Observer, and the Telegraph. She is best known for features and columns on gender, pregnancy, and parenting, and she has been featured several times on various BBC programs. In addition to journalism, Nell has written and performed comedy and works as a lifeguard. She lives in London with her partner and child.


Gabriel Byrne on Struggling With Authenticity in the Wake of Fatherly ExpectationOf Wandering and Hope: George Perec’s Ode to Ellis Island


A Puffy Lipped Barbie by R.J Cook February 11th 2021

R.J Cook

A Puffy Pouting Lipped Barbie February 11th 2020

It disturbed me to hear an erudite guest on RT saying that there was a crisis of dissent from Jo Biden’s government and plan for a brighter future. Given Biden’s immediate display of hostility to China , posting deadly aircraft within striking distance , backed by sailing the South China sea again, along with spotty dog Boris Brainless of Britain shutting down China’s TV station here – then complaining China shuts down its propaganda BBC World Service – that bright future could turn into a really bright nuclear war.

Britain has a problem with China’s attitude to its rapidly expanding Muslim population. It arrogantly asserts that multi culture led by upper middle class uni girls feminism , is the model for the future.

Britain and the U.S.A’s elite think the same thoughts , all based on money. Around 2,400 own 59% of the world’s wealth. The elite have a problem with white working class men and their culture. They have set them all up as racists and targets for middle class moralisers and BLM resentment.

I heard a lot today about the U.S history being based on slavery , but nothing about Black African chiefs who sold ‘fellow blacks’ to the white men , or the fact that English sailors were pressed into service , or the fact that blacks and whites had and still have repressive class system that thrives on scapegoats.

‘The Times’ posh kids out to discredit and reprogramme anyone who ever believed Dr Jordan Petersen’s defence of masculinity.

So when the Canadian psychologist Jordan B Peterson says there is a “backlash” against masculinity and “a sense there is something toxic about masculinity”, he is setting himself up as a target for the dreadful people who call themselves left wing liberal democrats.

These people infest mainstream media and are outraged by anyone who offends their consensus. Thus their was an explosion of liberal outrage when Petersen told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur: “There are biological differences between men and women that express themselves in temperament and in occupational choice and that any attempt to enforce equality of outcomes is unwarranted and ill advised as a consequence.” Mr Peterson is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and author of 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos.

Decca Aitkenhhead had problems with Petersen’s daughter because she looked after and supported her dad – not a job permitted by feminnazis – and she has a Russian husband. So presumably Ms Airhead of ‘The Times’ fears the three of them are plotting to bring down wonderful PC new model men of the west.

So up jumped Posh Tory Thatcherite Minsiter’s son Hugo Riffkind , born 1977.  Now this toff works for the toffee nosed ‘The Times’ and ‘The Sunday Times.’ He has quite a pedigree . Hugo was born n Edinburgh , his father a key player in helping to destroy Scotland’s economy and social fabric. He tested men to the limit and drove them to drink and drugs with his government’s vile divisive and self seeking polices. Masculinity took a quite a bashing , but this impact was not confined to Scotland.

Dr Petersen did not say he was suicidal , as the taped interview attests, but it suited Airhead’s narrative.

Divorces , drug addiction and suicide went hand in hand with the mass unemployment and give away sale of state assets to Tory fly boys in the city. These were the new men. The old men were left to rot, scapegoated  as wife beating good for nothings. A man’s place was living on the street. Women were told they could be anything. Men were told what they were and are.

The extract from Aitkenhead’s Times publication suggests she and ‘The Times’ have real issues with Russia and we are all supposed to have them as CIA and MI6 obviously plot to bring down Putin to make room for another friendly greedy corrupt Yeltsin type – i.e Navalny.

Hugo Riffkind had the best of everything. He was educated at the independent Loretto School in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, where, he has written, he was the only Jewish pupil. He also attended George Watson’s College in Edinburgh before reading philosophy at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

And so this posh boy informed his Times audience that ‘Jordan Petersen’s feminised men just don’t exist. He goes on to say : ‘The wildly popular Canadian psychologist’s barmy theories about masculinity now look as shaky as his diet plan.’

Aitkenhead of ‘The Times’ like all mainstream media folk , is obsessed with pushing a negative view of Trump. So inevitably , this overpaid air head from the 80s ecstasy scene – she wrote a dreadful book about her ‘experiences’ ( sic )- brings Trump into it. Dr Airheadis quoted in the above extract. She diagnoses a schizophenic who can’t express his emotions – this man cries in public withut restraint. Clearly this nasty so called interview with Dr Petersen exemplifies what mainstream journalism has become. it is all about elie propaganda and brain washing.

On February 1st this year , he wrote : “The apparent collapse of Jordan Peterson is like a parable. Over the past decade, and not always by virtue of his own efforts, the Canadian psychologist’s name has become synonymous with the idea that men are increasingly emasculated in an increasingly feminised world.”

Decca Aitkenhead ( airhead ) pictured right. She , like all feminists and the ‘he for she brigade , has issues – starting with her mother’s suicide when she was young.

As if that wasn’t enough posh colleague Decca Aitkenhead tore Petersen apart in her  weekend’s Sunday Times, in an interview with Decca Aitkenhead . This feminist was not going to be nice to Prof Petersen. He had been fooled by his publisher. She wrote that he had seemingly spent the last 18 months being shuttled around weird health institutions by his daughter Mikhaila, who had also put him on a weird diet. Given that she is also the CEO of his company, he came across like a frail old man dominated by his womenfolk. Which is either ironic, or about as traditionally male as you get. Or in this case”. Airhead went on to describe Petersen’s daughter as a ‘puffy lipped ‘Barbie.’.  Roberta Jane Cook

Why are Heterosexual Men Increasingly Attracted to Trans Women and Why Do Feminists hate both groups ? February 8th 2021

Roberta Jane Cook , left, at a party ,after tennis in summer 1986 . with a serious male admirer, Image Copyright Appledene Photographics.

All Mixed Up by R.J Cook February 3rd 2021

Roberta Jane Cook There are clear and established differences in gender behaviours. Denying this and imposing one size fits all blob identity for the masses while the elite do as they like, is a recipe for conflict and disaster. R.J Cook

After this post you can read what I consider a very nasty and dangerous piece of what is basically more feminist and their ‘he for she supporters’ -who are like eunuchs guarding the harem – poisonous propaganda. There was a word for such men but it is now a hate crime to use it as progressively language is censored , with consequent limitations to our thoughts , consequent behaviour , interactions and sense of identity. This is because we are n a police state and the leftist liberal paradise currently under ongoing and ever more restrictive development Here they don’t just hand out identity cards and covid injection certificates , like the one I have. They hand out the complete iidentity package and necessary brain training – a black senator actually referencing ‘reprogramming Trump supporters.

Hence the confines LGBTQI and BLM and sensitivities toward Islam ,who are blob sensitive only to themselves. We are supposed to be atoms in a blob, worshipping a God who we are supposed to believe built it all , along with God’s earthly representatives like the Queen , the Police and NHS who keep us safe and need more taxes to pay them more for doing such a good job.

For the slightest mistake or malicious dishonest moronic police behaviour , a person has their DNA , finger prints and photographs taken. To relate all of this , and more , as I will , is to advance absractions beyond the grasp of our new wave of school and ‘uni’ production line products.

Language limitations are wonderful. It was one of my old post grad teachers at London University who started ground breaking research on language limitation and capacity for abstract thought. He was Professor Basil Bernstein , a highly gifted academic – unlike most professors who are politicans blowing with the wind not in it. So Bernstein was rubbished by 80s trendies.

Howver, as with Snowball and Napoleon in ‘Animal Farm’ , these trendies latched on to the broad concept of language codes. So while disparaging Bernstein as classist on the one hand, they set out not to challenge working class restricted language codes but to extend them to the masses along with an extension of brain numbing ‘uni’ degrees and student loan debts forcing the new ‘graduates’ into the mind numbing careers (sic) in the call centres that have replaced what old foggies like to call ‘good old fashioned service.’

So if a person reads the following so called ‘new research’ most won’t question its premise , the reality being that this type of researcher starts with the conclusion to their hypothesis , seeking evidence accordingly. Many won’t understand what the word research means , let alone the issue of sampling and questionaires , or the necessary brain tissue sampling , environmental and cultural variations or that it is known that experience modifies DNA. The word research on its own is enough to conjour up image of serious looking boffins beavering away in science laboratories bubbling with liquids and white boards covered in calculations which only a born race of scientists could ever understand. The masses think like that because they are like the babies in the ‘nursery’ in Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ crawling across the metal floor and given electric shocks as soon as they lay hands on interesting clourful things set out for them when they get to the other side.

What these typical reearchers – having more in common with Nazi doctors than truth seekers – want to do is abolish the concept of gender difference. hence their allegedly scientific research offers the carrot of having a gender balanced brain is good for you and this is how to get one. That will be the way to a better if not perfect life. It’s the tosh you find written by a plethora of conceited ‘academics ‘ ( sic ) in magazines like ‘Psychology Today.’ That publication routinely has a middle class well made up model’s face on the cover along with a list of all the horrors , burdens and vulnerabilities of being ‘WOMAN.’

People must not be allowed to be individuals unless they are part of the ruling thieving money soaked rich power mad lying manipulative elites. Women must be forgiven and understood because of pre menstrual tension, post pregnancy depression , murder and God knows what else. They must be worshiped and seen as able to do anything the ‘man blob ‘ can do , but men mustn’t be allowed to compete with women in sport because it is a fact that oestrogen is relevant to having babies , testosterone is the hormone that helps men fight wars and challenge nature in a dangerous and risky world.

Articles like the one below are viewed through the drivel of so called gender equality, when in reality it is about scapegoating and castrating men , ignoring their gender specific achievements and taking for granted the technology of a very unnatural envronment where its fragility has been made all too obvious by the Covid panic , where the average woman is the first to run for cover because nature tells them they are the baby carriers and home makers. As young people , women are brainwashed into thinking they can be anything but wives and mothers.

This is poison. Lockdown has left many young women shut up , egotistic flirty world of work ladders fading, with depression and sucide clear demonstration of female behaviour in the absence of male company, sexual possibilites , scapegoats and protection . The last point is crucial because women have less muscle mass and more fat. Brains respond and develop to our sense of who we are, what we look like, where we come from, where we go and all the obstacles that we overcome or are beaten by. Whether we look like men or women is crucial and matter of fact.

However , in the following article ,its ‘ pumped up authors expect their list of qualifications – I have many but know them for what they are worth – to impress the ignorant masses who they patronise as morons because that is what school and ‘uni’train them to be. As products of the post 80s uni systeem these authors are also morons but don’t know it. They know only what they have been told they are – look up ther Kirkald experiment which involved former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and this has a lot to answer for.

I rarely reveal my perfectly legal female identity because it nauseates me how people want to make an issue of gender identities imposed on them . Identifying with feminism is a sure sign of cowardice and lack of individuality. The same goes for LGBTQI and all their petty in fighting and feminist style victimhood. The law has appalling bias in favour of women. The law should not be about quotas. The premises , prejudices and methodology of the GIC needs questioning and reforming. It is driven by social engineering targets rather than science.

The demand for MTF sex change should raise questions ,but moronic responses from the masses and police with their restricted language codes should face massive penalties and custodial sentences – as simple as that , not all the LGBTQI pride posturing and exhibitionism holding up the traffic.

The same goes for the revolting Terfs ( Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists ). The very fact that such bigots exist makes a nonsense of the following garbage about mixed gender brains. Real and historic research has established strong evidence of a continium of gender behaviours commensurate with the need for biological diversity and appropriate and natural interaction. There are profoundly significant psychological tests which show defined differences in skill sets at an early age.

Social engineers have been working hard at re educating , but one only has to watch girls football to notice key differences in behaviour. That is not to say we cannot learn from each other in many ways. However having serious politically motivated restrictions on thought and langauge , backed by feminist and their lackeys claiming ‘new research’ as follows, ultimately causes more mental health issies and conflict. R.J Cook

‘Male’ vs ‘female’ brains: having a mix of both is common and offers big advantages – new research

January 20, 2021 2.55pm GMT

Rex Harrison , in the classic technicolour fim ‘My Fair Lady’ , opined ‘why can’t a woman be more like a man.’ Then along came LGBTQI ,and Theresa May , encouraging men to identify as women if they felt that way. Now it seems , from the following report , that the academic authoritarian experts want those of us in the mass of lower order folk , to be neither one thing or the other ,arguing that common folk should follow their paathway to androgney. In those circumstnces one wonders who would get to wear the tutu in Swan Lake. Perhps it should be banned and new androgenous new performances should be written. The only problem is , how would it work without the gender dynamic and conflict. Conflict is the essence of good drama , but that seems to be withering. Books now have no suprise. Men are usually the villain . If the villain is a woman , then there will be a moralising woman at the denouement telling us about the man who drove her to rob , steal and /or kill. Feminist are scared enough of MTF Transsexuals, imagine their horror in an androgenous world with no man to blame. These social engineers just never give up. They never stop. Roberta Jane Cook.
Roberta Jane Cook , doing what comes naturally to her , posing and winding up fools. She suggests you read the following critically and with caution.
Image Appledene Photogtraphics/Khalid

Authors

  1. Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian is a Friend of The Conversation. Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Cambridge
  2. Christelle Langley Postdoctoral Research Associate, Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Cambridge
  3. Qiang Luo Associate Principal Investigator of Neuroscience, Fudan University
  4. Yi Zhang Visiting Phd Candidate, University of Cambridge

Disclosure statement

Barbara Jacquelyn Sahakian receives funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Lundbeck Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, Eton College and the Wallitt Foundation. Her research is conducted within the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre (Mental Health and Neurodegeneration Themes) and the NIHR MedTech and Invitro Diagnostic Co-operative (MIC). I thank Thomas Piercy of the University of Cambridge for the image of the androgynous brain.

Qiang Luo receives funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai.

Christelle Langley and Yi Zhang do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Partners

University of Cambridge

University of Cambridge provides funding as a member of The Conversation UK.

The Conversation UK receives funding from these organisations

View the full list

CC BY NDWe believe in the free flow of information
Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under Creative Commons licence.

From advertising to the workplace, it is often assumed that men and women are fundamentally different – from Mars and Venus, respectively. Of course, we all know people who are more androgynous, having a mix of personality traits that are stereotypically considered to be male or female. Importantly, such “psychological androgyny” has long been associated with traits such as better cognitive flexibility (the mental ability to shift between different tasks or thoughts), social competence and mental health.

But how does this relate to the brain? Are people who are more androgynous in their behaviour going against their biological nature, doing things that their brains are not optimised for? It’s long been unknown whether there is such a thing as brain androgyny. But our new study, published in Cerebral Cortex, suggests it does exist – and it’s common.

Psychological androgyny is thought to be psychologically protective. For example, we know it is associated with fewer mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. It has also been linked to higher creativity.

We’re all familiar with the traits that are stereotypically classified as male or female. Men, for example, are not encouraged to express feelings or cry when upset. Instead they are expected to be tough, assertive, rational and good at visuospatial tasks such as map reading. Women, on the other hand, are often expected to be more emotional, nurturing and better at language.

Disinformation is dangerous. We fight it with facts and expertise

But these differences are likely to be partly down to social norms and expectations – we all want to be liked, so we conform. If a girl is told that it is rude or unbecoming to be assertive, for example, she may change her behaviour to accommodate this, affecting her future career choices. Female adolescents, for example, may not be encouraged by friends and family to consider rewarding but dangerous careers such as the military or policing.

Sex in the brain

Scientists have long argued over how different male and female brains really are. There are many reports of differences between male and female brains in the literature. Other researchers, however, argue that these differences are tiny and the categories are anything but absolute. One study suggested that, psychologically, most of us are in fact probably somewhere on a spectrum between what we stereotypically consider a “male” and a “female”.

But does that mean that the people who fall somewhere in the middle are more androgynous in their brains as well as their behaviour? To test this, we created a brain continuum using a machine-learning algorithm and neuroimaging data. While male and female brains are similar, the connectivity between different brain areas have been shown to differ. We used these connectivity markers to characterise the brains of 9,620 participants (4,495 male and 5,125 female).

Outdated: Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. wjarek

We discovered that brains were indeed distributed across the entire continuum rather than just at the two ends. In a subsample, approximately 25% of brains were identified as male, 25% as female and 50% were distributed across the androgynous section of the continuum. What’s more, we found that participants who mapped at the centre of this continuum, representing androgyny, had fewer mental health symptoms, such as depression and anxiety, compared with those at the two extreme ends.

These findings support our novel hypothesis that there exists a neuroimaging concept of brain androgyny, which may be associated with better mental health in a similar way to psychological androgyny.

Why androgyny benefits us

To learn new things in order to adapt to the ever-changing global environment, we need to be able to be attentive to the world around us. We must also have mental wellbeing, flexibility and be able to employ a wide range of life strategies.

These skills enable us to rapidly understand external context and decide on the optimal response. They help us take advantage of time-limited opportunities and instil resilience. Therefore, these skills confer an advantage for people with androgynous brains, with others being less likely to flourish.

But why is this the case? A meta-analysis of 78 studies of about 20,000 participants revealed that men who conform to typical masculine norms, for example never relying on others and exercising power over women, suffered more psychiatric symptoms than others, including depression, loneliness and substance abuse. They also felt more isolated, lacking social connections to others.

Image of a macho-looking man with a big beard.
Being macho doesn’t seem to make men happy. Volodymyr TVERDOKHLIB/Shutterstock

Women who try to conform pay a price too, perhaps opting out of their dream job because the industry is dominated by men or taking on the majority of tedious household chores. An androgynous person, however, is not influenced by gender norms to the same extent.

That doesn’t mean that there’s no hope for those at the extreme ends of the spectrum. The brain is changeable (plastic) to an extent. It is likely that the androgynous brain is influenced both by genetic and environmental factors, as well as an interaction between the two. Our own study has suggests people’s level of brain androgyny may change over the life course.

Future research is required to understand the influences on brain androgyny across the life span and how environmental factors, such as education, may affect it. Given that we have found that an androgynous brain offers better mental health, it follows that, for optimal performance in school, work and for better wellbeing throughout life, we need to avoid extreme stereotypes and offer children well-balanced opportunities as they grow up.

The Times Have Changed. This is the Way Forward. Learn How to to Reclaim Masculine Power, Double Inner Confidence, Build a Thriving Social Life of Likeminded Men and Create a High Quality Romantic Relationship from someone whose coached 1000s of men to achieve these results

Presenter: Andrew Ferebee, founder of Knowledge For MenInside This Exclusive Training, You Will Learn:

  • The new path for men that creates a purpose driven life and doesn’t require you to lose your power, feel stuck or waste time any longer
  • Why men consistently settle and ignore the most important areas of life like their intimate relationships, social life and happiness and how to optimize all three
  • ​How I became 5x more attractive to all women by doing 90% less without changing physical appearance, increasing income or being a supplicating nice guy
  • ​The biggest mistake 97% of men makethat breeds loneliness, breakups and emasculation that is absolutely reversible with this counter intuitive strategy
  • ​How I have helped 1000s of men in the last 8 years achieve unbelievable results in their own lives and how I can mentor you if you want help getting results faster too

Why are increasing numbers of women choosing to be single? Posted January 29th 2020

Illustration of a woman, green grass-like background

‘Singleness is no longer to be sneered at. Never marrying or taking a long-term partner is a valid choice.’ Illustration: Eleanor Macnair/The Observer

The word ‘spinster’ is still freighted with pity and misogyny, yet the number of women living this way is growing. Emma John says it’s time to reconsider what it means to be ‘never-married’

Emma JohnSun 17 Jan 2021 10.00 GMT

Last modified on Mon 18 Jan 2021 10.13 GMT

I remember the moment my sister told me she was having a baby. I was spending the evening with a group of friends and, halfway through, Kate said she needed a word. We ducked into a bedroom, where she looked at me so solemnly that I ransacked my brain for anything I could possibly have done wrong in the past half-hour.

The seriousness of her announcement made me giggle out loud. I had a flashback to the pair of us as kids, when a secret meeting like this meant we’d broken something in the house and were working out how to present the news to our parents. Plus, the thought of my little sister being a mum was innately funny. Not that Kate wasn’t ready for the role – she was in her mid-30s and keen to get on with it. I just couldn’t see myself as anyone’s aunt.

My own path to such “conventional” adulthood stalled somewhere in my 30s, not through choice or any dramatic event, but through an invisible winnowing of opportunities. I was – am – still single. I didn’t – don’t – regret my own lack of children. But becoming an aunt brought with it a phantom modifier, one that echoed across my empty flat, even though no one had spoken it out loud.

Spinster.

There are many reasons we no longer use that term: its misogynist undertones of sour dessication, or bumbling hopelessness, to start with. The label went out of official usage in 2005 when the government dropped it from the marriage register, thanks to the Civil Partnership Act and, in an age when becoming a wife is no longer necessary or definitive, it seems almost redundant.

But it hasn’t gone. Nor has it been replaced by anything better. So what else are we formerly-known-as-spinsters supposed to call ourselves: free women? Rather insulting to everyone else, I imagine. Lifelong singles? Sounds like a packet of cheese slices that’ll last for ever in the back of your fridge.

Emma John and her sister Kate

Cheek to cheek: (left) Emma John and her sister Kate.

It’s important we find an identity, because our number is swelling. The Office for National Statistics shows that women not living in a couple, who have never married, is rising in every age range under 70. In the decade-and-a-half between 2002 and 2018, the figure for those aged 40 to 70 rose by half a million. The percentage of never- married singletons in their 40s doubled.

And it’s not just a western phenomenon. In South Korea, the rather pathetic figure of the “old miss” has become the single-and-affluent “gold miss”. In Japan, unmarried women over the age of 25 are known as “Christmas cake” (yes, it’s because they were past their sell-by date). Shosh Shlam’s 2019 documentary on China’s sheng nu explores these “Leftover Women” and the social anxiety they cause as traditional marriage models are upended.

Singleness is no longer to be sneered at. Never marrying or taking a long-term partner is a valid choice. For a brief spurt, it even appeared that the single-positivity movement was the latest Hollywood cause, with A-listers such as Rashida Jones, Mindy Kaling and Chelsea Handler going proudly on the record about how they had come to embrace their single lives. Jones and Kaling have since found love; Handler announced on her chatshow last year that she’d changed her mind and really wanted a relationship. And when Emma Watson (also not single) announced to Vogue she was “self-partnered” I found myself suppressing a gag reflex. Give it another 10 years, I wanted to say. Then tell me how empowering it is going to parties/dinner/bed alone.

But there I go, living down to the spinster stereotype of envy and bitterness. How is it possible that, despite being raised by a feminist mother and enjoying a life rich with friendships and meaningful employment, I still feel the stigma of that word? Or fear that, even in middle age, I haven’t achieved the status of a true adult woman?

These women had a spirit of urgency. They weren’t waiting for anything

Perhaps I should blame the books I’ve read. Through a formative literary diet of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and PG Wodehouse, I grew up alternately pitying and laughing at spinsters, their petty vendettas and outsize jealousies born out of their need for significance in a world that found no use for them. They were figures of fun and frustration, not women I was ever expected to relate to. After all, like many spinsters-to-be, I never considered myself on that track. I’d find a partner eventually – even Bridget Jones managed it. Doesn’t everyone?

No they don’t. I assumed that my own situation was a temporary aberration, one that required no sense of emergency or active response. My social calendar was full, my work constantly introduced me to new people. Mother Nature would, surely, pick up the slack.

But now my little sisterwas having a baby, and I was single and approaching a big birthday. The odds were increasingly against me – even if the notorious statistic that you’re more likely to be killed by a terrorist than you are to find a husband after the age of 40 has, in recent years, been debunked. The fact that the average age at marriage (in heterosexual couples) has never been later – 31.5 for women in the UK, 33.4 for men – offers little comfort, because the singles market is at its most crowded between the ages of 35 and 47, and in that market women outnumber men.

One of the cruellest tricks spinsterhood can play is to leave you feeling like an outlier and a freak – yet my status is far from unique as the statistics show. I see that in my own close friendship group – almost a dozen of us are never-married in our late 30s and early 40s, and none through choice.

There’s no avoiding that our romantic opportunities have dwindled as the pool of age-appropriate men has emptied. Annually, we manage a small smattering of dates between us. Most of us have grown weary of online dating, which requires you to treat it as an all-consuming hobby or part-time job. We’re tired of Tinder, bored of Bumble – I’ve even been ejected by eHarmony, which, last time I logged on, told me it couldn’t find me a single match.

Mindy Kaling at the Oscaars

Single minded: Mindy Kaling. Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

In our 20s, my friends and I used to revel in gossip and talk endlessly about the guys we were interested in; now, the subject is sensitively avoided, even within the sisterhood. The only people who do tend to ask whether we’re seeing anyone are complete strangers, because relationship status is still considered a key component of small talk, a vital piece of the information trade, essential in categorising someone’s identity.

My friend Alex has a range of responses to the question “And do you have another half?” depending on which she thinks the other person can take. Her nuclear option, “No, I’m a whole person,” is deployed only in the most desperate of circumstances.

As we age, the distance between our shared life experiences and viewpoints has only been widening. Professor Sasha Roseneil, author of The Tenacity of The Couple-Norm, published in November by UCL Press, says: “All sorts of processes of liberalisation have gone on in relationships, in the law and in policy.” Her research focused on men and women between the ages of 30 and 55, the period in mid-life “when you’re expected to be settled down in a couple and having kids”.

“But what our interviewees told us was that there remains at the heart of intimate life this powerful norm of the couple,” says Roseneil. “And people struggle with that. Many of them long to be part of a couple – there was a lot of feeling of cultural pressure, but there was also a sense of that norm being internalised. Single people felt a bit of a failure, that something had gone wrong, and that they were missing out.”

Being a spinster can be isolating – it’s easy to become convinced that no one else is quite as hopeless a case as you. It leaves us, the perennially unattached, asking ourselves big questions that we can’t – daren’t – articulate to others. Are we missing out on the greatest emotions a human can have? Shall we slide into selfishness, loneliness, or insignificance? Who will be there for us when we grow old? And is a life without intimate physical companionship one half-loved, and half-lived?

Within the framework of the current feminist narrative, there’s a strong sense that the answer to each of the above should be no – or the questions shouldn’t be asked at all. “We interviewed a lot of people around Europe and that’s a very real early 21st-century experience for women,” says Roseneil. “And people are conflicted – that’s the mental essence of being human. They can simultaneously have contradictory feelings: on the one hand it’s totally fine to be single and I can have a nice life, on the other hand – what am I missing out on and is there something wrong with me?”

As modern, single women, we are not supposed to feel that we’re missing out. And so we feel obliged to hide any feelings of shame or inadequacy or longing.

Rashida Jones at an Oscars party

On the record: Rashida Jones. Photograph: John Shearer/Getty Images

I know I don’t want to take my many privileges for granted and I suspect that many single women in a similar position to me dread being thought of as whiny or desperate. And so we don’t talk about the subject, and we try not to acknowledge that spinsters still exist. Perhaps that’s the reason that, instead of finding my #inspo from modern have-it-all heroines, I prefer to look back and learn from the spinsters who came before.

Western society has always struggled with the issue of what to do with unmarried women. Take the religious mania for persecuting so-called witches in the middle ages. Communities fixated on single women – their era’s “other” – not only because they were suspicious of their alternative lifestyles, but because of the collective guilt over their inability to cater or care for them.

When single women weren’t assumed to be witches, they were often taken to be prostitutes – to such an extent that the two terms were interchangeable, including in court documents.

And yet the original spinsters were a not-unrespectable class of tradespeople. The term came into existence in the mid-1300s to describe those who spun thread and yarn, a low-income job that was one of the few available to lower-status, unmarried women. Most still lived in the family home, where their financial contributions were no doubt greatly appreciated. The term bore no stigma and was used almost as a surname, like Smith or Mason or Taylor.

Spinsterhood was accompanied by unusual legal and economic freedoms. The feudal law of couverture invested men with absolute power over their wives, and the “feme sole”, or unmarried woman, was the only category of female legally entitled to own and sell possessions, sign contracts, represent herself in court, or retain wages. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that people began to despise the spinster and that was largely thanks to the poets, playwrights and other trendsetters of the time, who turned her into one of the most pitiable creatures in literature and, by extension, society.

Emma Watson at a Bafta party

Self-partnered: Emma Watson. Photograph: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

They trolled never-married women with hideous caricatures of stupidity, meanness and monstrosity (none quite tops the vitriol-filled Satyr Upon Old Maids, an anonymously written 1713 pamphlet decrying these “nasty, rank, rammy, filthy sluts”). And as the policy of Empire forged ahead, women who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, procreate were written off as useless, or selfish, or both. When an 1851 census revealed that one byproduct of the Napoleonic Wars and colonisation was a generation of “surplus” women counting in their millions, some suggested taxing their finances, while others called for them to be forcefully emigrated. And yet it was ultimately the Victorians who, with their indefatigable sense of purpose and powers of association, rescued the spinster, championing in her the rebel spirit that fanned feats of political and social reform. Out of impoverished necessity, never-married women pioneered the way to the first female professions, from governess to nursing, and expanding to typing, journalism, academia and law. They became philanthropists and agitators, educators and explorers; some rejected sexual norms while others became quiet allies of the homosexual community.

What I love about these women is their spirit of urgency – they weren’t waiting for anything. Of all the anxious experiences of spinsterhood, one of the most debilitating is the sense of a life on hold, incomplete. As Roseneil argues in her book, membership of grown-up society is marked by coupling. “There’s something symbolic about transitioning into a permanent relationship that says you are an adult.”

For those of us who haven’t, and may never, make that step, we can be left with the strong impression – not just from society, but from within ourselves – that we’re immature or underdeveloped. Consider another wave of “superfluous women”, between the world wars, whose marriage prospects were shattered by the loss of an entire generation of young men. Popular history recast them as dilettantes and flappers: the spinster’s contribution to national life once again belittled and mocked.

No wonder modern spinsters feel conflicted about where we stand, and whether we’re all we should be. When Professor Paul Dolan, a behavioural scientist at LSE, published research claiming that single women without children were happier than married ones, he was taken aback by the response. “I had lots of emails from single women saying thank you,” says Dolan, “because now people might start believing them when they say they’re actually doing all right. But more interesting was the reactions from people who didn’t want to believe it.

“I’d underestimated how strongly people felt: there was something really insulting about choosing not to get married and have kids. It’s all right to try and fail – but you’d better try. So with these competing narratives, you would be challenged internally as a single woman, where your experiences are different to what they’re expected to be.”

Whether a spinster is happy with her state depends, of course, not just on her personality, her circumstances, and her mood at the moment you ask her, but an ambivalent definition of contentment. We struggle to remember that, says Dolan, because our human psychology doesn’t deal well with nuance. “Almost everything you experience is a bit good and a bit bad. But with marriage and singleness it’s not voiced the same way. You’ve ticked off this box and got married so you must be happy. The divorce rates show that’s categorically untrue.”

It is time, surely, to change the rules, and the conversation. As the population of never-married women expands, we should be honest about what it meant, and means, to be one. We should celebrate our identity and the life experience that has given it to us. We should reclaim our history and stop being defined by others. Why not start by taking back that dread word, spinster?

Emma John’s book, Self-Contained: Scenes from a Single Life, will be published in May

Emma John is a writer and editor on the GUARDIAN and the OBSERVER. She is a former deputy editor of OBSERVER SPORT MONTHLY and THE WISDEN CRICKETER and in 2008 she was the first woman to win a Sports Journalism Award. She is also a classical violinist and bluegrass fiddler

Comment I could find very little of insightfull interest about this opinionated woke woman on the internet , only what she wants us to know. As someone who took violins lessons at school , I think her musical accomplishements are a clue to her type. I used to be a regular visitor to Woldingham School – with my enhanced CRB or course. , police take note.

Add to that her jolly hockey sticks interest in sport and we can work out a little more. Very fewgirls will get a job like hers, but mainstream media is full of them.

This extract, above , from her latest book completes the picture of a person selling the absurd notion that the common female can have her kind of life. It is woke propaganda. Women are never told that the primary reason they get breast cancer is because increasingly they are childless , and when they have children it is beneath their dignity to breast feed.

It is not however, beneath their dignity – though they are free to cry rape during and after sex they have consented to in or out of marriage – to have unprotected liberated sex with multiple partners , resulting in a high risk of cervical cancer. They are equally ignorant of the all round health risks of prolapsed wombs and other reproductive issues through ignoring nature.

Above all is the loneliness risk , which is why so many of their liberated geriatric predecessors have to resort to hospital for lack of family , to be cared for by badly trained staff who don’t know basic hygiene and can’t cope with the reality that old people die. Emma doesn’t mentioned rising female sucides MTF sex change, and shift to gayness – along with hetero sexual men not willing to be the victim of false malicious allegations, wives bankrupting them , adultery and lying to take all in divorce, so they don’t want marriage.

It is illegal to apply the word mangina to the kind of men these women find acceptable. It is a fact that news bulletins are crammed with angst ridden incompetent cracked up so called health specialists. This has much to do with self centred prosetylising feminists like the woman who wrote this narcisistic piece so typical of the Observer and Guardian. These woke people feel very free to criticise what they call cosnervatives, but don’t like their own medicine.

They like controlling the agenda, language and banning words. Hence dear little egotist Emma wants to rid us of the word spinster. Increasingly it is only woke writers who get published , feeding the next generation in a progression of narrow minded bigotry which they call liberalism and democracy. It is a tyranny on the way to being something that will ultimately make Hitler’s Nazis look like playgroup. R.J Cook

U.K Family Breakdown Posted January 23rd 2021

Release date: April 18, 2011 PRESS RELEASE FROM THE CENTRE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE RELEASE TIME: Immediate Never in Britain’s history has family breakdown hit such heights – new report Britain’s levels of births outside marriage are at the highest point for at least 200 years, according to a major new study of the history of the family from a leading think-tank. Cohabitation levels have also soared from under 5% pre-1945 to 90% today.

The inquiry finds that births outside marriage were at low levels throughout the 19thCentury and stayed flat until the 1960s. But since then they have soared, from a long-standing baseline of 5 per cent to 45 per cent today. Research shows that children brought up by lone parents on average do much less well than those brought up by two parents. For instance, they are 75 per cent more likely to fail at school and 50 per cent more likely to have alcohol problems. Separate studies have also shown that cohabiting couples with children are far less stable than married couples with children. The latest report, published by the independent think-tank the Centre for Social Justice, refutes claims by some academics and campaigners that there is nothing new about contemporary levels of family breakdown.

They have insisted that the so-called permissive 1960s were not a break with long-established patterns of family life But the detailed examination of the evidence stretching back to the 18th Century by Professor Rebecca Probert of Warwick University and Dr Samantha Callan, the CSJ’s senior family researcher, confirms that the sexual revolution of the 1960s did indeed mark a decisive break with 200 years of conventional family structure. Their report amounts to a comprehensive refutation of Professor Pat Thane’s research published last year by the British Academy, Happy Families? History and Family Policy, which was widely reported in the media.

Their key findings culled from detailed historical documents are: •The percentage of births outside marriage in the England and Wales hovered around 5 per cent (except during the two world wars) before rising in the 1960s onwards. •By the late 1970s, this figure was above 10 per cent, by 1991 it was 30 per cent and today it is 45 per cent. •Levels of births outside marriage were the same in the 1950s as the 1750s at around 5 per cent. •Claims that cohabitation levels, as opposed to marriage, were “high” in the early part of the 20th Century are not borne out by the facts. The authors point to research suggesting that in the 1950s and 1960s, only 1-3 per cent of couples cohabited before marriage.

Other research puts the pre-1945 level of cohabitation at 4 per cent. Today, nearly 90 per cent of couples live together before getting married. •Records of unemployment claims from the 1920s point to minimal levels of cohabitation. Gavin Poole, Executive Director of the CSJ, says: “Current high levels of cohabitation are a key factor in the rise in family breakdown in our country and this paper shows that we have not been here before. The CSJ has consistently argued, from the evidence, that marriage and commitment tend to stabilise and strengthen families and cannot be ignored.”

Professor Probert and Dr Callan say in their report: “It is not our intention to suggest that all marriages in the past were happy and long-lasting, nor that there were no examples of successful and stable cohabiting relationships. “But the quality of family life should be distinguished from its form. “The fact that a number of marriages were brutal and fleeting should not obscure the centrality of marriage to family life in previous decades. “While many Victorian marriages were short-lived because of the untimely death of one of the spouses, this does not mean that the experiences of the survivors were in any way comparable to those undergoing a divorce today. “Similarly, while one can of course find examples from all historical periods of couples who lived together outside marriage, it does not follow that cohabitation was remotely as common in the past as it is today.”

1. Main points

  • In 2019, there were 19.2 million families, an increase of 0.4% on the previous year, with a 6.8% increase over the decade from 2009 to 2019.
  • The number of households grew by 0.9% since the previous year to 27.8 million in 2019, an increase of 6.8% over the last 10 years.
  • Married or civil partner couples remain the most common family type in 2019, they represent two-thirds of families in the UK; Northern Ireland (72.6%) has the highest proportion of married or civil partner couples and the lowest proportion of cohabiting couples (9.4%).
  • There were 2.9 million lone parent families in 2019, which is 14.9% of families in the UK; London has the highest proportion (19.1%), while the South West of England (10.9%) has the lowest.
  • The number of people living alone has increased by a fifth over the last 20 years, driven mainly by increases in men aged 45 to 64 years living alone; Scotland has the highest proportion of one-person households at 35.0%, while London has the lowest (23.9%).
  • Households containing multiple families (which represents 1.1% of all households) were the fastest growing type of household over the last two decades, having increased by three-quarters to 297,000 households in 2019.

Back to table of contents

2. Things you need to know about this release

The 2018 release of Families and Households in the UK was published on 7 August 2019. It was delayed as a result of the re-weighting of the Labour Force Survey back to 2012. This release adds the 2019 estimates to the previously published 1996 to 2018 dataset, bringing the publication back in line with the annual schedule. For additional analysis on the UK level, Families and households in the UK: 2018 can be referred to.

A family is a married, civil partnered or cohabiting couple with or without children, or a lone parent, with at least one child, who live at the same address. Children may be dependent or non-dependent.

Dependent children are those aged under 16 years living with at least one parent, or aged 16 to 18 years in full-time education, excluding all children who have a spouse, partner or child living in the household.

Non-dependent children are those living with their parent(s), and either aged 19 years or over, or aged 16 to 18 years who are not in full-time education or who have a spouse, partner or child living in the household. Non-dependent children are sometimes called adult children.

A household is one person living alone, or a group of people (not necessarily related) living at the same address who share cooking facilities and share a living room, sitting room or dining area. A household can consist of a single family, more than one family, or no families in the case of a group of unrelated people.

Families and household statistics explained provides further information on the complexities around the definitions and how these relate to situations people might be experiencing. There have recently been legislative changes to marriages and civil partnerships in the UK that will affect future statistics on families and households. Further details of these changes and when they come into effect are also provided in Families and household statistics explained.

If a change or a difference between estimates is described as “statistically significant”, it means that statistical tests have been carried out to reject the possibility that the change has occurred by chance. Therefore, statistically significant changes are very likely to reflect real changes in families and household structures.

Measures of quality (to show the levels of uncertainty associated with survey estimates) are presented in the datasets. Users are advised to consult the quality measures when interpreting the estimates.

This release contains analysis by UK country and English region for the first time. We encourage users to feed back on whether this additional analysis meets their needs by emailing pop.info@ons.gov.uk. The published region datasets can be found here.Back to table of contents

3. Northern Ireland had the highest proportion of married or civil partner couples and the lowest proportion of cohabiting couples in 2019

In 2019, there were 19.2 million families in the UK, a statistically significant increase of 6.8% over the last decade. The number of families has grown by 0.4% (81,100) since the previous year.

Married and civil partner couple families remained the most common family type in 2019, representing two-thirds of all families (12.8 million). Cohabiting couple families were the second-largest family type at 3.5 million (18.4%), followed by 2.9 million (14.9%) lone parent families.

In the UK over the last 10 years, the proportion of families containing a married or civil partnered couple decreased from 68.6% in 2009 to 66.8% in 2019. Conversely the proportion of families containing a cohabiting couple increased from 15.3% to 18.4%. This reflects the declining trend seen in the proportion of the population who are married and an increasing trend in the proportion cohabiting.

In 2019, the highest proportion of married or civil partner couple families were in Northern Ireland (72.6%) and the South East of England (72.2%). The average for the UK was 66.8% (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Married or civil partner couples were the most common family type in 2019

Percentage of families by family type in each region of England and UK constituent countries

Married or Civil partner couple familiesCohabiting couple familiesLone parent familiesNorthern IrelandSouth EastEastSouth WestScotlandUKEnglandWalesWest MidlandsEast MidlandsYorkshire and The HumberNorth EastLondonNorth West0102030405060708090100%

Source: Office for National Statistics – Labour Force Survey

Notes:
  1. Married couple families include both opposite-sex and same-sex married couples.
  2. Cohabiting couple families include both opposite-sex and same-sex cohabiting couples.
  3. Percentages may not sum to 100% because of rounding.

Comment Offical Reports and mainstream media never mention women’s faults and contributions to dysfunctional families, the cycle of these resultant one parent female headed families producing dysfunctional males, often with identity issues.

Child abuse is always blamed on males, never on women, and it is never noted that male abusers tend to be step fathers because replacement males chosen by women, who have already failed in family roles, choose a variety of unsuitable replacements and opportunists.

Root causes of Britain’s collapsing social fabric must not be honestly exposed because of sacred feminism and multi culture. The clamp down on reasoned rather than ideological comment gets stricter by the day, if not hour. The re programming process is relentless , the consequences almost laughable.

It is the education and media’s jobs to paper and varnish over the truth. Men must always be the scapegoats in expediently feminised mass Britain. So the process becomes self fulfilling and men get conveniently worse. Marriage is very one sided, with men having everything to lose , on the unquestioned words of women. No wonder fewer and fewer men wish to commit, many already from nightmare homes, turning to drink , drugs and crime for survival while women are forever excused and indulged. R.J Cook

Under The Bridge January 18th 2021

By Robert Cook

Living by the old canal, Aylesbury October 2020

Under the bridge where the water flows past

Is a man in a bed who is free at last.

He lived in this place in his ragged clothes

When people went by they turned up their nose.

He had no TV or internet connection

He had no means to vote in the election.

Pictures in his head while he froze in the Cold

Wondering how he lived to be so old.

Down in the town he would beg for food

Eating scraps improved his mood.

His water came from the mouldering canal

This was his world, a private hell.

How did he get here, did he come by boat

How come his life just didn’t float.

It did for a while, he had a house

There he lived like a little mouse.

Lost his job at the stroke of a pen

Man in the office said he didn’t need men.

The world was changing, all re arranged

It helped you survive if you were deranged.

His wife went to work and he lost her approval

She called the police who sorted his removal.

She said he had started speaking out of turn

Not good enough now he couldn’t earn.

She had a job at the local bank

Then ran off with a very rich Yank.

She took him to court for his abuse

When truth be told he was no more use.

She copped the lot of his life time achievement

So off he walked with his bereavement

All squeezed into two battered cases,

He was just another loser in the human races.

Robert Cook January 18th 2021

Suicide January 22nd 2021

I became preoccupied with sucide after suffering years of physical and mental abuse. As a male, no one was going to believe me. Gender equality is a poisonous lie. Female egotism and self centredness is portrayed as liberation. Class is no longer an issue. All white men are allegedly priviliged , rape has been redefined as any form of contact with a female that she can decide as unwanted as many years later as she likes. Evidence is not required beyond a woman’s word.

The world of work, jutisce ( sic ) and politics has been feminised, but the super rich elite are still pulling the strings. Mainstream articles on suicide portray women attempting suicide ( they are less likely to succeed ) as a cry for help in a world of abusive men. Male suicide is portrayed as an outcome of guilt, failure or cowardice – sometimes all three. Here is one such patronising article below . It is time to dump this society’s fake and distorted view of highly politicised religion, cut out the pressure to worship a God and allow assisted sucicide if a person , like me , can prove that their life has been made an intolerable misery.

That won’t be allowed because the ruling elite cannot allow their fake demcoracies to appear guilty. So that’s why the many depressed and sucidal due to the politicised lockdown, must not be counted. The system must never be blamed because of public ( actually class ) interest. In reality no person kills themselve, life kills, hypocrisy kills, injutsice kills, fear kills.

Why more men than women die by suicide.

In countries around the world, women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression and to attempt suicide. So why is the male suicide rate still several times higher than female?S

Six years ago my brother took his own life. He was 28 years old.

Tragically, suicide is not as rare as one might think. In 2016, the last year global data is available from the World Health Organization (WHO), there were an estimated 793,000 suicide deaths worldwide.Most were men.

In the UK, the male suicide rate is its lowest since 1981 – 15.5 deaths per 100,000. But suicide is still the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45. And a marked gender split remains. For UK women, the rate is a third of men’s: 4.9 suicides per 100,000.

It’s the same in many other countries. Compared to women, men are three times more likely to die by suicide in Australia, 3.5 times more likely in the US and more than four times more likely in Russia and Argentina. WHO’s data show that nearly 40% of countries have more than 15 suicide deaths per 100,000 men; only 1.5% show a rate that high for women.

The trend goes back a long way. “As long as we’ve been recording it, we’ve seen this disparity,” says psychologist Jill Harkavy-Friedman, vice-president of research for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, a health organisation that supports those affected by suicide.

Suicide is a hugely sensitive, complex issue with a tangled multitude of causes – and the very nature of a death by suicide means we can never fully know the reasons behind it.

Still, as mental health awareness has grown, there is greater public understanding about potential contributing factors. One of the questions that has persisted, though, regards this gender gap. It seems especially large given that women tend to have higher rates of depression diagnoses.

Women also are even more likely than men to attempt suicide. In the US for example, adult women in the US reported a suicide attempt 1.2 times as often as men. But male suicide methods are often more violent, making them more likely to be completed before anyone can intervene. Access to means is a big contributing factor: in the US for example, six-in-10 gun owners are men – and firearms account for more than half of suicides.

You might also like:

Men may also choose these methods because they’re more intent on completing the act. One study of more than 4,000 hospital patients who had engaged in self-harm found, for example, that the men had higher levels of suicidal intent than the women.

Why are men struggling – and what can be done about it?

Risk factors

One key element is communication. It’s too simplistic to say women are willing to share their problems and men tend to bottle them up. But it is true that, for generations, many societies have encouraged men to be “strong” and not admit they’re struggling.

It often starts in childhood. “We tell boys that ‘boys don’t cry’,” says Colman O’Driscoll, former executive director of operations and development at Lifeline, an Australian charity providing 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. “We condition boys from a very young age to not express emotion, because to express emotion is to be ‘weak’.”

Mara Grunau, executive director at the Centre for Suicide Prevention in Canada, points out it’s how we talk to our children and how we encourage them to communicate about themselves too: “Mothers talk way more to their girl children than their boy children… and they share and identify feelings” more, she says. “We almost expect women to be emotional.”

But men may be less likely to admit when they feel vulnerable, whether to themselves, friends, or a GP. They also can be more reticent than women to see a doctor. A UK British Medical Journal study found general primary care consultation rates were 32% lower in men than women. (Consultation rates for depression, assessed by whether patients received antidepressant prescriptions, were 8% lower in men than women).

“Men seek help for mental health less often,” Harkavy-Friedman says. “It’s not that men don’t have the same issues as women – but they’re a little less likely to know they have whatever stresses or mental health conditions that are putting them at greater risk for suicide.”

If a person is not even cognisant they have a condition causing their distress, then they’re less aware anything could be done to help them. Only a third of people who take their own lives are in mental healthcare treatment at the time, says Harkavy-Friedman.

Dangerously, rather than seeking help through established channels, some men may attempt to “self-medicate”.

“There tends to be more substance use and alcohol use among males, which may just reflect the distress they’re feeling – but we know it compounds the issue of suicide,” says Harkavy-Friedman.

Indeed, men are nearly twice as likely as women to meet criteria for alcohol dependence. But drinking can deepen depression and increase impulsive behaviours and alcoholism is a known risk factor for suicide.

Other risk factors can be related to family or work. When there’s an economic downturn that results in increased unemployment, for example, there tends to be an associated increase in suicide – typically 18-24 months after the downturn. One 2015 study found that for every 1% increase in unemployment there is a 0.79% increase in the suicide rate.

Having to worry more about finances or trying to find a job can exacerbate mental health issues for anyone. But there are elements of social pressure and identity crisis, too. “We’re brought up our entire lives to judge ourselves in comparison with our peers and to be economically successful,” says Simon Gunning, the CEO of Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm), a UK-based award-winning charity dedicated to preventing male suicide. “When there are economic factors we can’t control, it becomes very difficult.”

There can also be a spiralling effect. In the US, for example, health insurance often is linked to employment. If a person is being treated for depression or substance use, they may lose that care when they lose their job.

Another risk factor is a sense of isolation, as physician Thomas Joiner writes in his book Why people die by suicide. This can manifest itself in every walk of life. The outwardly successful professional who has prioritised career advancement to the detriment of all else, including social relationships, may find himself “at the top of the pyramid, alone,” says Grunau.  

Of course, it is important to remember that while an external factor might precipitate suicidal behaviour in a person who’s already at risk, it’s never the sole cause.

“Millions of people lose their jobs, almost all of us have lost a relationship and we don’t end up dying by suicide,” says Harkavy-Friedman.

Possible solutions

There are no straightforward fixes for an issue this complex. But a number of programmes, policies and nonprofits are making inroads.

In Australia, for example, mental health and suicide prevention groups are trying to shift the cultural paradigm. One initiative that has gained traction is RU OK? day, which encourages people to support those struggling with life by starting a conversation. Another approach is the “shoulder-to-shoulder principle” – encouraging men to talk while otherwise occupied, like watching football or going for a bike ride. Mates in Construction, a training and support programme, raises awareness of high suicide rates in the industry and shows construction workers how they can help be part of the solution.

Overall, there’s an emphasis on “making it okay for men to talk about how they’re feeling – and for that to be acknowledged as a sign of strength”, says O’Driscoll.

Technology is presenting new options too. Not everyone might want to unburden themselves to another person, even over a helpline. But artificial intelligence – such as chatbots – might allow a vulnerable person to communicate and get the help they need without fear of judgement.

Another strategy is to focus on the impact a suicide has on loved ones. Calm’s campaign Project 84 – so named to represent the 84 men who die weekly by suicide in the UK – stresses the devastation left behind. This can counteract the sense by some men that “it’s the ‘right’ thing to take themselves out of the equation”, Gunning says. He emphasises: “Staying is always an option.”

Other solutions have to do with simply making suicides more difficult to complete. After barriers were installed on the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol, England, for example, one study found that deaths from jumping the bridge halved – and there was no evidence that suicides from jumping from other sites in the area increased in response.

Still, more work obviously has to be done.

O’Driscoll compares how there’s often more attention paid to reducing road fatalities than to suicide prevention, despite suicide taking more lives. In Australia, for example, the overall suicide rate in 2015 was 12.6 per 100,000 – the highest rate in more than a decade –compared to 4.7 per 100,000 for road deaths.

More research is needed too. “Clearly,” says Harkavy-Friedman, “there are differences between women and men in our biology, our hormonal structure and the way our brains develop and function.” But men and women are often studied together, and despite attempts to statistically control for the differences, it is not enough. She believes we need to study men and women separately.

But there are positive signs. Harkavy-Friedman notes a huge change on the professional side, recalling at the beginning of her career it was hard to get a paper accepted on suicide because it was thought that you couldn’t prevent suicide, she says. Now, we know that to be wrong.

She also points to more government involvement than ever before. On World Mental Health Day in 2018, the UK government announced its first suicide prevention minister. “The UK has been ahead of the game, every step along the way,” she says, adding that she believes there has been a decrease in the UK suicide rate because a national strategy has been implemented.

For Grunau too, the situation is unquestionably getting better. “We are seeing momentum we’ve never seen,” she says. “You can actually talk about suicide and people still flinch, but they’re more willing to have the conversation.”

That has had positive effects, as the decline in UK suicides shows. Still, it’s not enough. Any life lost to suicide – whether male or female – is a life too many.

If you or anyone you know is affected by this story, here are some resources that can help. 

The International Association for Suicide Prevention has a list of global agencies that may also be able to provide immediate support.

In the UK and Ireland:

The Samaritans are open 24 hours a day. Call 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (Calm) offers support to men. Call 0800 58 58 58 between 17:00 and 00:00 every day or visit their webchat page here.

In the US:

If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

In Australia:

Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or  chat online, nightly seven days a week.

In Canada:

If you are in crisis, call 1-833-456-4566 (4357) or text 45645. For more information about suicide prevention, visit Centre for suicide prevention.

The Hidden Meaning of a Notorious Experiment Posted January 21st 2021

In Stanley Milgram’s studies of obedience, people believed they were giving shocks to others. But did their compliance say much about the Nazis?

An image from the Milgram experiments

An image from the Milgram experiments via Flickr By: Allison Miller January 7, 2021 3 minutes Share Tweet Email Print

Adolf Eichmann was both an angel of death and a conundrum, a top architect of the Holocaust and an ordinary-looking man who, at his trial in 1961, defended himself by saying that he was only following Hitler’s orders in organizing the Final Solution. That same year, psychologist Stanley Milgram began a series of experiments to see how far people would go in inflicting pain and suffering on fellow humans if given orders to do so.

The subjects were given a series of words to “teach” a person who sat behind a screen. If that person said the words in the wrong order, subjects would administer what they thought were increasingly painful shocks by flicking a switch on a box. It was a setup, and no shocks were really given, but the person behind the screen would protest, eventually to the point of screaming out. If the subject didn’t want to continue, they were simply told, “Please go on.”Underneath it all was a message about gender during the Cold War.

In a paper published in 1963, Milgram showed that most people would continue to a great extent, as long as the authority in the room instructed them to. He framed that publication as revealing truths about Nazi death camps, which caused a cultural sensation.

But the reason this bit of “theater” was so powerful, writes historian of psychology Ian Nicholson, wasn’t necessarily its “lesson” about authoritarianism. Underneath it all was a message about gender during the Cold War. Specifically, “part of the experiments’ power to captivate [society] lay in their capacity not only to showcase already existing masculine weakness but to demonstrate ‘scientifically’ that a new and altogether more barbaric level of male enfeeblement had taken root in the American male psyche.”

That “enfeeblement” consisted of the sapping of the willpower and self-direction it took to be a democratic citizen—and to be a man. In the politicized language of the Cold War, Nicholson explains, men were either “soft” or “hard.” (Yep, hard was better.) So naturally, of the 1,000 people Milgram recruited for his experiments, 960 were men. The “experimenter,” who ordered the “subjects” to keep upping the voltage, was recruited for the role because of his intimidating impassiveness. And the “learner,” who sat behind the screen and screamed at the fake shocks, was selected because he could sound weak.

In fact, Nicholson found archival evidence that Milgram’s initial conception of the experiment wasn’t really about the Nazis at all. In a 1961 grant application, filed before the Eichmann trial was in full swing, Milgram “proposed to study the conditions under which compliance with authority could be increased or decreased—knowledge that had obvious military and political applications.” He argued, for example, that the experiment would give a greater understanding of mind-control techniques on (male) U.S. POWs in the Korean War. It would help prevent the mindset of communism from spreading.

Comment It is important to point out that women have at least an equal capacity for sadism, cruelty and violence, easily leading men astray. It is the stereotypical baby looking make up , perfume and clothing that makes this so hard for the average male moron to believe.

Women were leading lights of the Nazi era with the I.R.A and at the Gulag. British women handed out white feathers to men who wouldn’t fight, from the Boer War to the Second World War – now feminists clamour for their sisters to have front line killing roles.

Researchers always find what they are looking for. R.J Cook

Baby face, the mask and the glitter of ‘innocence’ and truth, ( sic )

The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust

Baby boomers and their media turned sex into a commodity and women into angels and saints. Flack’s ‘Love Island’ circus show was grotesque, seedy , revolting , cheap and said it all about Banal Double Standard hypocritical Britain. R.J Cook

A new article suggests that women are more sexually active in their middle years. The evolutionary explanation for “cougars” Posted January 19th 2021

By John Cloud Friday, July 09, 2010

Frederic Cirou / Es Photography / Corbis

Men who cheat on their spouses have always enjoyed an expedient explanation: Evolution made me do it. Many articles (here is one , and here is another ), especially in recent years, have explored the theory that men sleep around because evolution has programmed them to seek fertile (and, conveniently, younger) wombs.

But what about women? If it’s really true that evolution can cause a man to risk his marriage, what effect does that have on women’s sexuality?

A new journal article suggests that evolutionary forces also push women to be more sexual, although in unexpected ways. University of Texas psychologist David Buss wrote the article, which appears in the July issue of Personality and Individual Differences , with the help of three graduate students, Judith Easton (who is listed as lead author), Jaime Confer and Cari Goetz. Buss, Easton and their colleagues found that women in their 30s and early 40s are significantly more sexual than younger women. Women ages 27 through 45 report not only having more sexual fantasies (and more intense sexual fantasies) than women ages 18 through 26 but also having more sex, period. And they are more willing than younger women to have casual sex, even one-night stands. In other words, despite the girls-gone-wild image of promiscuous college women, it is women in their middle years who are America’s most sexually industrious. (See the top 10 political sex scandals.)

By contrast, men’s sexual interest and output, usually measured by a reported number of orgasms per week, peaks in the teen years and then settles to a steady level (an average of three orgasms per week) for most of their lives. As I pointed out in March, most men remain sexually active into their 70s. According to the new study, as well as the study I wrote about in March , women’s sexual ardor declines precipitously after menopause.

Why would women be more sexually active in their middle years than in their teens and 20s? Buss and his students say evolution has encouraged women to be more sexually active as their fertility begins to decline and as menopause approaches.

Here’s how their theory works:

Our female ancestors grew accustomed to watching many of their children — perhaps as many as half — die of various diseases, starvation, warfare and so on before being able to have kids of their own. This trauma left a psychological imprint to bear as many children as possible. Becoming pregnant is much easier for women and girls in their teens and early 20s — so much easier that they need not spend much time having sex. (See photos of the history of the cougar.)

However, after the mid-20s, the lizard-brain impulse to have more kids faces a stark reality: it’s harder and harder to get pregnant as a woman’s remaining eggs age. And so women in their middle years respond by seeking more and more sex.

To test this theory, Buss and his students asked 827 women to complete questionnaires about their sexual habits. And, indeed, they found that women who had passed their peak fertility years but not quite reached menopause were the most sexually active. This age group — 27 through 45 — reported having significantly more sex than the two other age groups in the study, 18 through 26 and 46 and up. Women in their middle years were also more likely than the younger women to fantasize about someone other than their current partner. The new findings are consistent with those of an earlier Buss paper , from 2002, which found that women in their early 30s feel more lustful and report less abstinence than women in other age groups. In both studies, these findings held true for both partnered and single women, meaning that married women in their 30s and early 40s tend to have more sex than married women in their early 20s; ditto for single women. Also, whether the women were mothers didn’t matter. Only age had a strong affect on women’s reported sexual interest and behavior. (Read about cougar cruises.)

And yet there are a few flaws with the data in the new paper. Chiefly: some three-quarters of the participants in the study were recruited on Craigslist, a website where many go to seek hookups, meaning there was a self-selection problem with the sample. (The other participants were students at the University of Texas in Austin.) The authors also note that there are some alternative explanations for why women in their 30s and early 40s might be more sexual. Many of them may simply be more comfortable with sex than women in their teens and early 20s. Still, that raises the question of why they are more comfortable: perhaps evolution programmed that comfort.

Buss is the author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating , now in its fourth edition, and has become associated with evolutionary explanations for sexual behavior. His theories help explain why men can be cads — and why women can be cougars. See a story on the rising rates of STDs in middle age. See “Male Menopause: Myth or Malady?”

Paul Craig Roberts

Institute for Political Economy

The Displacement of the Straight White Male Posted January 17th 2021

December 4, 2020 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: | Print This Article

Support Your Website or You Will Have To Rely on CNN, NPR, and the New York Times

The Displacement of the Straight White Male

Paul Craig Roberts

The Nasdaq stock exchange has told its listed companies that they must appoint to their boards a “self-identified” female and a lesbian or transgender or some other sexual deviant or be delisted from the stock exchange.  https://www.rt.com/usa/508359-nasdaq-diversity-quotas-lgbt-women/ 

Think about this.  A stock exchange has no right to structure the corporate boards of the companies listed on the exchange.  That decision is for the boards and the shareholders of the companies.  It is none of Nasdaq’s business. If a company’s shareholders and board think that having sexual deviants on their boards would improve the company’s performance, they can search out such people who might make a good board member.  But it is none of Nasdaq’s business.

What Nasdaq is doing is imposing an ideology on corporations that normalizes sexual deviancy and that does so by forcing corporations to either waste shareholders’ money by expanding their boards or displacing a straight white male with a sexual deviant.  In other words, Nasdaq sees a normal heterosexual white male as less valuable to a corporation than a sexual deviant.

If the SEC is silly enough to go along with Nasdaq, I suppose corporations could meet this requirement  by having two males self-identify as women.  As no one is permitted to challenge those who self-identify as the opposite sex, this is an easy way to respond to Nasdaq’s ridiculous assertion of power over corporations.

But there is a better solution. The corporations should just tell Nasdaq to go to Hell and form their own exchange or join some other exchange.  Who really needs Nasdaq in the digital age?

But this would take men with more balls than they have.

We can enjoy a laugh about this, but what we are witnessing is the ongoing displacement of white males since Alfred W. Blumrosen, compliance chief of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commisson (EEOC) violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which strictly prohibited racial quotas, and imposed racial quotas on America.  Blumrosen reasoned that he could get away with it because courts defer to the regulatory authority. What Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal did was to turn legislation passed by Congress into an authorization bill for regulatory agencies to make the law.  Blumrosen understood this and used it to deny the protection of the 14th Amendment to white males. I and Lawrence Stratton explain the history and misuse of the Civil Rights Act in The New Color Line (1995).  The purpose of the Civil Rights Act was to enforce the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause, but the result in practice was to deny equal protection to white males.

As a joke Rep. Howard W. “Judge” Smith, (D, Va) added to the Civil Rights Act an amendment prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. Feminists jumped on this and got Smith’s joke  passed as part of the bill.  This gave Blumrosen two avenues for displacing white males in university admissions, employment and promotion.  At the time the normalization of homosexuality and the concept of transgender were in the distant future, but Judge Smith’s joke also gives preference to homosexuals and transgendered over straight white males.  The consequence today is that blacks, women, and sexual deviants have legally enforced preferences over straight white males.  Nasdaq is simply doing today what Blumrosen did in the 1960s.

For more than a half century the position of American white males has been eroding. Today the husband often earns less than the wife and has less job security.  This diminishes his importance in the family and his self-esteem.  Identity Politics, the ideology of the Democrat Party and Nasdaq, further demeans him as a rascist misogynist victimizer.  In America, and throughout the disintergrating Western World, the white male is portrayed as an obstacle to social justice.

Few people comprehend that the protector of Western civilization is being eliminated. New generations are being born into a time when the orchestrated descent of the straight white male is in progress.  For them, the lowly position of the white male is normal. It is what they are born into. They know no different. They have no idea of the past or of the consequences of what is happening. Women and preferred minorities become more and more aggressive and straight white men become accustomed to their second class status.  The young have never known any different. As white males are almost eliminated as heros in movies and novels, have no champions,  and are no longer seen even in advertisements, they experience their discredited status as normal.  https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2020/12/01/erasing-the-white-male/ 

We now hear of young white males having identity problems and of rising suicide rates. The destruction of white male identity is what Alfred Blumrosen’s perversion of the 1964 Civil Rights Act achieved.

Comment There is a new put down for white men if they get into arguments with women or BAME. It has reached Britain from the U.S.A. It is called ‘Check your privilege.’ That says it all about an ordinary non elite white man’s place in the New World Order. Couple that with the ‘mansplaining’ put down and you have something very poisonous and nasty. The other feminist classic line is ‘I don’t like your tone. ‘ R.J Cook

Queen praises BBC Woman’s Hour as ‘friend to women everywhere’

Rebecca Taylor·Royal CorrespondentMon, 4 January, 2021, 10:05 am GMT·2-min read

EMBARGOED TO 2200 TUESDAY DECEMBER 15 Undated handout photo issued by Royal Communications of Queen Elizabeth II during a virtual visit to KPMG last week to mark the firm's 150th anniversary.
Queen Elizabeth II during a virtual visit to KPMG to mark the firm’s 150th anniversary. She sent a message to Woman’s Hour for its 75th birthday. (Royal Communications)

The Queen has praised the radio programme Woman’s Hour as a friend to women everywhere as the show marks its 75th year.

Her Majesty sent a message in celebration of the show, which will be hosted by Emma Barnett after Jane Garvey stood down after 13 years as host.

The Queen sent her best wishes, and said: “As you celebrate your 75th year, it is with great pleasure that I send my best wishes to the listeners and all those associated with Woman’s Hour.

“During this time, you have witnessed and played a significant part in the evolving role of women across society, both here and around the world.

“In this notable anniversary year, I wish you continued success in your important work as a friend, guide and advocate to women everywhere.”

It’s not known if the Queen, 94, is a fan of the show.

Read more: Archie steals show with first words in public on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new podcast

Garvey hosted her last show on New Year’s Eve, admitting it had been a hard decision to step aside, but said it was the “best thing”.

Signing off she said: “It’s not just a radio programme. It’s one of ‘the’ radio programmes and I’ve had a chance to do it.

“The programme needs to move on and now it can.

“Our listeners are genuinely un-shockable. Very rarely do they complain about any of it.

“I’m leaving just as some of you are getting used to me! Listeners to Radio 4 are somewhat change resistant!”

Dame Jenni Murray also left the programme in 2020.

Read more: Here’s the royal Britain was most interested in this year

Barnett is moving from Radio 5Live to take over the programme. During lockdown, her 5Live show was delivered from Clarence House and edited by Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Before starting, Barnett said: “I can’t wait to get to know the many listeners of Woman’s Hour a lot, lot better. What adventures we are going to have tog

Taking Flack January 2nd 2021

When Flack killed herself rather than face court for domestic violence, the tabloid carried the headline Cruel Prosecution Service. ( CPS ) because for all the bull about gender equality, the premise is that women are special and only ever victims.

Feminists always throw out their domestic violence and sex assault guess work numbers as fact, calling for more rape convictions regardless of evidence. Obviously all sexual encounters should be recorded ( On a version of aircraft in flight recorders ), sound and video for the sake of justice, because women do lie, often. They presume that only they can make bigoted prejudicial statements against men.

Women now have the legal right to change their minds at any time during sex while there is a big TV advertising campaign urging men to take viagra to please partners. It is my view that the explosion of demand for male to female sex change ( and the reason a lot of hetero men find transsexuals more attractive than sis women ) has something to do with this imbalance and glorification of sis women across the board. A situation is developing where feminists are working for laws to ban negative views of women as ‘hate crime.’ .

Governments are dominated by feminism and pander to female voters and worried fathers of daughters. Such lassitude never applies to men who are guilty until proven guilty – because ‘women never lie’ ( sic ).

A BBC Woman’s Hour presenter actually said that the 17 men killed on average by their partners every year in Britain would have deserved it. One woman poured acid over her sleeping partner because he was leaving her. She said ‘If I can’t have you, no one will.’ He was so disfigured and crippled that he killed himself. R.J Cook.

All the celebrities we have lost in 2020

  • Neil Peart.
  • Kobe Bryant. The former basketball superstar, 41, was killed alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others after their helicopter crashed in Calabasas, Southern California. …
  • Nicholas Parsons. …
  • Terry Jones. …
  • Kirk Douglas. …
  • Pop Smoke. …
  • Caroline Flack. …
  • Kenny Rogers.

The list above intrigues me because of Caroline Flack’s name being among names we are supposed to lament having passed on in 2021. There was clear evidence that she perpetrated serious domestic violence on her sleeping partner.

Flack was the ‘glamorous’ glittering host of a trashy sex orientated show called ‘Love Island’, the pinnacle of a career that started with Blue Peter. Her success was built on her looks, her show was banal but very much in tune with Britain’s dumbed down popular culture. She attacked her partner with a heavy table lamp, hitting him about the head, because she found his texts to a woman 20 years older than her. To some that justified her actions.

Meanwhile the highly talented actor Johnny Depp, without evidence, has been crucified by the Sun newspaper, sacked and airbrushed from film history for assaulting his ex wife, the very not talented Amber Heard, even though there is absolutely no evidence other than what she told her girl friends and the media. She had already won a $9 million divorce settlement when she went on to join the ‘Me Too’ movement.

Johnny Depp’s career and reputation destroyed on the word of a woman. He has gone the same way as Kevin Spacey who was destroyed on the word of a woman, where there was no evidence of assault..
Such a look of innocence. Amber Heard at work, whose word destroyed the career and reputation of Johnny Depp. No judge in Britain would ever dare advocate his innocence. Britain is the adopted home of Feminism’s High Priestess Germaine Greer. She changed the nation, then the western world. No country does hypocrisy better than Britain, with mountains of it left over for export. R.J Cook

More Stories

Feminists still want more empowerment. They haven’t gone far enough, and according to them this doesn’t mean disempowering men. Power is a zero sum and it is power over men they are demanding. Feminists cannot be held to blame for record numbers of mentally ill young people.
There is also the question as to their influence of driving men gay, lesbian or transsexual. They have it covered with all the hate crimes. To criticise a woman or women is misogyny.
To speak crossly or loudly to them, whatever they are doing or have done, is abuse. But if a man cannot take all a woman gives him, including lying about him, then he is a wimp at best. R.J Cook Image Copyright Daily Mail.

More Stories

What Now for Trans Youth? It’s easy to feel defeated after the ruling earlier this month made access to care for trans youth even more of a challenge, but together we will continue to get young trans people the care they need. Real change is hard won and real change is precisely what we are fighting for.

We must not accept a return to the sub-standard levels of care that were in place before the ruling, we want to see policies evolve, we want to see progress made towards a better standard. Every transgender individual, whatever their age, has the right to unprejudiced care.

We have created the following resources for anyone wishing to have a better understanding of the outcome of the case. Read here

Let’s join together in a restful break so we can recharge and make 2021 full of meaningful change for the future.

The GenderGP Team x GenderGP Launches Fund To Support Trans Youth To Receive Gender Affirming Healthcare In response to the news that trans youth in the UK will face even greater challenges in accessing the care they need on the NHS, we are proud to announce the launch of the GenderGP Fund. Find out more here Trans Youth – There is plenty of evidence for affirmative care In this article Dr Helen Webberley shares the evidence that exists to support transgender youth and specifically their access to gender-affirming hormones. Read blog A Question of Consent Anyone under the age of 16 can consent to their own treatment, as long as they are able to show that they can understand the implications of that treatment. Here we explore the question of consent and how it impacts those affected by the ruling. Read blog GenderGP statement in response to the Kiera Bell V Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust Case The outcome of the judgement on the case brought against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust caused much confusion. In response GenderGP issued a clear message to patients and their loved ones: Read full statement Treating Trans Youth: Who does the recent verdict by the court apply to? In this article we look at how GenderGP differs in its approach to the treatment of trans youth and how we can continue to support this vulnerable cohort while GIDs has shuttered its services: Read blog Care for Trans Youth in the UK. What went wrong? The results of a recent judicial review, led to GIDS withdrawing care to hundreds of children and adolescents in the UK. Here we analyse what went wrong. Read blog The GenderGP Appraisal Pathway: Children and Adolescents GenderGP has always supported people of all ages. We believe that everyone has the right to quality healthcare, delivered in a timely manner and that age should not preclude them from being taken seriously. In this blog we provide an overview of how our services for younger people work. Read full post Puberty Blocking Medication on the Grey Market Parents of trans youth, terrified of the fallout from the ruling against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and how it will impact their loved ones, have been exploring the option of self medicating. Here we look at the dangers of taking this approach. Read blog The GenderGP Podcast This episode of the GenderGP podcast features a Live Q&A with Dr Helen Webberley and Lead therapist Marianne Oakes. Together the pair discuss what the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust ruling means for trans youth, how this will impact GenderGP service users, and how you can support young trans people. Listen here This episode is also available as a Facebook Live: Watch Facebook Live Accepting Your Trans Kid Marlo Mack, the creator of the How to Be a Girl podcast, joins Dr Helen and Marianne to share her personal experiences of life with her transgender daughter. Listen here Well it’s that time of year again when we reflect on the past twelve months and consider what may lie ahead and what we hope to experience and achieve. Marianne’s Christmas wish here Seasonal holidays, though they are a time for relaxation and fun with family and friends, aren’t always the easiest time of year for some people. Read Leo’s Christmas wish here For more stories like these, be sure to follow us on social media. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube: @GenderGP
About GenderGP At GenderGP we provide Health and Wellbeing services to trans people of all ages, and to those who support them. We are fierce advocates, campaigning for better healthcare for the trans community. We provide prescription medication, blood tests, advice, monitoring, education and support. If you, or someone close to you needs help, visit our website. www.GenderGP.com Copyright 2020 GenderGP, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website.

Our mailing address is:
GenderGPHarland InternationalOffice 7 35-37 Ludgate HillLondon, London EC4M 7JN United Kingdom
Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Paris mayor mocks ‘absurd’ fine for hiring too many women December 17th 2020

Anne Hidalgo, Paris mayor
image captionAnne Hidalgo – “joy” at being fined

“Too feminist” – Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s mocking response after being told she had broken the law by naming too many women to senior posts.

Eleven women and five men had been promoted in 2018, breaching a national 2013 rule designed to bring about gender parity in employment.

The Paris authorities are being fined €90,000 ($109,000; £81,000) by the public service ministry.

“I am happy to announce we have been fined,” Ms Hidalgo said.

The 2013 rule meant no more than 60% of new appointments to management positions in public service should go to one sex. Ms Hidalgo’s recruitment drive saw 69% of the jobs go to women.

Addressing a council meeting, the Socialist mayor joked: “The management of the city hall has, all of a sudden, become far too feminist.”

But she also highlighted a continuing lag in the promotion of women to senior positions in France and the need to accelerate progress towards parity by appointing more women than men.

“This fine is obviously absurd, unfair, irresponsible and dangerous,” she said.

France’s Public Service Minister Amélie de Montchalin responded on Twitter, pointing out that the law had been changed since 2018.

In 2019, fines were dropped for appointing too many women or too many men to new jobs, as long as the overall gender balance was not affected.

She invited Ms Hidalgo to discuss how to promote women in public service and said the fine would go towards “concrete actions”.

Comment I have no problem with this woman openly discriminating against men. The real inequality issue in politics is class. I am mocking the Western World’s hypocrisy that it is all about democracy. It is not. It is about wealth.

The wonderful thing about replacing posh men in power with women, is that women can be relied to fixate on themselves and politically correct causes -making stupidly arrogant and dangerous statements about all women being underdogs who must be raised up by the likes of the well dressed privileged woman pictured above and her kind.

However, her kind wanted the equality ( sic ) and diversity laws. So she and her kind should be fined if they are serious about equality. Trouble is that they are not. They are about supremacy.

The likes of George Soros love them because they keep lower class men, especially young whites, down and in their place. BLM have been financed and fired up to help the wealthy’s cause, guaranteeing years of racial conflict and a disingenuous patronising ‘liberal’ ‘ ( sic ) claim to moral superiority from the elite, minions and lackeys.

The inqualities of wealth are so extreme, the rich fear revolution. France has a little more space. However, in France, like Britain – where 90% of the population live crowded lives ( hence Covid infection spread ) on 10% of the land – there are too many run down multi ethnic confict ridden towns and city areas which have poverty and culturally driven flashpoints.

Having a bus load of female Macrons and male equivalents makes matters worse – which is why Macron has his new ‘security’ bill to protect bully boys and girl cops’ from scrutiny.

That bill is more about his class’s ‘insecurity’ than national security. As in all Europe, especially, France, Germany and Britain ( which will never really leave ) , when the elite mention national interest, they mean class interest.

As for women, they have to be on message which is why Le Pen had no chance with the moralising hypocritical lying western elite ganging up to beat and humiliate her – rather than face real issues. Women of Hidalgo’s sort can be relied upon to toe the politically correct line whilst appearing to be fighting for equality. The quality of her clothes, especially the coat, hairdo and make up tells me exactly who she really represents, also her income and financial clout. R.J Cook

Soldier Blue December 12th 2020

I sense there are still some signs of realism in the U.S army, but it is going the same way as the British. Feminism is the dominant ideology in Britain. As with Islam, the comfortable white middle class females are out to make them being criticised illegal. So the self confidence, sense of superiority and never being wrong is redolent across the board of work, play and family life. Nothing is ever a female’s fault.

The world would be a much better place if men got out of the way and let them run things – including the army and abolishing war. The fact that the rich elite are running the whole show, taking advantage of females, who as in the story below, know they are different, must be overlooked. That is why they say they need more laws to protect them, more freedoms, rights and safe spaces. So the following extract about a posh girl’s traumatic life as an army officer takes yet another biscuit, or is she taking the mickey ? :

Growing up in a middle-class home in Surrey, my schoolgirl ambitions were sporting and musical. I captained the England under-18s lacrosse side and won a place to study sports science at Birmingham University, only to realise, three quarters of the way through my subsequent postgraduate teaching course, that it wasn’t for me.

I had a friend who’d joined the Army and, spurred on by the poster campaign at the time which showed soldiers skiing and jumping out of planes, I decided to join her.

So she joined for a holiday and sports. I went through officer selection so know what it was like. Obviously the process has changed, I suspect very much for the purposes of recruiting females from posh upper middle class backgrounds. I have said it before and I will say it again. When I went for a military commission in the 1970s, I was asked if I could kill.

One wonders what she knew about the military and wars before seeing that beguiling poster. War is not a lacrosse game. Being prepared for one is a bit beyond a degree in ridiculous sports science. My athletics coach was an ex Royal Navy CPO PTI. His methods if used on kids today would probably get him arrested, but they were realistic, far removed from the likes of Woldingham Girls School and leafy Surrey, places I know well.

The fact that Gemma didn’t follow through on teaching, where her need to be and advertise emotions would not have been such a burden, though hardly a help, says it all about her. Clearly women like her want us all in cloud cuckoo land. War is war. There are no degrees of war. Good soldiers – women are only ever in support roles – have been hung out to dry for not killing in a politically correct way.

Men like Tony Blair ( sic ) start illegal wars but escape being tried as war criminals. His sort talk up the need for more female soldiers and the lie that they can hack the front line. There is another lie here. Male soldiers do feel emotion, many paying for their traumas with life long PTSD. Of course, when it comes to the officer class it is a different story. In my experience, they were all drawn from upper middle class backgrounds and above. They include some naturally unpleasant public school types. Historically, odd balls like SAS’s Colonel Paddy Mehan are only welcome when the fighting is dirty.

Women like to bury the truths of history, now reinvented as being all about slavery and BLM. They like to forget their ancestors who even gave my Uncle Arthur a white feather after he was invalided out of the army in 1944 and his brother was killed by a sniper.

Women excel at crocodile tears, self promotion and hypocrisy. To point out their lies and mistakes is now termed abuse. Men face ever bigger punishments for not toeing the line. They are fair game for the toxic label. The only time a female may be called toxic is when she refuses to toe the bullying feminist line. R.J Cook

Ex squaddie John from Liverpool, suffering and receiving treatment in Portsmouth for PTSD. He told me ‘Every squaddie has a death wish’. Of course the term squaddie does not refer to the officer class to which Gemma aspired. R,J Cook.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC August 2020.

Gemma Morgan: ‘I could be a good army officer… or a woman’

December 6, 2020

When Gemma Morgan joined the Army, she looked forward to serving her country with pride. But after struggling with a culture of ‘toxic masculinity’, she plummeted to rock bottom. She describes her battle back from the brink.

Gemma Morgan in Kosovo
‘To be a good soldier, I quickly understood that showing emotion was regarded as weakness,’ says Gemma Morgan, seen here in Kosovo, 2000

They found me by the roadside, soaking wet, delirious and choking on my own vomit, so out of it I barely knew who I was. It was 2007, I was 33 and, outwardly at least, a poster girl for female achievement. A happily married mother of two, I had notched up a stellar performance record as an Army officer, with six years of service, a foreign posting to Kosovo and a top-ranking officer award under my belt.

Yet behind this shiny surface I was a wreck. The Army had taught me I was capable of so much more than I believed – but my desperation to mould myself into the Army ideal had come at a huge cost.

Desperate to fit in, I had tried to crush my femininity. A slow dismantling of my identity which had been compounded by terrifying flashbacks and nightmares from the horrors I witnessed of the Balkan conflict.

Becoming a mother was like throwing a grenade into the mix. Instead of fulfilment, I felt lost and alienated. Haunted by what I saw as my failure to conform to society’s expectations both as a soldier and a mother, I turned to vodka, Valium and sleeping pills until, finally, I hit rock bottom – a rock bottom that led me to that desolate roadside.

I’m lucky that I was found, and that with the help of therapy and the love of my family I was able to rebuild my life. But it is only now, aged 47, that I have truly realised quite how much my Army years – a relatively short period of my life – have defined me. It’s taken me twice as long to make my peace with it, and to understand the extent to which I allowed the Army’s culture of toxic masculinity to permeate my life.

****

Growing up in a middle-class home in Surrey, my schoolgirl ambitions were sporting and musical. I captained the England under-18s lacrosse side and won a place to study sports science at Birmingham University, only to realise, three quarters of the way through my subsequent postgraduate teaching course, that it wasn’t for me.

I had a friend who’d joined the Army and, spurred on by the poster campaign at the time which showed soldiers skiing and jumping out of planes, I decided to join her.

There was no doubt I was physically able, and I was also drawn to the Army promise of belonging and service, along with its seductive message of female empowerment: when I joined Sandhurst in January 1996 at the age of 22, my intake was one of the first to do the same training as the men.

It was a steep learning curve, from the 5.30am starts – your bed already made with tight hospital corners – through to the brutal physical tests of endurance and strength. I quickly learned, too, that the reality of the Army’s quest for gender equality meant moulding yourself to very masculine ideals – quite literally. When it came to the uniform, back then they still didn’t make kit for women, which meant wearing men’s combat boots and shirts that made no allowance for breasts.

Gemma Morgan
Gemma today: ‘Finally, I am able to feel proud of my military service’. Image: Beth Morgan

Our collective idea of what makes a good soldier, meanwhile, remained based on traditional norms of masculinity, power and strength – and I quickly understood that displays of emotion were seen as weakness. I stopped wearing make-up, and even my speech turned more assertive and direct.

Unlike the men, the female recruits had to think constantly about their words and actions, treading a difficult middle ground in which you held your own, without threatening your colleagues’ male pride. I remember finishing in the top rank in the Commandant’s Individual Fitness Test, only to watch the men behind me publicly chastised for losing out to a woman. When I was weakened with a viral infection, my company sergeant major taunted me in front of the entire parade ground, mockingly suggesting I was pregnant.

There were other, more sinister behaviours: it was not uncommon for those of us sleeping in the women’s accommodation to wake in the middle of the night to find a commissioned male officer standing over our beds, staring at us as we slept. He was reported, but no meaningful action was taken, reinforcing a message I had started to absorb from the earliest days, which was that such behaviour was part of the deal.

It meant that by the time I arrived at Dalton Barracks in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, for my first commissioned post as an officer in the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), I had already accepted that uninvited groping and name-calling were considered a jovial part of Army life. But it didn’t stop there: not long after I arrived at Dalton, I was sexually assaulted after a Christmas drinks party. A senior soldier pushed me into a small closet and lunged at my body before I managed to shoulder him out of the way and run.

Even then I didn’t complain. Despite my disgust, I was also forced to look the other way when male officers would run scorecards with names of nightly conquests listed down the side and when soldiers would put hardcore pornography on their walls. Now, when I look back, I am amazed and horrified in equal measure at the extent I absorbed this as just something to be tolerated: like most of the other female officers, my tactic was to try to blithely ignore the sexist elements all around us.

That’s not to say that I didn’t thrive on the adrenaline and discipline. I was largely accepted as ‘one of the lads’, and physically I was always able to more than hold my own. But, often, it felt almost impossible to be a good Army officer and a woman at the same time – something that was brutally underlined by the regimental colonel when I arrived at Deepcut Barracks. On my arrival in December 1999 he told me I could no longer have the officer recruitment role that I’d been assigned. He had decided that he did not want a woman being the face of the corps. To use his words precisely – I was the best person for the job but not the right person. Looking back, it was the beginning of the end.

Before then, however, I was deployed to Kosovo as part of a multinational force tasked with verifying human rights violations and monitoring the agreed withdrawal of Serbian forces.

Gemma Morgan in Kosovo
On patrol – and getting to know the local children – in Kosovo, 1998

It was a transformative experience in which I witnessed the terrible unfolding of the unspeakable atrocities unleashed by this civil war – atrocities which quickly haunted my dreams. When I returned to base five months later, in March 1999, I was awarded the Carmen Sword, an award given to the best-achieving young RLC officer, but my surface pride was underpinned by an all-pervading horror at what I had left behind.

Yet in an environment where showing vulnerability was a weakness, I felt I had to conceal the flashbacks and nightmares that now unfolded daily. Numbly, I would go about my duties, then return to my room and lie curled up on my bed in the foetal position. When I wasn’t doing that I was indulging in self-destructive behaviours, drinking too much, driving too fast – anything to escape the feelings inside me.

One night, lying in my room, I took an overdose, a cry for help which quickly became public knowledge when my medical notes were shared with the chain of command and the wider troops – a betrayal of confidentiality that shattered my credibility overnight. I was given counselling for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although I was never officially diagnosed, something I now see as a deliberate avoidance of responsibility.

By then I had met my husband David, a fellow RLC officer – we married while still both serving officers in 2001 – and, although his presence had a stabilising effect, my mental health remained fragile, and never more so than following the birth of my daughter Beth in 2002. Fuelled by sleeplessness, with a newborn baby who wouldn’t stop crying, my anxiety soared. I was baffled that a role that seemed to bring so much happiness to others had left me feeling so empty.

I loved my baby daughter, but I felt strangely detached from my life. I had given so much of myself to an Army that had left me feeling alienated, angry and deeply betrayed. It became increasingly obvious that I could not reconcile my feelings with my ongoing duties, and I left in late 2002 at the end of my maternity leave.

At first there was a sense of relief, quickly replaced by an inability to adjust to civilian life. It was so different to everything I knew. Everything the Army had taught me now felt too assertive and too competitive for the world outside, and particularly for motherhood. At coffee mornings with fellow mums I would sit, blankly, going through the motions while around me everyone chattered away about their babies.

I learned not to talk much about my own life – everything I had experienced was so far removed from the lives of anyone there. How could I explain that I woke every night at 2am, haunted by the same vision of a dead-eyed boy? That I slept with a weapon next to my bed because it made me more comfortable, and that when I was pushing Beth in her pram around our suburban town, I would, hyper-vigilant, clock each parked car and each person around me?

Gemma Morgan and HRH the Princess Royal
Receiving the Carmen Sword from HRH the Princess Royal, 1999

Even my doctor didn’t understand, putting my issues down to postnatal depression and scrawling out a prescription for a stronger dose of antidepressants. It took until 2005 for me to receive a diagnosis of PTSD from a psychiatrist. But even then it made little difference, as most psychiatrists at the time had little knowledge of the specific trauma suffered by people who have left the military. My symptoms worsened, particularly after the birth of my son Tom in June 2006. By then I had long since stopped trying to fit in with the local mums, preferring instead to withdraw and self-medicate my way through the ongoing nightmares and flashbacks. After a Christmas where I barely slept and was unable to engage in even the most basic functions, David took the difficult decision to take me to a psychiatric unit. This would end up being a two-month stay, after which I was treated as an outpatient.

Even then my rock bottom was yet to come: struggling with their drug regime, which made me feel sick, and shaken by the fresh wave of trauma unleashed by their therapy, I arrived at the end of a bleak January day in despair. I had stopped wanting to try and all I wanted was to escape – the clinic, my feelings, my life. That moonless night in 2007 I fled, zigzagging round the property perimeter to avoid the security cameras before drinking myself into oblivion in the village pubs and wading into a nearby river.

The rest is a blur: I vaguely recall being scooped up from the roadside and put in an ambulance. I was lucky to be alive. It was a rock bottom which proved to be a turning point, a brush with death that forced me to confront the realisation that if I didn’t find a way to move forward, then my two beautiful young children would be left without a mother. Focusing on them gave me a purpose and slowly, with the help of a stabilised drug regime and therapy, my health improved and I was permitted to go home on weekend leave.

I remember the warm hugs and kisses from five-year-old Beth as she asked if Mummy would be home from work for longer this time, and the change that just a few weeks had rendered in my baby son, now seven months old.

Finally, after two months at the unit, I was able to return home for good. And four years later I was blessed with another son, James, now nine. He is one of so many blessings – not just my children, but my incredible husband, who has unwaveringly stood by me throughout. It has not been easy for either of us, and managing my mental health is a daily challenge. But finally, I am able to feel proud of my military service, and of serving alongside some remarkable women and men.

My greatest hope for those women who have come after me is that they have been able to find that same sense of pride without losing who they truly are.

Gemma Morgan is now a keynote speaker.

They Shoot Horses Don’t They December 12th 2020

There will be no further content added to my Sexy Me page.  That page derived from an idea following my arrest based on the spurious absurd dishonest police allegations that I sent them and other significant parties documents revealing my self as a ‘gay escort.’ They have a big axe to grind with me. In February 2019, after watching my house for 6 months,my house was raided, computers, and mobile phones impounded, driver cards and debit cards stolen by them.

Readers of this site will know of the problems that the police have caused me over the last nearly 14 years, and how my nightmare continues.

In the process, I have learned much about the British Police’s weird obsession with matters of sex – along with their hypocrisy – among other unpleasant behaviours, they think nothing of luring innocent young female animal rights protesters to bed on pretext of crime fighting.

The police appear to use their own moronic version of Freud.  They appear to believe that most if not all crimes have a sexual and or gender base – a variation on Freud’s libido theory. Throw in a bit of J.Edgar Hoover’s ‘Everyone has a sex secret and can be blackmailed’ and one has a summary of their training manual.

Psychiatrists play a key role in modern policing.  In my view former army psychiatrist R.D Laing was quite correct to call those of his profession ‘society’s prostitutes.  They start with a conclusion, then like the police , squeeze their victim into the frame.  

These public servants are beyond reform because they serve class interest, not the truth.  This is the age of the expert, which is why we have lockdown, which must continue on and off and at varying degrees for several years so we know vaccine works – by which time another virus will have come along by fair means or foul, so the cycle starts again.

Thatcher’s Tory Government created the circumstances in which the Tony Blair Government founded and developed the police state.  Among other things, by destroying the Trade Unions’ power, she left them looking for a new cause.  For years, under CND Worzel Gummage lookalike , the dotty Michael Foot – one foot that was never going to make a ruler- Labour wasted its time courting the anti Trident feminists and so called militant tendency.

Thatcher had sealed the decline of British education. Ironically this was to curb the teacher’s hard left unions. It meant more morons and unskilled school leavers. They just wanted quick money, not abstract ideas like banning the bomb.

By 1997, Labour had reinvented itself as ‘New.’ The leadership was strictly upper middle class, with Oxford Graduate and lawyer Tony Blair in charge.  The new under dogs and captive New Labour voters would be aggrieved women. New Labour filled their ranks with ‘Blair’s Babes.’

It is a long forgotten fact that a Harley St doctor revealed that some of these New Labour females had been to him for testosterone injections to make them more aggressive when dealing with male MPs.

Testosterone is the key to sexual behaviour and human competition. It is why we have the absurdity of calls for total equality alongside complaints that male to female transsexuals are still really men and must not be allowed to compete with women in sport.  If that difference is so significant as to apply in sport, it goes a long way to explaining why we have positive discrimination imposed upon us.  It explains the fixation with banning harsh language and loud voices in Parliament.

Most people do not realise, because of poor and politically correct disjointed education, that both sexes combine testosterone with the main female hormone oestrogen.  Male sex change patients take antii androgens at ever younger ages to block testosterone – chemical castration.  

Females in conflict or competitive situations produce more testosterone, tending them toward more stereotypically male behaviour patterns.  Nature tends to seek balance, meaning that male behaviour faced with aggressive women will either led to serious conflict. Possibly violence, or the male will drop testosterone production becoming more submissive and stereotypically female in behaviour.

Most people, especially women, do not want to face up to this particular ugly truth.  Which is why, a couple of years ago, my draft book ‘The Woman Within’ was rejected by a major literary agent who had asked to read it.

In the current Western fake liberal social climate, women must not be judged and held responsible for anything.  This is why , in the wake of T,V Celebrity Caroline Flack’s violent attack using a heavy table lamp, on her sleeping partner, has led to a campaign for leniency and non custodial sentences for female offenders.

So called experts, who have to endorse judgements of what is happening in the world, are never going to accept and promote the kind of opinion stated here. This sort of stuff you can hear down the pub, they will say. Of course they say that because they are getting paid a lot to prop up a very unnatural social world.  They don’t need rational argument or evidence.

One outcome of all this is male testosterone levels are falling and so, therefore, is fertility.  It is particularly a problem in the upper middle class led and agonising white culture.

Another outcome is the explosion of LGBTQI, which has a significant exhibitionist element.  The male to female transsexual element is mst interesting because it mimics traditional female images , role and behaviour patterns. A convincing transsexual female has no problem attracting male interest – obviously there are those males already mentioned whose testosterone is rising and feel threatened by the people they disparage as ‘trannies’ and ‘poofs.’  It is what it is.  Prissy bourgeoise self righteous moral judgements won’t alter things.

What this means for the new women is that they will increasingly get their wish of not being seen as sexually of interest. Marriage will continue to decline or end in divorce, outside of more robust traditional cultures like Islam and the British Upper Classes, where adultery and sex games are part of their culture.

This will mean more loneliness, alcoholism, suicide, one parent families, maladjusted children, drug addiction, homelessness and gang crime – among more general misery. This is because the truth is you cannot be whatever you want to be, especially when that aforementioned upper class minority has more wealth than the rest of the population put together.  They call the tune and the stupid masses will go on dancing to it, like in the film ‘They Shoot Horses Don’t They ?’  R.J.Cook

Male suicide rate hits two-decade high in England and Wales Posted Dcember 11th 2020

Rate of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 in 2019 was highest since 2000, ONS data shows

The area with the highest rate in 2019 was Yorkshire and the Humber at 20.6 per 100,000.

The area with the highest rate in 2019 was Yorkshire and the Humber at 20.6 per 100,000.and agencyTue 1 Sep 2020 17.29 BST

First published on Tue 1 Sep 2020 13.17 BST

The suicide rate for men in England and Wales in 2019 was the highest for two decades, official figures show.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published on Tuesday, found there were 5,691 suicides registered, with an age-standardised rate of 11 deaths per 100,000 population.

The ONS said men accounted for about three-quarters of suicide deaths registered in 2019, 4,303 compared with 1,388 women.

The England and Wales male suicide rate of 16.9 deaths per 100,000 was the highest since 2000 but remained in the line with the 2018 rate. The rate for women was 5.3 deaths per 100,000, the highest since 2004.

Samaritans pointed to “worrying trends”, including men aged 45-49 remaining at the highest risk of suicide, and an increase in suicide rates among young people, especially women under 25. An increase in suicide rates among people aged 25 to 44 in recent years continued in 2019.

“With the impact of the pandemic this year taking a huge toll on people’s mental wellbeing, we should be even more concerned,” said the charity’s chief executive, Ruth Sutherland.

Although there was no guarantee the impact of Covid-19 would lead to higher suicide rates, Samaritans said its research, based on calls to its helpline, found the pandemic had exacerbated known risk factors for people already vulnerable.

“Volunteers are telling us that many callers have been worried about losing their job and/or business and their finances, with common themes around not being able to pay rent/mortgage, inability to support the family, and fear of homelessness.”

Vicki Nash, the head of policy and campaigns at the charity Mind, said: “Not all suicides are mental health-related but many are, and we know that a significant proportion of people who take their own lives have asked for support for their mental health within the last 12 months, which means that services are failing people when they need help the most.

“With more and more people seeking support for their mental health, it is absolutely crucial that services are equipped to meet the demand. No one in touch with services, asking for help, should reach the point of taking their own life.”

Among men, the area with the highest rate was Yorkshire and the Humber at 20.6 per 100,000, followed by the south-west at 19.4. London recorded the lowest rate with 11.8.

The area with the highest female suicide rate was also Yorkshire and the Humber at 7.3 per 100,000, while the north-east had the lowest rate among women at 4.1.

The male suicide rate in the south-east increased from 13.5 per 100,000 (526 deaths) in 2018 to 16.8 per 100,000 (657 deaths) in 2019.

The ONS said: “Higher rates of suicide among middle-aged men in recent years might be because this group is more likely to be affected by economic adversity, alcoholism and isolation. It could also be that this group is less inclined to seek help.”

Provisional data, also published by the ONS, showed there were 6.9 suicide deaths per 100,000 people in England between April and June, during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. This was the equivalent of 845 registered deaths, the lowest of any quarter since 2001, the ONS added.

But the ONS said the low number of suicide deaths registered during this period was probably because inquests were delayed because of the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The lower number of deaths registered caused by suicide in quarter two of 2020 should be interpreted with caution; this likely reflects delays to inquests because of the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on the coroner’s service. All deaths caused by suicide in England are investigated by coroners,” it said.

“Given the length of time it takes to hold an inquest (around five months), we do not currently know the total number of suicides that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.”Poorer middle-aged men most at risk from suicide in pandemic, say SamaritansRead more

Sutherland added: “Undoubtedly, the pandemic has affected everyone in society, but Samaritans is particularly worried about three groups: people with pre-existing mental health conditions, young people who self-harm, and less well-off middle-aged men.

“It is essential that these groups are given the support they need before people reach crisis point. Suicide prevention must be a priority right now, so we can save lives.”

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

Male suicide rates at an all time high: why? Posted December 11th 2020

By Noah Keate Sep. 24, 2020Posted in Features TW: Suicide Male mental health needs far wider attention. The latest Office for National Statistics data showed the suicide rate in 2019 for men was 16.9 deaths per 100,000 in England and Wales.  This is the highest level since 2000. Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest rate in 2019 of 20.6 per 100,000. Overall, 5,691 suicides were registered, with 4,303 male and 1,388 female. The  female suicide rate of 5.3 deaths per 100,000 was also the highest since 2004.

What has led to these increased trends? Stereotypically, males often bottle up their emotions and  feelings. Historical views of gender have regarded males as the providers, who don’t display any  vulnerability or assistance when they require it. The Samaritans have stated that men aged 45-49  are at the highest risk of suicide. This could be linked to those males having many responsibilities  – like children – that require support. Particularly during the pandemic, calls to the Samaritans  have worried about their job security, fear of homelessness and inability to pay the mortgage.   The report also shows how suicide rates are increasing among people aged 25-44.

Generationally,  younger people have become more open to reducing the impact of gender stereotypes. Mental  health organisations have campaigned for individuals, regardless of gender, to speak about their  feelings and ask for help where necessary. The increase in people taking their own lives would  suggest a huge amount of work remains to be done.  

The rise in deaths could often be linked to people feeling like a burden. The ONS stated that  middle aged men are more likely “to be affected by economic adversity, alcoholism and isolation”.  This could suggest that, for years before an individual’s suicide, they have been relying on alcohol  to manage their depression and suicidal thoughts that eventually led to their death. Economic  problems could also suggest one’s depression is not simply down to individual difficulties but  structural issues within society that prevent individuals from living fulfilled lives. 

The economic security may be related to the amount of the connection individuals have within  their local area. The statistics found the south west had the second highest suicide rate of 19.4  per 100,000 while London recorded the lowest rate of 11.8. Although there are multiple reasons,  this could suggest males have more attachments in big urban cities like London. More services  may be available, a greater network of individuals could provide support and more prospects  could be on offer. By contrast, the regions with higher rates are far more rural. For example, in the  south east, the male suicide rate increased from 13.5 in 2018 to 16.8 in 2019. Inevitably, the  bonds fell to local areas and future prospects could be weakened. 

he rise in suicides isn’t something that has simply happened overnight. The increase in deaths is  a long standing trend. As the Samaritans report, death by suicide increased by 10.9% in the UK in  2018 with men being three times more likely to die of suicide. There is also a question of what is  classed as a suicide by the coroner. If someone drives their car off the road, is that accidental  death or suicide? The same question could be applied to a drug overdose. It is important that  those recording suicides are as accurate as possible in their answers and that statistics can never  reveal everything. 

Death by suicide increased by 10.9% in the UK in 2018, with men being three times more likely to die of suicide The CALM website, which tackles the rise in male suicide, explores how individuals can feel  panicked by events, which reduces their ability to consider their feelings and emotions.  Specifically, individuals who are sensitive to failure, set impossible targets, struggle to cope with  disappointment and can’t tell others how they are feeling are more likely to suffer from suicidal  thoughts.

In particular, men and boys are more likely to feel they need to be winners, look strong  and appear in control. What is most evident from their advice is the feeling most people don’t  actually want to die, but simply want a difficult situation to go away. The most important thing is  talking about one’s troubles with other people.  The whole narrative of boys not crying has meant that individuals have been conditioned not to  express emotion. According to the BBC, a recent UK Medical Journal study found general primary  care consultation rates were 32% lower in men than women, with consultation rates for  depression 8% lower in men.

This suggests women are more able to seek support about their  mental health conditions and receive the attention they need. While people have been able to  recognise the problems, finding the solutions is far from easy.  What can help is raising awareness that the problem exists so that those who don’t have mental  health issues themselves can empathise more. 10 September marked World Suicide Prevention  Day, where the Samaritans try to build a world where fewer people commit suicide.

By recognising that suicide is preventable, the Samaritans have campaigned for governments to  make suicide prevention a key priority.  This is reliant on better mental health funding in general. According to them, mental health services  have struggled with years of cutbacks before the pandemic. During coronavirus, referrals to  mental health services fell by 30%, suggesting that vulnerable people were left without vital  support in their time of need. The article suggests that the NHS Confederation believes that  demand for mental health services could increase by 20% from pre-coronavirus levels. Individuals  desperately need support and attention.  During lockdown, referrals to mental health services fell by 30%, suggesting that vulnerable people were left without vital support in their time of need

While the government have invested an extra £2 billion in NHS mental health services, this must be matched by specific action on suicide awareness and the dangers it poses to people.   Dealing with suicide is not easy. The trauma for any family in imagining what they could have done  and whether their relatives could have been saved is one that will live with them forever. The problems can be caused by an absence of social connections, expectations that are far too high,  an inability to express one’s emotions and economic insecurity. There is no one answer or solution  for dealing with suicide.

The responses must be from government, local communities and the  individual themselves. Governments must provide adequate investment and support in mental health services. Local areas should offer opportunities and prospects to the next generation. And  individuals should recognise that the thoughts they experience are not a stigma and aren’t  something to be ashamed of. Instead, prevention should be based on talking and conversation with others.

Communication won’t solve an individual’s suicidal thoughts, but it is the first rung on  the ladder to a more fulfilled state of mind.  If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing problems with their mental health, please don’t suffer alone – you can contact university support on 024 7657 5570, or, alternatively, Nightline on 02476522199 and the Samaritans on 116 123

No need to plead guilty Posted December 11th 2020

The fashionable doctrine of ‘white privilege’ is fatally undermined by the facts

The concept of “white privilege” is some-times credited to the African-American writer W.E.B. Du Bois, but the phrase didn’t enter the lexicon until it was used in a 1989 paper by the feminist academic Peggy McIntosh. “As a white person, I realised I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage,” she wrote in “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” With the American accent very firmly on “white” rather than “privilege” or any other aspect of class which British ears would so much more readily hear.

Not only is McIntosh white, she is, by any measure, astonishingly privileged. She grew up in an affluent suburb of New Jersey where the median income was four times the national average, and her father, who was a high-ranking scientist at Bell Laboratories, owned patents in several valuable electronic inventions.

After attending Radcliffe, UCL and Harvard, where she earned a PhD, Peggy married Dr Kenneth McIntosh, the son of a Columbia professor. According to William Ray, a Canadian journalist who wrote about her for the online magazine Quillette last year: “Peggy McIntosh was born into the very cream of America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained ensconced there ever since.”

But when McIntosh writes about her “privilege” she doesn’t mean in this conventional, upper-class sense. Rather, she is referring to the advantages she enjoys in virtue of being white and which, in her view, all white people share. The “knapsack” she unpacks isn’t a $1,000 Burberry backpack of the kind Peggy and Kenneth might take on a hike in the Adirondacks. No, it’s a bag full of useful things that all white people carry with them, regardless of how disadvantaged their upbringing.

Given the success of Indians across the Anglosphere, it would make more sense to talk about “brown privilege”

So what’s in the “invisible knapsack”? All told, Peggy finds 26 benefits she enjoys thanks to her ethnicity. True, some of these “privileges” can plausibly be ascribed to all white people. Number 15, for instance, is, “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group,” although that’s exactly what she’s doing in this article. But others are laughably Peggy-specific, such as number eight: “If I want to, I can be pretty sure of finding a publisher for this piece on white privilege.”

And some of them so clearly apply to members of her affluent peer group that they’re almost comically revealing — like number two: “If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.”

It seems pretty obvious that Peggy McIntosh has confused class privilege with racial privilege. That is, she has led such a pampered existence and had so little contact with people outside her Harvard-Radcliffe bubble that she assumes all whites enjoy the same advantages as her — and not just in the United States, but across the Western world. Which is pretty offensive if you’re a victim of America’s opioid epidemic known as the “white death” because it disproportionately affects white people in the American South. One wonders how many victims Dr McIntosh has known? A survey of white adults born after World War II showed that between 1980 and 2000, just 18.4 per cent of white Baptists and 21.8 per cent of Irish Protestants — the main white ethnic groups to settle in the South — managed to get college degrees, compared to a national average of 30.1 per cent. Among those Americans of Chinese and Indian descent, the average was 61.9 per cent.

In England, working-class whites are doing equally badly when it comes to higher education. A 2015 report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that white British pupils in the lowest socio-economic quintile are 10 per cent less likely to participate in higher education than any other ethnic group in that quintile. But it isn’t just whites from disadvantaged backgrounds who are struggling. According to the Department for Education, whites in general made less progress in England’s schools in 2018 than Asians, blacks or Chinese.

When it comes to income, whites are also lagging behind some other ethnic groups. In 2016, white Americans had a median household income of $67,865, lower than Indonesian Americans ($71,616), Pakistani Americans ($72,389), Malaysian Americans ($72,443), Sri Lankan Americans ($73,856), Filipino Americans ($84,620), Taiwanese Americans ($90,1221) and Indian Americans ($110,026).
The same picture is emerging in the UK, where 42 per cent of Indian households have a weekly income of £1,000 or above, compared to 26 per cent of white British households. If whites are born with a knapsack full of advantages over all non-whites, as Peggy McIntosh maintains, they appear to be squandering them on an epic scale. Is that what she means by “invisible”?

You’d think that would be an end to it. Surely even the most extreme racial activist could see through McIntosh’s exercise in narcissistic self-flagellation? But no. The reality of “white privilege” is now so widely accepted in the US that anyone who denies it risks being branded a racist.

The concept of “white privilege” was invented by Peggy McIntosh. She was born into America’s aristocratic elite, and has remained there ever since

It has become embedded in universities in the form of critical race theory and whiteness studies – a recent conference at Edinburgh University on “Resisting Whiteness” banned white people from speaking – and is the central pillar underpinning America’s $8 Billion-a-year “equity, diversity and inclusion” industry. Employees of public bureaucracies across the Anglosphere are forced to undergo regular “unconscious bias” training where they’re bombarded with a tsunami of gobbledygook, all revolving around the idea that white people have privileges no other ethnic group enjoys, sometimes at enormous expense to the taxpayer.

For instance, the schools chancellor of New York recently introduced mandatory “anti-bias and equity training” for the city’s 75,000 teachers at a cost of $23 million a year. To complement this initiative, top officials in New York’s Department of Education were taught that “the characteristics of white supremacy” include “perfectionism”, “worship of the written word”, “individualism” and “objectivity”. And it’s all thanks to a WASP princess with a Harvard PhD.

One of the main planks of the case for “white privilege” is the discrepancy in outcomes between whites and blacks. Logically, this is a bad argument because, as we’ve seen, whites trail behind many other ethnic groups, so even if they do fare better than blacks that doesn’t make them the most privileged group. Given the success of Indians across the Anglosphere, it would make more sense to talk about “brown privilege”. (Indian pupils are, on average, 14.2 months ahead of white pupils in England’s schools by the time they reach the age of 16.)

But even if we ignore the terrible reasoning here, is it true that whites are doing better than blacks? The answer is “yes” when it comes to some yardsticks, “no” when it comes to others. For instance, it’s true that African-Americans continue to face discrimination in the housing and labour markets, although never less so than today.

According to a recent report by the American Enterprise Institute, 57 per cent of black Americans now belong to the upper or middle class, compared to 38 per cent in 1960, and the share of black men in poverty fell from 41 per cent in 1960 to 18 per cent in 2016. But
if we look at education, African-Americans are beginning to outperform whites. Black women, for instance, have higher college-attendance rates than white men and, according to the New York Times, out-earn their white counterparts when they graduate.

Black Lives Matter activists point to the recent spate of shootings of unarmed black men as evidence of “white privilege”, such as the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in 2012 (although the shooter was a dual heritage Hispanic man). But according to the African-American Harvard Economist Roland Fryer, blacks and Hispanics are no more likely to be shot by police officers than whites (although they are more likely to experience the non-lethal use of force, even taking contextual factors into account). In fact, the odds of an unarmed black man being shot dead by a police officer are about the same as being struck by lightning.

What about the psychic wound of slavery? Surely this is a sin that all white people are guilty of? That’s the reasoning behind the demand for reparations made by the African-American intellectual Ta-Nehesi Coates and Elizabeth Warren, the frontrunner in the race to be the Democratic presidential candidate. The claim that all white people are uniquely privileged and have a moral obligation to renounce that privilege and atone for it is based in no small part on the role played by Britain and America in the North Atlantic slave trade. This is what accounts for the exceptionalism of whites — why they are uniquely privileged.

But hang on. The idea that whites as a race participated in the slave trade or benefitted from slavery is ridiculous. In 1860, less than five per cent of whites in the American South owned slaves and, according to the black historian John Hope Franklin, three-quarters of white Southerners had no economic interest in the maintenance of slavery. The percentage of the population of Great Britain and Ireland in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who were slaveowners or beneficiaries of the slave trade is even smaller. As Doug Stokes of Exeter University has pointed out, stigmatizing an entire ethnic group because of the sins of a small minority is a textbook example of racism.
The transatlantic slave trade is certainly a stain on the history of Britain and America, but they were hardly the only countries guilty of participating in this practice. Between the 16th Century and the middle of the 18th Century, over a million Europeans were bought and sold in the slave markets of the Barbary Coast of North Africa, encompassing Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. According to the African-American economist Thomas Sowell: “More whites were brought as slaves to North Africa than blacks brought as slaves to the United States or the 13 colonies from which it was formed.”

After publishing her seminal essay drawing attention to the injustice of whites’ elevated status, McIntosh didn’t then give up any of her privileges

The only exceptional thing about Britain and America when it comes to the obscenity of slavery is that both countries devoted considerable blood and treasure to ending it, whether it was the Royal Navy in the North Atlantic, or the Union Army in the American civil war.

So if “white privilege” is a myth, and a poisonously racist one at that, why do so many educated, intelligent, nice people believe in it? How did this idea become embedded in the consciousness of rich white liberals? And make no mistake, it’s a concept that enjoys much more currency among affluent whites than poor blacks. One of the most striking developments in American politics of the last 20 years is that white liberals are now to the left of black Democrats on the issue of discrimination.

According to a Pew survey in 2017, 79.2 per cent of white liberals agree that “racial discrimination is the main reason why black people can’t get ahead these days,” with only 18.8 per cent agreeing that “blacks who can’t get ahead in this country are mostly responsible for their own condition.” Among black Democrats, by contrast, 59.9 per cent agree with the first statement, compared to 32 per cent who agreed with the second.

What accounts for this degree of “allyship”, given that white liberals do not, on the face of it, stand to gain from dismantling “white privilege”? I don’t think it’s prompted by guilt, at least not entirely. After all, if powerful white liberals are genuinely consumed with guilt about their superior status — if they believe the exalted positions they occupy in institutions such as the New York Times and the BBC is morally indefensible — they could always check their privilege and resign. But they never do.

A case in point is Cassian Harrison, the editor of BBC Four, who told the Edinburgh International Television Festival last year that no one wants to watch white men explaining stuff on TV any more. “There’s a mode of programming that involves a presenter, usually white, middle-aged and male, standing on a hill and ‘telling you like it is,’” he said. “We all recognise the era of that has passed.” But having engaged in some ritual racial self-flagellation, Harrison, a middle-aged white male, didn’t renounce his £170,000 salary and resign in favour of a black successor. Like many white liberals, Harrison beat himself up for his un-earned privilege and then carried on as before, seemingly untroubled by conscience.

The same is true of Peggy McIntosh. After having penned her seminal essay drawing attention to the injustice of whites’ elevated status, she didn’t then give up any of her privileges. As William Ray wrote:

One is left to wonder why, given her stated conviction that she has unfairly benefited from her skin colour, there seems to be no record of her involvement in any charity or civil rights work. If she did take to the streets in support of some cause or other, she left no trace that I can see. Nor, as far as I can tell, has she spent any time teaching the underprivileged or working directly to better anyone’s condition but her own. Instead, she has contented herself with a generous six-figure salary, and has not shown any particular eagerness to hand her position over to a more deserving person of colour.

So if these exercises in racial self-flagellation are empty gestures, what’s the point of them? According to the journalist and author Reihan Salam, the purpose of the ritual is to let other highly-educated, well-paid whites know that you’re on the same rung of the status ladder as them. It’s the  twenty-first-century equivalent of Thorstein Veblen’s conspicuous consumption, a way of communicating to the Brahmin left that you’re a member of the club:

It is almost as though we’re living through a strange sort of ethnogenesis in which those who see themselves as (for lack of a better term) upper-whites are doing everything they can to disaffiliate themselves from those they’ve deemed lower-whites. Note that to be “upper” or “lower” isn’t just about class status, though of course that’s always hovering in the background. Rather, it is about the supposed nobility that flows from racial self-flagellation.

In other words, the reason Peggy McIntosh unpacked her ‘“invisible knapsack” — and the reason so many from the same social strata have followed in her footsteps — was to advertise her elevated social status. It’s not enough for rich liberals to live in beautiful homes, go on holiday in places like Tuscany and pilot their children through elite universities and graduate schools. No, to really underline just how much better they are than the rest of us, they must decry their “white privilege” too, thereby proving they are morally as well as socially superior. In effect, it was a $1,000 backpack after all, but one made from organic materials and bearing a “Fairtrade” kitemark.

The irony of all this coded status-signalling by limousine liberals is that it helps their political opponents. White working-class voters outside metropolitan areas, whether in Britain or America, understand perfectly what members of the identitarian left mean when they denounce “white privilege” — it’s an example of “upper-whites”, to use Salam’s term, expressing their contempt for “lower-whites”, i.e. them. This was succinctly put by a Trump voter in Indiana, interviewed by the Guardian in 2016. She explained that “the whole idea” of “white privilege” irritates whites outside the bicoastal elites “because they’ve never experienced it on a level that they understand. You hear privilege and you think money and opportunity and they don’t have it.” She continued: “And you’ve got people calling them stupid and deplorable. Well how long do you think you can call people stupid and deplorable before they get mad?”

As this voter made clear, if you’re a 45-year-old white person struggling to hold down two minimum-wage jobs so you can feed your partner and kids and keep a roof over their heads, nothing could be more guaranteed to make you vote for Donald Trump or the Brexit Party than being told you’re “privileged” by a privately-educated, upper-class socialist with a PhD in gender studies.

Which begs the question: Should we stop objecting to this idiocy? If you don’t want Jeremy Corbyn to be the next Prime Minister or Elizabeth Warren the next President, should you welcome this toxic identitarianism? That’s the view of Steve Bannon, who pointed out that when the left talks about “race-identity politics” it helps his side: “The longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em … I want them to talk about race and identity … every day.”

Tempting though it is to just sit back and allow the left to self-harm, we shouldn’t do that. Racial politics is so ugly, and so fundamentally dangerous, as we know from the history of the twentieth century, that we have to expose concepts like “white privilege” for the toxic nonsense that they are. Those of us who live in Britain and America – among the least racist, most tolerant societies on earth – have a duty to stand up to this tsunami of gobbledygook before it sweeps us all away.

Hear the Eton lecture that dared question radical feminism: Video lesson about death of ‘chivalry and honour’ that got English teacher sacked and sparked freedom of speech row is posted on YouTube

  • Will Knowland attacked radical feminism over its use of term ‘toxic masculinity’
  • He argues in ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’ that the term erodes ‘chivalry and ‘honour’
  • He has been sacked by the £42,500-a-year Berkshire school over the video

By James Robinson for MailOnline

Published: 14:10, 29 November 2020 | Updated: 16:50, 29 November 2020

A video of the lecture made by an Eton College teacher at the centre of a freedom of speech row has been posted on Youtube.

Sacked English teacher Will Knowland hit out at radical feminism and the idea of ‘toxic masculinity’, which he said had been used to attack men and male qualities.

In the lecture, named ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’, he claimed the male role as a ‘protector’ benefits society as a whole – including women.

And he warned that ‘shaping men and women to be more similar actually exaggerates their differences’ – which he described as the Patriarchy Paradox.

He says that a world without men would be ‘awful’ for women and complains that chivalry and honour – which he labelled as good male qualities – are being driven down by terms such as ‘toxic masculinity’.Will Knowland, who taught English at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire for nine years, said he was dismissed over a lesson titled 'The Patriarchy Paradox'+5

Will Knowland, who taught English at the £42,500-a-year school in Berkshire for nine years, said he was dismissed over a lesson titled ‘The Patriarchy Paradox’ Patriarchy Paradox: Will Knowland’s lecture on nature of masculinity

The virtual lecture, which was never actually shown to students at the £42,500-a-year- school in Berkshire, resulted in Mr Knowland being sacked from his job.

Hundreds of pupils and members of the wider Eton community have now accused the school of hypocrisy, cruelty and a ‘complete lack of backbone’, and asked if Eton was ‘protecting its new image as politically progressive at the expense of one of its own’.  

Mr Knowland’s lecture The Patriarchy Paradox explores the conflict between the concepts of sex and gender.

He argues that the ‘shaping of men and women to be more similar actually exaggerates their differences’.

Mr Knowland argues that the idea of patriarchy – a social system in which men hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership – could be equally grounded in biology, rather than something that is constructed socially.

And he says some women may actually chose the traditional gender roles because it benefits them.

Mr Knowland points out that male roles in the animal kingdom, including those of the lion, are primarily to provide protection.

As a result, he says men have traditionally been the sex to fight wars – pointing to the difference in the development of male and female bodies in adolescence.  

He points to a cage-fighting match-up involving transgender fighter Fallon Fox, who broke the skull of female opponent Tamika Brent when the pair fought in the Octagon.The lecture, created online because of the Covid crisis, was written for Eton's Perspectives curriculum, introducing older boys to issues which are the subject of fierce public debate (file photo of Eton College)

The lecture, created online because of the Covid crisis, was written for Eton’s Perspectives curriculum, introducing older boys to issues which are the subject of fierce public debate (file photo of Eton College)Whatever happens, the aftermath is going to be tricky for headteacher Simon Henderson who was yesterday obliged to reassure parents about this 'difficult and emotive issue' (file photo)

Whatever happens, the aftermath is going to be tricky for headteacher Simon Henderson who was yesterday obliged to reassure parents about this ‘difficult and emotive issue’ (file photo)

He says: ‘If it is not fair to pit men and women in sports, then it is not fair to pit men against women on the battlefield.’

He says men’s lives are also more expendable because women are the ones who are able to give birth. However he says that a world without men would be ‘awful’ for women.

Mr Knowland adds that ‘women have always been spared the worst of work’ – pointing to the death of male slaves in the building of historical monuments such as the Pyramids of Giza and the Great Wall of China.

In a point to arguing the good that men have achieved, he also says that men have also invented ’90 per cent of inventions that have improved women’s life expectancy’.  

Following Mr Knowland’s sacking, a petition has been launched supporting him – and has been signed by 800 people.

The petition says: ‘Young men and their views are formed in the meeting and conflict of ideas… which necessarily entails controversy and spirited discussion.’

Mr Knowland, they add, ‘is loved by all who have encountered him’ and the students ‘feel morally bound not to be bystanders in what appears to be an instance of institutional bullying’. Eton's headmaster Simon Henderson sacked Mr Knowland for gross misconduct amid the fallout from a lecture about the nature of masculinity+5

Eton’s headmaster Simon Henderson sacked Mr Knowland for gross misconduct amid the fallout from a lecture about the nature of masculinity

‘Eton has been here for almost 600 years,’ said one source close to the conflict.

‘And this is a battle for its very soul. Cancel culture has arrived with cult groupthink reaching right into the heart of the school. It’s meant to be a bastion of learning and free speech.

‘George Orwell went to Eton. What would he think? 1984 was meant to be satire, not a how-to manual.’

Mr Knowland has appealed his sacking.  His appeal will be heard on Founder’s Day, December 8, by a panel chaired by former Cabinet Minister Lord Waldegrave, himself an Old Etonian.

Mr Knowland and his wife Rachel live in a grace-and-favour detached four-bedroom house owned by Eton. If he fails to win back his job on appeal next month, they will be homeless 

Mr Knowland will have the support of the Free Speech Union, whose founder Toby Young said: ‘This is a landmark case.

‘Schools must be places where children are taught all sides of these big questions and allowed to make up their own minds, not indoctrinated with the latest political orthodoxy.’

Whatever happens, the aftermath is going to be tricky for Simon Henderson who was yesterday obliged to reassure parents about this ‘difficult and emotive issue’.

‘We are limited in what we can say at the moment, given that a disciplinary process is ongoing,’ he wrote in a message.

‘Mr Knowland has chosen to publicise his version of events in advance of the disciplinary panel to which he has appealed.

‘So as to be fair to all parties, the school cannot provide substantive comment before a final decision is reached.

‘I appreciate that a lack of information is frustrating and leads to increased speculation, however the school needs to respect the integrity of the process.’ 

Mr Knowland, meanwhile, is longing to return to Eton and doesn’t see why he can’t.

He writes: ‘Respect for Eton – its past present and future – means upholding its traditions of discussion, argument and persuasion and eschewing the culture of intolerance that has swept through other institutions.

‘As Hailz Osborne [the school’s head of inclusion education] has said, in promoting diversity, which includes intellectual diversity, ‘the challenge is to enable people to say uncomfortable things’.’

Freedom of Speech Ends Where Truth is . Posted November 30th 2020

Watching a ranting feminist talking about the Eton master’s sacking, she came out with the frightening statement that this schoolmaster had no right to post the lecture video. She sneered and shouted down a lawyer on the same RT slot. When asked where freedom of speech should stop. this harridan exclaimed ‘When it meets the truth.’ Exactly how the truth is defined, there was no discussion.

However it was implicit in her diatribe that feminists are the ones who define truth. So, as far as I can tell, this woman and her kind are totalitarians. Curiously, as the extracts below from another feminist, one should not question Islam.

To question Islam, the BAME massive population growth or feminism is to be far right. Men, she attests, have to stop acting as if freedom depends on their acts of violence. She makes no mention of her feminist ancestors who handed out white feathers and humiliated men who resisted going to war in the 1880s, 1914 and 1939. The contradictions between these bigoted feminists views, Islam and LGBTQI is never mentioned because multi culture is their bulldozer.

Feminists have many laws to protect them from harsh voices, mansplaining and contradiction. It is a fact that women lie at least as much as men, and in particular about retrospective sex attacks and other violence. Making allegations a safe distance from alleged events ensures convictions. Now we have feminist think tanks recommending, if not insisting, that women’s phone and text records may not be used in rape cases. Here we have just another example of the weird world of gender quality. Many leading feminsts are from very affluent backgrpunds, spoiled by daddies, just as many transsexual men are from fatherless families. The appalling decay of family life and the divide and fool tactics of the ruling elite are never mentioned.

The reality of nature and mass poverty are not bedfellows for the pseudo truth of feminism. Nature is a matter of balance and porlarity. Women tend to dislike transsexuals, men in their clothes trying to use their cultural weapons. But the same does not apply to them when they wear mannish clothes, utilitrain underwear, boots, cropping their hair, swearing, shouting and endlessly complaining about men – who they use, as women always have, to define their existence and identity, only now as victims rather than carers and homemakers.

It isn’t surprising so many women have mental health problems. No amount of money or quantity of pills will solve that. As for men being killers, well stop encouraging them to fight vile wars in the Middle East in the name of democracy, stop covering for female abusers like Caroline Flack, stop kicking them out of families when they have outlived their usefulness, cutting them off from their kids whose lives you are going to ruin. Women have their own sneaky ways of violence , provoking, condoning, excusing and committing it. Feminism should stop where truth begins, not just their version.

R.J Cook

Men are the violent ones insists well paid feminist writer. She is a feminist so it must be true.

The 28-year-old man awaiting trial over the Christchurch massacre wrote a self-justifying screed titled “The Great Replacement.” It begins: “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.” The 21-year-old American who allegedly killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas, left behind a four-page document outlining his motivations. Its most consistent theme is the danger of Hispanic “invaders who also have close to the highest birthrate of all ethnicities in America.” The alleged shooter adds: “My motives for this attack are not at all personal. Actually the Hispanic community was not my target before I read The Great Replacement.”

Both men are referring to the right-wing conspiracy theory popularized by the French author Renaud Camus, which warns that nonwhites are having more children than whites, and that the resulting demographic change threatens European culture. This idea has been memefied by the online far right, with different groups painted as the usurpers: The neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanted “The Jews will not replace us”; for the Christchurch shooter, the threat came from Muslims; in El Paso, it was Hispanic immigrants.

Mattheis, who studied the Republican debates during the 2016 presidential election, saw similar “false rape” narratives gaining purchase there. Early in his campaign, Trump framed the need for immigration around the specter of Mexican rapists. These incidents were a somber reminder that what starts in the manosphere now has real political power. Mattheis’s research interests, which were once dismissed as a fringe preoccupation, are seen as more and more legitimate. Gender has always been a factor in mass shootings. Finally, now, we are beginning to ask why.

Helen Lewis is a London-based staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights. Connect Twitter

Why Women Are Never Satisfied Posted November 8th 2020

By Erika Patterson

Two Portsmouth Girls. Wonder what they are expecting and looking for in life, in a city of many feral children, drug addiction, knife crime, homelessness, extreme deprivavtion and poverty. It is what the elite call ‘multi culture.’ October 2020
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

It’s sometimes seems like a never ending roller coaster.

You bounce from desiring a boyfriend, to wanting an education. Then you decide you want a career and then a family and then a bigger home and then a better body and then a better job and then a better husband and then a better life. A woman could repeat this cycle many times and feel that something may be wrong with her when there isn’t.

Why can’t a woman ever be satisfied with the life she has? Well, the answer is two-fold. On one hand it is simply untrue that a woman can not be satisfied with her life yet I believe she reaches that point later in life.

Until then her waning and unquenchable desires are a result of the human yearning of desiring more than change, desiring new experiences. It is not that she is incapable of being content, it is more that she is curious about herself and the world and she wants to play in it as much as she can.

There is nothing wrong with that. Don’t try to shame her into sitting down and pretending to have ‘made it’.

If this reminds you of yourself you have permission to be flighty, be flaky, change your mind and explore until your heart’s content. You will ALWAYS have a desire for something new, that is what life is about, tasting the fullness of different experiences.

One day you will wake up and find that your present experience brings you so much joy that you don’t want to let it go. This is when you will rest in the beauty of the life you have created, that is, until life decides it has other plans for you and moves you right along on its own.

Nothing is permanent. Lead your life by following your desires, enjoy the temporary moments of bliss and then allow life to lead you sometimes.

You never get it wrong. You are always making the right choices. This is not a test. Life is not a trial run for something else. You are allowed to do what you want to do and live how you want to live.

So if this is you and you’re ready- take flight.

Comment Obviously if you have kids, they don’t matter.

Crimes of Passion

He cheated, so she set his mom’s house on fire: ‘I hope your mom likes being burned alive’ Posted November 8th 2020

By

Kissy Denise Published on October 3, 2020

Some women actually are a woman of their words. They take action. Just not in the way you want them to.

Lansing, Michigan – A woman angry at her boyfriend texted him, “I hope your mom likes being burned alive,” before allegedly setting a house on fire and killing the man’s mother and two of his nephews.  All because she suspected that he was cheating on her.

On the night of September 3, Abbieana Williams, 21, altered her life destiny when she sent a threatening text message to her boyfriend.

According to state court records obtained by the Lansing State Journal, Abbieana texted her boyfriend a threatening message to let him know that she was about to commit a murder, in order to punish him for cheating on her.

“I’m outside your mom’s house … I hope your mom likes being burned alive,” stated the text. Minutes later his mother’s house went up into flames.

Upon their arrival on the 1400 block of Elizabeth, firefighters found a small, one-story home, engulfed in flames, with fire spewing out of the front and side windows. Inside they found the body of three deceased victims: a 53-year-old woman and two little boys. 

The aftermath

The victims were identified as Melissa Weston, 53, and her two grandsons, 8-year-old Aston Griffin and 4-year-old Jesse Kline IV.

DENIAL

Abbieana denied starting a fire and being at 1450 Elizabeth Street on the night of the fire. 

However, a friend of Williams told police that he dropped her off near that address that night, shortly before 11:30pm. 

The friend said that before getting out of the car, Williams told someone on the phone, “I hope your mama likes burning alive,” the affidavit states. 

Williams was mad at her boyfriend because she thought he was cheating on her, and said she planned to throw a rock through the window, the friend said. 

Westen’s home caught on fire about four minutes after neighbors saw a black woman pacing outside.

According to the affidavit, the woman asked to borrow a lighter from a neighbor and was seen heading toward Westen’s home. 

And after the fire, Williams’ boyfriend was spotted holding the same lighter. 

A neighbor’s surveillance video recorded a glass shattering sound at 11:24pm, and captured a woman a minute later walking around Elizabeth Street for 13 minutes. 

When the Lansing Fire Department arrived just eight minutes later, the home was already engulfed in flames. 

“This arson was a despicable act of violence and my heart goes out to the victims and their family,” Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green said. 

“I’m comforted in knowing that LPD and LFD intentionally investigated this dynamic crime and that our public safety collaboration was able to quickly bring a very dangerous alleged suspect into custody.”

Abbieana Williams is charged with three counts of arson and three counts of murder.

HER MOTHER

Drique Blackmon, Williams’ mother, said her daughter has autism, “as well as some emotional impairment disorders,” but she isn’t violent.

“If you were to go at her, fighting her, she’s going to drop to the ground and curl up,’” said Blackmon, 37, of Lansing. “She’s not violent. She’s never been violent. She’d risk her life to save someone, and that includes animals.”

kissy denise black vegas blogger

She took 3 lives in the process of throwing away her own. Black women must learn to love themselves like their life depends on it, because it does. Instead of choosing to love herself and move on, Abbieana Williams chose to sacrifice her own life in the process. She didn’t even have enough love for herself to walk away from the pain. Getting back at her boyfriend was more important than loving herself.

We definitely need to raise consciousness in this world, and educate people on controlling their emotions and the dynamics of human relationships. Some pain will come. It’s unavoidable. You are to learn the lesson and make better decisions. YOU ARE NOT TO BE REACTIVE TO YOUR EMOTIONS. Younger women tend to get outright enraged over the egregious emotional betrayals perpetuated against them by the men they love.

It’s hard for some not to want to take revenge and to show people that you aren’t one to be messed with. But murdering a man’s innocent mother is completely on a different level.

Abbieana’s mother needs to understand that rather her daughter has a mental handicap or not, she’s still a woman. Playing with a woman’s heart is a dangerous thing. Which is why the show SNAPPED was created. Women are highly emotional creatures, which is also why they need GOOD MEN to balance them out. When a man comes in violating her heart, it can push even the sweetest girl over the edge. Abbieana however was not sweet. Her act was pure evil.

I hope you share these blogs, to bring light to younger women, and help them to make better decisions.

If you would like to improve your relationships, and change the entire history of your life and the way you communicate and connect with the world, get the book below. It’s time for black women to experience HEALTHY, loving relationships, and to build generational wealth.

you can't force a man to value you review

Counsellors’ experiences of working with male victims of female-perpetrated domestic abuse

Kevin F. Hogan , John R. Hegarty , Tony Ward & Lorna J. Dodd Pages 44-52 | Received 20 Apr 2011, Accepted 22 Jul 2011, Published online: 01 Nov 2011

Select Language​▼Translator disclaimer

Abstract

Aim: To provide an understanding of counsellors’ experiences of working with male victims of female-perpetrated domestic abuse. This topic has been virtually unexplored within counselling literature. Method: A qualitative design was adopted to address the objective of this research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six counsellors. Snowball sampling was used to identify suitable participants. Three were males and three females, and all had experience of working with male victims of female-perpetrated domestic abuse. Results were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings: Ten over-arching themes emerged from the transcripts, including a distinct lack of recognition of male victimisation, which was seen as hampering counsellors’ work with clients. Participants, particularly female counsellors, also drew on the significance of their gender. Furthermore, counsellors described changes in their perceptions of women within modern society. A central feature of participants’ accounts was a sense of privilege in sharing clients’ experiences. However, participants described the work as challenging, and employed both personal and professional strategies to help them cope with work-related difficulties. Discussion: Findings offer an initial understanding as to the experiences of counsellors that have worked with male victims. This may be helpful in leading to the development of more effective strategies employed by counsellors and counselling agencies in successfully working with male victims, whilst increasing awareness of male victimisation.

Believe Her! The Woman Never Lies Myth Frank S. Zepezauer* ABSTRACT: Empirical evidence does not support the widespread belief that women are extremely unlikely to make false accusations of male sexual misconduct.  Rather the research on accusations of rape, sexual harassment, incest, and child sexual abuse indicates that false accusations have become a serious problem.  The motivations involved in making a false report are widely varied and include confusion, outside influence from therapists and others, habitual lying, advantages in custody disputes, financial gain, and the political ideology of radical feminism.
  
Male sexual misconduct — rape, incest, stalking, sexual harassment, child molestation, pornography trafficking — has, according to some observers, become a problem so big that it demands a big solution, not only the reform of our legal system but of our entire society.  Yet the increasingly heated debate over this crisis has focused primarily on how these misbehaviors are defined and how often they occur.  The estimated numbers keep mounting.  We hear that perhaps 31 million women are suffering from some form of rape, 41 million from harassment, 58 million from child sexual abuse, and all 125 million of them — from toddlers to grandmothers — from a toxic “rape culture” that suffocates the feminine spirit. Much less discussed is how often an allegation of male sexual misconduct is false.  The question seldom enters the debate because, presumably, it had long ago been settled.  Pennsylvania State Law Professor Philip Jenkins (1993), in a review of the “feminist jurisprudence” which leads the sex crisis counterattack, reports that in response to the question its proponents have established an “unchallengeable orthodoxy.”  It is that “women did not lie about such victimization, never lied, not out of personal malice, not from mental instability or derangement” (p.19). Jenkins is not the first to cite this will to believe.  Wendy Kaminer (1993) reported that “it is a primary article of faith among many feminists that women don’t lie about rape, ever; they lack the dishonesty gene” (p.67).  Eight years earlier, in 1985, John O’Sullivan discovered a widespread defense of the belief that “no woman would fabricate a rape charge” (p.22).  Feminists themselves admit as much.  Law Professor Susan Estrich stated that “the whole effort at reforming rape laws has been an attack on the premise that women who bring complaints are suspect” (Newsweek, 1985, p.61).  Some feminists believe that even defending that premise is a sex crime.  Alan Dershowitz (1993) reports that he was accused of sexual harassment for discussing in class the possibility of false rape allegations. Believing the self-proclaimed victim of sexual misconduct has thus evolved from ideological conviction to legal doctrine and, in some jurisdictions, into law.  California now requires that jurors be explicitly told that a rape conviction can be based on the accuser’s testimony alone, without corroboration (Associated Press, 1992; Farrell, 1993).  Canada is proposing that a man accused of rape must demonstrate that he received the willing consent of a sexual partner. These new rules rest on the assumption that women do not lie because they have no motive to lie.  Consequently, as Jenkins (1993) states, the question of the “victim’s credibility” has now become “crucial.” Is that credibility warranted, particularly as feminist jurisprudence would want it established, as nearly automatic?  Not if we consult recent history.  And if we do, we will find that we do indeed face a sexual misconduct crisis, but not the one radical feminists now insist is ubiquitous in our society.
   False Accusations of Rape Begin with evidence of false accusation of rape, the crime which has become not only the metaphor for all cases of sexual misconduct but for male sexuality itself.  Alan Dershowitz (1991), for example, has further harassed his students by telling them that an annual F.B.I. survey of 1600 law enforcement agencies discovered that 8% of rape charges are completely unfounded.  That figure, which has held steadily over the past decade, is moreover at least twice as high as for any other felony.  Unfounded charges of assault, which like rape is often productive of conflicting testimony, comprise only 1.6% of the total compared to the 8.4% recorded for rape. Consult also a recent development, DNA testing, which is now becoming routine in rape investigations (Krajik, 1993).  Also routine is the discovery that a third of the DNA scans produce non-matches.  Consequently, a growing number of men are not only gaining acquittals but are also being released from prison.  As with all rape statistics, these figures need careful scrutiny.  Police investigators warn, for example, that a mismatch proves innocence only when the DNA could have come from no one but the assailant and its profile or makeup doesn’t match the suspect’s.  Even so, the DNA tests, primarily a prosecutorial weapon, have now been added to the arsenal of defense attorneys, and more evidence of false allegation is appearing. Although useful, the F.B.I. and DNA data on sex crimes result from unstructured number gathering.  More informative, therefore, are the results of a focused study of the false allegation question undertaken by a team headed by Charles P McDowell (McDowell & Hibler, 1985) of the U.S. Air Force Special Studies Division.  Its significance derives not only from its scholarly credentials but also its time of origin, 1984/85, a period during which rape had emerged as a major issue, but before its definition included almost any form of non-consensual sex. The McDowell team studied 556 rape allegations.  Of that total, 256 could not be conclusively verified as rape.  That left 300 authenticated cases of which 220 were judged to be truthful and 80, or 27%, were judged as false.  In his report Charles McDowell stated that extra rigor was applied to the investigation of potentially false allegations.  To be considered false one or more of the following criteria had to be met: the victim unequivocally admitted to false allegation, indicated deception in a polygraph test, and provided a plausible recantation.  Even by these strict standards, slightly more than one out of four rape charges were judged to be false. The McDowell report has itself generated controversy even though, when rape is a frequent media topic, it is not widely known.  Its calculations are no doubt problematic enough to raise serious questions.  If, out of 556 rape allegations, 256 could not be conclusively verified as rape, then a large number, 46%, entered a gray area within which more than a few, if not all, of the accusations could have been authentic.  If so, the 27% false allegation figure obtained from the remaining 300 cases could be badly skewed.  Moreover, the study itself focused on a possibly non-representative population of military personnel. The McDowell team did in fact address these questions in follow-up studies.  They recruited independent reviewers who were given 25 criteria derived from the profiles of the women who openly admitted making a false allegation.  If all three reviewers agreed that the rape allegation was false, it was then listed by that description.  The result: 60% of the accusations were identified as false.  McDowell also took his study outside the military by examining police files from a major midwestern and a southwestern city.  He found that the finding of 60% held (Farrell, 1993, pp. 321-329). McDowell’s data have received qualified confirmation from other investigators.  A survey of seven Washington, D.C. area jurisdictions in the 1991/2 period, for example, revealed that an average of 24% of rape charges were unfounded (Buckley, 1992).  A recently completed study of a small midwestern city was reported by Eugene J. Kanin (1994) of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Purdue University.  Kanin concluded that “false rape allegations constitute 41% of the total forcible rape cases reported during this period” (p.81). Kanin provides significant confirmation of McDowell’s findings in several ways.  Kanin’s subject, for example, covered a nine-year period — 1978-87 — during which rape had become a highly-politicized issue.  Members of the police department from which the data was taken were therefore sensitive to the kinds of misperceptions about which parties to the dispute had complained.  The city offered a relatively useful model: free of the unrepresentative populations found in resort areas, remote from the extreme crime conditions plaguing large communities, small enough to allow careful investigation of suspicious allegations, but large enough to produce a useful sample of 109 cases.  The investigators also separated “unfounded” from “false” rape allegations, a distinction sometimes blurred in other reports.  Moreover, among the strict guidelines used to determine an allegation’s unreliability was McDowell’s requirement that only unambiguous recantations be used. Equally revealing were addenda following Kanin’s basic report.  They reported studies in two large Midwestern state universities which covered a three-year period ending in 1988.  The finding of the combined studies was that among a total of 64 reported rapes exactly 50% were false.  Kanin found these results significant because the women in the main report tended to gather in the lower socioeconomic levels, thus raising questions about correlations of false allegation with income and educational status.  After checking figures gathered from university police departments, he therefore reported that “quite unexpectedly then, we find that these university women, when filing a rape complaint, were as likely to file a false as a valid charge.”  In addition, Kanin cited still another source (Jay, 1991) which supported findings of high frequency false allegations in the universities.  On the basis of these studies, Kanin felt it reasonable to conclude that “false rape accusations are not uncommon” (p.90).
   Sexual Harassment Alan Dershowitz’s experience with an esoteric definition of sexual harassment also raises questions about false allegations in this newly-defined but widely publicized crime.  Skeptical checking has revealed that, as with rape, the percentage of unfounded accusations of sexual harassment may reach astonishingly high levels.  That was the claim of Randy Daniels, whose confirmation for New York City’s Deputy Mayor was almost derailed by a sexual harassment charge he was able to refute.  To see whether his experience was relatively rare, Daniels checked with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  He found that in 1991, the EEOC investigated or mediated 2119 cases of sexual harassment and found that 59% were determined to have no cause (Daniels, 1993, p. 1).  Since the Hill/Thomas affair they have gone up sharply — up 64% in one year — but so have false allegations, remaining steadily in the plus 50% range.
   Child Sexual Abuse This rape and sexual harassment pattern — expanding definitions, rapidly increasing accusations, intensely politicized publicity campaigns, and significantly high percentages of false allegations — has also appeared in still another arena, the agencies which deal with the sexual molestation of children.  With this kind of sexual misconduct the credibility of a third party, the child, becomes a factor, and we hear, in addition to appeals to “believe the woman” an appeal to “believe the child.”  We are now learning that children can be manipulated into supplying dramatic testimony of sexual abuse and that in most cases the accusation originates not with the child but with the mother.  Thus the question of credibility once again focuses on women.  As one lawyer put it, “For a lot of these people ‘believe the child’ is just code.  What they really mean is, ‘believe the woman, no questions asked”‘ (Stein, 1992, p. 160). To keep this issue in perspective, note three significant facts.  The first is that of the 2,700,000 cases of child abuse reported every year less than 10% involve serious physical abuse and only 8% involve alleged sexual abuse (Schultz, 1989).  The second is that, contrary to the male victimizer/female victim paradigm of feminist ideology, at least as many boys as girls are victimized by child abuse, if not more.  The third is that the majority of child abusers are women, that the most dangerous environment for a child is a home formed by a single mother and her boyfriend, and the safest is formed by a married mother and a husband who is the child’s biological father.1 In many cases allegations of child sexual abuse occur in a nasty divorce made nastier by a custody fight.  It is now so common that it has received scholarly attention and its own acronym, S.A.I.D. (Sexual Allegations in Divorce).  The consensus is that in “S.A.I.D. syndrome” cases the number of such allegations increased so rapidly — up from 7 to 30% in the eighties — that one scholarly team called it an “explosion.”  Others, noting how often the guilt of the accused was assumed, used the word “hysteria” and searched for analogies in the Salem and the McCarthy witch hunts (Stein, 1992). Another consensus is being reached: that the majority of these allegations are false.  Melvin Guyer, Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, reports that “in highly contested custody cases where the allegation is made, a number of researchers have found the allegations to be false or unsubstantiated in anywhere from 60 to 80% of those cases ” (Felten, 1991).  Another investigative team stated that of 200 cases they studied” about three-fourths have ultimately been adjudicated as no abuse” (Felten, 1991).  Some studies have come in with a lower but still significant estimate.  For example, a 1988 study by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts said that sexual molestation charges in divorces are probably false one-third of the time (Dvorchak, 1992). Allegations of child abuse, both divorce related and in general, are flying out so frequently that those who believe themselves victimized by false charges have organized a nationwide support group, VOCAL (Victims Of Child Abuse Laws), which now includes 80 local chapters.  This group refers its members to both informal and professional counsel, sends out a newsletter, and offers access to a rapidly expanding data base.  In 1989, its summary of relevant statistics cited 23 studies which reported findings on both sexual and non-sexual child abuse. Among these, the lowest assessment of false allegation was 35%, the highest 82%, averaging at 66%.
   Recovered Memories Those joining VOCAL are finding that an even more dramatic form of child abuse allegation is now sweeping the country.  It originates with a “recovered memory” of sexual atrocity, often involving incest or satanic ritual abuse, usually made by an adult daughter against her father, and almost always discovered in therapy.  This form of allegation made the headlines when celebrities such as Roseanne Arnold, La Toya Jackson, and Suzanne Sommers declared they had suddenly remembered a long repressed victimization.  It is also claiming celebrities among the accused, most notably Cardinal Bernardin of the Roman Catholic Church, which was however later recanted. In such cases the question of credibility applies not only to the accuser or accused but also to the therapist as well as the therapeutic technique and its supporting theory.  Because cases of recovered memory of abuse have surfaced relatively recently, skeptical criticism is just now beginning to appear in the media although the underlying issues have been under debate for decades.  One result has been the formation of an organization whose title already makes an assertion, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.  Thus to VOCAL we can add FMSF among the acronyms coined in response to the false allegation problem. It appears to be widespread.  The FMSF reported that within two years of its founding in 1991, it had built a file of 12,000 families who believed themselves victimized by accusations prompted by false memories.  Eleanor Goldstein (Goldstein & Farmer, 1992) estimates that the actual number of involved families reaches into the tens of thousands.  She also cites data from the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse on the highly inflated estimates of victimization.  Contrary to statements that one in four women have been abused prior to the age of 18, retrospective surveys reveal great variations, from 6 to 62%, which means, Goldstein says, “that we don’t have any valid statistics at all” (p.2). How many of those reports of remembered child abuse, whether in the high or low range, were false?  Several sources suggest that they may match figures on false allegations in reports of rape and sexual harassment.  The National Center for Child Abuse reported that false allegations, which were 35% of all claims in 1975, had by 1993 reached 60% (FMSF Newsletter, 1993). Other sources suggest that the kind of child abuse caused by satanic ritual cults is almost totally a myth.  There may be a satan and he may have followers but, contrary to widely held belief in the mid-eighties, they did not surface all over middle America.  Where accusations actually led to trials, as in Jordan, Minnesota and in Los Angeles in the McMartin Preschool Case, prosecutors suffered embarrassing defeats.  An extensive New Yorker report of a Washington State case reveals that at least one conviction was indeed achieved.  However, after a careful analysis of the facts, the writer concludes that it was a grievous miscarriage of justice, one more ghastly example of the recovered memory theory gone amok (Wright, 1993). With regard to recovered memory cases which do not involve satanism, other indications point to a high number of false allegations.  A strong phalanx of professional opinion has raised significant doubts about the veracity of long repressed memories even within a carefully disciplined therapeutic context.  For that reason emphatic warnings are now being issued against their being used in a courtroom — not to mention a press conference — without persuasive corroboration, which, it appears, is often missing.  Some mental health experts make the point more pungently.  Dr. Paul Fink, head of Psychiatry at Albert Einstein Medical Center said, “If a therapist says 70 to 80% of patients remember abuse, I say the therapist ought to be a shoemaker” (Sifford, 1992).  Dr. Richard Ofshe, a member of the FMSF professional advisory board who exposed the proliferating fallacies in the Washington State case, stated that “the incidence of cases in which repressed memories correspond with facts about abuse is as common as Siamese twins joined at the head” (Brzustowicz & Csicsery, 1993, p.8).
   Motivations of Accusers Even so, reasonable doubts about a woman’s veracity in all these often sensationalized sexual misconduct cases do not necessarily mean that she has deliberately lied.  She may, for example, have suffered from confusion, a problem now proliferating as the definition for sex crimes becomes increasingly complicated and inclusive, leaving all parties struggling with questions about definition and propriety.  Or she may have been affected by emotional instability or mental illness, which one study reported was a factor in 75% of false allegation in divorce cases (Wakefield & Underwager, 1990).  In some cases a woman or her defenders might exaggerate a misdemeanor into a felony or, as happened in Washington state, translate bad parenting into sexual misconduct. In addition, there has been a tendency to emphasize what a victim felt rather than what happened.  Thus, a woman can truthfully say she felt raped, abused or harassed by behavior which is actually non-criminal.  Moreover, the woman’s feelings are often influenced by outside parties with whom she has confided — friends, family members, social workers, therapists, clergymen, rape counselors, lawyers, political activists — any of whom can interpret her emotion as a sign of felonious abuse. With regard to recovered memory, evidence published by the FMS Foundation suggests that the woman may be as much victimized by therapy or by recovery movement” enthusiasm as by a perpetrator hidden in her subconscious.  Ericka Ingram, the primary accuser in the Washington State case, had come under the influence of both secular and religious counselors.  Their intrusive encouragement helped to loosen a flood of wild charges she leveled against her father and mother as well as two of her father’s colleagues.  These realizations have led to an increasing number of lawsuits now being filed by former patients against incompetent or overzealous therapists.  By the same token, among the divorcing wives who file sexual molestation charges against their husbands are some who have been coached by self-serving lawyers.  Columnist Barbara Amiel (1989) stated that “a lawyer is coming close to negligence if he does not advise a client that in child custody cases and property disputes, the mere mention of a child abuse allegation is a significant asset” (p.25). In The Morning After, Katie Roiphe (1993) reported still another cause of false allegations: political passions generated by activities such as the “Take Back the Night” marches.  She tells about “Mindy” who so wanted to be a “part of this blanket warmth, this woman-centered nonhierarchical empowered notion” that she was “willing to lie” (pp. 40-41).  A similar story was told by a Stanford University professor whose daughter was, he claimed, behind a conspiracy to murder him.  He testified that he had had a good relationship with her until she attended an anti-rape rally.  “She appeared to have gotten swept up … and was experiencing great emotional distress” (Wykes, 1993). These mitigating circumstances have often softened the judgment of authorities who confront women guilty of misrepresentation.  In the Washington D.C. area, for example, police send women who lied about rape not to the court room but to a counseling center.  The Princeton woman who accused a fellow student suffered no more than an obligation to write a public apology.  Because of these sometimes compelling reasons for a departure from the truth, many officials hesitate to call a woman a liar. But it appears, some women with little or no evidence do not hesitate to call a man a rapist.  It also appears that more than a few of them have in fact knowingly and willfully lied.  Regardless of the influences working on Ericka Ingram, for example, there came a point when the evidence openly confounded her story, leaving her with the choice either to persist or recant.  Because she not only persisted but further embellished her story, Richard Ofshe called her an “habitual liar” (Wright, 1993, p.69).  Whether Anita Hill lied about Clarence Thomas still cannot be determined, but David Brock demonstrated that in several other matters she had indeed lied.  And as Charles P. McDowell and other rape allegation researchers have discovered, at least one out of four women in their study population have openly admitted to having lied. Such disclosures should encourage skepticism toward the now widely held belief that, in accusations of sexual misconduct, women never lie.  The same skepticism should be activated when we hear its supporting explanation: that filing such a charge is so painful that only a truthful woman would proceed.  That belief, although equally strong, is equally suspect.  The research that revealed how many sexual misconduct allegations are false has also revealed how often these unfounded accusations are strongly motivated. The clearest example of compelling motive can be found in the Sexual Allegation in Divorce (S.A.I.D.) syndrome.  In such cases questionable allegations multiply because the accuser has far more to gain than to lose.  Simply charging a divorcing spouse with child molestation — or wife battering or spousal rape — can turn a hot but evenly balanced custody battle into a rout.  In many cases, the accused husband must vacate what had been the “family” home and submit to prolonged alienation from his children.  He also finds himself ensnared by both the criminal justice and the social service bureaucracies whose conflicting rules of evidence can deny him the presumption of innocence.  In a process that only a Kafka can describe, he must then devote his resources to defending himself rather than pursuing the original divorce litigation. Even then he may find himself in jail or in court ordered therapy while his accuser has won de facto custody not only of the children but of the house.  Should he eventually win vindication, a process which can literally take years, he may enjoy at best a hollow victory which leaves him financially and emotionally drained, nursing a permanently injured reputation and functioning as an “absent” father with a sparse schedule of controlled visits.  It is no wonder, then, that to express the reality commentators have sometimes used dramatic language, such as “the ultimate weapon” or the “atom bomb.” The impressive results that are so often easily achieved with false allegations in custody disputes suggest the kind of temptations women may feel in other situations.  Among those found to have lied about rape or sexual harassment, for example, a number of motivations have been identified.  The McDowell report listed those they uncovered in declining order of appearance.  “Spite or revenge” and “to compensate for feelings of guilt or shame” accounted for 40% of such allegations (Farrell, 1993, p. 325).  A small percentage were attributed to “mental/emotional disorder or attempted extortion.”  In all cases, then, the falsely alleging woman had any of several strong motives to lie.  But, as with the S.A.I.D. syndrome, the most common motive was anger, an emotion which prompts more than a few embattled women to reach for “the ultimate weapon. Although money gained through extortion ranked low among the motives for false rape allegations, it appears to rank higher when sexual harassment claims prove to be unfounded.  A casual survey of some of the suits that have been filed suggests why.  In the eighties, successful claims often brought damages in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.  After the explosion ignited by the Hill/Thomas case, not only the number of claims but damage awards have skyrocketed.  A clothing store cashier successfully sued her employer for $500,000.  Employees of Stroh’s Brewery claimed that the company’s commercials, which showed the “Swedish Bikini Team,” constituted harassment and sued for damages ranging between $350,000 and $550,000.  In the famous locker room harassment case, Lisa Olson was reported to have received a settlement ranging between $250,00 and $700,000.  Damage claims — and awards — in the millions are becoming more common. In some cases which were later proved to be false, the financial stakes were particularly high.  One lawyer was charged with coaching six of his clients to “embellish or lie” about some of the incidents on which they based a sexual harassment case.  They had asked for $487,000 (Gonzales, 1993).  Eleven women from the Miss Black America Pageant, after claiming that Mike Tyson had touched them on their rears, filed a $607 million lawsuit against him.  Several of the contestants later admitted they had lied in the hope of getting publicity and cashing in on the award money which would have given them around $20 million each (Farrell, 1993, p.328). But where extortion does appear, the motivation may be political as well as monetary not only in particular cases but in the growth of the entire sexual misconduct crisis.  Whether it is rape or sexual harassment or divorce-related child molestation or recovered incest memory, many of the investigators eventually mention the influence of ideological feminism.  Katie Roiphe, for example, found feminist politics at work in the phony rape story invented by Mindy, the imaginative Princeton co-ed.  Norman Podhoretz, who wrote about “Rape in Feminist Eyes,” attributes the current over-publicized obsession with rape to “the influence of man-hating elements within the (women’s) movement (which) has grown so powerful as to have swept all before it” (1992, p.29).  As far back as 1985 John Sullivan attributed the overheated denial of false accusation to attempts to defend the “feminist theory of rape.”  And Philip Jenkins (1993), who reported the trend toward automatically-assumed female credibility, stated that it was part of a larger campaign to establish “feminist jurisprudence.” Whatever their motivations in particular cases, there is little doubt that ideological feminists have achieved significant political gains from publicizing the sexual misconduct crisis.  Lisa Olson’s feelings of harassment may for example have been genuine, but as the focus for a prolonged media event that established for female reporters an access to locker rooms it was as unpopular with the general public as it was with male athletes.  The real Anita Hill may or may not have been lying, but the Hill/Thomas affair propelled sexual harassment into a hot issue that rapidly generated a subindustry of scholars, consultants, and bureaucrats, prompted a “Year of the Woman” campaign that helped several women into congress, and revived a flagging women’s movement. The same spectacular results may follow from the Tailhook Scandal, which, like Hill/Thomas, is raising serious questions about motive and credibility.  Whether Paula Coughlin’s testimony will become as clouded as Anita Hill’s, her whistle-blowing has already scuttled the careers of a still growing number of naval officers, not to mention the Secretary of the Navy himself, intensified in-service anti-sexual harassment campaigns, reinforced an already strong feminist presence in the armed forces, and helped soften the military’s granitic opposition to women in combat.  These incidents also helped to power a “Violence Against Women” bill through congress which will channel still more millions of government money into women’s programs, not to mention winning congressional validation of feminist jurisprudence.  That’s a lot of political gain achieved by the words of a few women who suffered little more than an affront to their sensibilities.
   Conclusions This growing gap — between the anguish suffered by the victims of traditionally-defined sex crimes and what is suffered by victims of ideologically-defined crimes — suggests that the crisis we face is not the result of a sexual misconduct epidemic but of the crisis mentality itself, an ever more hysterical vision of a “rape culture.”  It has a foundation in reality.  In what has become a ritual disclaimer, those who have exposed the surprising number of false allegations of sexual misconduct have also admitted the appalling number of genuine accusations.  And those who have attacked the incompetence, self-interest, and zealotry that has denied the extent of false allegation have also recognized the courage and energy that has exposed the problem of honest allegation begging vainly for belief.  They have therefore applauded the effort to seek for this long ignored injustice both social and legal remediation. But that effort, carried too far and exploited too often, has generated another gap: between our awareness of the now highly visible victims of sexual misconduct and the almost invisible victims of false allegation.  The lesser known victims have their own stories to tell, enough to reveal another long ignored injustice that demands remediation.  False allegations of sexual misconduct have deprived a rapidly growing number of men and women of their reputations, their fortunes, their children, their livelihood, and their freedom; have wasted the time and money of countless tax-supported agencies; have destroyed not only individuals but entire families and communities; and have left some so desperate that they have taken their lives. For that reason, in the current revision of our sexual misconduct code, we must retain as a guiding premise the realization that women can lie because we know that, for several reasons, more than a few women have lied, more often than researchers into false allegation had expected, far more often than “rape culture” ideologues have admitted … too often, in any event, to be ignored by our jurisprudence, feminist or otherwise.
   Endnote 1. These assertions are themselves widely disputed.  However, one of the most extensive studies on the subject, by Strauss and Gelles (1990) reports that for physical abuse, the rate is higher for mothers than for fathers: 17.7% for mothers vs. 10.1% for fathers.  They found that preteen boys are slightly more likely to be abused than their sisters but that the pattern changes alter puberty.  Strauss and Gelles, however, also refer to some contravening studies that show higher rates for fathers. Susan Steinmetz (1977/78) who has collaborated with Strauss and Gelles, reported independently that “mothers abused children 62% more often than fathers, and that male children were more than twice as likely to suffer physical injury” (p.499). David C. Morrow (1993) reports: “Drawing upon reports of the American Humane Association, the Association of Juvenile Courts, the National Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and the FBI’s 1978 crime report, John Rossler of Equal Rights for Fathers of New York State estimated that mothers commit over two-thirds of all child abuse, 80% of it in sole custody and none in joint custody situations, while boyfriends and new husbands perpetrate most of the rest.  A similar study conducted a few years earlier in Utah by Ken Pangborn showed abuse 37% higher among single mothers than the general population and 67% of all abuse in the doing of women of whom 80% are single mothers.” Diane Russell (1986) reports that of adult women in San Francisco who reported one or more experiences of incestuous abuse, overall 4.5% were abused by a father (biological, step, foster or adoptive).  But the abuse was much more likely to occur with a stepfather.  Russell reports that 17% of the women who were raised by a stepfather were abused by him compared to 2% of the women who were raised by a biological father.  This indicates the greater risk to a girl of growing up in a household without her biological father. Thomas Fleming (1986) cites a Canadian study that concluded that preschoolers were 40 times as likely to be abused in broken and illegitimate families as compared to those in intact two-parent families. The consensus thus appears to support the assertion that child abuse is much more common in single parent families or families missing the biological father, that women are more often the abusers, and that male children are more often the victims.  [Back]   
References Amid, B. (1989, November 24). Feminism hits middle age. The National Review, p. 25. Associated Press (1992, May 8). Ruling favors victim’s word in rape cases. San Diego Union-Tribune. Brzustowicz, Jr., R. & Csicsery, G. P. (1993, January). The remembrance of crimes past. Heterodoxy, p.8. Buckley, S. (1992, June 27). Unfounded reports of rape confound area police investigators. The Washington Post, p. B-1. Daniels, R. (1993, May/June). Sexual harassment. Transitions (PO Box 129, Manhasset, New York, NY 11030, p. 1. Dershowitz, A. M. (1991, September). Justice. Penthouse, p. 52. Dershowitz, A. M. (1993, December). Sexual harassment. The Liberator, p. 22. Dvorchak, R. (1992, August 22). Sex abuse charge, “ultimate weapon” in custody cases. Houston Chronicle. Farrell, W. (1993). The Myth of Male Power ()()(). New York: Simon and Schuster. Felten, E. (1991, November 25). Divorce’s atom bomb: Child sex abuse. Insight, pp. 6-11, 34-36. Fleming, T. (1986). Uncommon properties. Chronicles. Reporting on Trend report, February. 1986, Rockford Institute, 934 N. Main Street, Rockford, IL 61103-7061. FMS Foundation Newsletter (1993, July 3). 3401 Market Street, Suite 130, Philadelphia. PA 19104. Goldstein, E., & Farmer, K. (1992). Confabulations (). Boca Raton, FL: Sirs Books. Gonzales, S. (1993, October 14). D.A.: Lawyer told sex-bias clients to lie. San Jose Mercury, p. 1B. Jay, D. R. (1991). Victimization on the college campus: A look at three high-profile cases. Campus Law Enforcement Journal, 35-37. Jenkins. P. (1993, October). Hard cases and bad law. Chronicles, p. 19. Kaminer, W. (1993, October). Feminism’s identity crisis. The Atlantic Monthly, p. 67. Kanin, E. J. (1994). False rape allegations. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 23(1), 81-92. Krajik, K. (1993, November 1). Genetics in the courtroom. Newsweek, p.64. McDowell, C. P., & Hibler, N. S. (1985). False allegations. Holland: Elsevier. Published for the Behavioral Science Unit, FBI Academy, Quantico, VA. Morrow, D. C. (1993). Toward Gynology. Aladdin’s Window, Issue # 3, Afterglow Publications, P.O. Box 399, Shingletown, CA 96088. Newsweek (1985, May 20). Rape and the law. p. 61. O’Sullivan, J. (1985, August). Rape in the New Age. American Spectator, p. 22. Podhoretz, N. (1992, November). Rape in feminist eyes. Commentary, p. 29. Roiphe, K. (1993). The Morning After: Sex, Fear and Feminism on Campus (). Boston: Little, Brown & Company. Russell, D. E. (1986). The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women (). New York: Basic Books, Inc. Sifford, D. (1992, March 15). A special tribute. Philadelphia Inquirer. Stein, H. (1992, June). Presumed guilty. Playboy, pp. 74-76, 160-165. Steinmetz, S. K. (1977/78). The battered husband syndrome. Victimology, 2, p. 89. Strauss, M. A., & Gelles, R. J. (1990). Physical Violence in American Families ()(). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction. Wakefield, H., & Underwager, IL (1990). Personality characteristics of parents making false accusations of sexual abuse in custody disputes. Issues In Child Abuse Accusations, 2(3), 121-l36. Wright, L. (1993, May 17 & 24). Remembering Satan: Part I & Part II. New Yorker, pp. 60-83, & 54-76. Wykes, S. L. (1992, December 9). “Plot” target says daughter changed. San Jose Mercury, p.1-B. * Frank S. Zepezauer is a teacher and writer at 1731 Wright Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94087.  [Back]   [Back to Volume 6, Number 2]  [Other Articles by this Author]

Johnny Depp Axed From ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise By Warner Bros After “Wife Beater” Verdict In UK; Film Delayed To 2022

By Dominic Patten, Tom Grater November 6, 2020 8:36am 51Comments

Services to share this page.

Johnny Depp
Press Association

Following a stinging loss in the UK courts over allegations of being a “wife beater,” Johnny Depp has been cut loose by Warner Bros from its Fantastic Beasts franchise. His character Grindelwald will be recast.

The threequel is also being pushed from its original November 12, 2021 release date to summer 2022.

“Johnny Depp will depart the Fantastic Beasts franchise,” the studio said in a statement Friday. “We thank Johnny for his work on the films to date. Fantastic Beasts 3 is currently in production, and the role of Gellert Grindelwald will be recast. The film will debut in theaters worldwide in the summer of 2022″.

Having stayed in the UK in recent weeks to film the David Yates-directed picture, Depp himself first made the exit news public earlier in the day via his Instagram page, saying he had been “asked to resign” by the studio.

Related Story

Johnny Depp Loses ‘Wife Beater’ Libel Case Against UK Tabloid The Sun

Fantastic Beasts 3 has been shooting since September after a pandemic-related delay. Depp was expected to be in production on the movie in London from October to February 2021 and Deadline understands he had filmed scenes prior to the verdict.

After a spectacle of a trial in London over the summer, Justice Andrew Nicol decreed on November 2 that the claim in an article by the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Sun about his relationship with Amber Heard that Depp was a “wife beater” was “substantially true.”

The blow to Depp, who unsurprisingly said today he would appeal the verdict, put not only the litigious actor’s relationship with the AT&T-owned Warner Bros in the spotlight, but also his ongoing $50 million defamation suit against his ex-wife Heard on this side of the Atlantic.

Delayed numerous times, the legal battle is currently set to go to trial in Virginia on May 3, 2021. Depp is set to finally give a deposition in the matter for three days starting November 10.

In and out of the courts on various matters the past few years, Depp sued Aquaman star Heard in early 2019 over an op-ed the actress wrote about domestic violence for the Washington Post in December 2018. Depp believes the piece cost him a role in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean reboot, though it never actually mentions him by name. Having failed repeatedly to get the case tossed, Heard countersued for $100 million earlier this summer.

Depp is scheduled to make an appearance at Poland’s Camerimage film festival later this month; the fest did not respond to requests for an update on whether the actor was still slated to attend.

Women’s Use of Intimate Partner Violence against Men: Prevalence, Implications, and Consequences

Denise A. Hines & Emily M. Douglas Pages 572-586 | Received 20 Aug 2008, Accepted 03 May 2009, Published online: 18 Aug 2009

Select Language​▼Translator disclaimer

Abstract

Evidence showing that women use intimate partner violence (IPV) against their male partners has existed since the 1970s when IPV was first systematically examined. This article discusses the various sources of prevalence rates of IPV by women against men, the dominant theoretical explanation for IPV in general, and its implications for female perpetrators and male victims in the social service and criminal justice systems, as well as the current evidence of the consequences of women’s use of IPV to the men who sustain it. Finally, we discuss directions for future research, including our own study focusing on men who sustain IPV.

2,462 Views 13 CrossRef citations to date 50 Altmetric

Research articles

‘It’s deemed unmanly’: men’s experiences of intimate partner violence (IPV)

Wendy Morgan & Michelle Wells Pages 404-418 | Received 16 Nov 2014, Accepted 29 Nov 2015, Published online: 05 Jan 2016

Select Language​▼Translator disclaimer

Abstract

This study investigated male victims’ experiences of female-perpetrated intimate partner violence (IPV). Seven participants were interviewed and the data were analysed using Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Four essential themes were revealed. (1) Participants identified themselves as victims of abuse (experiencing physical and multiple forms of abuse). (2) They felt they were victims of controlling abuse (through the use of children and isolation). (3) Respondents experienced manipulation through gendered stereotypes of abuse. (4) They felt it was different because they were men. The participants within this study were often deeply affected by the abuse they had experienced. Previous research has found male abusers use societal structures and norms to enable their abuse. The participants in this study felt that their female abusers were equally adept doing this, although the mechanisms were different. Further research should look at the processes by which abusers of either gender control and abuse their victims.

Exploring the toxic world of ​“female privilege” Posted November 4th 2020

Society

“In this heartland of incel rage and misogynist vitriol, ‘female privilege’ becomes the justification for declaring war on women.”

Words: Rachel Thompson
15th May 2019

It was early on Saturday morning when I crossed the threshold into a quarantined community. I was entering r/​TheRedPill, a subreddit dedicated to radical misogyny. This breeding ground of anti-women invective and conspiracy theories is so brazenly hostile, it’s literally cordoned off like a health hazard. It was here that I hoped to trace the source of a term that is currently flooding the online forums devoted to male separatism and men’s rights activism.

That term is ​“female privilege”, and though it’s not one you’d likely hear in everyday conversation, it’s one that’s reverberating loudly through the corridors of the Manosphere — a constellation of anti-women, anti-feminist subcultures.

Since the 1990s, academics have identified ​“female privilege” as a central tenet of the men’s rights movement. In 1996, the term was used by philosopher Kenneth Clatterbaugh to describe the two schools of thought within the men’s rights movement: ​“those who believe that men and women are equally harmed by sexism and those who believe that society has become a bastion of female privilege and male degradation.” Two decades later and the latter school of thought has found its campus on Reddit, home to around 21,000 posts on the topic. 

A quick Reddit search pulls up scores of colloquial definitions, theories, and lists to explain the concept in much more, erm, forceful language than Clatterbaugh’s. ​“Check your privilege, feminist shitlords!” reads a rallying cry of one Redditer who’d penned an exhaustive, 97-point explainer of the many privileges women enjoy over men. ​“If I’m not smart, but pretty, I can marry and achieve the social and financial level of my husband without ever working,” they explain. ​“I not only have the more valuable and sought after sexual identity, but I also have complete control over my reproductive choice and in many ways over the reproductive choice of the opposite sex,” they add. 

The means to produce ​“offspring” is cited as another advantage women have, which men do not. According to the post this grants females an “‘essential’ status in our species that men can never have and which can never be taken away from…even in old age.” As this ridiculous point might imply, the list cites very few attribution links to items stated as facts. 

Another lengthy post – authored by a ​“biological female” who says she speaks ​“against feminism” – declares that women have ​“no fear of getting rape accusations after a one-night-stand regrets her decision.” (Extensive fact-checking of this ​‘false rape accusation’ narrative has found that men are actually more likely to be raped than be falsely accused of rape.)

There’s a pattern among Redditers posting about female privilege. Some will cherrypick an individual headline or news story to submit ​“proof” that, societally, the odds are stacked in favour of women. The distribution of free menstrual products – the point of which is to mitigate widespread period poverty – appears to also be a hot button topic, especially when local government is funding it.

r/​TheRedPill is one of the biggest proponents of female privilege, describing itself as a space for ​“discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.” Its premise is directly derived from the 1999 movie The Matrix, in which protagonist Neo is presented with a choice between two pills: one red, one blue. If he takes the blue pill, he continues to live in an illusory world in a state of blissful ignorance. If he takes the red pill, however, he will shed this mantle of ignorance and the truth will be revealed to him.

In the Red Pill world, that ​“truth” is that the world in which we currently live now favours women over men. ​“Our culture has become a feminist culture,” reads the subreddit’s introduction page. ​“I am here to say, for better or for worse, the frame around public discourse is a feminist frame, and we’ve lost our identity because of it.”

In this ​“feminist culture,” women possess the ultimate privilege – sexual supremacy. ​“Feminism is a sexual strategy. It puts women into the best position they can find, to select mates, to determine when they want to switch mates, to locate the best DNA possible, and to garner the most resources they can individually achieve,” the intro page continues.

In this heartland of incel rage and misogynist vitriol, female privilege is a justification for declaring war on feminism. And in this war, women are both the enemy and the most coveted objects of all.

“We should not underestimate the disastrous consequences that could befall women at the hands of online armies of radical misogynists.”

It’s easy to dismiss female privilege as a silly idea dreamt up by crackpot conspiracists; after all it’s an empirical fact that men have vast systemic power over women and, because of that, ​“female privilege” over men does not exist. But the Red Pill community wields a huge amount of power. A recent study by Florida State University found that the Red Pill forum radicalised its subscribers during the 2016 presidential election, mobilising them to support Donald Trump. Far from being armchair activists with little effect, Trump’s ​“legion of supporters in alt-right digital spaces” are directly impacting today’s politics. It’s no secret that women’s bodily autonomy and reproductive rights are under threat right now. Last week, Georgia, US, passed a new law banning abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Yesterday, Alabama followed suit, restricting abortions in almost all cases.

Under the new laws foetuses are considered persons with full rights, women found guilty of aborting or attempting to abort pregnancies could face prison sentences, and miscarriages could be investigated as possible homicides. We should not underestimate the disastrous consequences that could befall women at the hands of online armies of radical misogynists. 

It’s hard to know how people became so invested in the fallacy that women have power over men. In this age of evolving gender roles, these men likely fear that the privileges that have come hand in hand with their gender are under threat. As the famous quote goes: ​“When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.” 

Having looked through thousands of posts about female privilege, I can also see that some of these believers occasionally identify instances where men face social inequalities – they’re just mislabelling them as female privilege, which doesn’t exist. What they’re actually posting about is something called ​“male non-privilege” – like the fact that more men die by suicide than women and the fact that traditional masculinity teaches men to stifle and suppress their emotions, causing psychlogical harm. These instances of male non-privilege often stem from toxic masculinity, which is a by-product of living in a patriarchy. 

Experts who’ve studied the causes of online radicalisation say there’s no single route to being radicalised — there are a lot of contributing factors. J.M. Berger, an expert on terrorism and author of Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, says that radicalisation can takes place when a person has issues in their personal life – like losing a loved one, or experiencing mental illness, or being exposed to violence. To vulnerable men who feel forgotten in the world, communities that unite angry men and fuel their rage might provide a false sense of belonging. 

It’s easy to laugh at the absurdity of the views expressed by female privilege believers, but we should be alarmed. We’re already seeing the rights of women being eroded, but given the Red Pill’s instrumental role in getting Trump elected, there’s no telling where radical online misogyny may lead us next. 

100 Women: ‘I transitioned and lost my male privilege’

100 Women: ‘I transitioned and lost my male privilege’

“Male privilege” is the concept that men have certain advantages within society for no other reason than the fact they are men.

Tech entrepreneur Dr Vivienne Ming, who is transgender, discovered this in her thirties when she transitioned.

In her role as chief scientist at a tech industry recruitment firm she has also calculated the value of this advantage.

Video journalist: Paul Ivan Harris; Producer: Sarah Buckley

BBC 100 Women names 100 influential and inspirational women around the world every year. In 2017, we’re challenging them to tackle four of the biggest problems facing women today – the glass ceiling, female illiteracy, harassment in public spaces and sexism in sport.

With your help, they’ll be coming up with real-life solutions and we want you to get involved with your ideas. Find us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use

But with such media exposure, visibility and an awareness of trans issues came an – arguably inevitable – backlash.

For some-time, I’ve been dictated to and told what I am or rather what I’m not by others.

Nigerian novelist and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie rocked the LGBTQ community when she commented, and then went on to re-clarify, why ‘trans women are trans women’ and not just ‘women’.

‘I think if you’ve lived in the world as a man with the privileges that the world accords to men and then sort of change gender, it’s difficult for me to accept that then we can equate your experience with the experience of a woman who has lived from the beginning as a woman and who has not been accorded those privileges that men are’, she told Channel 4 News.

I appreciated her point of view, which didn’t completely dismiss me, but I couldn’t agree.

Chimamanda’s comments are the latest in a string of remarks that call into question the ‘realness’ of transgender women.

Recently Woman’s Hour presenter, Dame Jenni Murray accused women like me of not being ‘real’ in an article published in The Sunday Times Magazine. Starting her tirade with ‘I am not transphobic or anti-trans’ – which felt like a kick in the teeth. As I knew what was about to come.

Back in 2012, the author Julie Burchill wrote, ‘Trans women are big white blokes who cut their cocks off’ in an article originally published in The Observer.

A couple of years later Germaine Greer made headlines when she attacked the transgender community on Newsnight by telling the world that Trans women are ‘not women’ because we do not ‘look like, sound like or behave like women’.

I don’t know why I’m transgendered. I don’t know why I feel more comfortable in a female identity

By suggesting I’m not ‘real’ is implying that I’m fake. And I’m tired of this debate.

Why am I always being asked ‘What makes you a woman?’

I feel like I’m constantly having to explain myself, to justify my words and actions, to define and redefine who I am in the hope that others will accept me – so that my existence is in some way validated.

When I read Murray’s comments I immediately jumped onto Twitter to see what responses it evoked from my trans friends, many of who seemed to be rolling their eyes, as if to say ‘Here we go again, time to explain myself once more’.

Transgender journalist Paris Lees directly addressed Murray’s comments – tongue firmly in cheek. ‘Thank God someone has *finally* had the guts to tell trans women we’re not real women. Groundbreaking & completely necessary comments,’ she tweeted.

I don’t know why I’m transgendered. I don’t know why I feel more comfortable in a female identity. I don’t know why after 30 years of living as a man I knew I had to transition. I’ve explored all of these questions and have yet to come up with an answer. It just is. This content is imported from Instagram. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Why I’ve Never Believed in ‘Believe Women’

The Biden allegations reveal the weakness of the #MeToo movement’s rallying cry.Helen Lewis May 14, 2020 Enjoy unlimited access to The Atlantic for less than $1 per week. Sign in Subscribe Now

The Atlantic

Imagine that a friend tells you they have been sexually assaulted. What do you do? Your first reaction would, I hope, be sympathy. You would not pepper them with questions: what were they wearing, what were they drinking, what were they thinking? You’d believe them.

Now imagine being a human-resources manager. In front of you is an employee making a claim of sexual harassment against a colleague. Your duty is to ensure the employee’s well-being—but also to decide whether to conduct a formal investigation. You might point them toward counseling resources, but also ask if there is evidence to back up their version of events.

Now you’re a journalist. A woman has just come to you alleging that she was sexually assaulted by a public figure. Your response here is the opposite of a friend’s reaction. You ask about corroboration: letters, answering-machine messages, witnesses, emails, photographs, dates, times. You look for the weaknesses in the story, the omissions, the contradictions. You remember the journalist’s maxim If your mother says she loves you, make her prove it. You do not simply “believe women.”

That’s because “Believe women” isn’t just a terrible slogan for the #MeToo movement; it is a trap. The mantra began as an attempt to redress the poor treatment of those who come forward over abuse, and the feminists who adopted it had good intentions, but its catchiness disguised its weakness: The phrase is too reductive, too essentialist, too open to misinterpretation. Defending its precise meaning has taken up energy better spent talking about the structural changes that would make it obsolete, and it has become a stick with which to beat activists and politicians who care about the subject. The case of Tara Reade, who has accused the presidential candidate Joe Biden of sexual assault, demonstrates the problem.

In the two and a half years since the first wave of #MeToo allegations, scores of famous and non-famous women (and fewer men) have come forward with experiences of sexual harassment, assault, and rape. There have been “cancellations,” job losses, and convictions. There have also been edge cases, uncomfortable gray areas, and men who have said their lives were ruined by nebulous allegations. “Believe women” was intended to capture an undeniable truth: Sexual harassment and sexual assault are so endemic in society that they make the coronavirus look like a rare tropical disease. False allegations do exist, but they are extremely uncommon. (Men are more likely to be raped than falsely accused of rape.) When thousands of women tell us that there is a problem with sexual aggression in our society, we should believe them.

That broad truth, however, tells us nothing about the merits of any individual case. And as my colleague Megan Garber has written, “Believe women” has evolved into “Believe all women,” or “Automatically believe women.” This absolutism is wrong, unhelpful, and impossible to defend. The slogan should have been “Don’t dismiss women,” “Give women a fair hearing,” or even “Due process is great.” (Or, you know, something good. Sloganeering is not my forte.) Why did “Believe women” catch on? Possibly because it is almost precision-engineered to generate endless arguments about its meaning, and endless arguments are the fuel of the attention economy otherwise known as internet, newspaper, and television commentary.

As a rallying cry, “Believe women” groups cases together in a deeply unhelpful way. In a court of law, there are grades of offense, and sliding penalties. In the court of public opinion, we talk about rape and a hand on the knee in the same breath. A man who becomes “#MeToo accused”—but whose case is never publicly aired in full—carries a miasma of unspecified wrongdoing. And if there is no possibility of “serving your time,” all the incentives point toward denial rather than confession.

Each new case tends to be read through other, typically unilluminating, reference points. It is hard to find an opinion about Reade that is not also one about Christine Blasey Ford, who publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh of attempted rape when he was nominated by Donald Trump to the United States Supreme Court. (Kavanaugh denied the offense, and he was confirmed.) “Believe women” lumps Reade and Blasey Ford together, demanding that politicians, the media, and observers treat their stories exactly the same. After all, they’re both women, aren’t they?

But the cases are not the same, neither in their details nor how they came to light. Laura McGann at Vox writes that she was one of several mainstream journalists approached by Reade in April last year, and tried hard to corroborate her original allegation—that Biden touched her on the neck and shoulders in a way that made her uncomfortable—but failed. Others did too. Those journalists did not “believe” or “disbelieve” Reade; they didn’t find enough evidence to publish anything close to a definitive account. “If I were an old friend of Reade’s and she told me this same story privately over the course of a year, I doubt I would question her account,” McGann notes. “But I’m not an old friend. I’m a journalist.” The New York Times’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, made a similar point in a spiky interview with his paper’s own media columnist. (Reade later found a hearing among journalists and outlets that have been critical of Biden, and broadened her allegations to include sexual assault. These claims have now been conscripted into the case for ditching Biden as the Democratic nominee in favor of Bernie Sanders.)

One of the hardest #MeToo arguments to make is that sometimes the role of journalists is not to publish, out of fairness to accused men as well as their accusers. It is cruel to expose complainants to the searchlight of publicity when their allegations are flimsy, or to write stories in which inconsistencies are not confronted. Doing so is asking for the accuser to be disbelieved, and that experience can be re-traumatizing.

“Believe women” therefore makes the job of journalists more difficult. It has made necessary skepticism look like hostility. Sources should know that reporters are only asking hard questions because everyone else will. Many interviewees, on any type of story, will offer a version of the past buffed up in numerous tiny ways to make them look better, unaware that they have done so. Being drunk or high doesn’t mean your allegation is not credible, for example, but if those facts are excluded from the initial story, only to be revealed later, your whole narrative will be considered “debunked.” The damage of publishing a story that unravels is huge, not just to the individuals involved, but to the issue of sexual assault as a whole. For instance, gang rape is a real and horrifying phenomenon, but for many people, the sole story they will have heard about it is Rolling Stone’s now-retracted report “A Rape on Campus.”

By and large, it is the liberal left that has adopted the “Believe women” mantra; and, like a gun kept in the house, a weapon of such power is most liable to injure its owner. It provides feminists with no way to rebut or question any particular story without being accused of hypocrisy, turning every marginal case into a “gotcha.” Female politicians get burned both ways: They face angry demands to disassociate themselves from accused men, and equally angry accusations of knee-jerk man-hating if they do. (The case of Senator Al Franken is a sorry tale of well-meaning people feeling the need to decry instantly rather than investigate fully.) As Moira Donegan has noted, female Democrats “have been tasked with cleaning up the mess” from Reade’s allegations. Biden has pledged to pick a woman as his running mate: Expect her to take as much heat on the subject as he does, if not more.

Moira Donegan: What Tara Reade deserves

Why has #MeToo become fixated on questions of belief? Because in too many cases, belief is all we have. The worldwide outpouring of traumatic experiences has not led to the structural changes needed to arbitrate claims in anything close to an objective fashion. Instead, in the U.S. and elsewhere, cases are decided along partisan lines. It was painful to read the section of She Said, the book by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, which deals with the Blasey Ford allegations. Here was a woman who tried to do everything right. And then, faced with a Republican artillery barrage, she took refuge in the only place she could, relying on Democrats to champion her cause in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. There was never a neutral forum in which her story could be heard.

This is the final failure of “Believe women,” and demonstrates why it was a mistake to let the slogan take hold. In its needless, provocative overstatement, it derails the #MeToo conversation, and prevents it from moving to the question of how to change structures. If belief is fairy dust, we can simply sprinkle that on women and not worry about the institutions that are letting them down. HR departments too commonly exist to protect companies, not their employees. Serial predators go uncaught because untested rape kits lie piled up in warehouses. Complainants are subjected to a “digital strip search,” and cases are dropped if they won’t allow police to rifle through their data. It is impossible for women to expect justice from a system such as this.

Read: What Joe Biden didn’t say in his Tara Reade denial

In Britain, an outside lawyer was asked to produce a report on Parliament’s failure to deal with bullying and harassment by powerful politicians. Her recommendations included a confidential helpline, and an independent complaints procedure. This is a promising start: From famous actors to cleaners on short-term contracts, from political staffers to delivery drivers managed by an app, the world of work is more and more fragmented and casual, and new channels for complaints must be created. For criminal allegations to be pursued thoroughly, police forces need to look like the communities they represent, and they need to prosecute sexual offences with sensitivity and rigor. Rape cases are often mentally filed in the “too difficult” box: The attrition rate as they move through the police, prosecution, and the courts is high.

Yes, believe that sexual harassment and assault are far more widespread than we have ever been willing to acknowledge. Believe that “nice guys,” even self-identified feminists, are capable of treating the people around them like dirt. Believe your friends when they are asking for nothing more than your support.

But do not confuse any of that with an injunction to believe any single woman’s public allegation, without caveats, without questions. “Believe women” is a bad slogan, and it should be retired. We should not be expected to believe women. We should instead be able to believe in the system.

Helen Lewis is a London-based staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights.

Comment The ‘Me Too’ movement only works in one direction. It is favoured by the police to help convict accused men. They appeal for other women to come forward to persuade juries of a man’s guilt, on the basis of ‘balance of probabiity.’ This passes for evidence for the CPS, police and courts. In Britain, where Depp went to court to defend his reputation, it did him no good to have other lovers and partners vouch for him. The object is to convict as many men as possible. There is a view that women never lie- and that men need taming and emasculating. R.J Cook

Amber Heard was ‘abuser’ in Johnny Depp relationship, Pirates of the Caribbean’s ex-aide claims

  • Monday 13 July 2020, 4:46pm
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp at a film premiere
Johnny Depp said he contracted MRSA after his finger was severed by a vodka bottle thrown by Amber Heard. Credit: PA

Amber Heard was the “abuser” in her relationship with Johnny Depp, the actor’s former personal assistant has claimed.

It was also revealed that Stephen Deuters had described Ms Heard as a “sociopathic show pony” and “Machiavellian overlord” in text messages.

A libel hearing was also told that Mr Depp learnt he had lost more than half a billion pounds shortly before his ex-wife’s 30th birthday party and that the actor contracted the superbug MRSA after his finger was severed in an incident in Australia.

As the case at the High Court entered its second week, Mr Depp’s former assistant Mr Deuters alleged that Ms Heard, 34, subjected the 57-year-old, to “years of abuse”, and said he was “extremely surprised and outraged” when it became public that she had filed for a temporary restraining order against the Hollywood star.

In his written witness statement, Mr Deuters, who is now European president of Mr Depp’s production company, Infinitum Nihil, said he was with the couple “very regularly” throughout their relationship, and did not see any injuries on Ms Heard, or hear her mention that she had been the victim of abuse.

Mr Deuters was giving evidence on Monday in his employer’s libel trial against The Sun newspaper’s published, News Group Newspapers (NGN) over an April 2018 article which labelled Mr Depp a “wife beater”.

Mr Depp is said to have attacked Ms Heard, 34, throughout their tempestuous relationship, which has been described as “a crime scene waiting to happen” and put her in fear for her life – claims he says are “a choreographed hoax”.


59th BFI London Film Festival – Black Mass Premiere
Amber Heard and Johnny Depp married in Los Angeles in February 2015 Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA

In his written statement, Mr Deuters said that, during the period in which Mr Depp is alleged to have been abusive, he saw Ms Heard “on many occasions”.

“At no point did Ms Heard ever mention any physical abuse and I never saw evidence of any injury to Ms Heard,” he claimed.

Mr Deuters went on to say: “In contrast, Mr Depp told me on multiple occasions that Ms Heard had attacked him or abused him physically and verbally.”

He alleged that the first time Ms Heard made an allegation of physical abuse against Mr Depp was when she filed for a temporary restraining order (TRO) in 2016.

He said: “In relation to the TRO, I, along with many others, was extremely surprised and outraged when this hit the press.

“I knew that Ms Heard was the abuser in the relationship and I was appalled that she would behave in this way.”

Mr Deuters claimed Ms Heard “had subjected Mr Depp to years of abuse”.

In his witness statement, Mr Deuters referred to a number of alleged incidents of domestic violence, all of which Mr Depp denies, which News Group Newspapers (NGN), publisher of The Sun, is relying on in its defence against the actor’s libel claim.

Mr Deuters said he was on a flight with the couple from Boston to Los Angeles in May 2014, when it is alleged Mr Depp was abusive towards Ms Heard.

Mr Deuters claimed that Ms Heard was “speaking at Mr Depp in an increasingly aggressive manner whilst he was focused on his notebooks, within which he often wrote or drew when flying”.

He said: “At this point, I had my headphones on so I could not hear the specifics of what she was saying but I could see her gesticulating and I could tell from her manner that her voice was raised.

“She continued to harangue Mr Depp, whereas he did not engage with the abuse he was receiving.”

Mr Deuters said that, at one point, Mr Depp “made a playful attempt to tap her (Ms Heard) on the bottom”, adding that he did not believe that Mr Depp made contact with her.

He said: “Ms Heard took great offence at what was clearly a harmless gesture and increased her abuse of Mr Depp in an extremely unpleasant manner.”

Mr Deuters went on to say that he, and Mr Depp’s former private security guard, Jerry Judge, “decided to intervene in order to attempt to calm down Ms Heard”, with Mr Judge taking her aside.

“I believe I spoke briefly to Mr Depp and he then retreated to the bathroom of the plane where he remained for the rest of the flight.

“This was a common theme on the multiple times when Mr Depp was abused by Ms Heard – he would take himself away from the situation, often to a bathroom, and lock himself out harm’s way.”

Mr Deuters said that the day after the flight, Mr Depp asked him to “mollify” Ms Heard and “to say whatever was needed to try and placate her”.

“Given Ms Heard’s extremely volatile nature, I thought it best to try to engage with her on her own terms and simply apologise for what she was alleging had happened; hence my use of the word ‘kicked’, which is the word which Ms Heard herself had used.

“As I have made clear, Mr Depp had not kicked Ms Heard.”


Johnny Depp court case
Johnny Depp is at the Royal Courts of Justice in central London for his libel action against The Sun newspaper Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Mr Deuters also gave evidence on the couple’s trip to Australia in March 2015, during which it is alleged Mr Depp assaulted Ms Heard and “completely destroyed” a house in a drink- and drug-fuelled rage, which the actor denies.

Mr Depp’s finger was severed during the trip, and he alleges it was caused by Ms Heard throwing a vodka bottle at him, which she denies.

Last week, the court was told Mr Depp used his severed finger, dipped in paint, to scrawl graffiti in the house.

On Monday, Mr Deuters said he was not present when the injury occurred, and he saw Mr Depp when the actor was taken to a hotel by his security team.

He claimed that, the following day, Mr Depp told him and two others “he had sustained his injury when Ms Heard had thrown a bottle at him which smashed on his hand”.

Mr Deuters also said that Mr Depp “did not want to cause alarm by letting the true cause of his injuries be known” and they were “instructed to say that Mr Depp had caught his finger in a door.”

Mr Deuters was asked about how he felt when Mr Depp and Ms Heard finally split up, and he agreed that he would have been “relieved”.

The barrister then read out a text from Mr Deuters to Mr Depp’s friend Paul Bettany on May 26 2016, which read: “That moment when everything comes home to roost and all the shit compounds itself into one monstrous steaming pile of catastrophe.

“Just trying to keep him upright at the moment. But at least the bitch is gone. Yes, I do mean Amber – not the Mom.

“Poor Betty Sue (Mr Depp’s mother) has been on her way out for the last six months – it was a relief to all, most of all herself.”

The next message by Mr Deuters, apparently describing Ms Heard, read: “Sociopathic show pony. Machiavellian overlord.

“Talentless c***. Good riddance to bad shit. Yes, I do mean Amber not the Mom, even though she was a devil herself.”

According to Mr Deuters’ statement, he has worked for Mr Depp since 2004.

On Monday, Mr Depp’s barrister, David Sherborne asked the actor about an alleged incident in Los Angeles on March 23, 2015, when he is said to have grabbed Ms Heard by the hair with one hand and hit her “repeatedly in the head with the other”.

It is claimed the incident took place shortly after the couple visited Australia.

Mr Depp said: “I flew back from Australia to LA to have surgery on the finger and, at that time, they had put a pin in it, in the broken bone, the fractured bone, but to no avail.”

He added that he “ended up getting MRSA; it’s quite a painful disease”.

Mr Depp explained he was wearing a cast on his hand with a “little dinosaur” on it because he had decided if he was going to have to wear one he should have the children’s “wraparound” on it as it was “more fun”.

The actor confirmed he was wearing the cast at the time of the alleged incident in LA’s Eastern Columbia building.

Mr Sherborne asked: “And with that cast on, would you have been able to grab her hair with one hand and punch her repeatedly with the other?”

Mr Depp replied: “No sir.”

A mirror in the house where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were staying in Australia in March 2015
A mirror in the house where Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were staying in Australia in March 2015. Credit: PA

Earlier on Monday, Mr Sherborne also asked Mr Depp about an argument after Ms Heard’s 30th birthday party at the couple’s LA penthouse on April 21, 2016, which the actor attended after a “bad meeting” with his new business manager.

Mr Depp said: “I was in the early stage of learning from my recently acquired new business manager that the former business managers had (taken) quite a lot of my money. They had stolen my money.”

Mr Sherborne asked: “How much money had they taken from you?”

The actor replied: “It was put to me this way, because I had no idea about money or amounts of money.

“Since Pirates (Of The Caribbean) 2 and 3, I had – and this is ludicrous to have to state, it’s quite embarrassing – apparently I had made $650 million (£510 million) and when I sacked them, for the right reasons, I had not only lost $650 million, but I was $100 million in the hole because they (the previous business managers) had not paid the government my taxes for 17 years.”

Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London
Actress Amber Heard arrives at the High Court in London Credit: Aaron Chown/PA

Since Tuesday last week, Mr Depp has been questioned about 14 alleged incidents of domestic violence, as well as his Hollywood lifestyle, past relationships with Vanessa Paradis, Winona Ryder and Kate Moss, and his well-documented use of drink and drugs.

The actor is suing NGN and Mr Wootton over the publication of an article on April 27, 2018 with the headline: “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”

NGN is defending the article as true, and says Mr Depp was “controlling and verbally and physically abusive towards Ms Heard, particularly when he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs”.


Johnny Depp’s defeat in libel case hailed by domestic violence charities

The trial highlighted tactics used to silence and discredit victims, say campaigners

Johnny Depp’

Johnny Depp’s lawyers said they are likely to appeal against the verdict. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty ImagesOwen Bowcott and Caroline DaviesMon 2 Nov 2020 18.48 GMT

Last modified on Mon 2 Nov 2020 20.17 GMT

150

Johnny Depp’s defeat in the London libel courts has been hailed by domestic violence charities as a victory that should encourage other victims to come forward and seek justice.

The judgment on Monday by the high court that the Sun was justified in describing the Pirates of the Caribbean star as a “wife beater” was welcomed by lawyers and campaign groups who support those who have experienced domestic abuse.

The damage to the Hollywood actor’s reputation, following one of the most widely followed libel trials of the century, will be extensive. His lawyers said he was likely to appeal against the “perverse and bewildering decision”.Hollywood assumptions overturned by Johnny Depp’s court defeatRead more

The four-week trial exemplified tactics used to silence and discredit victims, according to domestic violence charities.

In the 129-page ruling, the judge, Mr Justice Nicol, concluded: “The claimant [Depp] has not succeeded in his action for libel … The defendants [the Sun and News Group Newspapers] have shown that what they published in the meaning which I have held the words to bear was substantially true.

“I have found that the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp have been proved to the civil standard.”

The judge said he did not accept Depp’s characterisation of his ex-wife as a gold-digger. Nicol noted: “Her donation of … $7m to charity is hardly the act one would expect of a gold-digger”.

In 12 out of the 14 incidents of assault reported by Heard, the judge said he found the allegations proved. “I do not regard [the Sun’s] inability to make good these allegations [in the other two incidents] as of importance in determining whether they have established the substantial truth of the words that they published.”Depp libel trial reveals problems of proof in domestic violence casesRead more

Depp, 57, sued the Sun’s publisher, News Group Newspapers (NGN), and its executive editor, Dan Wootton, over an article published in the Sun that originally carried the headline “Gone Potty: How can JK Rowling be ‘genuinely happy’ casting wife beater Johnny Depp in the new Fantastic Beasts film?”

NGN relied on a defence of truth to the claim. The burden of proof was on the Sun to demonstrate that the story was substantially accurate on the balance of probabilities. This is the standard of proof in a civil case, whereas in a criminal case it relies on the matter being beyond reasonable doubt.Cocaine binges and $30,000 wine bills: Johnny Depp’s lifestyle laid bareRead more

Depp’s lawyers had argued that the gravity of the allegations meant that the civil standard of proof applied in defamation cases should be applied “flexibly”, so that the more serious the allegation “the stronger must be the evidence before a court”.

Immediately after the ruling, the publisher issued a statement saying: “The Sun has stood up and campaigned for the victims of domestic abuse for over 20 years. Domestic abuse victims must never be silenced, and we thank the judge for his careful consideration and thank Amber Heard for her courage in giving evidence to the court.”

The US lawyer representing Heard in her forthcoming defamation case on similar grounds in the US, Elaine Charlson Bredehoft, said: “For those of us present for the London high court trial, this decision and judgment are not a surprise.

“Very soon, we will be presenting even more voluminous evidence in the US. We are committed to obtaining justice for Amber Heard in the US court and defending Ms Heard’s right to free speech.”

Jenny Afia, the solicitor at the London law firm of Schillings, which represented Depp, said: “This decision is as perverse as it is bewildering. Most troubling is the judge’s reliance on the testimony of Amber Heard, and corresponding disregard of the mountain of counter-evidence from police officers, medical practitioners, her own former assistant, other unchallenged witnesses and an array of documentary evidence which completely undermined the allegations, point by point. All of this was overlooked.

“The judgment is so flawed that it would be ridiculous for Mr Depp not to appeal this decision.”

Although Depp’s lawyers have indicated he is likely to appeal, it may prove difficult for them to overturn what are findings of fact by the trial judge. The judge’s rulings on those points are effectively similar to a jury’s verdict in a crown court. Appeals are normally on points of law.

Commenting on the decision, Caroline Kean, a partner at the London law firm Wiggin LLP, said: “This is a heartening and just decision which serves as a reminder that British libel laws are not there to curtail free speech and the media’s right to publish on stories of global interest.

“This case was effectively a forum for two private individuals to slug it out and a clear misuse of taxpayers’ money, taking up court resources that could have been deployed for more worthy causes.”

Lisa King, from the domestic violence charity Refuge, said: “This is an important ruling and one which we hope sends a very powerful message: every single survivor of domestic abuse should be listened to and should be heard. No survivor should ever have her voice silenced.

“A common tactic used by perpetrators of domestic abuse is to repeatedly tell victims that no one will believe them – and to use power and control to try and silence them. What we have seen today is that power, fame and financial resources cannot be used to silence women. That is a welcome message for survivors of domestic abuse around the world.”

Harriet Wistrich, the founder of the Centre for Women’s Justice, said: “So many women who have tried to speak out or share their experiences are being threatened with libel actions. This is a really helpful judgment and will serve as a warning to men who think they can silence those who speak out about their abuse.”

Nicki Norman, acting chief executive at Women’s Aid, said: “The allegations of domestic abuse against Johnny Depp were extremely serious. Everyone who has experienced domestic abuse deserves to be listened to and believed. This also applies to survivors who do not fit the image of the ‘perfect’ victim – and regardless of the high profile of the alleged abuser. There is no excuse for domestic abuse.”

Sarah Harding, a partner specialising in family law at Hodge Jones & Allen, said: “It is hoped that this case will encourage other victims of domestic violence to come forward and seek the protection that they need. In addition to the Me Too movement and the domestic abuse bill … this case will highlight that the courts do listen, regardless of wealth or stature.”

Comment Men need to think very carefully about the risks and dangers of marriage. Women are on the one hand equal, on the other hand all vulnerable and always honest. Men must tread carefully and never raise voice or hand in self defence or danger. The tabloids, posh young bucks and feminists will finish a man off . It is no wonder we lack male role models and men leave teaching in droves. R.J Cook

Johnny Depp Loses libel case, a woman’s word is always taken as truth, no evidence of domestic violence but women don’t need evidence, only tears. They complain about lack of sex but can withdraw consent at any time. There is a dangerous myth that women are never violent unless a man provokes and deserves it, and that women never lie. So why do men bother with women any more ? Why do so many males queue up for sex change or go gay – or mad ? Comment by R.J Cook, report below. November 2nd 2020

Johnny Depp has lost his libel battle against NGN over an article published in The Sun which branded him a “wife beater”.

The Pirates of The Caribbean actor – who denied ever being violent towards his ex-wife Amber Heard – sued for libel over the story, which was published in 2018, and the trial took place at London’s High Court over the summer.

The judgement was handed down today.

The trial took place over 16 days in July and featured testimony from Depp himself as well as his ex-wife Heard.

The case rested on 14 alleged incidents of domestic abuse which lawyers for NGN argued demonstrated the article by The Sun was not libellous.

The claims included details of alleged bust-ups between the pair which were said to have occurred between 2013 and 2016.

The Pulse

The Pulse The Pulse

Incredible viral video shows baby in amniotic sac outside the womb

The incredible video has been viewed over 22 MILLION times. Wed Mar 2, 2016 – 4:15 pm EST

Featured Image

By Kristi Burton Brown


March 2, 2016 (LiveActionNews) — In roughly two weeks, a video of a baby born inside her amniotic sac has been viewed over 22 million times. This beautiful baby can be seen moving her arms, mouth open, inside her tight quarters as the doctor’s hand is on her. According to the Daily Mail, “the baby seems to respond to [the doctor’s] touch and can be seen moving inside the enclosed space.”

Then, when the doctor opens the sac so the baby can come out, she wails and breathes like any other newborn.

asi como cuando dicen ” nacio ENMANTILLAO” bueno… asi! Posted by Jasmine Perez on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CNN reports that babies are born while still inside their amniotic very rarely – less than 1 in every 80,000 births. A baby boy, Silas Phillips, was born inside his sac about one year ago in the U.S., and a photo snapped by his doctor also went viral.

The amniotic sac is a baby’s safe place inside her mother’s womb. This baby’s amazing and highly unusual birth caused the Daily Mail to educate its readers about how babies live inside the amniotic sac during their time inside their mothers’ wombs. The Mail showed the photo below, an incredible photo of a baby early on in her first trimester, developing, growing, and living safely in her own amniotic sac.

Image

Whether a baby has just begun her life inside the womb, or whether she has just been born outside, her humanity is evident and beautiful. SUBSCRIBE to LifeSite’s daily headlines U.S. Canada World Catholic

The Endowment for Human Development, a scientific nonprofit that has worked with National Geographic to produce a video on prenatal development, explains that the purpose of the amniotic sac is to protect the preborn child until she emerges into the world:

By 4 weeks the clear amnion surrounds the embryo in a fluid-filled sac. This sterile liquid, called amniotic fluid, provides the embryo with protection from injury.

Comment Women need to be careful. This could make them redundant. I listened to a feminist BBC radio programme, back before Covid madness cost me my trucking job, I heard a whingeing feminist saying these sacs should be banned because if they catch on they will lose all their power.

These mordant young and old hags make much of the horrors of pregnancy. The whole business needs taking from their hands. Let them focus on their dreary sterile power mad careers. They need to stop messing up kids of both sexes with their weird ideas and politics of gender. R.J Cook

Women need to

The ‘she-cession’: Why women are leaving the workforce Posted October 31st 2020

The ‘she-cession’: Why women are leaving the workforce

It’s time to end the myth that working mothers “opt out” of their careers to become stay-at-home moms, said Sarah Green Carmichael at Bloomberg. As the pandemic is making clear, “when women leave the workforce, they’re not exercising their options — they’ve run out of them.” In August and September, 865,000 women dropped out of the U.S. labor force — four times as many as men who did. “And it might get worse.” One in 4 working women, and 1 in 3 who are mothers, say they are considering quitting or cutting back their hours. As other surveys indicate, the demands of child care are a major factor. With many day-care centers closed and half of the nation’s K-12 students attending online-only classes, mothers often have little choice but to stay home. Bad public policy always plays a role in these decisions, but “policymakers are MIA, apparently expecting women to be the shock absorbers of the economy.”

The impact on women’s careers may last for years, said Andrea Hsu at NPR. Consider Joyce Chen, an associate professor of economics at Ohio State University. Early in 2020 she was working on several research projects with her eye on promotion to full professor. But when in-person classes ended for her children, the mother of three suddenly had to trim work back to teaching only, passing up grant and publishing opportunities. “That’s something that’s going to ripple out through your entire career,” she says. And Chen knows, because she has studied the “mom penalty” — a hit in pay for women who have children that is partly related to periods when they step back from their professions. But one disadvantage feeds another, because with their lower average wage, at all educational levels, women in a two-income household are more likely to drop out when child-care needs arise.

If women wind up deciding next week’s election, it’ll be only fair, said the New York Daily News in an editorial. “The COVID-19 pandemic may have erased a generation’s worth of hard-won progress in closing persistent gender disparities in pay,” and recent news has been particularly bad: In September, single men gained 1 million jobs while married women lost 1.2 million. The simple solution is an economic recovery plan that focuses on women’s challenges, said Gina Raimondo and Mary Kay Henry at The Washington Post. Two-thirds of the nation’s minimum-wage earners are women, and those wages aren’t enough to survive on. The U.S. remains the only industrialized nation that doesn’t guarantee paid family leave, and “investment in affordable child-care programs is critical.” Men will benefit, too, and so will business. “To build an equitable and resilient economy, let’s start with women.”

The deep roots of Islamophobia in the Conservative Party

30/09/2020

During the Conservative Party leadership election last year, Sajid Javid put his fellow candidates on the spot: will you agree to an inquiry into Islamophobia within the party? Boris Johnson agreed, and after delays and prevarication, an inquiry was launched earlier this year.

Today, HOPE not hate is publishing our submission to the inquiry.

In recent years, HOPE not hate has tracked, highlighted and campaigned against the poison of hatred impacting individual political parties. None have been immune. For several years, there have been well-documented incidents of Conservative Party MPs, councillors and locally-elected representatives engaging in vile racism, particularly towards Muslims. Muslim members have reported a lack of action when they complained. Many have resigned from the party in protest.

Our submission covers:

  • Exclusive new polling of Conservative members, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by HOPE not hate, showing the widespread nature of negative attitudes towards Muslims and other discriminatory views within the Conservatives’ grassroots
  • Case studies of Conservative councillors, MPs and activists who have been subject to complaints but either faced no disciplinary action or were allowed back in after a short suspension
  • An analysis of the Conservative Party’s disciplinary processes and how improvements to those would improve the procedural issue, and aid the attempts to fix the cultural issue of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice within the Conservative Party.

In June 2019, following media coverage of Islamophobic incidents within the Conservative Party, HOPE not hate commissioned YouGov to poll Tory Party members. We wanted to understand how they viewed British Muslims, Islam more generally, and the issues of Islamophobia within their party. The full results were alarming. To assist with our submission, we have commissioned new polling of party members, carried out by YouGov, whose polling of Conservative Party members is widely considered to be the gold standard and which has been cited, or praised for their accuracy, by The Times, The Telegraph and ConservativeHome.

The poll found that there continues to be widespread suspicion, prejudice and hostility towards Muslims amongst Conservative Party members. Amongst the poll’s The polling alarming, and depressing, findings:

  • 57% of party members had a negative attitude towards Muslims, with 21% registering a very negative attitude. This is more than twice the number of those with negative attitudes towards Hindus and Jewish people, and the fifth of respondents with very negative attitudes compares with just 3% who felt the same about Jews, Hindus and Sikhs.
  • Half of Conservative Party members (47%) believe that Islam is “a threat to the British way of life”, while 58% believed that “there are no go areas in Britain where Sharia law dominates and non-Muslims cannot enter”. This figure rose to 66% of those who backed Boris Johnson in the 2019 leadership election.
  • Over a third of Tory members thought that Islamist terrorists reflect a widespread hostility to Britain amongst the Muslim community, compared to 53% who thought it was wrong to blame all Muslims for the actions of a violent minority. Opinion was evenly divided amongst Johnson supporters, with 44% believing the former statement and 46% the latter.

Conservative Party members hold significantly more negative attitudes towards Muslims than the general public. In a separate poll commissioned by HOPE not hate, YouGov asked the same questions in a national poll. Just under a third of the general public (30%) thought Islam was a threat to the British way of life (compared to 47% of Tory members), while 37% of the public thought that there were no go areas where non-Muslims could not enter (compared to 47% of Tory members). Conservative members were more than doubly as likely to think that Islamist terrorists reflect a widespread hostility to Britain amongst the Muslim community than in the national poll.

Distressingly, Conservative Party members refuse to believe that their party has a problem with Islamophobia:

  • 79% believe that there is no problem, just 9% think there is. Among Johnson supporters this grew to 86% and fell to 4% respectively
  • Only one in six party members (17%) felt that the Conservative Party should be doing more to combat Islamophobia and other racism within the party, compared to 74% who believed that the party was already doing all it reasonably can. Johnson supporters split 8% and 85% respectively

The polling represents a huge challenge to the party’s leadership, demonstrating that Islamophobia is a widely spread view within the party’s membership. This is underlined by the continued inaction, or tepid action, against members – some of whom are senior members – who engage is outright Islamophobic activity.

On 26 November 2019, the Prime Minister denied claims that the Conservative Party’s complaints process was ineffectual, saying “What we do in the Tory party is when anybody is guilty of any kind of prejudice or discrimination against another group then they’re out first bounce”. This unusual turn of phrase is somewhat open to interpretation, but it was widely taken as meaning that the Conservative Party would expel members who were guilty of prejudice or discrimination, and that a single instance of such behaviour would be enough to merit such an action. Yet there is considerable evidence to show that Mr Johnson was wrong in this claim, whether or not he was aware of it. For our submission to the Inquiry, we collated forty examples of cases where prejudiced and discriminatory actions by Conservative Party officials, activists and members have resulted in either short term suspensions or no action at all. It is important to stress that these case studies are far from an exhaustive list. Some high-profile cases were not highlighted because they have already received widespread media attention. We were only able to include such cases as were reported in the media or otherwise brought to our attention; it is impossible to know how many similar cases go unreported. What is clear from these case studies is that the Party’s complaints process is not working: it is not robust, it is under-resourced, it is arbitrary and open to political interference, and it is lacks the transparency required to build trust with those impacted by the actions of Islamophobic members.

In our submission, we offer to assist the Conservative Party in improving their process, and in strategising how to combat the high levels of Islamophobia within the party. We also recommend that:

  • The Party create an independent complaints and disciplinary procedure for the Conservative Party
  • The Party initiate an open and transparent system for suspending members subject to investigations, ensuring a due process and support and clarity for complainants
  • A programme of training for members on Islamophobia, anti-Muslim prejudice and understanding British Muslims be set-up. This programme should include opportunities for all members to learn, compulsory training for MPs and other leaders and a system for requiring those disciplined to partake in it
  • The leadership of the Conservative Party commit to making greater efforts to promote a more positive image of Muslims to members and the wider public and call out anti-Muslim prejudice wherever it is found.

Our polling and the case studies included in our submissions should send a wave of alarm through the party’s leadership. While the party’s leading figures have been keen to rightly call for Labour to do more to tackle antisemitism within its own ranks, with a few admirable exceptions, they have been less eager to call out racism within their own party. It is not good enough to only oppose racism when it is also politically expedient to do so. Whether the party – from it’s leader on down – is serious about tackling Islamophobia within the party will be measured not by warm words but by tangible actions, starting with an admission that the problem exists in the first place.

Why Understanding The UK Anti-Feminist Movement Is Vital To Countering The Far Right

Manosphere ideas have snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life of its own, and for some it has served as a route into wider far-right politics.

Why Understanding The UK Anti-Feminist Movement Is Vital To Countering The Far

“Feminists attack liberty, justice, equality and meritocracy. They attack men, women, and children, and relations between the sexes,” so declared British anti-feminist activists in a 2018 online statement.

Its signatories included key UK far-right vlogger Paul Joseph Watson, Breitbart London writer James Delingpole and Valerie Price, National Director of ACT! For Canada (which is tied to the major US anti-Muslim organisation, ACT! For America). The statement’s impact was nonetheless negligible; exemplifying the marginal nature of organised anti-feminist politics in the UK.

But the operative word there, however, is ‘organised’. Recent events and a glance across thecontemporary far-right landscape will find many voices who share this conspiratorial and hostile view of feminism. Whilst this is not new, HOPE not hate’s newly-released State of Hate report explores how the UK anti-feminist movement is trying to mobilise this support and the role of a particular online community in this.

Far-right movements have long held sexist, misogynist and anti-feminist views. Yet, in a pronounced way, for elements of the contemporary far right these ideas are not merely a result of their wider political outlook but rather a central pillar of their ideology (in some cases alongside disavowals of other bigotries).

A key influence here is the ‘manosphere’: a loose collection of websites, forums, blogs and vlogs concerned with men’s issues and masculinity, oriented around an opposition to feminism and, within parts, embrace of extreme misogyny and wider hatred.

The manosphere interprets feminism as an effort to promote misandry (contempt or prejudice of men), rather than gender equality. This perception is central to understanding this online world. While many of its interests and ideas are inherently sexist, anti-feminist and misogynistic, others – such as concerns about male suicide – are not themselves expressions of such. Rather, they are viewed in the manosphere through a lens which places the blame for such issues at the feet of women, feminism and progressive politics.

Manosphere ideas have snowballed into an ideology that has taken on a life of its own, and for some it has served as a route into wider far-right politics. For others who have kept their focus on gender, particularly for a subculture known as ‘incels’ (involuntary celibates), it has ledtomisogynisticviolence in some cases.

Whilst sexism, misogyny and anti-feminism remain endemic issues in the UK, organised political movements that are primarily focused on these ideas remain small and at the fringes.

Electorally, the sole group in the UK solely concerned with anti-feminism is the ‘Justice for Men and Boys (and the women who love them)’ Party (J4MB), founded in 2013.

J4MB is electorally marginal and in practice the party functions as a pressure group carrying out small demonstrations (to little attention). More effective has been the party’s ability to act as the central organiser of UK anti-feminist activity, and as a liaison to anti-feminists abroad.

In 2018, J4MB co-organised the annual International Conference on Men’s Issues (ICMI), the key international meetup for anti-feminist activists, which in this case saw roughly 150 attendees from Europe, America, India and Australia meeting in London.

Beyond J4MB, offline UK anti-feminist groups are few and similarly marginal, such as the disparate ‘Network4Men’ community which believes “Feminism is now the ruling ideology in Western society” and “Culture and law is being melded to conform with this anti-men and anti-family agenda”.

The manosphere community in the UK (and abroad) is found predominantly online. As our new report details, evidence suggests that after the US, the UK is one of the major sources of manosphere traffic.

Yet, despite this activity, the various subcultures of the manosphere tend to undermine their own political growth, often because they are focused on individual lifestyles or because they largely reject collective action.

Incels can pose a violent threat, though this is undermined at times by a deeply pessimistic outlook and lack of traditional organisation. At the same time, as sociologist Ross Haenfler has highlighted, this does not mean incel communities can’t play a role in catalysing seemingly lone actor attacks.

In contrast, anti-feminist ‘Men’s Right’s Activists’ (MRA) like J4MB have the clearest path to growth. This is because they employ a framework (however misguidedly) of human rights activism. MRA’s efforts aim at mobilising those who not only do not see themselves as feminists but who believe feminism to be inherently harmful.

To this end, MRAs follow the current far-right trend of presenting themselves as martyrs for free speech; censored for merely trying to speak the ‘truth’ about ‘dangerous’ progressive ideas.

By promoting the idea that feminism is an authoritarian, dangerous ideology, MRAs create room for sexism and misogyny to be legitimised through the undermining of feminist reform, and perpetuate ideas about gender that – contrary to MRA beliefs – harm men too.

Many feminist activists are doing brilliant, vital work countering the manosphere and HOPE not hate is determined to give greater attention to counteracting it too. Not only is it essential that we fight for the feminist cause for its own end, but as we are increasingly seeing, anti-feminism is acting as a prominent route into the wider far right for many, making it core to the mission of fighting hate and restoring hope in society more widely. Simon Murdoch