QotD: “When a man tells his partner “I’m a woman” if they reply “I don’t believe in the gender fairy” – Stonewall records it as violence”
This is entirely true, I entered the search term into Google myself just now:
QotD: “These levels of physical and sexual violence are bordering on and including behaviour that would meet the criminal code definition of torture”
A concerning new trend tracked by welfare workers at the Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence reveals clients who have been raped had been subjected to increasing violence.
Centre director Di McLeod in an address yesterday to more than 50 community stakeholders detailed the shocking violence which included women being subjected to group sex along with strangulation and choking.
Much of the violence had occurred after women were forced to have nonconsenting sex and their injuries required them to obtain treatment at the emergency departments at Gold Coast Hospitals.
“These levels of physical and sexual violence are bordering on and including behaviour that would meet the criminal code definition of torture,” Ms McLeod told the Problem with Porn conference at the Sharks Event Centre at Southport.
“What used to be an uncommon story is now very much an everyday story involving women of varied ages and diverse backgrounds.”
In the past five years the Coast centre had experienced a 56 per cent increase in referrals from emergency departments of local public hospitals, the forum was told.
“Sometimes the sexual violence is committed by a just-met partner, but in cases where the woman has knowledge of the offender’s habits she has often identified that the offender is a regular consumer of pornography,” Ms McLeod said.
The forum was told it was clear not everyone who viewed pornography would commit sexual and domestic violence “because some men who use pornography don’t rape”.
“But what research is finding and what we are seeing at our centre is that pornography is clearly influencing sexual expectations and practices between intimate partners, so that the correlation between pornography, rape and domestic violence can no longer be ignored,” Ms McLeod said.
The key finding by welfare workers was violent men using pornography could not see the difference between fantasy and reality and believed “women are up for it 24-7”.
The increased reporting figures were due to the extent of the injuries and view that many women felt less shame about admitting what had happened.
There is a common criticism of journalism and political argument on this topic, a criticism that is often voiced by trans-rights advocates and others. It can be summarised as: “By discussing trans rights and cases of abuse in the same context, you are demonising trans people and implying that trans people are sexual predators and perverts. That is harmful because it adds to the stigma some trans people experience. Please stop.”
And if that was indeed the point being made, I think that would be a fair response.
But it’s not. The concern that has been raised about self-ID and other trans-rights policies is about safeguarding, about protecting vulnerable people from manipulative and abusive men. The expressed gender identity of those men doesn’t really come into it, except where those people might use the concept of gender to exploit those rules and facilitate their abuse.
Put more bluntly, no one is scared about trans people here. They’re scared about rapists. Some rapists say they’re trans. Get over it.
Because acknowledging that some sex offenders will use gender laws to facilitate their abuse is no more “anti-trans” than accepting that some sex offenders used their positions as Roman Catholic priests to carry out abuse is anti-Catholic. Bad people do bad things. Anyone making, implementing or advising on policy should accept that basic fact and work to mitigate it, not cry bigot when someone asks whether that policy is open to misuse.
One of the feminist groups that raised such concerns is Fair Play for Women. These are the people who really sounded the alarm about transgender offenders in the women’s prison estate, with a report last autumn that was later borne out in official figures released by the MoJ. As the group’s warnings over prisons are being so horribly vindicated by the Karen White case, I hope that people in authority will pay more attention to FPFW’s most recent work, which is about domestic violence refuges and shelters.
That report makes two points that deserve much more attention in political conversation about gender, law and domestic violence. The first is that a lot of women who run and use shelters feel they can’t talk freely about this issue, for the familiar reasons that they will be accused of transphobia, lose their jobs and lose funding for the services they provide for vulnerable women.
The second, and more fundamental, point is that the people who run shelters and refuges believe that laws proposed to make life easier for transgender people will also have the effect of making it easier for abusive men to abuse women.
The report, based on the accounts of domestic violence workers and volunteers, makes abundantly clear the fact that the sort of men who wish to hurt, rape and kill women will take every opportunity to do. One shelter manager with 37 years’ experience told FPFW researchers:
With self-ID policies we will effectively be giving the keys to women’s refuges to abusive men. If that happens, beyond a shadow of a doubt, women will die. Never ever underestimate the potential for abusive men to track down, find and torture their victim.
Perhaps you think that’s hyperbolic or excessively dramatic. If so, consider again the case of Karen White.
In 2016, the Prison Service put in place a policy that was intended to make life easier for transwomen in custody. That policy meant Karen White, a rapist and child abuser, was able to gain access to vulnerable women and sexually assault them. In the words of the prosecution in White’s latest trial, White is a “predator” who sought to “use a transgender persona to put herself in contact with vulnerable persons she can then abuse.”
Those words were spoken in a trial that ended in Karen White being given a life sentence and the judge telling White: “You are a predator and highly manipulative and in my view you are a danger.”
The Karen White case came about even after MPs had been given clear warnings by several experts that dangerous and manipulative predators like Karen White would try to exploit gender laws and rules in order to abuse women. They failed to act on those warnings and properly scrutinise the rules involved in the Karen White case.
Now, that Fair Play for Women report about domestic violence shelters gives MPs and other people in power another chance to do better. They have been given a clear warning by the professionals who spend their every waking moment dealing with the harm done by abusive men and trying to protect women from abusive men, that such men will try to exploit laws on gender change to find, abuse and kill women.
What will it take to persuade them to listen to that warning this time?
QotD: “both the snake oil merchant right & the zanier reaches of the rainbow left are currently tripling down on the idea that women have a social duty to fuck men”
You can tell me horseshoe theory is nonsense all you like, but both the snake oil merchant right & the zanier reaches of the rainbow left are currently tripling down on the idea that women have a social duty to fuck men & that to refuse is to either cause or perpetrate violence.
QotD: “I keep reading the Fae tweet and keep wondering what exactly domestic violence “gone right” would be. Presumably when the woman complies before the man has murdered her?”
I keep reading the Fae tweet and keep wondering what exactly domestic violence “gone right” would be. Presumably when the woman complies before the man has murdered her?
Peddling of falsehood wrapped up as knowledge (actually most men who commit intimate partner femicide make a decision to kill) and the minimising of the impact of domestic violence & abuse for those who live with it let alone those who have been killed, a new low for Jane Fae
QotD: “Before #MeToo, There Was Catharine A. MacKinnon and Her Book ‘Sexual Harassment of Working Women’”
Although the ritual itself has an incalculably long history, the term “sexual harassment” has only been around since the mid-1970s, when activists at Cornell University coined it during a consciousness-raising session. It was MacKinnon’s book, though dense and academic, that brought the idea broader attention, charting a course for the legal system to more effectively handle instances of harassment as cases of sex discrimination, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. As far back as the 19th century, women were occasionally able to reap monetary damages through the courts if men touched them inappropriately in public, but tort law was an inadequate means of addressing harassment claims, MacKinnon believed, because it personalized injuries that were inflicted socially and ecumenically.
Lawyers who had tried to apply the civil rights statute to these claims had largely failed, in part because courts struggled to process what was essentially discriminatory about a practice that could theoretically victimize anyone: How could you ever know that a woman was subject to harassment because she was a woman, rather than, say, an individual who happened to be female? MacKinnon’s approach was rooted in the theory that sexual harassment realized and reiterated women’s inequality, that it locked women into a kind of dependence and failure.
It was not until seven years after the arrival of MacKinnon’s book, though, that the Supreme Court recognized sexual harassment as a Title VII violation. The case was Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson and it had little nuance. In it a bank teller had charged that a company vice president had coerced her into having sex with him repeatedly, that he had touched her in public and raped her. Here the court ruled unanimously that harassment resulting in a hostile work environment was discriminatory and unlawful.
In a recent essay in The New York Times, MacKinnon celebrated the #MeToo movement, acknowledging that it was able to achieve what sexual harassment law, despite its sporadic victories, could not: a unified movement against an intractable brand of predation. Accusers were suddenly believed. Why the revolution finally got the reception it deserved has still not entirely been sorted out, but it seems clear that a war waged from the vantage point of legal theory was bound to have a harder time than a war waged from the modern media.
The 1970s and ’80s witnessed various efforts to expose and address the dark and dangerous habits of American intimacy. Movements against domestic violence and child abuse, for example, had meaningful allies in popular culture. In 1984, “The Burning Bed,” a television movie based on the true story of a Michigan housewife, Francine Hughes Wilson, who lit her husband on fire while he was sleeping, in retaliation for years of brutality, was viewed by 75 million people. The movie was crucial in transforming public understanding of spousal abuse: Shelters for battered women began opening around the country; the police began to take the issue more seriously; women who killed battering partners, and children who killed battering parents, were understood to be victims of a destructive syndrome that often gave them judicial reprieve.
Best-selling thrillers like “Flowers in the Attic” and “When the Bough Breaks” took on child abuse and molestation, and by the 1990s we began to see the spread of community notification laws that required convicted sex offenders to register. The law followed in a sense what narrative awakened first.
The movement against sexual harassment had something else, however: a mass-market antagonist in the empire of Helen Gurley Brown and Cosmopolitan magazine, which preached a feminism of patriarchal compliance. Brown encouraged young women to work hard, build careers and run companies, but to accomplish it all by coddling the men they worked with and finding sexual freedom along the way. In “Sex and the Office,” Brown’s sequel to her loopy best-selling instructional “Sex and the Single Girl,” she delivered a playbook for the way young women should understand male bosses that included lessons in making them feel godlike. Colleagues were potential sexual partners and the cubicle was Tinder: “Though it may seem to the untrained eye that you are selflessly working on office projects together, what you are really doing is sinking into them like a cobalt treatment so that you may make off with them after work.”
The book appeared in 1968 and in 2004 was reissued with an enthusiastic blurb from Donald Trump. In the 1990s, Brown’s brand of feminism, dependent on the idea that women needed to work within the structures available to them, gained a new currency and held on for a long time. MacKinnon, of course, believed that the structure itself was the problem, a notion that for more than three decades has largely been received as benighted and fusty. At long last, we’re coming around.