Sunday, January 21, 2018

#MeToo isn’t enough. Now women need to get ugly (?)

Barbara Kingsolver, who writes at great length below, is a far-Leftist novelist who is in a rage at unwelcome approaches to women by men.  I sympathize with her even though my own politics are very different.  Women are generally smaller than men and must constantly feel vulnerable to some form of attack as they walk down the street.   Usually, they are visibly alert to their surroundings in the street for that reason.  I often feel glad that I am  not a woman for that reason.  I just slouch down the street in no fear of anything.  Being a tall, blue-eyed Caucasian male helps

So what is the solution to the fear in which women must often walk?

Before I look at that, I want to mention a large distinction she glides over.  The one example she gives of unwelcome advances is as follows:

Years ago, as a college student, I spent a semester abroad in a beautiful, historic city where the two sentences I heard most in English, usually conjoined, were “You want to go for coffee?” and “You want to have sex with me, baby?” I lived near a huge public garden where I wished I could walk or study, but couldn’t, without being followed, threatened and subjected to jarring revelations of some creep’s penis among the foliages. My experiment in worldliness had me trapped, fuming, in a tiny apartment.

So where did that occur?  She doesn't say.  Why?  From my reading of her biographical data, it was almost certainly in Africa or among Africans.  And it is no secret that Africans often "won't take no for an answer" from women.  They seem to show no shame in their approaches.  She writes as if all men are like that, when they are not.  I rather resent being lumped in with people who behave in such a stupid and disrespectful way. So she needs to give more attention to context in her writings rather than lumping all men into one basket.

But on to solutions:

There is of course the solution that feminists have thrown back in the faces of men: Traditional courtesy and gentlemanliness.  Women could once feel that they would be respected when they walked down the street and any "cad" would be brought up short by bystanders.  But radical feminists have destroyed that and taught that women should be expected to look after themselves.  Barbara is no doubt glad of that.  She values her independence and wants to be treated as an equal.  She just does not want to pay the price of that.  A small, weak person needs protection but she spurns that.

And there is the Muslim solution:  Wrap your women up in dark clothing so that almost nothing of them can be seen.  It would be amusing to see Barbara in such a wrap.  She would throw it off with fury.

And there is the Japanese solution, where everyone in the whole society acts considerately of one another.  Those little surgical masks you sometimes see Japanese wearing are not for their own benefit but to protect others from getting their infection.  And Japanese schoolgirls can walk down the street of Tokyo at night without fear.  But a large part of that comes from Japan being a very homogeneous society where everyone has a strong sense of belonging to a single national whole -- a sense of belonging to one-another.  Western wisdom, by contrast, preaches diversity.  So no Japanese solution for us.

Then there is Barbara's solution:  Instant aggressive shoutback at any untoward approaches.  It probably does help but Barbara herself admits it is a strain.  Women don't naturally behave like that.  But feminists have left that as the only remaining solution.  I pity them -- but folly will always have its reward.  It is angry Leftist women like Barbara who have put women into their present stressed situation.  And blaming men will change nothing

In each of my daughters’ lives came the day in fifth grade when we had to sit on her bed and practise. I pretended to be the boy in class who was making her sick with dread. She had to look right at me and repeat the words until they felt possible, if not easy: “Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.” As much as I wanted to knock heads around, I knew the only real solution was to arm a daughter for self-defence. But why was it so hard to put teeth into that defence? Why does it come more naturally to smile through clenched teeth and say “Oh, stop,” in the mollifying tone so regularly, infuriatingly mistaken for flirtation?

Women my age could answer that we were raised that way. We’ve done better with our daughters but still find ourselves right here, where male puberty opens a lifelong season of sexual aggression, and girls struggle for the voice to call it off. The Mad Men cliche of the boss cornering his besotted secretary is the modern cliche of the pop icon with his adulating, naked-ish harem in a story that never changes: attracting male attention is a woman’s success. Rejecting it feels rude, like refusing an award. It feels ugly.

Now, all at once, women are refusing to accept sexual aggression as any kind of award, and men are getting fired from their jobs. It feels like an earthquake. Men and women alike find ourselves disoriented, wondering what the rules are. Women know perfectly well that we hate unsolicited sexual attention, but navigate a minefield of male thinking on what “solicit” might mean. We’ve spent so much life-force on looking good but not too good, being professional but not unapproachable, while the guys just got on with life. And what of the massive costs of permanent vigilance, the tense smiles, declined work assignments and lost chances that are our daily job of trying to avoid assault? Can we get some backpay?

I think we’re trying to do that now, as the opening volleys of #MeToo smack us with backlash against backlash. Patriarchy persists because power does not willingly cede its clout; and also, frankly, because women are widely complicit in the assumption that we’re separate and not quite equal. If we’re woke, we inspect ourselves and others for implicit racial bias, while mostly failing to recognise explicit gender bias, which still runs rampant. Religious faiths that subordinate women flourish on every continent. Nearly every American educational institution pours the lion’s share of its athletics budget into the one sport that still excludes women – American football.

Most progressives wouldn’t hesitate to attend a football game, or to praise the enlightened new pope – the one who says he’s sorry, but women still can’t lead his church, or control our reproduction. In heterosexual weddings, religious or secular, the patriarch routinely “gives” his daughter to the groom, after which she’s presented to the audience as “Mrs New Patriarch,” to joyous applause. We have other options, of course: I kept my name in marriage and gave it to my daughters. But most modern brides still embrace the ritual erasure of their identities, taking the legal name of a new male head of household, as enslaved people used to do when they came to a new plantation owner.

I can already hear the outcry against conflating traditional marriage with slavery. Yes, I know, the marital bargain has changed: women are no longer chattels. Tell me this giving-away and name-changing are just vestiges of a cherished tradition. I’ll reply that some of my neighbours here in the south still fly the Confederate flag – not with hate, they insist, but to honour a proud tradition. In either case, a tradition in which people legally control other people doesn’t strike me as worth celebrating, even symbolically.

If any contract between men required the non-white one to adopt the legal identity of his Caucasian companion, would we pop the champagne? If any sport wholly excluded people of colour, would it fill stadiums throughout the land? Would we attend a church whose sacred texts consign Latinos to inferior roles? What about galas where black and Asian participants must wear painful shoes and clothes that reveal lots of titillating, well-toned flesh while white people turn up comfortably covered?

No wonder there is confusion about this volcano of outrage against men who objectify and harass. Marriage is not slavery, but a willingness to subvert our very names in our primary partnership might confound everyone’s thinking about where women stand in our other relationships with men. And if our sex lives aren’t solely ours to control, but also the purview of men of the cloth, why not employers too?We may ache for gender equality but we’re rarely framing or fighting for it in the same ways we fight for racial equality. The #MeToo movement can’t bring justice to a culture so habituated to misogyny that we can’t even fathom parity, and women still dread losing the power we’ve been taught to use best: our charm.

Years ago, as a college student, I spent a semester abroad in a beautiful, historic city where the two sentences I heard most in English, usually conjoined, were “You want to go for coffee?” and “You want to have sex with me, baby?” I lived near a huge public garden where I wished I could walk or study, but couldn’t, without being followed, threatened and subjected to jarring revelations of some creep’s penis among the foliages. My experiment in worldliness had me trapped, fuming, in a tiny apartment.

One day in a fit of weird defiance I tied a sofa cushion to my belly under a loose dress and discovered this was the magic charm: I could walk anywhere, unmolested. I carried my after-class false pregnancy to the end of the term, happily ignored by predators. As a lissom 20-year-old I resented my waddly disguise, but came around to a riveting truth: being attractive was less useful to me than being free.

Modern women’s magazines promise we don’t have to choose, we can be sovereign powers and seductresses both at once. But study the pictures and see an attractiveness imbued with submission and myriad forms of punitive self-alteration. Actually, we have to choose: not one or the other utterly, but some functional point between these poles. It starts with a sober reckoning of how much we really need to be liked by the universe of men. Not all men confuse “liking” with conquest, of course – just the handful of jerks who poison the well, and the larger number who think they are funny. Plus the majority of the US male electorate, who put a boastful assaulter in charge of us all.

This is the point. The universe of men does not merit women’s indiscriminate grace. If the #MeToo revolution has proved anything, it’s that women live under threat. Not sometimes, but all the time.

We don’t have unlimited options about working for male approval, since here in this world that is known as “approval.” We also want to be loved, probably we want it too much. But loved. Bear with us while we sort this out, and begin to codify it in the bluntest terms. Enduring some guy’s copped feel or a gander at his plumbing is so very much not a Valentine. It is a letter bomb. It can blow up a day, an interview, a job, a home, the very notion of safety inside our bodies.

It shouldn’t be this hard to demand safety while we do our work, wear whatever, walk where we need to go. And yet, for countless women enduring harassment on the job, it is this hard, and escape routes are few. The path to freedom is paved with many special words for “hideously demanding person” that only apply to females.

Chaining the links of our experiences behind a hashtag can help supply the courage to be unlovely while we blast an ugly reality into the open. The chain doesn’t negate women’s individuality or our capacity to trust men individually, nor does it suggest every assault is the same. Raped is not groped is not catcalled on the street: all these are vile and have to stop, but the damages are different. Women who wish to be more than bodies can use our brains to discern context and the need for cultural education. In lieu of beguiling we can be rational, which means giving the accused a fair hearing and a sentence that fits the crime. (Let it also be said, losing executive power is not the death penalty, even if some people are carrying on as if it were.) Polarisation is as obstructive in gender politics as in any other forum. Sympathetic men are valuable allies.

Let’s be clear: no woman asks to live in a rape culture: we all want it over, yesterday. Mixed signals about female autonomy won’t help bring it down, and neither will asking nicely. Nothing changes until truly powerful offenders start to fall. Feminine instincts for sweetness and apology have no skin in this game. It’s really not possible to overreact to uncountable, consecutive days of being humiliated by men who say our experience isn’t real, or that we like it actually, or are cute when we’re mad. Anger has to go somewhere – if not out then inward, in a psychic thermodynamics that can turn a nation of women into pressure cookers. Watching the election of a predator-in-chief seems to have popped the lid off the can. We’ve found a voice, and now is a good time to use it, in a tone that will not be mistaken for flirtation. Don’t say that to me. Don’t do that to me. I hate it.


AGAIN: Two-year rape case against British student dropped days before trial

Feminist pressure to get rape convictions has caused British police to abandon proper procedure, which is weak and contemptible of them

A rape case against an Oxford University student has been dropped in the latest scandal over failures by police and prosecutors to find and disclose crucial evidence.

Oliver Mears, 19, suspended his chemistry studies at St Hugh's College while awaiting trial for allegedly raping and assaulting a woman at a party in July 2015.

But days before it was due to start, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced it would not be presenting any evidence against him after receiving new material from Surrey Police.

The force has announced a review of all rape cases, becoming the second British force to take the unprecedented move following the Metropolitan Police.

A judge hit out at the “unnecessary delay” in the police investigation and demanded to know how the case had reached such a late stage.

Appearing at Guildford Crown Court to explain prosecutors’ actions, barrister Sarah Lindop said they had been awaiting information from the complainant’s diary, sensitive information relating to her and evidence from seized electronic devices.

“In light of the new information the prosecution no longer had a realistic prospect of success,” she added. “The decision was made at a number of levels for the case to continue no more.”

Ms Lindop described the case against Mr Mears as “finely balanced” from the start, saying prosecutors had to make a specific application to obtain certain materials from the police and had been requesting to see the complainant’s diary since October.

“We were also awaiting confirmation from the police in terms of the digital devices seized and their investigation into those,” she added. “This is not a disclosure case per se. “There was a diary produced. Part of that was disclosed, we asked for the full copy of it...the  police have been trying to secure that.

“I have been made aware of it coming into the possession of the Crown last week. That contains material that was not of assistance to the prosecution.”

Mr Mears was just 17 when he was arrested on suspicion of the alleged assault at a party in Horley, with other teenagers who were present due to be called as witnesses in the trial.

He was not present to hear the judge formally clear him of all charges on Friday but his mother told reporters she was “genuinely delighted” while leaving the court.

A string of rape cases have fallen through in little over a month after police seized phones and other devices but failed to examine them properly, meaning crucial evidence was not passed to prosecutors.

Messages and photos uncovered by defence lawyers at a later stage, sometimes even during trials, have then resulted in cases being thrown out of court.

But in Mr Mears’ case, the prosecution suggested police had not obtained the necessary material at all, raising questions over why the student was charged.

Recording not guilty verdicts for rape and sexual assault by penetration – which the teenager had always denied – Judge Jonathan Black ordered the CPS to provide a full explanation of what happened within 28 days.


Former lord chief justice warns blunders by CPS and police will help attackers walk free

Lord Judge, the former lord chief justice, said failings by prosecutors could have an impact on juries

Rapists will get away with their crimes because police and prosecution failings have undermined public confidence in the justice system, the former head of the judiciary has warned.

Juries could be deterred from convicting in future sexual assault trials because they would not have faith in evidence placed before the court, Lord Judge said. The former lord chief justice spoke out after The Times exposed how four rape trials had collapsed after crucial evidence was disclosed only at the last minute. He described the disclosure failings in all four cases as alarming and deeply troublesome.

Oliver Mears, 19, an Oxford student, was cleared of rape yesterday after spending two years on bail.


It's Time to Bring the Southern Poverty Law Center to Justice

There are many powerful forces operating today across the nation to divide the American people and silence opposing views. One of the most active of these efforts is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

There are two very serious reasons why the SPLC is in many ways more dangerous than other organizations that are fueling the flames of the far left radicals who use violence and lies to stop honest political debate.

First, the SPLC has contracts with the federal government, specifically the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), serving as advisors to help define what a domestic terrorist or hate group is, even helping to write official policy for this agency of our government. Here are just a few examples:

In 2009, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report entitled "Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment." It targeted conservative groups that supported local rule over federal control. And it singled out groups that opposed abortion or illegal immigration.

Two weeks later, DHS issued a Domestic Extremism Lexicon to define Right wing extremists = those who are concerned over the economy, had antagonism toward the Obama Administration or oppose the UN.

According to these reports and many more, the list of potential terrorists, according to these reports and many more, included anyone who voted for Ron Paul for president, for example.

These reports were basically written by the Southern Poverty Law Center! And they were sent to law enforcement agencies across the nation. Soon after the issuing of these reports police department nationwide could be observed providing bulletins to their officers to be on the watch for dangerous right wing activity.

In 2010 DHS organized a "Countering Violent Extremist Working Group." Its purpose is to teach local law enforcement how to counter terrorism. It was basically the root of militarizing local police forces.

Serving on this "advisory group" was Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society if North America, who has been accused of funding terrorist organizations. Also serving as an advisor to this group was Richard Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center. The conclusion of this report is that conservative organizations and spokesmen are possibly bigger domestic terror threats than ISIS!

The SPLC also runs the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center which issues official certification to police groups all over the country for fighting "hate" groups, i.e. Right wing groups. And it is funded by the Department of Homeland Security!

In 2013, released a report by Judicial Watch confirming a direct connection between the DOJ and SPLC. The report states, "Judicial Watch, a Washington, D.C. based non-partisan educational foundation, released some two dozen pages of emails it obtained  revealing connections between the Department of Justice Civil Rights and Tax divisions and the Southern Poverty Law Center."

The second reason the SPLC is a dangerous threat to American freedom is its so-called "Hate List." Each year, the SPLC updates its list of "extremist" groups and individuals it declares to be dangerous. Does the list include Black Lives Matter, ICIS, ANTIFA, or any of the forces that have taken credit for opening fire on crowds attending public events? Nope. SPLC's list of hate groups are those who oppose Obamacare and  NAFTA, are concerned about the economy, and perhaps stockpile food to prepare for possible bad economic times. These are "Right Wing Extremists." The list goes on to include people like Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers and Senator Rand Paul. A few years ago it included Dr. Ben Carson, now HUD Secretary. The list also includes nearly any conservative and Christian organizations that advocate limited government or Christian teachings or government adherence to the Constitution.

There is now a new trend moving across the nation that makes inclusion on this list dangerous to the very existence of those listed on it. Since President Trump's election, the SPLC has ramped up its attacks on the Right with the clear purpose of destroying conservatives' ability to speak out and counter SPLC's assault on free speech and freedom of choice.

Joining SPLC in these attacks on the Right are major corporations and social media giants like Facebook and Goggle. These corporations are, in fact, using the SPLC hate list to deny services to some organizations and individuals who are listed. Here are some examples:

Discover Card, one of the nation's leading credit card companies, denied a conservative group the use of their card to accept donations.

Quick Books cancelled a subscription of its product to a Christian organization because it opposed same sex marriage.
PayPal has refused to let a conservative group use its service for fund raising.

There have been several reports of social media giant Facebook censuring and banning conservative posts and pages.

Google has taken steps to deny Internet searches of conservative websites.

Clearly, there is a drive to deny conservative and Christian organizations the ability to exist in the market place or in social media. How far off is the day when conservative leaders are denied access to public transportation, the rental of halls for meetings, or bank accounts are seized, all under the guise of protecting the public from hate and racism? Well, the answer is already in front of us.

First, there was the outrageous and planned violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in which two opposing sides supposedly clashed over removal of Robert E. Lee's statue. The obvious fact is that the event was staged to make the Right look like the perpetrator. More importantly, the Ku Klux Klan was used as the villain. I'm going to go out on a limb to say there is hardly any real KKK activity taking place in the nation, especially any strong enough to create such violence as the Charlottesville incident. The fact is, the KKK basically exists only in the demented minds of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which loves to place it on the hate list next to groups like the NRA as a broad brush visual tactic. The reality that such groups have nothing to do with the KKK isn't important to the SPLC.

However, the desired affect of the clash worked. Immediately after the Charlottesville incident, Congress, without any public debates, rushed to approve Public Law 115-58, which "urges the President and his administration to speak out against hate groups that espouse racism, extremism, and xenophobia."

How is the President to choose what are actual "hate" groups? Of course the plan is for him to use the official list - the Southern Poverty Law Center's hate list, of course. Again, who is on that list? The NRA, the Family Research Council and the American Policy Center, to name a very few.

It's interesting to note that the very group that is now looked on by our government as the official definer of hate in our nation, has actually committed one of the most outrageous and dangerous acts of terrorism against certain American citizens.

In 2015, the SPLC issued a "Hit List of U.S. Women Against Sharia Law." The list targeted 12 leading conservative women who have specifically spoken out against radical Muslims and their authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism. The hit list not only named the women, but listed the cities where they reside. Anyone who has studied radical Islam clearly understands that this SPLC hit list put these women in grave danger of reprisal from Muslim extremists.

The SPLC is a dangerous organization, guilty of the hate it claims to fight. Yet it works closely with our own government in its quest to destroy any Americans who hold opposing views, even to the point of denying them a place in society.

The fact is the SPLC would just be another run of the mill leftist outfit if it didn't have such close ties with our government. Those ties need to be thoroughly investigated by the Congressional Homeland Security Committee and then severed immediately.

To demand those hearings, the American Policy Center (APC) has issued a petition to Representative Michael McCaul, (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. The petition calls for hearings and an immediate investigation into the government connections with the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The only way to end the SPLC's reign of terror is to pull its teeth - its powerful connections with our government that make it a threat. Concerned Americans can sign the APC petition at our website.

The Southern Poverty Law Center labels any American who advocates that the U.S. Constitution is the law of the land as a potential domestic terrorist, dangerous to the nation. The question that must be answered is why the Department of Homeland Security and major corporations are working with them to make those attacks legitimate. If enough Americans will sign the APC petition, perhaps we will finally get some answers and perhaps even a little bit of justice.


Trump to HHS: Proceed With Conscience

The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Thursday a new office to protect doctors and nurses who object to providing abortion services and other medical care on moral and religious grounds

You’d have to look long and hard to find a more universally despised idea than Obama’s HHS mandate. In one of the most clarifying moments of his presidency, the order went out: everyone, regardless of their beliefs, would become unwilling partners in the president’s culture of death. If your employer performs abortion, you’ll participate. If your business sells contraception or pregnancy-ending drugs, you will too. And if you’re an employer, church, monastery, or school, you’ll cover both — even if you morally oppose it.

The outcry was swift. If women have a “choice,” then nurses, nuns, companies, pharmacists, and colleges should too. Unfortunately for them, the 44th president didn’t see it that way. And in 2011, he started defending the rule that would be freedom’s undoing.

Through it all, the simple fact remained: Regardless of what Americans think of abortion, only the true extremists argued that people should be forced to participate in them. Seven years ago, those extremists were in charge of the government. And they tried to make sure that a pesky little thing like the First Amendment wouldn’t get in the way.

They failed. Even in activist courts, the HHS mandate was a political loser. A wave of lawsuits poured in, overwhelming the Obama administration and setting it on the path of defeat in what would be one of the most personally damaging decisions of the Obama years. In near unanimity, judges on all levels dealt blow after blow to the mandate. Despite losing 90 percent of their cases — including two embarrassing rebukes from the Supreme Court — the president wouldn’t relent. Pushing what was probably the most unconstitutional, unsuccessful, and unpopular agendas of his two terms, Barack Obama was determined to see this payoff to his abortion friends through.

Now, more than 100 cases later, Donald Trump is closing the chapter on one of the worst assaults on religious liberty in a generation. “President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom. That promise is being kept today,” announced acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan. On the eve of the March for Life, the administration took steps to end the war on conscience rights. Thursday morning, the agency announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR). There, the government will work to protect Americans’ beliefs, not punish them.

Under my administration, President Trump has said, “We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied, or silenced.” Unfortunately, OCR Chief Roger Severino told reporters, “these protections have been under-enforced in the past.” Today, “we are back in business.” Until President Obama, the freedom to believe was never a controversial idea. It was such a consensus issue, in fact, that after the Supreme Court invented legalized abortion in 1973, Congress responded by passing a law to protect health care workers from the very discrimination they’re facing today. Even Sen. Ted Kennedy defended the bill’s “full protection to the religious freedom of physicians and others.” Only two members objected.

We used to be a nation of consensus on conscience. Now, the same Left that demanded compromise and coexistence has dropped its sham of tolerance in favor of full-blown coercion. We watched the same bait-and-switch with marriage. “Give us what we want, and it won’t affect you.” Today, “affected” doesn’t begin to describe what happens to conservatives who think differently than the radical elites driving the Left. Fired, fined, sued, harassed, or jailed does.

Planned Parenthood complained that an office like this would “impose a broad religious refusal policy that will allow individuals and institutions to deny basic care for women and transgender people. We know from experience that denial of care compromises care.” Killing a child isn’t care. And while Cecile Richards’s group might be quite comfortable in its moral vacuum, most Americans are not. The freedom to believe is for everyone — or it isn’t freedom at all.

President Trump understands that — and he’s spent the last 12 months proving it. This White House knows as well as we do: Religious liberty isn’t found in political proclamations but in the policies they inspire. Yesterday was yet another example of this president keeping his promises. And not just any promise, but his sworn oath to the American people. Our deepest thanks to an administration who is not wavering in its determination to protect our most sacred property, conscience



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: