Monday, February 05, 2018

A male backlash against #MeToo is brewing

Another instance of feminism not being good for women

Men are scared, and feminists are delighted. But the urge to call out and punish male sexual transgression is bound to clash with an inescapable truth: We’re all in this together, men and women.

Consider what’s happening in the capital of Florida. Female staffers and lobbyists have found “many male legislators will no longer meet with them privately,” reported The Miami Herald. “I had a senator say, ‘I need my aide here in the room because I need a chaperone,’ ” lobbyist Jennifer Green told the paper. “I said, ‘Senator, why do you need a chaperone? . . . Do you feel uncomfortable around me?’ ‘Well,’ he said, ‘anyone can say anything with the door shut.’ ”

“I’m getting the feeling that we’re going back 20 years as female professionals,” said Green, who owns her company. “I fully anticipate I’m going to be competing with another firm that is currently owned by some male, and the deciding factor is going to be: ‘You don’t want to hire a female lobbying firm in this environment.’ ”

This kind of thinking is catching on in aggressively P.C. Silicon Valley, where men are taking to message boards like Reddit to express interest in sex segregation — sometimes labeled “Men Going Their Own Way,” or the “Man-o-Sphere.” How will that work out for women in the tech industry, where they already face substantial challenges?

Across industries, “Several major companies have told us they are now limiting travel between the genders,” Johnny Taylor, president of the Society for Human Resource Management, told the Chicago Tribune, citing execs who tell men not to go on business trips or share rental cars with women co-workers. UCLA psychologist Kim Elsesser, the author of “Sex and the Office,” sees a nascent “sex partition.” If men start to back away from women, at least in professional settings, it’s difficult to see how that will aid the feminist cause.

As is characteristic of movements led by the left in general, #MeToo faces the prospect of being seen to push too far, too fast. Not long ago, the British magazine The Spectator depicted the cause a feminist Reformation, with a modern woman nailing her demands to the door of a church like Martin Luther. These days the entirely justified anger and calls for change are venturing into iconoclasm: Let’s knock over some innocent statues and shatter all those stained-glass windows!

Companies are firing perverts and sexual harassers, which is great, but those who can’t find any bad behavior to punish are casting around angrily looking for random things to attack. Jordan Peterson, the University of Toronto professor and author of the bestseller “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos” who has become a YouTube sensation by rebutting crazy left-wing students, has been lambasted on social media for citing sociological studies that say women are more agreeable in the workplace and suffer some salary repercussions because of it.

Although this is essentially a restatement of the thinking behind “Lean In” — if you want it, push for it — Peterson found himself being subjected to an absurdly hostile interview by British broadcaster Cathy Newman in a confrontation that went viral and led to more abuse being heaped on Peterson.

Writing in The American Interest, Claire Berlinski calls the #MeToo movement “a frenzied extrajudicial warlock hunt that does not pause to parse the difference between rape and stupidity” and “a classic moral panic, one that is ultimately as dangerous to women as to men.” She tells a story about how she just discovered she has a new power: the power to ruin the career of a professor she knew at Oxford who grabbed her butt 20 years ago while drunk at a party. “I was amused and flattered,” she writes, saying, “I knew full well he’d been dying to do that. Our tutorials — which took place one-on-one with no chaperones — were livelier intellectually for that sublimated undercurrent. He was an Oxford don and so had power over me . . . But I also had power over him — power sufficient to cause a venerable don to make a perfect fool of himself at a Christmas party. Unsurprisingly, I loved having that power.”

Reformers should keep her underlying point in mind: Change may be good, but be wary of unintended consequences. Turning men and women into hostile opposing camps is not going to be good for either sex.


And still it goes on:  False rape charges in Britain

Another destructive triumph for feminists.  They have been heavily criticizing police and prosecutors for not getting enough rape convictions

A schoolboy has been cleared of rape after lawyers discovered that police had missed key evidence proving his innocence.

It comes amid a growing scandal over disclosure failures by the Crown Prosecution Service that have seen more than a dozen sex cases collapse in recent months.

It likely means that innocent men were wrongly accused, but also that dangerous criminals may have escaped justice because of blunders by police and the CPS.

The 17-year-old boy was found not guilty after the emergence of thousands of social media messages proving his innocence that police officers had failed to uncover.

He was expelled from his school in Leicestershire in 2016 following his arrest at the age of 15, according to The Times.

After the messages emerged, the prosecution offered no evidence - with not guilty verdicts entered for 14 charges against him including rape and sexual activity with a child.

It came after defence lawyers found more than 200 pages of Facebook messages proving his relationship with a girl of the same age was consensual.

A spokesman for the CPS said: "We have a duty to keep cases under continual review. "In March 2017, as part of the charging decision, the CPS requested that police investigated social media interactions, but were informed that no messages existed.

"As a result of new material made available to the CPS in November 2017, further reviews of the case were undertaken."

Last month, prosecutors admitted that 13 rape trials collapsed last year because they failed to disclose vital evidence that undermined the case against the defendants.

The total doesn't include four rape trials which had to be abandoned in the past month at the last minute.

In January, Oxford University student Oliver Mears had a rape charge against him dropped after being on bail for two years, because of a diary discovered on the eve of his trial.

The embarrassing revelation by the CPS has put fresh pressure on Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders, who has insisted no one is wrongly behind bars because of disclosure failures.

The true scale of the problem was quietly slipped out in the House of Lords last month. Former Attorney-General Lord Morris asked how many rape trials had been discontinued because of a failure to disclose evidence.

In reply, Lord Keen, the Ministry of Justice's spokesman in the Lords, said: 'Internal CPS case outcome recording data for 2016-17 shows that issues connected to the disclosure of unused material were recorded as the primary reason for two per cent of the rape prosecutions that were subsequently not proceeded with after charge.'

A spokesman for the CPS said: 'The two per cent represents 13 rape cases that were not proceeded with in 2016/17 after being charged due to a failure to disclose unused material.'  He added: 'This represents 0.3 per cent of the 5,190 rape cases we prosecuted in 2016-17.'

During a parliamentary debate last week, former Lord Chief Justice Lord Thomas said: 'We can no longer continue this failure of accountability. 'It is a disgrace – I do not use that word lightly – that this problem has been left unresolved for so long.'

The 13 cases dropped last year included those of four agricultural students wrongly accused of gang-raping a woman at a college ball.

The young men endured two years of 'being dragged through hell' because the detective in the case had failed to disclose what the judge called 'game-changing' evidence that undermined their accuser's claims.

The CPS said: 'The CPS accepts that we, along with police colleagues, need to do more to improve our disclosure of unused material. There are systemic disclosure issues across the criminal justice system, and it will take a collective effort from all participants for improvements to be made.'

Critics say DPP Mrs Saunders has still not got a grip on the problem, after she declared that police did not always have to look for evidence on social media or mobile phones. 'We don't ordinarily trawl through people's lives,' she said.

'If people have known each other for a day, you might look at the texts between each other on that day or perhaps a day after.

'But you wouldn't and couldn't, without a huge amount of resources, completely download a phone and trawl through it all.'

Former Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West Nazir Afzal, said: 'We wouldn't be saying that about looking for witnesses or DNA or fingerprints. We've got to do it, that's how we ensure a fair trial.'

He added that the DPP had been 'very bold' to claim that no one was currently wrongly in jail because of a failure to disclose evidence. 'I know of cases where digital evidence would have perhaps meant that person wasn't convicted, and with 84,000 people in prison it's a bold statement to say that not one of them shouldn't be where they are.'


Why Pro-Lifers Have Cause for Hope

Forty-five years ago Monday, the Supreme Court issued its decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, inventing a constitutional right to abortion on demand.

Since then, over 59 million babies have been lost to abortion, and the U.S. remains one of only seven countries that allows abortions after 20 weeks, the age when studies suggest preborn infants can feel pain.

Yet there remains cause for hope. This past Friday, tens of thousands of Americans gathered in Washington, D.C., for the 45th annual March for Life in order to show their support for women facing unplanned pregnancies as well as the unborn.

This year’s theme, “Love Saves Lives,” served as a reminder that love has the ability to overcome all obstacles and grant women and children the opportunity to experience life to the full.

This year’s march was a historic one. While Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush addressed the March for Life via phone during their respective terms, President Donald Trump became the first president to address the March for Life rally via broadcast from the Rose Garden.

“The March for Life is a movement born out of love: you love your families; you love your neighbors; you love our nation; and you love every child born and unborn, because you believe that every life is sacred, that every child is a precious gift from God,” the president told the crowd.

Congress was in session during the March for Life this year. As people gathered at the National Mall before the march, the House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act over on Capitol Hill. This bill ensures that children who survive failed abortions are treated as persons and given appropriate medical care.

The bill augments a 2002 law by providing for criminal consequences for health care providers that fail to care for an infant who is born alive. Treating a baby that is born alive after an abortion with the same medical care as any other newborn should not be controversial.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan addressed the crowds shortly after the bill had passed, saying:

You know, I’ve been participating in the March for Life for years. One thing that has always struck me—and there’s one thing that strikes me again right now—is the vigor and the enthusiasm of the pro-life movement.

Looking out on this crowd, I can see there are people here of all ages, from all walks of life, but the young people here is what is so inspiring because it tells me this is a movement that is on the rise.

He is right. Millenials are increasingly pro-life. And a recent poll shows that 76 percent of Americans support substantial limits on abortion. Among the 51 percent of citizens that identify as pro-choice, 60 percent support restrictions on abortion.

Approximately 2,200 pregnancy resource centers nationwide continue to provide women not only with the physical resources necessary to choose life, but the emotional support and social networks that they need. Lawmakers at the state and federal level have passed commonsense laws to protect children. And the day before the march, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new division charged with protecting the consciences of medical professionals who will not participate in abortions.

Although the pro-life movement is already changing the culture, the March for Life was a reminder that there remains much to be done.

In order for women to have access to as many resources as possible, pregnancy resource centers and faith-based adoption agencies must be free to operate according to their missions. And additional measures must be taken to protect the consciences of pro-life medical personnel.

The pro-life movement will continue to fight for life on all of these fronts.

On the anniversary of Roe and Doe, we remember the millions of children who have been denied their first and most fundamental right, the right to life. But we also reflect on the truth and beauty of the pro-life cause: that every human life, no matter how small or weak, has inherent dignity and worth.

Until our laws reflect this most essential truth, we will continue to gather and march, thousands strong, to proclaim the joy of the pro-life message. While we sorrow for what is lost, we hope for what is to come, and allow love to bring healing to all who have been affected by the pain of abortion.


The New Threat Children Face 45 Years After Roe v. Wade

It’s been 45 years since Roe v. Wade, and the pro-life movement is stronger than ever.

This week, thousands of pro-life Americans will take a stand for life at the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme, “Love Saves Lives,” reminds us that women facing unplanned pregnancies have options besides abortion—like adoption—that protect life and demonstrate love.

Take Hannah Mongie, for example. She placed her son Tagg up for adoption after her boyfriend and Tagg’s father, Kaden, died suddenly. She created an emotional video telling Tagg her story before sending him home with his adoptive parents, Brad and Emily, “so that he would be able to look back and know that this decision was made purely out of love for him.”

Hannah wrote:

I hope anyone who watches this will be able to gain a new perspective on what the birth mom goes through when she places her child for adoption. It is the farthest thing from a heartless act. It shows [t]he definition of love. To love someone this much is to give away your happiness for them.

Stories like Hannah’s remind us that adoption gives everyone—expectant mothers, children, and adoptive families—the chance to experience life and love to the fullest.

Like any mother, Hannah had a unique set of needs and desires for her child. Through online resources, she was able to find a family that was “beyond anything [she] could have asked for,” given her “really, really high standards for anyone who is going to raise [her] child.”

Every mother should be afforded this wide range of options. Public policy needs to ensure that women facing an unplanned pregnancy have not only the option to adopt, but also to work with an organization that supports their unique needs.

That’s why a diversity of adoption agencies, including faith-based ones, is so important. Not only do they provide relief to the overburdened public foster care and adoption system, but they provide mothers and adoptive families with intangible yet invaluable resources: the spiritual, emotional, and relational support that state-run agencies are ill-equipped to offer.

But unfortunately today, some lawsuits and local policies are putting faith-based adoption agencies out of business. These agencies are unique within the industry, yet in very high demand.

In November 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state of Michigan over a law that allows faith-based adoption agencies to operate according to their belief that children should be placed with a mother and a father.

If the ACLU wins the case, it would drive highly successful faith-based adoption providers—which make up a quarter of adoption agencies in Michigan—out of business by forcing them to choose between their religious beliefs and fulfilling their mission.

This is not the first time faith-based providers have faced discrimination. In Boston, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., religious adoption agencies were forced to close their doors after decades of service when the state denied them the ability to place kids with a married mom and dad. Thousands of children were displaced in the process.

The ACLU alleges that the religious beliefs of faith-based agencies are preventing the children from finding loving homes. But a diversity of adoption providers actually increases the likelihood that these children will find homes.

Why is that? Because more providers means more agencies working to connect children and families, and that means more opportunities for kids to find homes.

Faith-based adoption agencies take nothing away from anyone. They do not prevent anyone from adopting or fostering children. Individuals or couples are free to work with the majority of private adoption agencies and government-run programs.

Meanwhile, birth mothers and potential parents who prefer faith-based support services are free to work with a like-minded adoption agency. Some may even be persuaded to choose adoption due to these personalized support services and the promise of less bureaucratic red tape.

Without these religious adoption agencies, expectant mothers would have fewer options. Children would wait longer to be adopted or simply age out of the system. And adoptive families would go without any spiritual resources, potentially have to wait longer to adopt, and may even forego the process altogether due to the inefficiencies of the public system.

The ACLU is targeting religious adoption agencies at a critical time. As the opioid epidemic has put thousands of children in foster care, more and more parents are leaving the foster care system. Around 80 percent of foster families drop out within two years.

That is why protecting faith-based adoption agencies must become a pro-life priority. As these organizations come under attack, those who stand the most to lose are the exact individuals that the pro-life movement seeks to protect: vulnerable children and mothers.

Promoting adoption as an alternative to abortion is not enough. Faith-based adoption agencies need legal protections from discrimination, like those of the Michigan state law in question or those proposed at the federal level in the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act.

When these organizations are free to operate according to their values, they are free to serve people like Hannah, Tagg, and Tagg’s adoptive parents.

Protecting the freedom of faith-based child welfare providers to act in accordance with their own convictions must become part of the pro-life agenda. To protect birth moms, children, and adoptive families, we must protect providers too.



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


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