Go Home, Barbara Hewson, You’re Drunk

I thought that everyone was pleased to have Operation Yewtree bringing justice to the victims of historical sex abuse. The victims’ mental scars will never fully heal, not just from the abuse itself, but from the people they may have told and didn’t believe them as they were just children. Yet today, a barrister has written an article for “Spiked” magazine, which has found its way from this small corner of online life into the mainstream.

The age of consent is there to protect minors from sexual abuse – from the predation of successful, much older men like those who’ve been charged in the wake of Operation Yewtree. It’s there to provide a solid line to show when teenagers would be able to make the decision to consent for themselves – understanding the potential outcomes from the situation. It has nothing to do with the age young women go through puberty. Just because you can have children, doesn’t mean you have the maturity to deal with sex and its potential consequences.

What I found most worrying about this article is that it’s penned by an extremely well-educated woman. A woman who went through puberty like the rest of us, knew the pressures from young men. Western society (where she and I are talking about) is a frankly terrifying place to go through puberty as a woman. In a small town where I grew up, it’s still commonplace for drunk guys to shout at teenagers to “show us yer tits” at 4 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. And if you ignore them, it only gets scarier. I wonder if Barbara Hewson was ever followed along a busy street with a man shouting at her, for other people to utterly ignore it.

Operation Yewtree is not about “persecuting” these well-known people in society. It’s about bringing people who raped and sexually assaulted children to justice, no matter how long it’s been since the incident, or how successful they have been. Having sex with a 9-year-old girl is not a “minor misdemeanour”, it’s rape. How can a girl that young possibly make an informed decision about sex, especially in England and Wales where sex and relationship education is not mandatory to be taught in school? Would a 9-year-old know about contraception, or even her right to say no?

In her article, Hewson suggests removing complainant anonymity – which in our Daily Mail fuelled media is nothing but outrageously dangerous. Events in America around Steubenville and the young girls who’s anonymity was not protected should make that abundantly clear. Victims of sexual assault and rape have enough problems just trying to come to terms with what has happened to them without society and the general media pointing the finger of blame squarely on them. It’s been said countless times – the victims of rape are not to blame, the perpetrators are.

Barbara Hewson’s language choice is also disturbing – claiming that “even” a deputy speaker in the House of Commons perpetuates the very ideas Operation Yewtree is dispelling. Just because a man is in the public eye, does not make him immune to committing sexual abuse and rape, and definitely should not make him above the law. The NSPCC is not a pressure group, it’s a charity there to help vulnerable children, such as those who have been abused.

Touching a 17-year-old’s breast, kissing a 13-year-old, or putting one’s hand up a 16-year-old’s skirt, are not remotely comparable to the horrors of the Ealing Vicarage assaults and gang rape, or the Fordingbridge gang rape and murders, both dating from 1986. Anyone suggesting otherwise has lost touch with reality.

No-one is suggesting the three actions listed there are rape. They are, however the sexual abuse of a minor and should be prosecuted as such, no matter how long it’s been since they took place. To say otherwise maintains the prevalent rape culture in our society, making it appear that men in positions of power are untouchable in the eyes of the law. Late justice is still justice.

You’d think a barrister would understand that.

Nadine Dorries Has Crawled From Under Her Rock – Again!

Today I bring you the judgemental eyes of Dr T.J. Eckleberg, sorry, I mean the most spiteful MP working in Britain today. Yes, more than George Galloway, Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May. The frankly terrifying image above is of Nadine Dorries, who periodically crawls out from under her rock to garner attention and hatred from anyone who’s brain fires correctly.

Dorries must have been craving some attention. She’s been out of the public eye for a couple of months, so she’s crawled out from under her rock to receive the cheers, I mean, total ire from the public.

Nadine Dorries hates women, make no mistake.  Don’t let the lilac shirt fool you. Look at her eyes – do you think there’s even an ounce of sympathy in her heart for a woman forced to make the decision to abort an inviable foetus immediately after her twenty week scan? For this woman to have to make that decision immediately, if Dorries were to get her own way?

Nadine Dorries will have a 90 minute opportunity to expel the bile she’s built up since her last attack on the women of this country. She will be proposing reducing the time period in which a woman can have a legal abortion from 24 weeks down to 20. If this limit were to be enforced, a woman who found out her pregnancy would be dangerous to both her and the child would be forced to have an abortion immediately. Before this time frame, the foetus would not have developed enough to see serious defects which would affect the chances of a live birth. So Dorries’ proposal is dangerous to both women and their potentially wanted children (let’s face it, at 20 weeks along you either don’t know you’re pregnant or you want the child).

How can this possibly be fair? The decision to abort a child is not one to be taken lightly. If I were to discover I was pregnant now, I would abort it. I’m ok with this decision, but I am well aware that it’s not something to just waltz into. It’s just doing what I would have to do in order to live the life I want.

So, Nadine Dorries. Do you really hate women enough to endanger their health in order for foetuses who are unlikely to survive until birth? Do you really want to discriminate against women with abnormal menstrual cycles who have no means of discovering their pregnancy, just because you personally do not agree with it?

I really should expect nothing else from yourself of members of your party. It’s taking yet another opportunity to oppress those in weaker positions than yourself. It genuinely sickens me that people like yourself have power over decisions I may have to make should my contraception fail (and seeing as I’m on a pill where I take a break on a quarterly basis, I’d be at least 12 weeks along before I found out). At least I can rest assured that you and your colleagues will not be serving another term in office.

Really, it’s not your place to choose what I or any other woman in the UK does with their body or unborn foetus. Keep your hands off my reproductive rights. If you would shut your mouth about abortion, I could accept the fact that you don’t support it. But your constant belly-aching about the choices others make means I just can’t ignore you and your spiteful actions towards women.

I don’t like Diane Abbott either, but I hope she wipes the fucking floor with you.

I should point out that I am absolutely open to reading anything which proves the viability of 20-24 week births. A female MSP I emailed (post coming later once I have gathered more responses) was a medical librarian and informed me that viability of births in the mentioned time frame have not improved, but survival rates of those born after the current limit have improved dramatically. Leave the limit, and my right to choose the way they are.

Theresa May – The Ex-Equalities Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in Equality for Women

Oh, Theresa May. How you were ever named the equalities minister is beyond me, given you don’t believe in there being equality between men and women. This is shocking for a woman so far ahead in UK politics to do something so anti-feminist. I felt I had to write to her.

Theresa May, the UK home secretary, has come out in support of Jeremy Hunt limiting the time period abortions would be available. In my post from just a few minutes ago, you can see the email I sent which is mentioned fairly often in this email.

Dear Ms. May,

As a fellow woman I find myself rather disconcerted that someone in a position of power such as yours does not appear to stand for women’s rights at all. When you colleague Mr Hunt came out to say he believes the time period in which a woman can have an abortion, you should have come out in defence of your gender. A man who does not have to make the decision about going through with a pregnancy should not be making decisions on behalf of women.
I have already emailed Mr Hunt’s office and the Department of Health this morning about this issue, but frankly, your position in support of him is more worrying than anything. Your personal religious views may make you unable to support abortion – this however does not mean that you should be restricting the rights of the rest of the women in this country. To say otherwise is just wrong, given we’re supposed to now live in a Britain which has thrived due to the separation of church and state.

I outlined in my email to Mr Hunt the time period of twelve weeks is impossibly short, given by the time the most regular woman in the world would be four weeks along by the time she missed her first period (that’s already a third of the window away).
What of the women who don’t have regular menstrual cycles, and assume the missed period is due to it just being another irregularity? If women like this missed the window, it would not be their own fault, there’s simply no way of telling.
Some women have regular menstrual periods throughout the entirety of their pregnancy (including one nursing student I know personally, who didn’t know she was pregnant until she went into labour in her own flat). What of those women?

To come out in support of Mr Hunt is anti-feminist. And I mean feminist in the purest sense in the world. You (despite being inexplicably named the equalities minister) clearly do not believe in equality between men and women. It’s honestly shocking to see someone in your position come out in support of something so restrictive towards your own gender.

I believe it’s my body, so the choices about what to do with it should belong to me. It’s obvious you don’t feel the same.

Yours,
Hannah Welsh.

Ah, Jeremy Hunt. You Utter, Utter Cunt.

Jeremy Hunt, Weymouth, 11 June 2010

Jeremy Hunt, Weymouth, 11 June 2010 (Photo credit: The Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

For those of you not in the UK and not up to date with the latest cabinet reshuffle. The man pictured above is Jeremy Hunt, who did such an awful job as culture secretary (yes, he’s the man who was more than close with Rupert Murdoch before all the allegations of phone hacking resulted in the Leveson enquiry), that our genius of a prime minister, David Cameron thought there was no-one better to be in charge of one of the most important departments of the UK Government. This man is in charge of our beloved NHS. This man also believes abortion time limits in the UK are too long and wants them to be halved.

Today, he told an interviewer that he believes the time limit placed on NHS abortion to be a miserly twelve weeks. A time period in which a large proportion of women are not aware they are pregnant.

Like I did with Rep. Todd Akin, I have written Mr Hunt an email (and have sent it to his constituency email and through the Department of Health’s website).

Dear Mr Hunt,
I’d like to take just a moment to congratulate you on one thing: the British public thought you couldn’t be any more loathsome. Today, you proved them wrong. Great job! It honestly makes the mind boggle that you gave such an opinion, having clearly avoided actual evidence from scientific studies or having actually talked to the women of your constituency and beyond.
On one hand, after everything you’ve done I’m pretty glad you and the rest of your privately educated brethren are in power because it assures me that you’ll not be voted in again. The entire Conservative/Liberal Democrat government has been an utter shambles.

Anyway, I am writing to you today to discuss your views on the abortion limit being too long at 24 weeks. Are you being serious?
I mean, really.

By the time a woman misses her period she is already technically 4 weeks along, and if a woman is not regular in her menstruation, this can easily be written off as just being a longer cycle. Some women continue to have periods throughout their entire pregnancy – how do you propose those women (who will notice literally no change in their body until the baby reaches a significant size enough to produce a bump) find out about their pregnancy within 3 months?
For one, the strain on the NHS you are in charge of will be increased by an unknown margin. Home pregnancy tests are unreliable and expensive, so where are all the women worried about missing this, frankly ridiculous, margin going to go? To their GP to be given a free pregnancy test!
And what about those women who miss your margin because they haven’t noticed any changes in their body? They have two options, really. To continue their unwanted pregnancy to term, for the unwanted child to either be resented by the mother, or be placed into the care system where it is unlikely to ever be adopted into a family. Think about the cost of these women’s antinatal care, all the extra hospital beds in bigger maternity wards which will be necessary to accommodate all these extra pregnant women giving birth.
Put simply, twelve weeks is far too short a period to give women to discover their pregnancy, then have an abortion if they do not want a family.

You, Mr Hunt will never have to go through pregnancy. You will never have to worry about the possibility of getting pregnant because a man can just walk away with no consequences. So why do you think you should have a say in what women do with their own bodies? Why are the rights of a non-sentient featus (which it is until the 24 weeks limit, by the way) deemed by you to be more important to you and other members of your party than the woman being forced to carry it?

Yours,
Hannah Welsh.

Theresa May has also come out in support of this frankly ludicrous opinion. Surely a woman wouldn’t want her own reproductive rights legislated against, so why does she support restricting other womens’ right to an abortion after discovering they were pregnant too late for this tiny margin? I sense another email coming.

You Can’t Just Ignore Evidence When it Doesn’t Suit Your Point.

On the whole, I’ve found that a lot of people can’t debate. We try and keep a debate going on the forum, more often than not it goes round in circles or fails completely. Other times, it melts down into complete chaos (usually over abortion and other such inflammatory topics). But today, I’m actually not talking about the forum.

I’ve encountered a new type of person – the person who holds odious views other than one good viewpoint. My last post has quite a lot to do with this. I started following a new person on twitter, who posted a link about debunking an animal rights activists’ unsourced points on facebook. I usually avoid facebook like the plague, but I felt intrigued enough to read. I’m now wishing I didn’t, though not for the reason you may think.

A man debating the pro-testing corner began insulting anti-vivisectionists, calling them “P.C. do-gooders”. Why it had to result into petty name-calling, I really don’t know. Perhaps it struck a nerve with him, but we’ll see. This genius then ventured the point

Don’t get me wrong, if I had my way, we wouldn’t test on animals we’d test on pedophiles etc

You’re kidding me on, right? To take a person’s human rights away purely for the fact they committed a crime is ridiculous. A person who winds up in prison is not suddenly sub-human. And to make things worse – anti-vivisectionists started agreeing with him! So these people are now arguing the point that criminals are worth less than animals. The mind truly boggles. People who want to be tested on, that’s great, but you can’t force that onto prisoners. The only thing they should be losing is their right to liberty (given that’s what prison is for).

This genius then came back to me, proclaiming

Since when have convicted pedophiles earned the right to be called a human being? A person should forfeit their human rights when they fail to recognise some 1 else’s human rights. Especially that of a defenceless young kid. U r the kinda PC waster that I was referring to. Let’s all hug a criminal!!!!!

I don’t respond well to being called a waster, let’s say from this point my back is up. People like this are the reason the death penalty still exists in the US. Western justice has failed, it’s easy to see and source facts for. Look at Scandinavian countries, who see the person, not the crime and do not see them as sub-human. Their focus on rehabilitation has been proven to work. Their recidivism rates are among the lowest in the world, and why? Because their prison does not build the criminal culture which exists in prisons in other countries in the Western world. You can’t just lock people up at the state’s expense and leave them. That’s no good for anyone.

This man believes in animal testing. He quotes facts from the Speaking of Research page, quotes sources and then conveniently forgets his love of evidence when it came to discussing rehabilitation of offenders. He then took to trying to utterly insult me, which truly, I laughed and fumed at in equal measure.

I’m not talking about rehabilitation… I wouldn’t waste time and tax payers money trying to! Pedophiles and murderers convicted beyond reasonable doubt deserve only to be put out of their misery!!! It really is twats like u that would wana send a “rehabilitated” pedophile back out into society to destroy another persons life all over again. Would u have a “rehabilitated” pedophile as ur neighbour? Would u have 1 teaching YOUR young family members? Would u be cool with 1 running a sweet shop? No u wouldn’t! This is where I disprove ur faith in “Rehabilitation” and show u for just another P.C hypocrite do-gooder…. And if ur answer to my above questions are YES, then I truly hope u never have the responsibility of any minor in ur hands. Would u trust a convicted rehabilitated pedophile alone with ur child???

Bad spelling and grammar aside, I wanted to facepalm on his behalf. It’s easy to see that rehabilitation is not a waste of money or time. People (aside from those who’re fighting to be euthanised) do not deserve to be “put out of their misery”. Committing a crime does not take away a person’s right to a life. Then, the truth becomes a figment of his memory, forgetting fact altogether! Anyone convicted of a sexual offence against a minor would not be given a job in a school (surely that would just be common sense). So, because I believe in rehabilitation of offenders of any sort, I’m not safe to have children?

For the record, if someone convicted of a sexual offence with a child involved has been proven to be rehabilitated – why should they be treated with distrust for the rest of their lives? Marginalising people isn’t going to keep them from re-offending.

For a bit of shameless promotion, the latest post on diaryofafailedhuman basically backs up my point. If you’re going to debate facts and then forget them, you’re really not worth bothering with. I’m tolerant to a fault, but if you insult me, prepare to feel the wrath of my tongue.

Today is a Win for Norway

Contrary to a couple of people who were retweeted this morning have been saying, human rights, justice and Norway have all won with the conviction of Anders Behring Breivik today. The perpetrator of both the bombing in Oslo and the massacre of teenagers attending a summer camp on Utoeya island last July has been sentenced to 21 years, after which if he is considered to still be a danger to society, he will not be released.

Norway have the type of justice system any other nation should be striving for. Their focus is on the rehabilitation of offenders, treating them like actual human beings and confronting what it was which made them commit the crimes they were convicted of.

This was just a quick post to say that I’m glad that Breivik has been put in custody for this long, but Norway has not compromised its values.

Congratulations, Norway.

 

I’m Now Not So Glad To Be Scottish

George Galloway

George Galloway, Assange Apologist who believes neither of the women were sexually assaulted by Assange, but instead he did things which are “bad sexual ettiquete” (Photo credit: DavidMartynHunt)

Ah, George Galloway. How much of a platform would you have had to defend Assange from if you hadn’t been on Celebrity Big Brother a few years ago, been hypnotised and made cat noises? Would you be seen as some kind of (vaguely) loveable buffoon like Boris? Or would the views you expressed in your podcast have come to light far sooner if another alleged rape case had come up in this country?

I feel I should point out my position on the Assange case (at this point I’m rather glad to be female, because my boyfriend has been called a “rape apologist” by women on twitter for telling people that presuming guilt can lead to a mistrial, and the man walking free). Obviously, I believe he should stand trial in Sweden for the crimes he is alleged to have committed in their country. Having read the statement from his own lawyer, which appeared to be a summation of the charges laid against him, the charges look pretty horrific. Particularly the charge laid by woman B, who Assange is alleged to have pinned down and pried her legs open to gain penetration into her.

However, I don’t believe the UK have any right to gain entry into the Ecuadorian Embassy to arrest Assange to extradite him to Sweden. The reason he has not answered these charges appears to be his fear of Sweden extraditing him to the USA to face trial over his Wikileaks site. If Sweden could give him some concrete answers as to his extradition, I’m of the opinion he would be there to face trial.

Anyway, this blog post isn’t about Assange. It’s about Mr Galloway, who I’m undecided as to email tonight over his viewpoints.

Now, Being Asleep Is Now Seen As Consent

Mr Galloway in his Good Night with George Galloway podcast, he defended Julian Assange, saying that as the woman had given prior consent and had sex with him prior to falling asleep, Assange was not raping the woman when he penetrated her whilst she was sleeping.

My views on this are that you are at your most vulnerable when you’re asleep, you can’t do anything to protect yourself. Galloway on the other hand, said “I mean, not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion.” This may be true if you’re just changing position, but come on now. During how many one night stands have you woken up to the stranger penetrating you? In my case, never. I’m sure that’s pretty much the case for most people.

A magistrates court here in the UK has said that “What is alleged here is that Mr Assange ‘deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with her by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep, was in a helpless state’. In this country that would amount to rape.” And I’m pretty sure that in Sweden, the law is fairly similar.

In his broadcast Galloway said: “Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you’re already in the sex game with them. It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said: ‘Do you mind if I do it again?.’ It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.”

Bankrupt the term of all meaning?! Come on to fuck. If you want a round two with someone you’ve taken to dinner and gone home with, you damn well better ask them if they fancy it. It’s not bad sexual etiquette, what is alleged is abuse of that woman’s trust. I bet she’s scared of going to sleep with a partner now in case she were to wake up to it again.

I just can’t believe that all this talk of rape, and morons defending the perpetrators (in Assange’s case, alleged perpetrator) has come up all at one time. It’s like feeding time at the idiot zoo.