As someone who grew up in the 1970s, I do wonder where the dungaree-clad feminists are these days; the ones I used to know, furious for independence and parity with men, who went out at night to ‘claim back the streets,’ for women who wanted to walk the pavements in safely? Beginning in 1977 there were ‘Reclaim The Night’ torch-lit gatherings in Leeds, York, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Brighton and London. They were organised by the Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, inspired by a feature in the magazine, Spare Rib.
In Leeds the excursion was made at the time of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ murders. Many women felt that the police response to those killings had been slow and they resented police warnings to women not to go out at night. Feminists and prostitutes set out together to take back their cities at night, making the point that women should be able to walk anywhere and not be blamed or restricted because of men’s violence.
Where are those marchers now? Strangely staying quiet and off the streets, although we have the lowest sentencing rate for rape in Europe and hear constant stories about the mass rape of young girls in our northern cities and Oxford. For some reason our modern sisters seem to be more preoccupied with gay rights and removing linguistic references to gender than fighting male violence. It seems rape is no longer a feminist issue and the sad reason for this is that many feminists are still on the extreme Left and refuse to acknowledge that many rapes today are committed by Pakistani men against white English girls.
The ideological issues which allowed sexual grooming to go on for so long were supposed to have been resolved after the scandals in Rotherham, Rochdale and Oxford two years ago. But last week came reports that a teenage girl abused by another Rotherham grooming ring had been raped almost every day for years and used as a commodity to settle her abuser’s debts. She was allegedly moved around the country and made to perform sexual acts up to three times a day on different men. On one occasion, it was said, she was bundled into the boot of a car and taken to a house in London, where she was abused by five men in their 20s.
The catalogue of alleged abuse in this new case spans more than a decade from 1990 to 2003. The Guardian didn’t mention the ethnicity of the attackers but their names showed that they were, yet again, Asian Muslim men. There were no howls of anguish from women on the left, or any women. It seems that no group want to talk about sexual abuse even of the very young if it is carried out by men from an ethnic minority.
Britain is a very liberal place. Muslims here don’t have to make any effort to integrate; they can eat different food killed under different laws, speak a different language, attend different schools, dress differently, espouse misogyny and homophobia, and apparently rape young girls if they choose without a high risk of being caught and punished. For the cases in the north to come to court took a lot longer than it took to catch the Ripper but teachers, health workers, or children’s charities showed little interest. Now there is evidence that similar crimes are still going on, no feminists, militant homosexuals or radical secularists utter a word of reproof against the Muslim community.
Since the previous scandals in Rochdale and Rotherham nothing has really changed. Immigrant communities often seem to be outside or rather above the law. This is not their doing – people tend to do what they can get away with – but down to one of the tenets of multiculturalism still held by the metropolitan elite who control our institutions including the press and education. For them – some will be the daughters of the feminists I knew – women’s safety is secondary to Muslim feelings and the threat of ‘Islamaphobia.’
This distorted thinking has been going on for a for most of my life time but it first came home to me in 1982, when, clad in dungarees, I arrived in London and was attacked one night whilst walking home in South London. An Afro-Caribbean youth tried to strangle me before attempting rape. He had chatted to me for a while before jumping on me, making me feel guilty because when I had first seen him I’d crossed the road. As a good liberal I felt bad about my fears, although at that time mugging and assaults on women were rife in Lambeth.
I wrote a piece about what had happened which appeared in The Guardian. I said my attacker was black and I speculated on the reasons why young black men were being violent towards white women. Was it because they were given high status in their own community, above girls and women, but couldn’t hope for such respect from the wider society? The fact was that they were often jobless and alienated. I speculated that attacking the women of what they saw as the opposing group of dominant white men, was the easiest, most cowardly way for them to take revenge.
I was immediately reported to something called, ‘The Race Today Collective,’ a Brixton-based Marxist group dedicated to militant anti-racism. They even had a magazine, Race Today, edited by Darcus Howe, referred to last year by MP Diane Abbott as, ‘A living embodiment of the struggle against police racism.’
I was at the time the living embodiment of a woman who had been physically abused; battered and bruised with a sore neck from strong male thumbs pressing on my wind-pipe, afraid to go out. I was also suddenly in trouble with my neighbours and friends. Some young nurses lived above us. One of them told me that although they were constantly stopped on the street by young black men, none of them had been attacked, so I must have been guilty of ‘racist body language.’
That news depressed me very much. A friend of mine from university seemed to despise me for being what she saw as a provocateur. She believed like many others, that white people could not be victims of race hate crimes. Ethnic minorities were always the victim.
‘Of course if you let them see you are scared, they will attack you,’ my friend also said patronisingly. I couldn’t help noticing that she drove a car everywhere, bought for her in a somewhat patriarchal manner by her father. I was dismayed to hear from her that street violence and burglary were quite acceptable, the real problem was my fault for being a white woman. For the sisterhood to which I passionately belonged, the fact that many muggers and attackers in Lambeth were black, made them exempt from criticism, and above all their behaviour could not be mentioned.
Official figures revealing the ethnicity of those accused of violent crime in London were not released until June 2010. These suggested that the majority of men held responsible by police for gun crimes, robberies and street crimes are black. Black men are also disproportionately the victims of violent crime in the capital. The data provide a breakdown of the ethnicity of the 18,091 men and boys who police took action against for a range of violent and sexual offences in London in 2009-10. They showed that among those proceeded against for street crimes, 54 per cent were black; for robbery, 59 per cent; and for gun crimes, 67 per cent. Street crimes include muggings, assault with intent to rob and snatching property.
Former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips has sometimes commented on the problem of crime in and by the black community. Responding to the figures in 2010, Shaun Bailey, an Afro-Caribbean who has been a special adviser to the Prime Minister on youth and crime, said: ‘The black community has to look at itself and say that, at the end of the day, these figures suggest we are heavily, not casually involved in violent crime. We are also involved in crime against ourselves and we regularly attack each other.’
I doubt whether it is possible for any white person to comment in that way. I don’t think anyone has ever tried. Criticised for even describing my attacker, I felt bewildered and alienated from the young people who had been my friends. I was reminded of that experience again last April, when an Oxford student called Ione Wells was badly attacked by an Asian youth as she walked home. She wrote an ‘address’ to her attacker which made the national papers. It was a graphic account of what happened but avoided mentioning his ethnicity. Instead, she mentioned her own ‘community,’ which suggested he came from a different one. She also referred to the 7/7 bombings, and her story was covered in the Asian press on line. Neither the BBC as you would expect, nor the national papers, not even the Daily Mail alluded directly to the attacker’s ethnicity.
Then and now, the liberal Left tacitly accept this silence as politically correct. This was brought home to me again recently, listening to a BBC Woman’s Hour discussion about the sexual grooming of young girls in Oxford. Taking part were Cass Harrison, Barnardo’s Deputy Director of Policy and Sophie Humphreys, an ‘independent adviser to the government’ on child exploitation in Oxfordshire.
From the start they were desperate to destroy any idea that Muslim men were more guilty than anyone else. Gently prompted they did admit that the abuse had mainly been at the hands and sundry body parts of South Asians.
‘There is no escaping it, many were Asian’ said Ms Harrison reluctantly. But she insisted, ‘It can happen anywhere, to anyone, from all backgrounds. All communities need to work hard on this.’
When pressed again, Harrison admitted that since the grooming scandal broke in 2013 there is still only one ‘outreach’ person patrolling the streets of Rotherham. There are decidedly no groups of feminists out there, ganging together at night in collective protest, or trying to protect the girls.
Most of the abusers in the north and Oxford were Asian cab drivers, but it was revealed that those same men are to be part of a new night time ‘protection programme.’
Ms Harrison said that Barnardo’s is being funded by the Government to work with what she calls, ‘The night time economy,’ to get drivers and street cleaners to report anything suspicious they see. She said that if they see anything such as a fourteen year old girl getting into a car with an older man, they should report it to Social Services. The Oxford Times also recently reported that Oxford City Council are now using mini-cab drivers as guardians to protect young girls.
Those drivers are mostly very young men who of course cannot touch girls in their own community or even go out with them in the normal, yes normal, way. There have been no feminist calls for more female cab drivers. The sort of lateral feminist thought we might once have expected.
I realised as I read, that the grooming of young white girls by Asians is unlikely to stop. It doesn’t have to. White society has offered up its most disadvantaged young girls as a sacrifice on the altar of ‘community relations.’