Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Kathy Gyngell: Laura Bates’s Everyday Sexism bullying needs to be put back in its box


Laura Bates – she of the divine right to tick men off – is far too used to getting her own way. Whenever she has chance to depict all men as potential sexual predators, she takes it. And how.

Not even the most politically correct escape the finger of suspicion of her Everyday Sexism project. Justin Webb of the Today programme must rue his feeble attempt to take her on last week.

Whose wheeze it was to book her to respond the Trump sex tapes? Which editor set Justin up?

‘Wasn’t it only locker room banter?’, Justin naively asked her. Oh boy. Did she let fly. He had not been groomed in the correct approach. Laura didn’t let off.

If a man interrupts a woman, it is an infraction. When Ms Bates interrupts or talks over as she does constantly, it is a right – get it. Justin had to be brought into line and told what is acceptable and permissible and what is not. This was how she did it (my bold) when he dared ask:

JW: ….is it acceptable, in 2016, for men together to talk about women in a sexual manner without feeling guilty about it?

LB: Well, I think that you have to define exactly what you mean by that kind of conversation. I think we’re conflating two completely different things here. Yes, of course, I think everybody needs a space to talk about sex and relationships, but there’s no reason whatsoever why that has to mean being derogatory, and talking about somebody in a way that, that demeans them and talks about assaulting them.

JW: What about being complimentary? I mean, we heard those . . .

LB: (speaking under fragments of words, unclear)

JW: …those people in Newham, one of them was saying, ‘We want to be able to say if someone’s . . . oh, she’s sexy isn’t she?’ Not to her face, but her back…

LB: (speaking over) Complimenting someone…

JW: …acceptable or not?

LB: But complimenting someone, which, of course, I think we would all say a compliment is acceptable, couldn’t be further from what this conversation was about. And I think that matters, it matters that someone at the Today programme has heard these comments, these outrageous comments made by Donald Trump and gone, ‘Hey, let’s have a debate whether, you know, men should be able to have a safe space to say certain things about women.’

How dare they? After that little outbreak, we heard no more from Today’s locker room correspondent’s jokey report from the five-a-side football centre in East London again. Not PC enough. After that the BBC, I noted, only searched out reconstructed modern male shiny attitudes, the virtuous men that Trump’s lewd talk had offered “…the perfect platform to parade their feminist credentials…Sportsmen…falling over themselves to say their locker-room talk is nothing of the sort. That they never talk about women in this way.…”.

As Katie Hopkins notes: ‘men have to be more emasculated than Sporus to be deemed acceptable in the company of liberal elites.’

No wonder when Laura Bates’s ‘women are victims and men are perpetrators’ narrative is never challenged on the BBC which continues to supply her platform to air it:

“And I obviously just want to, to add to that, you know, the idea that we’ve kind of moved on and things are fine, we don’t need to address this anymore – this was a conversation about sexual assault in a country where one in five women in the US experience as rape or attempted rape. We’re talking about it here in London in a country where 400,000 women are sexually assaulted every year, and one in five will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.  So, the idea that this isn’t a serious issue, that we don’t necessarily need to address, that it’s going away on its own, it’s just not true. And I think that that reality of women’s lives is why, when these comments I made, these very serious comments, we have to take them seriously and address them and (words unclear ‘challenge them’?)”

Time was up and Justin retired defeated.

So here, Justin, is my advice as what you need to prep up on for the next encounter.

On unpicking her flakey US stats you need look no further than Wendy McElroy’s “Rape Culture Hysteria: Fixing the damage done to men and women”, published earlier this year.

As far as her UK stats are concerned, note that her dramatic 400,000 figure for the number of women sexually assaulted does not refer to serious sexual assault as implied but is specific to the minor offences defined here in the 2003 Sexual Offences Act – mainly touching through clothing – with the ambiguity problem of being determined by perceived intent. Remember too, these are not recorded police stats but based on British Crime Survey self report estimates.

Also note that despite all encouragement to report such ‘crimes’ only 15 per cent of these ‘rapporteurs’ believed their experience serious enough to report to the police. The vast majority cited amongst their reasons for not doing so that: ‘the incident was ‘too trivial or not worth reporting’, or that they saw it as a ‘private/family matter and not police business’.

Regarding the serious sexual assault offence of rape which Laura did not mention – well, this equates to far smaller numbers – 85,000 women and 12,000 men a year. As for the considerable female on male assault well don’t ever expect this to get a mention by Laura.

So Justin next time please dare tell Laura she is offending you: that not all men are not rapists; men and women are not enemies; we are all human beings and the nonsense she peddles is destroying the natural harmony of interest between us.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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