Natural Justice and #MeToo

The following was sent to me to publish on the condition the author remain anonymous. I post it in full and without comment.

I’m going to share my own ‘me too’ story with you.  I don’t want to do this.  I’ve remained mostly silent about it for decades and would happily have died with the words yet unspoken, but there is no better time than now.  In fact, it’s almost a moral imperative now.  Yes, right now.  Why?  Because given the current climate in which we are receiving a constant and steady stream of accusations and allegations coming from the Hollywood set and spreading quickly into every possible arena, something terribly important is being ignored and I would like to sound the call for the return of calm—of rational thinking.   This is a difficult thing to talk about so forgive the awkwardness as best you can.  I’ll be as brief and as delicate as I possibly can.

When I was eleven years old one of my older sisters had a first date with this man.  There was a terrible snowstorm that night, and it was decided that it would be safer for him to spend the night rather than make the long drive home.  We were a large family, living in a small house, and naturally, he wasn’t going to be sleeping in my sister’s bed, but for some ungodly and inexplicable reason, they decided he should bunk with me.  I was just a kid, right?  Nothing was going to happen there, right?  Except they were completely, horribly mistaken.  I was eleven years old and woke up to the odd feeling of strange hands inside my flannel pajamas.  I had zero concept of what was even happening other than the fact that I did not like it.  I ended up squeezing myself between the edge of the mattress and the wall to get away from him, and that’s where I spent the remainder of the night.  The following morning I asked them why they put a man in my bed and they poked fun at me for even suggesting that this could be a problem.

It was the first of many such trials.  My sister married this man, and my father hired him to work at our family business, a business that was run out of our home.  For the next seven years, he was in our home every day, all day long.  You can imagine how much opportunity he found there.  What may be difficult to imagine is how creative one can become given all of that opportunity.  For instance, there were the times he tackled myself and my younger sister to the floor and ‘checked us for breast cancer.’  That’s for you own good, you know?  Or the time he took me down and threatened to rape me with a frozen hot dog.  Times he tore my clothing off, times he stood in the middle of a house full of relatives and waited until no one was looking and then mouthed foul suggestions, times he… well, you get the picture.  He was relentless.  And it wasn’t all sexual either.  I’ll never forget the time he and my brother tied a noose around my little sister’s neck, strung it up over the rafters in the shop, tied it to the bumper of a motor home and started the engine.  Pure.  Fucking. Terror.

When my parents went on vacation for two weeks, they left us in the care of my sister and him.  The first night they were gone he entered the bedroom that my little sister and I shared and informed us that he had given his wife a sleeping pill and would be in to rape us as soon as she dropped off.  How he laughed!  He did not come in that night, but we lay awake, fearful, until the wee hours.

When I was in my teens, I finally went to my parents.  They told me that it was my own fault, that I wore clothing that was too revealing.  They told me that I could not tell my sister because she was in a fragile state and this would cause her to have a nervous breakdown.  Oddly, they did not fire him, nor even confront him as far as I know.  Secrets must be kept at all costs, I guess.  (I’m still bitter about that.)

Another year of this passed, I was in my own nervous frenzy, and one night I told her anyway.

She did not have a nervous breakdown.  Instead, she called me a whore and said I was lying.

I’ve left a whole lot of blanks here.  You can fill them in yourself.  Like I said, I really don’t want to talk about it, but it was seven years, roughly 2500 days during which he had unfettered access, unlimited opportunity, and a rich imagination with which to work, and I, plain and simple, had nowhere else to go.  Needless to say, we suffered–my little sister and me.  And it’s the ‘gift’ that keeps on giving, so we both still do.  My family has been torn apart and never mended, subsequent relationship problems, irrational fears and phobias, night terrors, and a host of other ills, but yes, we survived.

The last time I saw this man, he climbed out of my closet, where he’d been hiding in the dark, waiting for God knows how long for me to climb into bed.  I was eighteen by then.  I left the following morning.  Packed my bags and left town for good.

I apologize for having to share all of that with you, but I had to tell that part to get to this part:  In my opinion, the world has gone mad!  Absolutely ape-shit bonkers!  Aside from the fact that this constant barrage of news articles is a painful reminder and all but drives me to the floor in a fetal position begging anyone within hearing distance to just make it stop, I find myself in the awkward and unenviable position of actually speaking out for the accused and getting my figurative internet ass handed to me over it.  Why would I defend these creeps?  I know!  I’m somewhat shocked by this myself!  Who better than me to tell you that sexual abuse and rape are real things?  That people who perpetrate these crimes are some of the worst of men?

But the operative word here is ‘accused.’  And it’s too easy to accuse, particularly, I think, in Hollywood and in the current climate.  And before you misunderstand, I’m not calling anyone a liar.  Not ANYONE.  Not a single one.  What that means is that I don’t know any of these people; neither the accusers, nor the accused, and I have zero reasons to pass judgement given the fact that even as the accusations fly there’s been very little in the way of evidence offered.  Nor would I want to see any evidence that exists.  It all makes for sensational news if you’re into that kind of thing, but I hold the sincere conviction that all of it belongs in a court of law rather than the daily headlines.  Trust me, if I were sitting in the jury box at one of these trials and saw the proof that any of these acts had happened, I’d be the first to convict and pray that the judge sent this person away for the maximum allowable number of years, after which I’d personally pray to God that this bastard burned in hell for all of eternity.

But there’s something beyond that, something important, and something that has nurtured me through my own hell through the years, and I think we’ve forgotten it.  Sure, there are bad men in the world.  Awful ones!  But there are good men too.  So many out there who are good men—good husbands, good fathers, good sons.  Men who provide and protect, and who help to love those hurts away.  And in a world where no proof is required to ruin a man’s life in this way, using nothing more than a pointed finger and a hysterical shriek, every man is vulnerable.  So I ask for a return of calm to the world and the demand for at least a modicum of proof, not for the Harvey Weinsteins of the world, but for the good men, who I earnestly hope far outnumber the bad.

And I think Brendan O’Neill said it far better than I when he wrote the following:

“Sixty-two years ago a woman called Carolyn Bryant Donham accused a young man of sexual harassment. He grabbed her by the wrist and said ‘How about it baby?’, she said. He wolf-whistled at her, she claimed.
Everyone in her local community believed her, uncritically, and instantly. ‘I believe.’ They went after her harasser, tied him to the back of a truck, and then beat him to death in a barn. His name was Emmet Till.
He was a victim of uncritical belief in people who make accusations of sexual harassment. Crying ‘I believe’ in response to every accusation of a sexual crime isn’t progressive; it’s a species of savagery.”
In my own case, there never was any justice.  But I need to believe that there still is justice in the world, not only for myself but for all people.  ALL of them, accusers and the accused.  Every. Single. One.

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A Short Review of Wonder Woman with an Evolutionary Slant.

ww

Despite all the feminist/SJW chatter around Wonder Woman, a marketing strategy which is far more likely to turn me off any product attached to it, I enjoyed the film.  The character embodies femininity unhitched from biology and evolution. In the real world, we know women are just as competitive as men, but employ more covert, less aggressive strategies to get what they want. We know women are more risk averse and attuned to possible danger than men, on average, because this is adaptive. Every one of our female ancestors successfully out reproduced women who were not so risk averse. Competition is a blast, but losing (for women) especially in our evolutionary past, would have had serious reproductive consequences for their (and their male partners) evolutionary fitness. And contrary to what many people think about evolution, differential reproductive success trumps differential survival success. Which is why men are more ‘disposable’ in evolution than women. Globally, men are overwhelmingly represented as victims of violence as they are in risky dangerous jobs, defence and policing; everywhere you see high risks you see more men than women. This is an evolutionary injunction, not a cultural one.

The evolutionary reason most cultures are gynocentric is that women are the key to the next generation. They are mothers and carers. Men are disposable protectors in comparison. And here’s the rub for feminists: Women can’t simply reject their evolutionary role and expect men to maintain theirs. It’s a two-way street.

Diana Prince is an immortal who need not worry about the risks of open aggression on her reproductive fitness. She can let her aggression run free and enjoy the thrill of fierce competition. I wonder if the frustration women express about the damsel trope stems from the aggression many women do feel but must suppress?

Wonder Woman’s theme is the perfect embodiment of this release of suppressed energy. The full force and thrill of female aggression which most women dare not fully manifest for deep evolutionary reasons.

 

For further reading on the mechanisms of female aggression see the lifetime of research by Professor Anne Campbell of Durham University (one of my mentors).

For further reading on the anatomy of female competition see The development of human female competition: allies and adversaries by Joyce Benenson and follow the refs.

MP’s report on sexual harassment in schools ignores female intrasexual competition

I had to rattle this off quickly  as a counter-point to the media frenzy today about this report.  Apologies for typos – there will be many!

Toxic masculinity or female intrasexual competition?

“MPs seek better plan to fight school sexual harassment

Sexual harassment and abuse of girls are too often accepted as part of daily life, according to a Commons Women and Equalities Committee report.”

Key findings are:

stat2

The committee chair, Conservative MP Maria Miller, is popping up on my radio every hour on the news bulletins and is explicitly pointing the blame at boys and pornography. She repeats the most shocking and salacious findings as if they were the most prominent findings in the report.

The report had already piqued my interest so I have been looking at it today. Here are some pertinent points from the list of conclusions and recommendations from the report itself

“1.Sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools is a significant issue which affects a large number of children and young people, particularly girls, across the country. Evidence shows that the majority of perpetrators of this abuse are boys, and the majority of victims are girls. However it is essential that the negative impact on both boys and girls is recognised and addressed.”

“2.There is insufficient data to conclusively demonstrate that sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools is a growing problem. It is true that such behaviour has occurred in schools for many years, as in wider society. However, significant qualitative evidence suggests that increasing access to pornography and technological advances, including online platforms, can facilitate harassment and violence and thus exacerbate the problem.”

(Yet somehow, in light of this lack of evidence, the government should non-the-less…)

15…create a statutory obligation in the forthcoming Education Bill for all schools, primary and secondary, to develop a whole school approach to preventing and tackling sexual harassment and sexual violence. We also recommend that the Department for Education remind all school Governors of their legal obligations to address sexual harassment and sexual violence in school. Guidance and support on how to achieve this most effectively should be provided to Governing Bodies.”

(Echos of Title IX, anyone?)

24.By the time they reach secondary school children often have entrenched views about gender norms. It is therefore important that children are educated about gender equality, consent, relationships and sex in an age appropriate way starting in primary school.”

(In other words, an entrenched political and  ideological organisation wants government funding to go into schools to teach young and impressionable boys and girls how to interact)

“30.Too often, SRE ignores the position of boys and young men. It must be broadened to challenge harmful notions of masculinity and reflect boys’ experiences. It should also support boys to challenge and reduce sexual harassment and sexual violence.”

“31.We welcome the Government’s interest in supporting boys and young men to be part of the solution to the problem of sexual harassment and sexual violence. We recommend that the Government fund research to establish the most effective ways to achieve this.”

You get the implicit picture; girls are victims, boys perpetrators of sexual harassment. In case this wasn’t clear enough, they included a visual signpost.

Girl, interrupted by sexism

Girl, interrupted by sexism

Of course the feminist Twittersphere is going nuts. If there was a flag representing “the patriarchy”, they’d be in the streets gleefully burning it.

So lets review:  the report itself states there is no evidence to support the problem is a growing problem, yet the rhetoric I’m hearing on the radio makes it appear out of control and endemic. Which is nothing new:

endemic

And indeed further down the page we find this statement:
tip-of-iceberg
I’ll come back to this later.

Firstly, I was particularly interested in the following claim, number 1 on their page of findings and recommendations:

major-girls

Further down this page it states:

major-girls-2

Note the reference. I followed it. It took me here:

cross-2

Lets just be clear. The cited reference is to support the claim that “Evidence shows that the majority of perpetrators of this abuse are boys, and the majority of victims are girls.”

It took me a while to find a break down of the sex of the harassers – in all graphs they are referred to in sex and gender neutral terms – but when I did, it revealed something very interesting:

harasser-sex
The findings here clearly state that even if girls are more harassed in total, they are not more harassed by boys, they are harassed by other girls.

Spending more money on teaching kids about consent, as is in the recommendations, will not help victims. Demonising boys, toxic masculinity or “laddism” – all deemed problematic in the report – will not help anyone. The claim they want to help boys is hollow.  The claim they want to help girls even more so. Who commissioned this report? How much were they paid and was it from the public purse?

Note above boys appear to “harass” other boys more than girls. This is a finding because in their definition of sexual harassment they include name calling and banter as harassment. “Calling someone “gay” or “lesbian”…was the most frequently mentioned type of sexual harassment”

The numbers on female abusers here appear to be in line with the findings of a 2014 Demos report on internet misogyny which found that 50% of online abuse came from females.

demos

Lets revisit this comment in Crossing the Line…

“Because girls reported higher rates of sexual harassment than boys did, this finding raises questions. Why didn’t boys or girls admit to sexually harassing girls when more girls than boys said they had been sexually harassed? Why does it seem to be more acceptable to sexually harass boys? These questions are critical to developing new strategies”

Now read this again in light of this new information:

tip-of-iceberg

Indeed.

I research female intrasexual competition, something I frequently call the pink elephant in the feminist room. Female competition and rivalry exists but takes a very different form from male competition, which is more open. What these reports are uncovering is not the tip of the iceberg of endemic male chauvinism but of endemic female passive aggressive bullying of their female rivals.

The main strategies of female competition are well documented; targets are socially ostracized, she is the subject of pernicious gossip, her character attacked, her sexual history discussed, her reputation ruined and crucially, boys are recruited by the female bullies to join in the attack. This is the well documented anatomy of how females compete – by stealth. The effects on the target are utterly devastating. It is this phenomena that feminists should be looking into if they genuinely wish to help young girls thrive at school. It is this research that needs more government funding not feminist sex education.

Logic dictates that if there actually is such a thing as toxic masculinity, there must also be a female analogue. And there is. There is also evidence that it is feminists, not “the patriarchy”, who seek to suppress and control female sexuality, especially in the West. (See Baumeister & Twenge, 2002).

The recommendations in this report do NOT support the papers findings. Feminists want access to young women in schools, to police their sexuality via fear – when the main negative effect on their self esteem is their female peers. These are all questions I am working on as a researcher, but many people have come before me. Female intrasexual competition is not new. It’s just taboo.

In spite of the feminist insistence that toxic masculinity is the problem, as a society, we need to widen the debate to include discussion about toxic femininity. If you want to see everyday evidence of female enmity in action, just look online at the bitter rivalries between feminist sects.

Orwellian Feminism

Orwellian Feminism

How can a movement with so little insight into itself or female competition be of any help to us?

If feminism is a humanitarian movement before a political one, it will face up to its own shortcomings.

The question needs to be asked: does feminism exist to help women and girls, or do women and girls now exist to help feminism?

Shoddy reports like this make me suspect the latter.

I am an egalitarian because I believe in the equality of the sexes. I am not a feminist because I do not support feminisms central aim which is to dismantle a fictional Western patriarchy, not, as many people believe, to promote sexual equality. For more in depth analysis on this issue see When is a Feminist Not a Feminist? 

More reading on female intrasexual competition:

The development of human female competition: allies and adversaries
Joyce F. Benenson
http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/368/1631/20130079

Female competition and aggression: interdisciplinary perspectives
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2013 Dec 5; 368(1631): 20130073.
Paula Stockley1 and Anne Campbell2

A Mind Of Her Own: The Evolutionary Psychology of Women
Anne Campbell
https://global.oup.com/academic/product/a-mind-of-her-own-9780199609543?cc=gb&lang=en&

Warriors and Worriers: The Survival of the Sexes
Joyce F Benenson
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Warriors-Worriers-Survival-Joyce-Benenson/dp/0199972230/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473767339&sr=1-1&keywords=warriors+and+worriers