Sunday, 19 November 2017

Rape Culture: Where The Left Lets Us Down

Rape Culture graphic by Wendy Cockcroft for On t'Internet
In my last post I pointed out that rape culture is a patriarchal problem and that the Right, which claims to uphold traditional values, is dreadfully hypocritical, to say the least. But is the left any better? Trigger warning: Go read something else if you're easily offended; the snark is strong with this one.

The "left" is a catch-all for everything that's not about "might is right" and generally stands for marginalised disenfranchised individuals and groups. This is why feminists, progressives, and labour groups flock to the left. No one else is interested in upholding their cause and the left is always looking for allies. So it is that they end up with spurious bedfellows. Basically, when the right lets society down it's to protect the status quo. When the left screws us, it's to upend the status quo; one exists to oppose the other, they're not interested in "we the people." This is why I don't vote Labour even though I've got a lot of sympathy with left wing positions. The left uphold and entrench rape culture in three main ways:

  • Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons
  • Assisting allies
  • Partisanship

Okay, let's take a closer look.

Doing the wrong thing for the right reasons

As I've pointed out elsewhere the left wing arose in response to the existence of the right wing. As a movement constantly on the back foot, outspent by its opponents, the left relies on a hodge-podge of allies to help it with various campaigns.

Making weird normal

One classic example of this is when the LGBT community expressed solidarity with Welsh miners and raised funds for them during the Miners' strikes in the Eighties. The miners returned the favour. As I've already stated, marginalised groups flock to the left in the hope that they'll find shelter. However, as the Guardian article points out, left wingers are often socially conservative.

"With the South Wales miners at the 1985 Labour party conference, we put gay rights on the agenda. The [resulting equality resolution] became the trajectory that would lead to civil partnerships and marriages. The NUM didn't want anything to do with poofs [emphasis mine]. But Dai [Donovan] put pressure on them – he was as good as his word." - When miners and gay activists united: the real story of the film Pride, by Kate Kellaway for the Guardian.

It's the liberal progressives who get the agenda over the line. The liberal progressives are the ones who want to make weird stuff normal, then, once the weird thing is normal they get bored with the status quo and look for something more weird to make normal. If kids are involved, so much the better. This is why we now have boys who feel like they are girls today wearing dresses to school, and that's okay so shut up, you bigot. In a world ruled by the feelz, everyday activities and interactions are fraught with the possibility of offending an Oppressed Mass and common sense is thrown out the window for the sake of experimenting on us for the Greater Good. I don't know if you've noticed this but when the experiments fail the proponents simply slink away into the night instead of acknowledging their failure, after which they wait for an opportune time to try again.

New words to learn

Part of the oppressive progressive agenda is to force encourage us to use new pronouns to describe people who, for whatever reason, can't or won't describe themselves as Jenny or John. Okay, fine, let's run along with this for a moment: what are these new pronouns? No two institutions can agree on them. Sod it, I'll stick to what I know. If you're committed, though, you can ask which pronouns the person you're speaking to prefers. Don't be surprised if they look at you as if you have two heads; that's how most people would react to that question.

Blurring the boundaries

There's a subset of the liberal progressives I've been calling the Bonobo faction. Bonobo types are all about blurring the boundaries of All The Things! Once you understand that the point of what they're doing is to create a moral and social Babel, you understand why they are happy to encourage prostitution as a career option, hookup culture, and underage sex. This enables those of us who oppose them to strike back by pointing out the harm they do in the guise of doing good. This is not a left wing thing per se; it's a liberal progressive thing though it has its roots in Marxism.

When saying no is hard

The trouble with blurring the boundaries is that it entrenches rape culture by making it socially unacceptable to say no to unwanted touch, etc. I'm not exaggerating, see what's crawling out of the woodwork as women in the sex trade (and in jobs that present them as sexual objects) come forward to complain about their treatment:

Women often freeze in situations where they are uncomfortable, particularly in sexual ones. It's comparable to when you pick a kitten up by the scruff of the neck and it curls up and goes limp. This may or may not be an evolutionary adaptation to protect us from serious injuries. Assume it is; if you're kissing a woman and she's unresponsive, back off and ask if she's okay. Do not continue till you get an answer. It's not rocket science, is it? Mind you, this assumes you care about the woman's well-being; in the sex trade there seems to be precious little consideration for this mostly because women are there to be used, ergo they can and should expect to be assaulted since it goes with the territory.

I started posting on industry-only forums, and producers and industry people were telling me to get used to it. That’s just what happens in porn. When people are telling me I should expect to be sexually assaulted at my job that’s something I’m not going to stand for. The normalization of it is what disgusts me. - Porn’s Two Biggest Male Stars Stand Accused of Serial Sexual Assault. Where’s the Outrage?, by Aurora Snow for the Daily Beast

None of this should surprise anyone who understands what the term "boundary" means, but the Bonobo faction is all about blurring the boundaries of acceptability in individuals and groups so of course they're all over the sex trade. Tell me again how it's an industry like any other, not the social problem I believe it is. And don't waste your time trying to tell me that porn has no impact on rape culture, those women are either lying or they're not. Even if they were, what about those stories I keep coming across of kids acting out scenes from erotic films?

“In my day a bottle of cider in the local park was the great experiment.

“These days you have things like this happening because porn normalises taboo behaviour.

“What we are moving into is long-term effects of what they think is normal behaviour. - 12-year-old boy acted out scenes from Fifty Shades of Grey with girl in local park, by Lucy Clarke-Billings for The Independent

My social worker friend corroborates this; she says she's seeing the normalisation of sexual behaviours that used to be fringe, and the participants are getting younger. Again I declare that porn is a social problem that exacerbates rape culture and I blame the Bonobo faction and the selfish gits who love porn too much to want to set limits on its availability for this.

Assisting allies

As I've pointed out already in this post, marginalised groups seek out allies in order to press their case. The more marginalised the group, the more sympathy they can win from liberals wishing to present themselves as tolerant and progressive.

One of PIE's key tactics was to try to conflate its cause with gay rights. On at least two occasions the Campaign for Homosexual Equality conference passed motions in PIE's favour. - How did the pro-paedophile group PIE exist openly for 10 years? By Tom de Castella & Tom Heyden for BBC News Magazine

Using the language of the oppressed and disenfranchised, then caucusing with such groups enabled the Paedophile Information Exhange to operate openly for ten years before they were finally disbanded in 1984. This was a very successful tactic that made opposing them an illiberal act:

When Peter Hain, then president of the Young Liberals, described paedophilia as "a wholly undesirable abnormality", a fellow activist hit back. "It is sad that Peter has joined the hang 'em and flog 'em brigade. His views are not the views of most Young Liberals." - How did the pro-paedophile group PIE exist openly for 10 years? By Tom de Castella & Tom Heyden for BBC News Magazine

Note the authoritarian response from the fellow liberal; basically to oppose PIE was to oppose Liberalism. PIE also attached themselves to the civil liberties movement and to other sexual equality groups. They rose with the gay liberation movement, then threatened to pull that down with them when exposed as the freaks that they are. Activist Peter Tatchell doesn't help himself much when attempting to clarify his position on the sexualisation of children; it's no wonder parents are freaking out about sex education. As the old saw goes, if you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas. Labour lay down with them — and ended up on the back foot over it.

How left-liberalism entrenches rape culture

Left liberalism, in and of itself, entrenches rape culture by stifling dissent in the name of protecting oppressed masses. Now that the Bonobo faction — paedophile edition — has allied with the LGBT anti-bullying cause it's being seen as bigoted and downright abusive to question who is behind it. Yes, it's our old friend Dr. Steven "Power balance ain't no thing" Angelides.

Nowhere is the recognition of child sexuality more apparent than in the child emancipation and sexual liberation movement of the 1970s. The widespread assumption that modern society had inherited an attitude of intolerance of sexuality led many reformers to argue for a lifting of repressive strictures and for more open and positive attitudes toward sexuality. - FEMINISM, CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE, AND THE ERASURE OF CHILD SEXUALITY by Steven Angelides

Uh, guys? He's describing the Paedophile Information Exchange and their agenda here. Why are so few people calling him out except on the religious right? Australia's News Weekly has a bone to pick with him, too:

In contrast, a central tenet of queer theory is childhood “agency”, or the “child as agent”. An agent is one competent to make a decision. As a real estate agent is competent to value and arrange the sale and purchase of land.

In queer gender theory, childhood agency means treating children as competent to make their own (sexual) decisions.

Safe Schools exposes children to a wide range of sexual activities and sexual identities. Does this make them informed “child agents”? - It's a queer theory, with 51 closets to come out of (Part One of two parts) by Patrick J. Byrne for News Weekly

You can visit the Safe Schools website yourself to make up your own mind. Suffice it to say it appears to me that the Bonobos are tacking on to the LGBT youth movement to open up the kids for exploitation. Wait for it: twenty, maybe thirty years from now we'll be hearing all about how these "child agents" were obliged to suffer in silence since they were made to feel responsible for their own abuse. The intellectual authority granted to the notion of the child agent is yet another tool in the pervert toolbox to shut victims up. I'm not having it and neither should you. Yes, bullying kids for being different is bad but that doesn't mean we ought to turn to degenerates and their apologists for help. They're not interested in helping but in furthering their own agenda. Linking with them can only backfire. Badly.


The left, as I have already asserted, exists to oppose the right. That's basically its function. This is why they never seem to get much done when in office. The great exception was the creation of the NHS in 1948, but that was by liberal Christian socialists more intent on service to their country than in effecting a Soviet revolution. The left lets us down via partisanship when they make the issue at hand about class instead of actually dealing with it.

The police response to abused and vulnerable girls, gang-raped and terrorised by violent threats, was characterised by a disgusting prejudice towards white, working-class girls [emphasis mine]. Far from being treated with support and sensitivity, police officers treated them as sluts and criminals, working on the perverse assumption that children as young as 11 could have consensual sex with groups of men three times their age. Would they believe the same of their own daughters? In some cases, they arrested victims for drunk and disorderly behaviour – found in the company of older men in strange flats – while leaving abusers free to persist with their crimes. Would they think it normal for their own pre-teenage daughters to be drunk in the company of strange men? - Rotherham: Sorry isn't good enough. When will Britain learn to protect its children? Editorial in The Guardian

This is a classic example of both sides being at fault: on one hand you've got the "Child agent" thing going on (PIE tried to make that socially acceptable outside of the "Nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean, eh?" patriarchal tradition), while on the other:

...the inquiry found the dominant Labour group did not discuss child sexual exploitation until 2012 and there was inadequate scrutiny of council officials. As late as 2010, Jahangir Akhtar, the then deputy leader downplayed the convictions of five Asian men as a "one-off, isolated case". - Rotherham: Sorry isn't good enough. When will Britain learn to protect its children? Editorial in The Guardian

And when all else fails, blame the ideological echo chamber:

His plea that his "liberal leftie" Guardian-reading tendencies prevented him from digging deeper for fear of upsetting cultural sensitivities [emphasis mine] smacks of a post-hoc justification of his abject failure to do anything: an excuse hardly befitting a parliamentarian of 18 years. If he was so unable or unwilling to exercise proper scrutiny and inquiry in his constituency (that being his job, after all) then he should have resigned long before he was forced to – in 2012 – when he was charged, and later convicted, of fraud while serving as an MP. Politics failed the young children of Rotherham too. - Rotherham: Sorry isn't good enough. When will Britain learn to protect its children? Editorial in The Guardian

The former head of the Equal Rights Commission, the eminently sensible Trevor Phillips, accuses those involved of using political correctness as a fig leaf to cover up their own incompetence - and prejudice:

At least as troubling as the desire not to rock a racial boat was the blatant disregard shown to working-class children and their families. One contributor to the report said police regarded the victims as “undesirables . . . not worthy of police protection”. - Accounting for the Rotherham scandal - Financial Times opinion piece by unnamed author

Note that at the centre of all this is the notion of the child seducer, the agent who shamelessly goes after older men. The Bonobos had that all locked down with right-wing prejudice on one side and political correctness on the other till the victims and their advocates finally got the story out in the open. Needless to say the left is all a-froth, and blaming the right. What they're not doing is re-evaluating the social and administrative structures that enabled such attitudes to proliferate for so long — the people who knew all about it and did nothing are still in their jobs.

What can we do?

I have a few suggestions for stamping out rape culture on the left that require completely rethinking all previous assumptions. Basically, the left has allowed itself to be manipulated by people who convinced them that if they didn't get on board with their agenda they were guilty of oppressing people. That needs to stop. Think for yourselves, people!

Attitudes to sex must change

I've already written about this:

If we're going to change the wrong attitudes to sex, gender, and societal expectations of men and women it will have to start with individuals and groups learning how to set, enforce, and respect healthy boundaries. - Rape Culture: Our Attitude To Sex Must Change, by Wendy Cockcroft for On t'Internet

The biggest problem I'm seeing where rape culture is concerned is the lack of boundaries and the enforcement thereof.

According to Funk, Young, like so many from her generation, conceived of her role in “the game of sexes” as “the guy tries to get what she wants; the woman’s job is to fight him off.” - Clark Gable Accused Of Raping Co-Star, by Anne Helen Petersen for Buzz Feed

This was back in 1934 but the story is repeated over and over and over again; it's on the woman to fight off the man and if she fails, she's a whore. I say it's on men to control themselves but women, you need to set and enforce boundaries if only to be able to say later on, "I said no."

We also need to stop pushing the idea of sexual pleasure as a right; this is what underpins the sense of entitlement that drives sexual assault and rape. Women are being pushed by the media into making themselves available for sex when they don't necessarily want to; now there's a plethora of "How to cure your frigid wife" websites littering the internet.

The status of women must rise

Empowering women to relate to themselves, each other, and to men as intellectual beings whose value is not contingent on their sexual desirability would help to derail rape culture but if we stop pandering to men the balance of power will shift and they're not having that. - Rape Culture: How The Media Frames And Shapes The Debate, by Wendy Cockcroft for On t'Internet

Keeping women in a sexually subordinate role helps to lock down rape culture. The fact that women are choosing careers in the sex trade in which they often have full control of the production and distribution doesn't really change anything; they're just voluntarily objectifying themselves, presenting themselves as sexual playmates to their audience. People are not relating to them as people but as fantasy figures to be fetishised and ogled. Basically, this faux empowerment helps prop up patriarchal notions of woman's job being to pleasure men, and this in turn promotes rape culture whether they intend it to do so or not. This is why I describe the sex trade as a social problem; you, dear reader, are welcome to try to change my mind but don't begin your discourse with "You're a religious prude, Wendy." That's lazy, and fails to address my concerns.

If we're going to address the status of women, then, it must be to discuss them in terms of their intellectual endeavours. We need to discuss the greatness of women in the same ways as men; their achievements are achievements because they're achievements, not because they're by a woman. Does that make sense?

We've got to stop protecting our heroes

Jimmy Savile, Harvey Weinstein, Roman Polanski, Woody Allen, Michael Jackson... we've historically looked the other way at their peccadilloes on the grounds that they're really, really, really talented and stuff. That's not okay. As I've pointed out before, the status of the abuser as a rock star, etc., doesn't make his actions any less damaging to the victim (it makes it worse because it's harder to speak out against him) even if there's a large payout down the line. Sexual abuse wrecks lives, not just because the victims have nightmares, etc., for years afterwards, but because, if it gets into the press, they become defined by it; Jordan "Jordy" Chandler will be forever known as "The lad wot Michael Jackson interfered wiv." The story continues to haunt him, he's been missing since 2016 because another accuser wanted him to back his story up in court. Imagine going through your life knowing everybody knows that about you — and that's all they want to know, in as much detail as possible. No wonder he ran off. I would. We've got to stop giving these people a pass because that's what keeps the abuse going. Would the world really be a sadder, emptier place if we called abusers to account?

We've got to end prejudice

Prejudice is not a class thing.

Political correctness began as a well-meaning attempt to regulate our speech in order to prevent offence against protected groups of people designated by the ivory tower-dwelling powers that be. However, it has now become an oppressive regime whose ultimate goal is to decide what constitutes offence, who may be offended with impunity and who should be protected from offence. - Political Correctness Implodes: When Free Speech And Feminism Collide, by Wendy Cockcroft for On t'Internet

Political correctness creates its own language of prejudice by designating some people as protected rendering others, by default, as unworthy of protection. We've got to end prejudice against individuals and groups, against people whose sexualities and the expression thereof is not harmful to anyone else, and against those whose views we disagree with but are not, in and of themselves, inherently harmful.

It's one thing to bash a kiddie fiddler or someone who promotes that kind of thing but I don't think it's fair to have a go at either someone who has chosen to work in the sex trade or someone who opposes sex work. I also think it's unfair to pick on any member of the LGBT persuasion just for being different. They have enough problems as it is.


If the left can rise above ideological considerations, petty partisanship, and prejudice against imaginary enemies it will be able to lead the struggle against rape culture. Until then it seems it will continue to get in the way. Meanwhile, the right needs to raise its game: they're so intent on maintaining the patriarchal status quo they've thrown the morality they claim to hold dear under the bus.  

The winner of the moral high ground, where rape culture is concerned, will be the ones who effectively end it on their side. What are you waiting for?


  1. There is no such thing as rape culture in our society, Culture is defined as the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Rape is not tolerated or accepted in the UK whatsoever as this is a crime. Your entire argument falls flat due to this fact.

  2. I find it interesting that you weren't willing to put your name to your comment. Could this mean that you know you are very, very wrong?

    Perhaps you'd like to explain the events in Rochdale, where rape was absolutely tolerated until the outcry was finally too much to contain. Perhaps you'd like to explain why so many famous figures are being taken down because they can't keep their filthy hands to themselves. And perhaps you'd like to explain why "She was asking for it" is a thing. I've published your comment so I could post a counter-argument. This, dear readers, is why rape culture is so damn hard to root out: people like our anonymous friend here are in complete denial that it even exists.