avatarToni Hargis

Summarize

“They’re Making Men Illegal”

And they call women “hysterical”?

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash

I recently had an interesting Twitter run-in with opinionist (made-up word) Peter Hitchens. Wiki describes him as an “English conservative author, broadcaster, journalist & commentator.” He writes for The Mail on Sunday, if that gives you a better idea.

Hitchens has been discussing the latest developments concerning the kiss seen around the world. Spanish prosecutors are seeking a prison term of thirty months for former soccer chief Luis Rubiales for giving an unwanted kiss to star forward Jennifer Hermoso after Spain’s World Cup victory.

Although claiming he was ‘just stating facts,’ Hitchens began with the subjective and ridiculous observation that “They’re making men illegal.

Drama much?

Of course, I weighed in. Saying nothing about the nonsense in his piece was not an option for me. In a nutshell, I’m sick and tired of a certain type of man getting away with sexist BS. Interestingly, his main rebuttal was that I hadn’t read it, so without further ado, let’s get out the fine-tooth comb. We all need to be able to recognise and refute this tosh:

“The point is that an area of life which has always been governed by manners, custom and judgment has now fallen under the grey, chilly shadow of criminal law.”

Hitchens must have been living on a different planet to suggest that manners, customs, and judgment were working. (At this point, he’d say he wasn’t suggesting anything of the sort, but what else are we to deduce? Why mention them if you’re not positing them as the alternative to the “grey chilly” laws?) Well, they certainly worked for men.

The point is that we have criminal laws in place precisely because people don’t behave nicely. If nobody burgled houses, it would probably never have occurred to anyone to introduce that law. Before the internet, there were no laws about cybercrime. Why, just because this law protects women, as opposed to houses, cars, and bank accounts, is it suddenly a problem? Why are women expected to be protected by non-existent “manners” when no one (read, men) else is?

Women have recently demanded criminal consequences for up-skirting and non-consensual touching because manners don’t come naturally to some men. As for “custom” —there may have been a custom of opening doors for women, but alas, as most women know, it didn’t protect us from horrific behaviour. To reference manners and custom in this way is to be selective, or perhaps willfully ignorant, of reality.

Let me throw something back that men like Hitchens always say — If you’re not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. You won’t be troubled by the “grey, chilly shadow” if you leave women alone. Simple.

“Those who try this on have often been swiftly punished with a sharp slap around the chops or worse. Who can complain about that? Administered in public, this is a pretty devastating rebuke.” … and … “Then there is the glass of wine, preferably red, emptied over the assailant’s head. I am told that it is also quite effective to inform the offender that he has revoltingly bad breath.”

While living on another planet, Hitchens has clearly consumed a lot of soaps like Dynasty and Dallas, where fiery Joan Collins-types see their assailants off with caustic wit and whatever cocktail the butler has served up. The risk of escalating the situation and being beaten senseless hasn’t crossed his mind.

Who can complain about that?” How about “most of the men it happens to”? Their displeasure isn’t usually in the form of a complaint, though. There’s a reason why many women smile and giggle when faced with threatening men. Sometimes, it’s fear, but it can also be an attempt to placate the offender, thereby keeping themselves safe.

Mary Brandon’s experience in 2014 is typical of what’s still happening. “The 22-year-old student trying to enjoy the Notting Hill Carnival ended up spending nine hours in hospital this week because she dared to stand up to a man who groped her.” And that was without a drink being thrown at him. As the article’s author, Laura Bates, said —

Forgive us for not being wild about laying the foundations of the idea that our bodies are not our own.

Administered in public”, again, clueless. Men assault women on trains and buses, knowing that an already humiliated woman is unlikely to want to draw attention to the offence. As we see with Mary Brandon, we can barely bring ourselves to voice an objection, let alone resort to the physical. These men literally abuse in broad daylight.

Another example is the hand on the leg under the work conference table. Men know that most women won’t ‘make a scene’; it’s how we’ve been raised. There is often a power imbalance too — younger woman, older man in a position of authority or a valued client. The only devastating thing is that it happens at all.

After a brief rant on how certain offences are being decriminalised (no mention of rape, by the way), Hitchens gets to his core message. These unwanted changes are apparently driven by “one vast force” —

“This force is the desire of the modern State to supplant and abolish its chief rival, the strong married family, generally headed by a father and husband.”

Ah, there we have it. Apparently, when we toss out this model, all men potentially become rapists and tyrants. (Yes, it’s a leap. I hope your knees are okay.) As we know, when the ‘traditional’ family unit was the norm, women were never raped or assaulted, and children were never molested. Men knew how to behave, didn’t they? They certainly knew how to present to the world as mannered. How dare the state step in and try to protect us? How dare the state realise that half the population is fed up with the other half’s entitlement? I’m surprised he didn’t say we’ve brought this on ourselves or are ‘playing the victim’.

Men like Hitchens need to remember that women now have the vote; we’re supposed to have representation, and we’re fighting for it. A rival to the “strong married family” is a rival to men, not women.

In true DARVO fashion, Pete and his mates become the victims. We’ve already had the D and the A, by the way. Denial when Hitchens insists he’s just stating facts, even though anyone who can read can also see that his piece is mostly opinion. Attack — albeit a failed attempt — by telling me I’m not speaking English and that I haven’t read the piece. (Designed to deflect from my criticism, reduce my credibility and undermine me. When you do that, lads, it’s a clear sign your tank is otherwise empty.)

Moving on to the RVO (Reverse Victim and Offender), Hitchens bemoans men and women being “all partners now”, lassoes gender ideology in for good measure, and forgets that he’s writing in a national newspaper:

“Conservative men cannot oppose this severely intolerant dogma, for they will then be condemned as bigots and forced out of public life amid shame and catcalls.”

For anyone who doesn’t recognise what’s going on here, we have a manipulative tactic involvinga strategic inversion of roles, where the perpetrator portrays themselves as unfairly treated or harmed, while painting the victim as the instigator or aggressor.” In other words, — I can say what I want because if you argue, I’ll make myself out to be silenced. (Welcome to our world, my dude.)

Forced out of public life”? It looks more like you get a big splash in a national newspaper. As with “men can’t say anything these days”, you can oppose whatever you like, whenever you like, but don’t throw a tantrum when there’s pushback. Most women don’t want the customs and traditions you’re longing for. There’s a reason more women than men file for divorce: the ‘traditional’ way isn’t working for us.

This childish response is not unlike the men who threaten never to work with women again. Annoyed that they’re no longer able to grope and taunt at will, they accuse all women of potentially making false allegations (while usually also insisting #NotAllMen). Ignoring the more obvious suggestion that they can’t trust themselves in a room alone with women, they turn women into aggressors, citing the unlikely event that they will make false accusations.

By the way, to quote from my book:

“ … if men try to avoid an unlikely sexual harassment claim by refusing to meet with women, they’re very much at risk of discriminating against them by doing this.”

“So 30 months in the slammer for an unwanted male-on-female kiss is now quite reasonable. We had better get used to it.”

As Hitchens knows perfectly well, what prosecutors ask for isn’t often what the perpetrator will receive as a punishment. This is more drama to fuel the faux outrage. How about women are done with it being “quite reasonable” for a man to suffer no consequences after forcing himself on a woman?

And yes, you’d better get used to it. Get used to women not accepting this as everyday life. Get used to women calling out gaslighting. Get used to women refusing to be silenced. Get used to women using the courts to curb offensive behaviour.

Choose wisely.

Feminism
Sexism
Womens Rights March
Sexual Assault
Criminal Law
Recommended from ReadMedium