That’s not sexist, No. 2

Second in the series:

I just caught a taxi, alone, and the driver told me several times how beautiful I was, asked if I had a boyfriend ect @EverydaySexism

Steve Clamp ‏@SteveClampITV2m
@laureningram @EverydaySexism I’m not sure that’s sexism. It’s just inappropriate.

It is of course, both.

If those comments were made in the workplace, they’d clearly fall foul of sexual harassment legislation. The reason they are harassment, and not “chatting up” or “flirting” is due to the inappropriateness of the setting – just as in the workplace. In fact, it is a workplace for the driver.

Sexual harassment definitely falls under the umbrella of sexism.

You don’t tweet, you clearly don’t care.

For some incomprehensible reason, @everydaysexism (and others) has received a lot of criticism for not tweeting about (and presumably condemning) the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal.

The critics universally imply that since they have not tweeted, they clearly don’t care. Most go on to state that they obviously care more about “staring men” (or choose your brand of casual sexism) than they do about child sexual abuse.

What a load of utter utter bollocks.

Thousands of people have said nothing about Rotherham. They all care. It does not need to be said. In fact I’d be prepared to state that those who care most – who have reason to care most, are those least likely to make yet another opinionated tweet.

Because lets face it, twitter is not a good medium for nuanced discussion of anything – let alone something as emotive as child abuse.

So whatever @everydaysexism ‘s (and others) reason for not commenting – lets just respect that choice – and not use the horrific sexual abuse and rape of thousands of children to score cheap points.


Update: Look, I’ve had a response.

Michael Walsh @mcjwalsh14h:  @tonycollinet@evilherbivore17@EverydaySexism a sight dedicated to challenging sexism says nothing about Rotherham ……….and you sanctimoniously claim they care – yeh right

It seems some people are so desperate to score cheap points, they are prepared to bend logic all out of shape in order to do so.

“That’s not sexist” No. 1

First in a series answering the wilfully ignorant “that’s not sexist” statements:

ruserious ‏@arrr_u_serious 13m@tonycollinet @Luvagoo @EverydaySexism why don’t you explain it to me? no one uses any word that says only women are bad in maths. no sexism

The advert is clearly aimed only at women and girls. The statement is “absorbs more than you ever did in maths class”. So it assumes that the audience (all female) could not do maths. If you are unable to see the clear sexism there, then I assume you are being wilfully ignorant. See my profile.

Rape culture is a thing.

Apparently – according to @DD1958, rape culture does not exist:

@DD1958 “rape culture ” is a meaningless term thought up by feminists to pursue a ideologically corrupt agenda.


@DD1958 “Rape culture ” It’s a meaningless label which detracts from real problems regarding rape and abuse.

And in reply to my

Rape culture is a label for a set of cultural beliefs and behaviours which DO exist, and DO support/encourage rapists


@DD1958 Prove it

OK, well here are some things which DO exist (I will continue to add examples to this list as they come up):

Rape culture is more than the acts of rape and assault, it is all the aspects of our culture that implicitly support and permit behaviour that leads to rape.

It starts at the bottom end with the large proportion of films where the hero meets resistance at the first kiss but persists and she gives in.

It goes on through hit songs about “blurred lines” which use the actual words that rapists use.

It includes the normalisation of sexual violence: “I was groped at the club” – “What do you expect – it’s what men do”

It includes the acceptance of random stranger sexual harassment on the street.

For numerous (far too numerous) examples of the previous two, just follow @everydaysexism

It includes people not believing how many students are assaulted on campus – out of hand – without even checking facts for themselves

It includes the concept of “token” or “Last minute resistance” which must be just “pushed on through”

It includes the routine disbelief of rape victims when they report rape, (For the most recent and horrific example, see Rotherham sex abuse scandal)  and the related widespread belief that women routinely report rape against the famous in order to extract money.

It includes the routine victim blaming of rape victims (what were you wearing? How much did you drink? Why did you go there? With him? and so on ad infinitum)

It includes the fact that, in part due to the to elements above, that only around 10 to 20% of rape victims make a report to the police.

And it includes the resulting horrific statistic, that if that is taken into account, then only 1 or 2% of rapists are convicted. The other 98% free to rape again. And many do.

And it includes the fact that someone reading this will say I am making that up.

It includes rape jokes – which rapists see as validating their actions (See, everyone thinks like I do)

It includes cases (albeit in USA) where school athletes rape a school girl, carry her unconscious from party to party as a sort of sex toy, then urinate on her. When it comes out, the local community rally round the rapists, protecting them by destroying evidence, and vilifying the victim, driving her and her family from the town. Then when they are finally convicted (at least 2 of them are) the press concerns itself with their ruined futures rather than the victims lifetime mental scars.

And then the same thing happens again – at another town, just a few months later.

It includes our very own athlete – who AFTER he was CONVICTED, his supporters continued to vilify the victim, sending her death threats, and driving her out of her home.

It includes the sense of entitlement some men have view the pictures of celebrities bodies which brings them to hack cloud accounts to steal and share photographs taken in the privacy of the bedroom – and the subsequent entitlement of the thousands of men and boys (and some women) who think it is OK to share them, or just view them, around the net.

I could go on… and on. But if the above is not enough for you, nothing will be.

You might not like the phrase “rape culture” but the examples described above exist, and the phrase is just a useful way of describing them.

Update – 25th May 2015

I recently found the following comments, written by @NikkiSwarm in a comment thread in which she took on the neanderthals on the ROK website (A pile of misogynistic bullcrap that I will not link to here – but for a hilarious takedown of this and other similar sites see: We Hunted the Mammoth) They provide additional perspective on the nature of our rape culture (Included here with permission of the author).

Rape Culture refers to the ‘yes until you say no’ method of attaining consent that is so frequently the default setting in the US. It also refers to the attitudes of institutions that place blame on victims of rape, defend perpetrators of rape, or perpetuate the acceptability of violating behavior in public spaces. As a teenager, for example, my public school sex ed class was taught that if a man gets too aroused, he cannot stop himself from having sex, so, if you lead someone on and get raped, it’s your fault. I was 13. I was in the 8th grade. Rape was already my fault. That’s rape culture. Rape culture asks what you were wearing if you claim you were assaulted. Rape culture asks if you’d been drinking if you were assaulted. Rape culture accepts that men will yell at women on the street, and touch women without asking in public spaces. Rape culture also tells men that they can’t be raped. Rape culture stops men from reporting rape. Rape culture shames men into accepting sexual assault rather than speak up. Rape culture is real. You live in it and so do I. It is bad for everyone. It is not a gendered issue. It is a human issue.


OK, so the issue you’re having is in distinction of terms. “Rape Culture” refers to a culture that allows or encourages non consensual behavior and/or discourages speaking out about such behavior, or making reports when such behavior goes too far. Rape Culture does not mean that every one the streets is about to go rape someone, it means that the culture has all the wrong nutrients that allow those behaviors to grow and develop. This applies to everyone, male and female. Pointing out Rape Culture, is a prevention strategy, that helps those of us who were raised within it to identify ideas or behaviors that are not conducive to establishing a consent culture. The goal of the feminist movement that has defined rape culture is to establish a culture of consent. Any other purpose that the term Rape Culture has been used for is a misappropriation, and should not be used as a means of ignoring an obvious problem. The 1 in 4 statistic is not made up, despite claims on this website that it is. In fact, in my experience getting to know survivors over the years I have found a much higher number to be true. And even if it were half that (which it isn’t), even if it were 1/8, is that not an unacceptable epidemic? How many people need to be raped before we consider this a four alarm fire? This is an issue that requires an active investigation into how our culture develops these behaviors. Everyone should take part in the discussion, not stand on either side calling each other liars.

It’s just a joke

Not mine – found all over the net. But it resonates…

I think we can all recognize that the “it’s a joke excuse” is the most dismissive, self-righteous loophole, created by those who refuse to examine their power, and assume they have not only the right to say whatever they want to people, but the right to control how other people react to what they have said.



Also with a certain amount of resonance – my own less thoughtful, but perhaps more to the point version

“Its just a joke – the excuse used by hoofwankingbunglecunts all over the planet”

Why #ibelieveher

It really is very simple.

Rape victims are routinely disbelieved by society and our CJS.

The result is appallingly low reporting rates for rape (less than 20% of victims will report). This is followed by an appalling attrition rate – of the small number of reports, less than 20% make it to trial.

The end result of all that is that in more than 98% of rapes, the rapist remains free…… to rape again.

This has to change. The only way to get more rapists behind bars is to get more victims to report, and to do this, we need to start believing them and supporting them.

Combine that with the fact that (unsurprisingly) the rates for false accusations of rape are similar to that of other crimes, at around 3%, then the logical choice becomes even clearer.

So, #ibelieveher

 More recently #ibelieveher needs no further justification then the rape and abuse scandal of Rotherham – which fundamentally, was a horrendous failure by the authorities to believe 1000’s of child victims.

For a more eloquent and detailed view of #ibelieveher:



Side Note for the “Innocent until proven guilty” Brigade

IUPG is for the courts. It is required to avoid sending innocent people to prison. (The downside is that many guilty go free – especially in cases of sexual violence). It is not required in personal relationships. If someone comes to you and says “I’ve been raped” it’s perfectly acceptable to believe them without further evidence. Give them your support. Believe them unconditionally. Help them through the awful days and weeks to come – whether they report it or not. There will be more than enough people who disbelieve, you don’t need to be one of them.


Majority of acquitted rape defendants actually guilty?

I recently made the statement on a forum, that the majority of rape defendants who are acquitted, though innocent in law, will be guilty in fact.

I was asked to prove it, so here is my justification. First some figures:

1 – 80 to 90% of rapes are perpetrated by someone known to the victim.
2 – 18% of reported rapes make it as far as trial
3 – 40% of cases that make it to trial result in a conviciton
4 – There is a false reporting rate of around 3% (Recent DPP report on false rape allegations)

So for say 1000 rape reports, 180 will make it to trial. Of these, at most 36 will be “stranger” rape where the police would be required to identify the perpetrator. Lets assume that the police do a really bad job of this, and incorrectly identify the culprit in 25% of the time. So 9 cases will be against innocent men. (Note, this is the only figure where I am making an assumption – but it is not unreasonable – and a different % won’t significantly change the outcome.)

Due to the difficulty of getting any rape case to trial (only 18%) it could reasonably be assumed that the vast majority of the 3% false allegations (necessarily without corroborating evidence) would be weeded out at this stage. However, for the sake of the argument, I’ll ignore this, and say that of the 180 cases, 3% will be false allegations = less than 6 further cases against innocent men.

Adding the two figures, of the 180 actual prosecuted cases, at most 15 of the defendants will be genuinely innocent.

Yet only 40% (72) will be convicted and the remaining 60% of cases (108) including the 15 genuinely innocent men means that 93 of the acquitted will, in fact, be guilty.

Ryan – Sorry, 140 Characters is not enough.

Update October 2016:
After a referral to the court of appeal by the criminal cases review commission, Evans has now been acquitted of the crime of rape. Whatever the rights or wrongs of that situation, in the eyes of the law, Evans is now innocent of the crime of rape. I leave the text below as a record of my thoughts on the case as it stood at the time of writing.



Ryan – sorry, twitter is not a suitable medium for the discussion you are trying to have. Before I start, you need to understand why what I write below may sound (to your ears) unreasonably harsh. Evans has been found guilty of rape in a court of law. Which means his victim is proven to be a victim. In a court of law. That means when you repeat slander against her, when you question the verdict that she went through hell to get, you are piling the abuse onto a woman (actually a teenager) who has already been abused in one of the worst ways possible. Harsh? believe me, It is gentle compared to what I felt like writing earlier today.

I give you right to reply via the comments below (which is much more than Team Evans give his victim by the way). However, that right is qualified. Any comments which discredit or smear the victim in ANY way will be deleted. Abuse will be deleted.

So to answer your tweets.

Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet Firstly, having a different opinion than you doesn’t make me biased.

No, you are correct. What shows that you are biased, is the fact that you are prepared to disagree with the verdict reached by 12 independent people, while freely admitting that you haven’t seen all the evidence. That you are still prepared to do that, in spite of the fact that the evidence has been reviewed by 2 leave to appeal hearings, and 4 appeal judges, and judged so sound that leave to appeal was not even granted.


Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet Further, we have seen some evidence that the jury have not relating to prior rape claims of the woman

This is the point at which I am struggling to control my anger. You are supposedly an intelligent chap. At least you are at university, studying a science based subject. Yet you are prepared to give credibility to the obvious lie of an obvious smear campaign directed against a proven rape victim, and you are prepared to repeat that smear. You claim there is evidence – I call bullshit. You have NOT ONE scrap of evidence to support that claim. You have simply seen it stated (By supporters of a rapist, I might add) and taken it at face value. Where is your critical thinking. As a scientist, you should be training to act on facts and evidence, not rumours and hearsay. Not even the team Evans website makes that claim, because even they know it has no validity. Above everything else, this statement proves your bias, and destroys any remaining credibility you may have had left.


Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet and you said yourself that you disagree with the juries interpretation of the proceedings and in this we agree

I said that I would disagree with the idea of doubt regarding Claytons “reasonable belief” in consent. Bear in mind this is in a judicial system that requires a jury to be “sure” of guilt if they are going to convict. That puts a heavy bias into the system to acquit rather than convict. It is a completely different thing to doubt an aquittal then to doubt a conviction. By definition an acquittal comes with doubt whereas a conviction comes with surety.


Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet we solely have different views on how the questionable interpretation of the law has affected the verdict.

No, we don’t. The law is clear, the evidence has been tried in court, and been found to prove guilt. We differ, in that I am trusting the judgement of 12 jurors, 4 judges and three courts, and you are disagreeing with all of them on the basis of supposition and hearsay, not having seen the evidence. On the evidence you have seen, your only reasonable scientific way forward is either to trust the courts, or keep an open mind. You have no basis on which to question the verdict.


Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet your right I am a SUFC fan and I admit that this has caused me to take a greater level of interest in the case however, I dont believe this has led me to become totally blinkered…

Sorry, I disagree for the reasons stated above.


Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet ….which is why I am trying to have a discussion rather than resorting to slating you for your beliefs and trying to talk about the facts of the case that we have available to us

The only facts we have available to us, which actually are facts, are 1: that Evans has been found guilty in a court of law, and been refused leave to appeal twice. And 2: the legal summary of the appeal hearing here:

Those facts don’t leave much room for discussion.


Ryan Mounsey @rdmounsey

@tonycollinet and I’m a pretty big fan of women too, does this mean that my supposed SUFC bias is cancelled out?

Then you should be pretty ashamed of yourself. As a direct result  of you questioning the verdict, and slandering the victim on twitter, every single one of those women you claim to be a fan of is slightly less safe, with a slightly higher risk of being raped. You are harming all rape victims, and making life easier for rapists.


BBC and Rape Culture

My complaint to the BBC Regarding this Newsbeat article about false rape claims.

The outcome of the report quoted in the Newsbeat article, is that false rape claims are much lower than generally believed, and that the incorrect belief in high false claims (that it seems your Newsbeat team shares) is harming rape victims, resulting in fewer prosecutions.

Yet your article (even/especially the headline) focusses on the “problem” of false rape claims, and the devastation they cause. This is an article aimed at young people – are you aware that many young men already believe false rape claims to be a significant problem and routinely support rapists (even after conviction) as a result (see the #justiceforched hashtag on twitter for numerous examples.

You stated 2 false rape prosecutions/month, yet you failed to mention that there are 1500 women raped EVERY WEEK. You should be ashamed.

Please please, if you are going to report on rape, focus on the real problem, and that is how to stop women being raped.


The Reply

I’ve just been reminded in the comments that I’ve not followed up and posted the reply (Thanks Crosby). Here it is, in all its depressing glory, received on 15th March

Thank you for your feedback regarding the Newsbeat story on false rape allegations.

This was a story commissioned to specifically examine what it was like to be falsely accused of rape. To help contextualise the story we reported on a 17-month study carried out by the Crown Prosecution Service which set out to establish how common such false rape allegations were. In the past we have published many stories highlighting the issues surrounding rape and domestic violence, specifically targeted at our core audience of 15 to 24-year-olds. Please find links for two such stories below:

On this occasion we chose to look at those young people – usually men – who are occasionally wrongly accused.  We know from our audience research that among this group concern over this issue is commonplace – we sought to contextualise this anxiety.  I do not agree we misrepresented the study, or published an article that might somehow put people off reporting such serious crimes. However, having considered feedback, I agree we were not clear enough in our wording. For clarity we have changed a word in the second sentence from “common” to “unusual”.

In the fourth line of our story, we quote the Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer, who says false rape allegations are “serious but rare”. In the accompanying video he makes the same statement within the first 50 seconds. While our story hears from a young man who says he was wrongly accused, we ensure that rape victims are given a voice by running quotes from Dianne Whitfield from Rape Crisis. We also feature a video which contains a Nottinghamshire Police spokeswoman who says their starting point is always to believe allegations of serious sexual assault. She goes on to explain how thoroughly they investigate both sides of any allegation. Far from downplaying the seriousness of rape we finish our article by publishing the phone numbers of advice lines for people who believe they may have been the victim of rape or domestic violence.

On the day this story was broadcast we received a big response from our young audience, and we openly invited feedback on this challenging topic. While some people did say our reporting of false accusations was damaging to real rape victims, on our Social Networking sites false accusations were described as “disgusting”, and one young man told us that he felt the bigger problem was that these claims make life harder for real rape victims to be taken seriously. On Twitter another young male listener told us “Allegations of rape not only waste police time but wreck the lives of those accused! And another wrote: “My 23-year-old nephew was recently accused of rape. He then killed himself. The girl did it again to another guy.”

Our view is that all aspects of this subject merit coverage and debate and we will continue to do so.  Thank you again for taking the trouble to get in touch with us.

Yours sincerely,

Rod McKenzie
Editor, BBC R1 News