How crap is the news at the moment?

(74 Posts)
kim147 Tue 07-May-13 19:59:37

3 women - kidnapped and held by 3 men for 10 years.
April Jones alleged murderer on trial
Tia Sharp alleged murderer on trial.
Plus the latest celebrity to be accused of rape.

Just so depressing. All this violence and hatred.

SplitHeadGirl Tue 07-May-13 20:31:16

I was just saying that to my husband. The news just seems to be filled with stories about male violence against women. Girls as well. It is definitely affecting me and how I see men. Even though I tell myself there are some great men out there (hell, I'm married to one) and not to be unfair and tar them all the same, if I am honest with myself I just don't really like men too much lately.

NiceTabard Tue 07-May-13 21:45:51

I know what you mean. The recent care home news has been horrifying as well.

OTOH the original jimmy saville allegations have prompted so many people to come forward about so many different people over so many decades. Hopefully some justice will be done, some victims may feel a bit better for having finally felt able to tell someone and get listened to, and with any luck the ideas about what abusers "look like" will be eroded a bit and people who tell others about things that have happened will be a little more likely to be believed.

That's what I hope anyway. It is very depressing though, the news.

namechangeguy Tue 07-May-13 21:50:21

When has the news not been depressing? Can anyone remember a time when it was all good news? Ever?

NiceTabard Tue 07-May-13 21:53:37

I think it's the preponderance of sexual abuse cases, often involving young children, that has hit a nerve with some people.

kissmyheathenass Tue 07-May-13 21:58:07

I thought the same today, all male violence and female victims. I read part of an article on female cicumcision and decided to stop reading the online papers tonight. Just so much violence towards females.

namechangeguy Tue 07-May-13 21:59:17

The whole Savile/Yewtree thing is shocking. But if there can be a positive side, it is that people who were previously affected by this now feel empowered to come forward. They are finally being listened to, and that may mean a whole heap of prosecutions. Better yet, it may also mean that there can be no more Jimmy Saviles or Stuart Halls, because no-one will feel immune from the law, no matter how famous or rich. Perhaps what we are seeing is the beginning of the end of widespread systematic abuse by people in power. Perhaps.

givemeaclue Tue 07-May-13 22:03:14

Just thought exactly the same, all of them crimes against children. Horrific.

TheCrackFox Tue 07-May-13 22:06:48

I'm finding the Cleveland kidnappings very distressing. Those poor women.

CoalDustWoman Tue 07-May-13 22:08:21

This thread reminds me that violence against women is relentlessly depressing.

There's never a national navel gazing about it, though, which depresses me further.

NiceTabard Tue 07-May-13 22:13:06

If there was a naval gazing moment, now is the time for it.

I really hope all of this changes some attitudes.

But I've heard people on the telly (phone in types and slebs) talking about it and saying really odd stuff. Like the time for the victims to come forward was when it happened, why didn't they come forward at the time, as if there's something a bit fishy going on.

And others at work were saying how victim's cases / stories / accusations were being undermined by compensation claims, which was one that I actually piped up about and fought the opposite corner quite hard. Seems that people want their victims to behave in certain ways even beyond what was already known.

NiceTabard Tue 07-May-13 22:13:29

naval? navel?

tummy button in this house grin

Darkesteyes Tue 07-May-13 22:43:43

Nice you should have heard my DM talking about the survivors of Saviles abuse.
She was calling THEM disgusting and saying that THEY should be ashamed.

Ive grown up listening to her mysogyny and its awful. Its also very abusive.

NiceTabard Tue 07-May-13 22:46:06

There's a lot of it about though.

Maybe not as bad as your mum (I'm sorry) but certainly an idea that people are "jumping on the bandwagon" and that sort of thing.

I don't understand it.

LastMangoInParis Tue 07-May-13 22:54:39

I'm glad I'm not the only person who noticed this this afternoon and thought WTF?

That said, news sources will highlight what they think people want to read. So I guess that explains in part why these stories are so high profile.

Also, stories from UK politics this week seem to be real non-starters.

The various abuse stories (UK): yes, shocking, maybe, but really just being uncovered. A lot of us have known through bitter experience that abuse survivors carry on for years without having been listened to/believed/taken seriously. So in some sense, many of the UK stories in the news right now are quite heartening. At least survivors are being listened to. That is a very, very great step forwards.

Darkesteyes -that's awful. I don't know what else to say, just that you've got my sympathy and support.

News at moment is totally shit. Very very sad.

It's all pretty dreadful. The role of pornography that's being suggested in both the Sharp and Jones case is chilling too.

working9while5 Tue 07-May-13 23:06:40

On the other hand, this news has made me look at Jaycee Lee Duggard and Elizabeth Smart' s comments and revisit their stories... they inspire me so much in their honesty about their experiences and how they hold their head high and don't give in to cultural notions that women who have suffered these heinous crimes are marred or broken by them. So many of us live with shame. I think their unflinching recounting of the horror of their abuse stories is amazing.

goodsongs Wed 08-May-13 01:53:40

"The role of pornography that's being suggested in both the Sharp and Jones case is chilling too."

Because as well all know rape and murder never happened before internet porn.

NiceTabard Wed 08-May-13 07:50:15

I don't think you can dismiss entirely the role of porn in any and all cases.
Many studies looking at whether porn is linked to escalation etc.
To just say "No nothing to do with it" and completely ignore even the possibility that there might be interactions is shortsighted IMO.

hmm All crimes exist in a context and the context of these two appears to have featured pornography. I don't really see why anyone would want to deny the part that may have played.

CheerfulYank Wed 08-May-13 09:02:18

One thing I thought was interesting was the interview of the man who helped rescue the first woman in Cleveland. He said he heard her "going nuts" and went over and she asked him to help her. He then said "I thought it was a domestic violence thing, so I opened the door..." Which I think wouldn't open and he and the woman eventually kicked it down?

So many times you hear of domestic violence situations ending in death or serious injury and there are people who hear and think to themselves "better not get involved." It made me, well not happy, as there is nothing happy about the situation, but feel good that he helped like a decent person despite thinking it was "just" a DV incident.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 08-May-13 11:23:26

What I find so extraordinary is that despite story after story after story being about male violence against women, there is till not a national debate about it, it is still not possible to discuss the issue of male violence outside a feminist context without people attempting to derail with constant repeated chippings in of 'Women are violent too!'

Last time there was a spate of stories like this in the news, dh turned round to me and said 'OK, I get it now, the radfems are right about male violence being an issue.'
I wish that would happen on a wider scale. But in general being concerned about male violence is thought to mean hating men. It's depressing.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 08-May-13 11:24:13

CheefulYank - yes indeed.
Several reports seem to be emerging of blind eyes being turned and missed opportunities to save these women sooner.
Thank goodness for that man.

GoblinGranny Wed 08-May-13 11:33:06

'Thank goodness for that man'

And Charles Ramsey's honest bewilderment at what had happened,
'You see where I’m coming from? I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music.
He just comes out to his backyard, plays with the dogs, tinkers with his cars and motorcycles, goes back in the house. So he’s somebody you look, then look away. He’s not doing anything but the average stuff. You see what I’m saying? There’s nothing exciting about him. '

Because abusers really don't look like monsters for the most part, they are your neighbours and friends and bus drivers.

iclaudius Wed 08-May-13 11:36:39

And all too frequently pillars of the community goblin

CheerfulYank Wed 08-May-13 11:39:18

I liked, too, in his 911 call how he described Ms Berry as being "in a panic" and then said "well she said she been kidnapped, so you know, put yourself in her shoes." smile

BubblesOfBliss Wed 08-May-13 11:42:05

I am so horrified to realise that the extreme stress those women were under didn't abate - Berry saw the opportunity and tried to escape after 10 years- she hadn't been ground down - I almost hope that part of you would just die in that situation to get through it, but it doesn't - what an ordeal to endure every minute of every day for all that time!

Recently, with all these amazing survivors of prostitution speaking out, I keep being reminded that no amount of abuse makes someone less than human- there is a full human being experiencing every millisecond of abuse in its tiniest granularity, no matter how much we like to speak about the minds ability to 'suppress' or 'split-off' from trauma. It is horror in high-definition - not some hazy half-reality sad

GoblinGranny Wed 08-May-13 11:43:14

To be a successful abuser, other people have to think you incapable of it, so that dodgy things that would flash alarm bells in a more 'suspicious' character go unremarked or are explained away.
Look at the number of times someone has been targeted because they looked weird, or behaved oddly and prejudice kicks in, and they have been proved innocent of any wrong-doing.

BubblesOfBliss Wed 08-May-13 11:46:31

"Look at the number of times someone has been targeted because they looked weird, or behaved oddly and prejudice kicks in, and they have been proved innocent of any wrong-doing."

Yes throughout the years this has been because of disability, learning disability, mental illness, being a 'foreigner' or some other prejudicial tendency to mistrust. In harsh times vulnerable people get scapegoated.

iclaudius Wed 08-May-13 12:01:00

Yes totally agree goblin

boxershorts Wed 08-May-13 12:04:17

KIM......whaty a load of sad news. ? Does it have to be that way. Could not more happy items be put on the news?

TheFallenNinja Wed 08-May-13 12:20:17

I fear it would take vast amounts of good news to counterbalance the current crop of abject desperate stories we have at the moment.

happybubblebrain Wed 08-May-13 12:28:42

The current news; past news; most men I have known and state of the world (run by men) all make me hate men. And I'm not ashamed to admit it. It's time they sorted themselves out. I know there are a few good men, but they seem to be in a minority.

TunipTheVegedude Wed 08-May-13 12:40:23

I think it's more a case of evil triumphing through good men not doing anything.
Just like, relatively few men are rapists but very few of the ones who aren't give two hoots about the status quo in which most rapists get away with it.

namechangeguy Wed 08-May-13 12:48:55

Happy - how should men 'sort themselves out'? How would one go about it?

BubblesOfBliss Wed 08-May-13 12:54:27

namechangeguy how should men 'sort themselves out'? How would one go about it?

Perhaps take an interest in some of the programmes for men Jackson Katz etc as a starting point.

namechangeguy Wed 08-May-13 13:00:14

That one has to be paid for, Bubbles. Any free resources that you know of?

BubblesOfBliss Wed 08-May-13 13:13:42

Quickly googled Jackson Katz and this video comes up and there are lots to follow. Other names are Robert Jensen for more uk based get involved with The White Ribbon Campaign ..

NiceTabard Wed 08-May-13 13:14:04

Via the economic political judicial power etc that they hold worldwide?

Just off the top of my head.

namechangeguy Wed 08-May-13 13:34:00

That's fair enough, NT. I'll watch what the economists, politicians and judges do with interest, then. Thanks for the links, BoB.

HairyLittleCarrot Wed 08-May-13 14:48:14

I was just thinking this, OP. Awful. Also how, with all of this going on, the lead story today is....
Alex Ferguson's retirement.hmm

Seriously? How is that important? It's barely news. he's retiring. the end. move on to Actual News.angry

Lessthanaballpark Wed 08-May-13 16:50:19

It's weird cos if it were a case of one ethnic group perpetually doing this to another, the news would call it "racist violence" or a "racist attack", and ask questions about WHY?

But in the case of these kidnappings, no one seems to say "hold on, why are the perpetrators almost always men and why are the victims almost always women or girls?"

Is it just that we've become so used to it, or is that people are afraid of appearing sexist against men?

I don't want us to look at the gender aspect in order to berate men because the rescuers are often men also (eg. this case) but just to understand WHY some men do this, so we can think of ways to stop them!

WilsonFrickett Wed 08-May-13 17:12:40

lessthan it's chilling isn't it? If this was a war it would be seen as ethnic cleansing. I am very sad today. The Tia Sharpe case is really getting to me.

rosabud Wed 08-May-13 22:30:14

What I find so extraordinary is that despite story after story after story being about male violence against women, there is till not a national debate about it, it is still not possible to discuss the issue of male violence outside a feminist context without people attempting to derail with constant repeated chippings in of 'Women are violent too!'

Very very true. Already there is some numpty upthread who, instead of engaging in the debate about male violence, thought it was more important to defend pornography hmm

thecatfromjapan Wed 08-May-13 22:32:09

It is bizarre that there are all these stories, and yet no mention of the gender /sex dimension, ie. they are mostly crimes by men against women, and female children - with gender as a driving factor in the crime.

So glad I found this thread. Have been feeling like I'm going mad.

Thanks kim147.

trixymalixy Wed 08-May-13 22:34:16

I was thinking exactly this earlier today. Was thinking of starting a post about it too. sad

kim147 Wed 08-May-13 22:37:51

It was yesterday when I was driving home - all 3 stories in a row. Each one so sad. I cannot imagine what those 3 women went through in that house and the psychological effect it had on them (aside from all the physical abuse).

Darkesteyes Wed 08-May-13 22:49:35

Just seen this on Twitter about Charles Ramsey. Apparently hes been convicted of domestic abuse in the past.

FloraFox Wed 08-May-13 22:50:31

NorthernLurker All crimes exist in a context and the context of these two appears to have featured pornography. I don't really see why anyone would want to deny the part that may have played.

Hey now, we can't have anything said that might affect their sexy time, no? After all, their right to get off is more important than the effects on others, no? Just a bit of harmless fun, no matter how vile or violent.

Or not.

namechangeguy Thu 09-May-13 10:37:11

Darkstareyes said 'Just seen this on Twitter about Charles Ramsey. Apparently hes been convicted of domestic abuse in the past.'

How do you feel that is relevant to his actions in helping those women escape? That is a serious question by the way, not a dig. Do you feel it diminishes his actions?

FreedomOfTheTess Thu 09-May-13 10:55:05

Charles Ramsey was last convicted of domestic abuse 10 years ago.

I fail to see how the point of digging up his past is relevant and it certainly doesn't diminish what he did.

Is it too much to think that maybe, just maybe, he had turned his life around and changed?

BubblesOfBliss Thu 09-May-13 13:04:13

I felt really uncomfortable about all that 'Charles Ramsey is such hero' stuff before I found out about the DV in the past. He seemed to be loving the limelight a little too much, seemed a little too charismatic and charming...

Usually perps have a very different public and private persona. If he is a bit narcissistic this hero stuff will be totally in keeping with a puffed-up public image. I just wonder what the ex- partners think seeing him up there hailed as a hero.

It is great that he rescued the young women, but who knows about his motives? Maybe he is naturally curious? Maybe he loves a bit of high drama?

Of course it is possible that he has completely turned over a new leaf, but there's no reason to assume it.

People love a hero and don't like their stories spoiled.

TeiTetua Thu 09-May-13 17:26:31

I know nothing about Charles Ramsey and I don't see him as especially heroic, but if he has a past in domestic violence, it's just like the Gilbert & Sullivan song. You know, where a chorus of policemen lament that a criminal is an ordinary person when he's not actually committing crimes, whereas they have be policemen all the time. So maybe Charles Ramsey did or still does very bad things, but the rest of the time he's as capable of doing good as anyone. Or maybe he's a bully when he loses his temper, but otherwise he's as gentle as a lamb. Who knows. We want our heroes to be 100% pure, but human nature isn't like that.

specialsubject Thu 09-May-13 18:19:20

you've forgotten the WOMAN who murdered five people by setting a pushchair on fire.

murderers come in both genders.

Lessthanaballpark Thu 09-May-13 18:43:25

Yes they do but they're more likely to come in one. The question is why?

BasilBabyEater Thu 09-May-13 21:07:13

Nobody's forgotten that it was a woman who set the pram alight FGS.

This is in the context where murderers like her are outnumbered 10 to 1 by murderers who are male.

This is why we can't have a national debate about the misogyny at the heart of male violence against women - because people will insist on pointing to the tiny minority of women who are also violent as if that somehow negates the truth that the vast majority of violence is carried out by men against women.

If people had insisted on going on and on and on about black people who murder white people (and yes, there are some), the Stephen Lawrence enquiry would never have happened and the institutional nature of racism in the police and other institutions, would never have been acknowledged.

This "but they do it too!" crap serves to ensure that we never, ever make the connections we need to, to uncover the causes of the violence we live with.

Snazzynewyear Thu 09-May-13 21:15:19

I have been thinking for the past week that it is thoroughly depressing experience, as a woman and a feminist, following current events at the moment. And yes, I am tired of the 'but what about X the female murderer?' approach. Cher asked a while back on Twitter (she is great at pointing out women's rights issues, honestly) why no-one was acknowledging why school shootings were overwhelmingly a male crime and got flooded by people snapping 'what about the women in New Zealand that "I Don't Like Mondays" was written about?' as if one alternative to the norm negated her point entirely.

namechangeguy Thu 09-May-13 21:23:33

If men are somehow biologically programmed to commit acts of violence, then I guess there isn't much that can be done, short of genetic engineering.

If it because they are socialised to do it, due to 'the patriarchy' and a societal structure that allows them to get away with violent acts relatively unpunished, would we be able to detect this? While there are no truly equal societies, there are some that are much more advanced in gender equality than others. If we compare somewhere like Iceland with, say, India, do we see more balanced numbers of male and female criminals, especially for violent crime?

CountryBelle Thu 09-May-13 21:28:51

Have been noticing this and trying not to find myself growing wary of all men.

Sign the no more page 3 petition!!!

There is no doubt that pornography contributes to violence against women. It perpetuates the idea that women's sole purpose for existence is the gratification of men, and can therefore be treated however men see fit.

kim147 Thu 09-May-13 21:31:52

I've no doubt that the Sun continued with Page 3 next to its coverage of all these stories without seeing the irony.

CoalDustWoman Thu 09-May-13 21:37:05

If men are more likely to be biologically programmed to be more violent than women, then women need be able to afford themselves greater protection. Tazers in baby girls' Bounty packs or something.

Or how about violence and aggression in males not being glorified from the cradle to the grave? And the potential for violence not being used by some non-actively violent men to threaten and control, instead of actual physical harm: As Marilyn French said "As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all women."

CoalDustWoman Thu 09-May-13 21:38:14

I know all the anti-feminists and argue-the-tossers love a bit of Marilyn French smile

thecatfromjapan Thu 09-May-13 21:40:04

I do think a lot of the blame lies with a culture where a fair bit of it can be summed up as endorsing the view of women as things, rather than people with full subjectivity.

Was wondering a lot today about a culture that puts a lot of pressure on men, telling them that it is their duty, their birthright to succeed, be powerful, blah, blah, etc. Obviously, a lot of men rebel against that, and I suspect a lot of men get depressed when they can't live up to the contradictory messages (the way a lot of us women find it mentally quite damaging to be bombarded with messages about what "woman" "is".) Perhaps some men get angry, and take one (or a few) of the half-human women to take things out on/because it is their "right" to possess one????

I don't know. I'm not a man. I'm not a psychologist, or a professional thinker, or a cultural critic. It just strikes me that culture is powerful, and sometimes (often) seems out of our control, contrary to what we'd like (odd, when you think it's made by us) and often experienced as damaging and alienating. I say that as a woman. It strikes me that culture might be quite damaging and painful an experience for men too.

I realise that this speculation is quite facile. Probably only at the level of "Boys Keep Swinging" by David Bowie. But I offer you my fretting thoughts, to do with as you will: to prod, poke, experiment with, use (if only to accept that it is something else that is needed).

thecatfromjapan Thu 09-May-13 21:44:43

Quote from CoalDust: As Marilyn French said "As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not. The knowledge that some men do suffices to threaten all women."

i didn't know it was Marilyn French who said that (first?). But I've come across it in other contexts. It has been haunting me this week.

The fact of male violence against women is such a major thing. I often wonder how much of our lives as individuals and as a culture is spent in denial about this.

This week has been a shocking assault on that denial. For m, anyway. And it has made me feel actual grief. Which is an odd emotion to feel perhaps? But makes me think about how much trauma there is embedded in living - in denial - with this fact.

<rambling now>

Smudging Thu 09-May-13 22:08:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Very good point thecatfromjapan. It always gets brought up that some women do abuse, some women do kill, some women do these things. But how much does the average man's life change based on these things? All the self defense classes, taxi sharing, walking each other home, guarding drinks, calling during dates to check if people are OK, code words, checking the doors, keeping phones and things by the bed, watching what we drink, wear, say, do and on and on.

This is not just the direct survivors of abuse, although I would argue that most women have experienced low-level abuse of some sort, this is most women. And, this is here, not in India or Africa, not during a war, not with different laws for men and women.

I have a two year old DD too. sad

iclaudius Fri 10-May-13 12:13:00

I argued with my dp about Thatcher only the week before as itsy string belief that the public outcry not of grief but of contempt was purely based on the fact she was a woman

Then the flooding of the news with horrific abuse after horrific abuse was conveniently ''mopped up' by Alex ferguson whose departure obliterated everything else .....

maranglow Sat 11-May-13 19:34:10

News from India about escalating violence against very young girls/children is utterly terrifying and sickening also. It all makes you want to avoid the news entirely. The question is 'what can be done?'

This is minor compared to the overt horrors that we can find in the news practically every day, but I was disappointed by the behaviour of Ronnie O'Sullivan during this years snooker world championship. He split with the mother of his two children a few years ago after having been caught cheating on her multiple times, the police had to remove him from the home after a report of dv, and they had court battles over access. (He actually asked for three day a week custody and got it, then complained she wouldn't have the children when he went off to tournaments.)

He seemed to use every press conference during the fortnight to have digs at her, actually saying he couldn't be happy while he had an ex trying to fuck him over every five minutes, threatening that he was going to tell everyone about her in his upcoming book, and saying self-pityingly that he had to play the tournament to be able to afford the school fees which were 3 months over due, yet he recently bought his new fiancee an expensive engagement ring from Harrods!

As I say, minor in terms of news, but dismaying to watch this manipulative man using a public platform to repeatedly verbally bash the mother of the two kids he says he loves so much, while the pundits looked on sympathetically. It was revolting.

Darkesteyes Sat 11-May-13 22:25:27

Singing Silver i agree. All i knew was that he and his wife had split till i read your post.
My friend has a crush on him but i dont know if she knows all this.

Darkesteyes Sat 11-May-13 22:27:47

It sounds like hes trying to control her.

I only know some of this because I had a crush for a while too, in spite of knowing he was probably a sexist pig (that infamous China press conference where he asked a female reporter if she'd like to 'give him a nosh') to my shame, but I was appalled by what I saw during the Worlds.

Darkesteyes Sat 11-May-13 22:41:11

BLOODY HELL. What an arse.

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