Rolling "Right Watch" thread

(14 Posts)
M0stlyHet Tue 29-Nov-16 08:07:04

Following Nuttall's election as UKIP leader, I think it's worth a rolling thread to keep an eye on what he says on women's rights.

UKIP Leader Paul Nuttall in his own words on NHS Privatisation, abortion and gay rights - Daily Mirror article.

Interestingly I'm sure I spotted somewhere in the broadsheets/BBC that he was anti-abortion but checking back I can't find any reference in the Guardian or BBC, and only a throwaway line about him being "hard line on abortion" in the Telegraph.

I hate being right, but when Labour tried to tear itself apart over Corbyn immediately post referendum, I said my biggest fear was that if they nailed their colours to the single issue of opposing Brexit, they would create a swathe of disaffected traditionally Labour voters across the north of England who would turn to UKIP - and it seems that this is Nuttall's strategy. I think he needs to be watched very closely. With the rise of the right pretty much everywhere, not just Trump, but Ordoban (already in power in Hungary), Wilders in the Netherlands, Le Pen in France, AFD in Germany, we can't write UKIP off as fringe nutters.

Xenophile Tue 29-Nov-16 10:08:39

He basically believes that women shouldn't be able to access abortion because it means they aren't taking responsibility for their actions. Because women become pregnant by magic or spontaneous fertilisation or something. Abortion should also only be available up to 14 weeks for all reasons. Presumably because he will never be pregnant himself.

Xenophile Tue 29-Nov-16 10:10:01

Oh, and great idea for a thread. Women appear to be getting fucked over more as the world political stage lurches further to the right.

squishysquirmy Tue 29-Nov-16 11:40:38

I lurk on these threads a lot, but rarely post. Great idea for a thread.

I don't want to derail, but how do you respond to the far right making deeply Islamophobic comments in the name of "defending women"? I know that those people don't give a shiny shit about women's rights, but I find it quite hard to argue articulately with them without being forced into positions I don't want to be in. I had this problem in another thread where posters just kept bringing up Rotherham and Cologne in defence of a misogenistic, powerful man.

M0stlyHet Tue 29-Nov-16 13:49:37

Yes, agree Squirmy.

This article - 27% of Europeans victim blame in rape cases is a sobering read. I think it's fair to say that the same people who write articles whipping up anti immigrant frenzy on the back of the Cologne attacks also write articles victim blaming, say, the teenage girl groomed and sexually abused by a footballer (Allison Pearson in the Telegraph would be one of my top picks for an appalling track record on this).

But having said that, the trouble with Cologne was that the left wing press really dropped the ball. There was a news story to be told and a desperate need for decent op ed pieces. It needed some recognition of the sheer scale of the assaults (the Guardian at points in the first half of January was downplaying the numbers by 4 or 5 times compared to the Washington Post and Frankfurter Algemeiner), plus a recognition of the fact that taharrush gamea, as a form of what anthropologists call corrective rape, is a new phenomenon in western Europe. But at the same time this desperately needed balanced against the fact that women are systematically let down both by culture (gang rapes by immigrants = headline news; gang rapes by white frat boys on campuses = no-one wants to know) and by the legal system (it was Cologne which shed much needed light on article 177 of the German legal code which at the time meant most of the assaults of New Year's eve weren't actually a crime under German law - the law then, hastily updated this summer, was that unless you could demonstrate that you had physically resisted, no crime had been committed). Also the fact that taharrush gamea as corrective rape (rape to enforce social boundaries, to say the public sphere is a no-go area for women) has to be balanced against the fact that the white indigenous population of Germany appears quite happy to tolerate red light districts in Hamburg which are officially designated as no-go areas for women who are not involved in sex work. So exactly the same toxic mixture of sexual violence, sexual exploitation and restriction of women's freedom on both sides. And a decent op-ed piece would have had some sort of discussion of the fact that there are grass roots movements in Arab countries (particularly Egypt) trying to tackle taharrush gamea and campaign for women's rights and better laws around sexual assault - so it's not a "nasty immigrants versus civilized westerns" thing, it's a "nasty subculture versus decent people in all countries" thing.

But we didn't get this reasoned discussion from the Guardian or BBC. We got what looked suspiciously like a cover up. In some ways, they have my sympathy - "unspecified they are raping our women" is one of the oldest and nastiest tropes in the history of propaganda, so they had to fact-check really carefully before running anything. But in other ways, my sympathy utterly runs out when you get columns like Hinscliffe's a week or so after the assaults saying effectively "poor men - what were they to do surrounded by all these women with expensive mobile phones?" or Jess Philips (who in many respects I admire deeply) saying it was no worse than Birmingham New Street on a Saturday night.

Because failing to cover news because you think it is too politically explosive, victim blaming and minimising is actually as dangerous in some respects as falsifying it - when you create an information vacuum, people turn to far-right sources of disinformation like Breitbart.

Meanwhile, if you want horror on a Biblical scale, this interview with a doctor on Lampedusa who treats newly arrived immigrants is a sobering, heart wrenching read. It's the line near the end: "But it's the women who suffer the most, he says. They practically all arrive raped, even the little girls of 12 and 13 - the psychological trauma is so big that… he breaks off and rests his head on the desk for a moment." That's a fact that never makes it into the right wing press' reports of sex crimes - the fact that the group suffering far and away the greatest number of rapes are in fact immigrant women fleeing civil war and having to deal with rapacious and violent traffickers on their way to a better life.

Thelilywhite Tue 29-Nov-16 14:23:51

Great idea mostly I heard Nutall speaking on the radio the other day and he really peed me off with his arrogant know it all attitude and 'make Britain great again' What century is he living in ffs . I just hope he never has any power to influence policy. Please nooo ...

squishysquirmy Tue 29-Nov-16 18:14:00

Thanks MostlyHet, I will read that article and your post has sort of clarified more articulately what I already felt, iyswim. I do agree about the left wing press dropping the ball - that's partly why I find those discussions quite hard to get into because I don't want to be argued into a corner where I am defending the fact that the story was not covered properly at first. And I definitely don't want my arguments to be twisted into a defence for the rapists either, but that's what the far right Islamophobes always try to do.

I think I heard an interview with that doctor from your second link on R4 a short while ago - really distressing stuff.

M0stlyHet Tue 29-Nov-16 19:23:49

Just realised I messed up the link - Washington Post article on the percentage of Europeans who buy into some sort of rape myth

We live in an age where no nuance is allowed - only extreme soundbites on either side of the argument sad.

squishysquirmy Tue 29-Nov-16 21:35:09

Thanks Het- I had to sort dinner/toddler bedtime out and then got all caught up in another thread so I hadn't actually checked the link until now, which was a bit ungrateful of me, sorry blush. It definitely works now though! Interesting, but depressing article. Thankyou.

I know what you mean about the nuance disappearing - I find it really hard to stay calm and not adopt a more extreme stance when reacting to someone else's extreme stance. I have family and friends with very difficult political opinions to me (both left and right) and I have always been able to hold meaningful conversations with them about politics.
Recently however if it feels like the whole language has changed.
I will stop derailing the thread now, and return if I have anything to add that is directly relevant to your op! wink

almondpudding Tue 29-Nov-16 22:19:16

The right wing press do tend to pick up rape of refugees. It is a consistent theme - to talk about how bad it is for other women so Western women should stop complaining.

Atheist men use that reasoning too.

almondpudding Tue 29-Nov-16 22:21:11

And Squishy, I agree completely with the sentiments in your last post.

The whole of political language seems to be shifting.

DeviTheGaelet Wed 30-Nov-16 08:39:40

Yes I agree.
I read an article by Allison Pearson last week that I thought bordered on hate speech and I don't understand how it's OK to publish.
Nigel Farage openly spouts the kind of shit that got Nick Griffin no platformed 10 years ago.
It's so depressing.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Wed 30-Nov-16 09:20:07

That article on the doctor treating refugees was haunting. sad

M0stlyHet Fri 16-Dec-16 13:05:41

thought I'd steal Lorelei's link re. the appointment of the dreadful Philip Davies to the equalities committee, in order to revive this thread, because I do think it might be handy at some point in the future to have all this stuff in one place.

Davies attempts to filibuster Istanbul convention aimed at protecting trafficked women.

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