Friday, June 13, 2008

Should women be warned?

Hoyden about Town is arguably the most prominent Australian feminist site. It carried a story recently about a spate of attacks on young women in Cairns. The Cairns police have warned young women not to get drunk and wander off alone with men they've just met:

Some victims of sex crimes were so drunk they could not remember what had happened.

"During investigations, it has become apparent that many of the victims have been under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substance at the time of the offence and do not recall the act itself or the circumstances surrounding their complaint ..."

A feminist writer at Hoyden, Lauredhel, took this as an example of police blaming the victim. It seems that Lauredhel and several other comment writers at Hoyden don't want women to be warned about risky behaviour.

I wrote a comment at Hoyden gently suggesting that the police were being responsible in warning young women of the dangers they faced. I was told to get lost.

Then the Hoydenites opened up a little on what lay behind their feelings on the issue. Lauredhel started the ball rolling when she announced that it was a case of "institutionalised victim blaming". She thinks the problem exists at an institutional level. Then a commenter, Jodie, claimed the police were "ignoring the real problem of rape". Beppie then added that a woman was more vulnerable at home than passed out drunk with a stranger. Tigtog listed dating men as also being more dangerous.

At this point the influence of patriarchy theory was becoming increasingly clear. Patriarchy theory claims that the institutions of society exist so that men can enjoy an unearned privilege as an oppressor class at the expense of victimised women. According to patriarchy theory, violence and rape exist to enforce the dominant male power in society.

If you believe in patriarchy theory, then you're more likely to think that the police force, as an institution in a patriarchal society, might somehow act to enable rape by blaming the victim. You might also prefer to think that rape was relatively common within society and that it was associated with men dominating women in relationships.

It's a depressing scenario, isn't it? Imagine being a woman and believing that rape was a prevalent form of social control by men over women, one enabled by the institutions of society.

Which brings me to the comment of QoT, who announced in disgust that she was ready to start advocating radical lesbian separatism. Lauredhel replied:

QoT, I don’t see what’s inherently irrational about positing lesbian separatism as being one possible survival strategy in this world.

And so we get to the logical end point of feminist patriarchy theory. Nor is it the first time we've been there; when I was first at uni in the mid-80s there were notices for lesbian separatist communes on the housing boards.

There has not been an adequate reconsideration of the theoretical foundations of feminism since then. So we are still getting, even during a less radical period of feminism, the most dead-end of solutions for the average woman: that of joining a lesbian separatist commune in order to "survive" the world.

And all this coming from one of the more prominent and mainstream of Australian feminist websites.


  1. I used to deal with those types when I was involved in student politics at uni.

    Even though they wanted separation from men, they still wanted to use their money to fund their "women's collectives".

  2. It seems like murder is the real legacy of feminism.

  3. Thordaddy, I often write to criticise feminism for its disruptive effect on family formation. The call to lesbian separatism is taking this disruption to family formation about as far as it's possible to go. It's not murder though (are you referring to unborn children here?)

  4. Mark Richardson,

    I was referring to the two main consequences of feminism.

    Abortion, as you alluded, being one consequence and murdered white women being the second emerging consequence.

    Having thoroughly desensitized women to the killing of their own children, it now seems women are completely desensitized to their own demise even if that demise is murder, rape, violence, etc.

    Belief in feminism seems to be the logical and indisputable cause.

    All in all, there seems a vicious cycle of killing that many would say was murder oriented.

  5. I have what is probably too obvious a question for these lofty discussions but; are the women at this site seriously suggesting that the police should have this information and NOT pass it on to women?

    This is not a perfect world and it never will be. We have to live in the world as it is and part of that is judging risks. If I am reading this correctly a group of feminists objects to being given information which could help prevent their sexual assault. This is bizarre.

    On second thoughts it is actually pretty transparent. They do want to be warned. They just want to complain about being warned AS WELL.

    As for lesbian separatism, as long as I don't end up subsidising their little communes via my tax payments then go for it.

  6. peterb,

    Yes, these "women" are persuading other less radical and more naive women to be completely anesthetized to their own demise.

    It is no coincidence that the solution to this violence is "lesbian separatism" as homosexuality lie at the heart of the modern liberal's belief in non-discrimination (nonjudgemental) and autonomy (nonloyalty).

    It is the homosexual's nature which has manifested itself as modern liberalism and has as its practical effect the destruction of future progeny and the women that should naturally produce them.

    The repulsion for heterosexuality is the fundamental characteristic of homosexuality.

  7. Yes, these "women" are persuading other less radical and more naive women to be completely anesthetized to their own demise.

    Thordaddy, well put. Not only that, but if any of these women should later complain that feminism was a bad influence on their choices, feminists will:

    a) deny that this was the message given to young women


    b) tell the aggrieved women that they have to live by their own choices; that no one forced them to listen to the feminist message; and that the choices were so poor that they have no-one but themselves to blame.


    c) suggest that there are always going to be individual casualties in the march of human progress.

    What you don't get is much concern for the individual victims of feminism in the aftermath.

  8. This is not a perfect world and it never will be. We have to live in the world as it is and part of that is judging risks. If I am reading this correctly a group of feminists objects to being given information which could help prevent their sexual assault. This is bizarre.

    Peter B, you have read things correctly and it is bizarre.

    I think one thing that helps to explain it is the ideological background: feminists who believe in patriarchy theory don't see sexual violence as a criminal act perpetrated on women by men who are willing to break social norms.

    Instead, they see it as something that powerful, privileged men do to women to maintain their dominant position in society.

    So feminists are less concerned to protect individual women from acts of crime and more concerned to readjust people's thinking to the idea that sexual violence against women is normative and that the solution is therefore cultural and institutional.

    Feminists are likely to think: if only men could be persuaded to give up their unearned privilege, then women could be treated as fully human, and sexual violence against women - which has nothing to do with sex and is all about power - would no longer be part of the way society works.

    It's an ideological view, based on a whole set of assumptions which feminists never question. We have to do this for them.

  9. Mark said

    "...violence against women is normative and that the solution is therefore cultural and institutional."

    Basically you are saying that according to feminism/liberalism the ills of society are woven into the basic fabric and so structural repairs are the only solution. I think this is the first time I've seen this idea explicitly stated. Working from the bottom, as individuals, to better our lot is no good-- only edicts from the top down can be satisfactory.

    Without the belief that something is profoundly wrong with society there would be no cause for the sweeping agenda and permanent discontent of modern liberalism. It is also a self-justifying mechanism that reinforces its own progress and means of destruction.

  10. They do not want to warn young women that their behavior could lead to their victimization because then they can no longer leverage such victimization into political power.

    I went to a rape crisis center at by university in the early nineties. The university allowed radical feminists to run it. I did not know what I was walking into and had only hoped to get some counseling. Instead, I was treated to a barrage of agitprop including: There are rape free societies out there and they are matriarchies, all men have a madonna/whore complex and no one will want to marry me since I was no longer a virgin, 'sexist' pop music should be censored because it encourages violence, women cannot possibly put themselves at risk, rape can happen anywhere and to anyone, and the women's center needs money and you need to tell the administration this. In other words, they tried to indoctrinate me and use me as leverage for them to get more cash.

    I went twice and never returned. The counselor never asked the details of what happened or how I was coping. When I suggested that my own bad judgment had perhaps put me at risk, I was shushed. This is dangerous as it discourages women from making smart choices. No one called to see how I was doing once I stopped going.

    I wasn't the only woman to have this experience as others came forward to complain later.

    When I bring up my experience to feminists, they say "that is not feminism" or "we can never blame the victim" or some other deflecting nonsense.

    The rape industry(and all of feminism) is a shakedown to get money, power and control. They have a vested interest in the problem never being solved so the last thing they want is for women to make smart personal decisions that will prevent it.

  11. Anonymous (8:02), thanks for your comment. It adds strongly to the discussion - it's much appreciated.