The British government’s attack on women.
It’s no longer a secret that the British coalition ConDem government (Conservative/Liberal-Democrat, for the non-Brit readers) has been making a steady and concerted effort to put the women’s liberation movement back twenty five years. Think I’m exaggerating? Read on.
The Lib-Dems received a lot of support from the female electorate, women who would never have voted for the right-wing Conservatives, but were disillusioned by war-mongering New labour.
So let’s take a look at the way women have been treated in return for their troubles.
Shortly after being elected, the ConDems prioritized a proposal allowing anonymity for rapists.
For rapists only.
Not for muggers or arsonists, or shoplifters, or murderers. Only rapists. The reason for this, we can only assume, is that the government thinks Women Make It Up. According to the proposed law, if a man beat a woman, he would not have been granted anonymity. But if he raped her as well, then he would have been. Thanks to the efforts of feminist campaigners, it was not passed.
Whatever next, we wondered at the time.
Next came the “necessary” financial cuts, which directly targeted and penalized women (who are already poorer), while supporting men (who are generally wealthier), spurring the Fawcett Society to file papers with the High Court seeking a judicial review. 72 per cent of cuts will be met from women’s income as opposed to 28 per cent from men’s. This is because many of the cuts are taken from the benefits that more women than men rely on to make ends meet.
Women rely on benefits because somebody has to do the unpaid work of keeping society’s elderly, infirm and young alive. Carers of disabled children and the elderly bore the brunt of the cuts, followed by mothers of young children.Not that this type of work is necessary you know. What time-wasters women are.
The irony of the fact that many men had just been handed taxpayers’ money on a silver platter, in the form of bankers’ bonuses, was not lost on British women. Nor did it pass them by that said bonuses, along with other assorted add-ons such as the bailing out of the inept and incompetent, were taken from the taxes of both sexes. Because let’s not forget that women are taxed out of their part-time supermarket check-out wages, work which they humiliatingly accept because it fits around the kids and nobody else will hire someone “with such a large gap in their CV”.
At some point around this time, it became obvious that the government was hurting women on purpose.
It therefore came as no surprise when the David Cameron invented a special marriage tax break for couples who could afford for one spouse to stay at home, thereby penalizing working women, and women’s ability to live independently of men, in order to “preserve the good institution“.
Or when the Lib-Dems selected a former porn-director, Anna Arrowsmith , managing director of adult entertainment company Easy on the Eye Productions, as a parliamentary candidate. Unsurprisingly, Arrowsmith is “concerned about anti-censorship issues”. Ah.. that old free speech chestnut.
And here we arrive at the crux of what the Lib-Dems stand for. Liberal does not mean liberal the way women perceive the word; it means liberal in the same way that abusing women means free speech. It literally stands for lessening the checks and balances in society and transfering more power and autonomy to the individual. But what good is an emphasis on the individual to women, when they never get a moment alone and when whatever individuality they may have is eaten up by caring responsibilities, by cooking and clean-up and keeping society ticking along and sane by nurturing the weak and vulnerable? Individuality is an illusion, a farce, based on women’s invisible labour. The essence of liberal democracy cannot. ever. be. female-friendly.
Then some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to begin withdrawing funding from The Poppy Project.
What is The Poppy Project?
It is the only government-funded service for women trafficked into sexual exploitation. The 2010 report of the Human Rights Impact Assessment of anti-trafficking Policy in the UK makes for very worrying reading. .
The government report argues vehemently against the validity and legitimacy of the Poppy Project. Its numerous complaints against the organization include the following:
1) “There is no equivalent for people trafficked into non-sexual labour, although the Poppy Project has now started to accept a small number of people trafficked into domestic servitude
followed by another important criticism
2) The Project does not accept men or transgender peoples.
followed by the fact that the Poppy Project philosophy is that prostitution should be, and can be, abolished.
3) The report condemns the Poppy project for its abolitionist stance to prostitution.
In other words, the government does not agree with the Poppy Project’s ideology that the decriminalization of prostitution is a farce, and that the tweaking of language, (by avoiding the term “prostituted women” in favour of “sex workers just doing a job“) is used to abuse and exploit and oppress women.
From page 14 of the government report:
“Aside from the gross lack of services available to men and transgender people and those people trafficked into non-sexual work, assistance and support for trafficked women is predicated on co-operation with police operations. This runs the risk that the pursuit of criminal prosecutions is given priority over support and assistance for trafficked workers.
As the only government-funded support service, the Poppy Project operates from an avowed abolitionist framework. Support through the project is contingent on women giving up sex work and its programme is aimed at ‘rehabilitating’ women out of the industry. Support and services are unavailable to, or inappropriate for, people who wish to remain working in the sex industry.
If services are inappropriate for trafficked women who, through their “own volition”, wish to remain in the industry, surely the answer is to provide MORE funding to the Poppy project, rather than withdrawing it on the grounds that it doesn’t include men, transgendered peoples (i.e men), and those women who, although having just escaped sex slavery, coincidentally,found they liked being prostitutes after all.
I also fail to see how not prioritizing the criminalization of pimps and traffickers can help trafficked women. If the government should be doing one thing for women, surely it should be aggressively seeking out the perpetrators? Women need help to deal with their trauma, but why does it have to be at the expense of having the perpetrators jailed? Must it be an either/or scenario?
and my favourite, on page 15:
4) The report accuses the Poppy Project of “actively propagating” racist assumptions…
The reasoning behind this one is most bizarre and involves the recurring theme of Women (in this case, the Poppy Project women) Making it Up:
The Poppy Project has actively propagated the racist assumption that conflates immigrant sex workers with trafficked persons. In a statement to the Home Affairs Committee on trafficking, Anna Johansen claimed that in London, “approximately 6,000 women were involved in off-street prostitution, 80 per cent of which were foreign nationals and we believe that a large percentage of that eighty per cent had indeed been trafficked.” The Poppy Project’s finding that 80 per cent of sex workers in London are foreign nationals is backed up by other research, however their assertion that 80 per cent had been trafficked is not, and while this inacuracy has been challenged by specialist police, it has nonetheless been recycled through media reports.”
They have missed the point. The Poppy Project grouped the women together because the one thing they have in common is their vulnerability in a foreign country, not their race. And just because the government could not find additional research to back up their findings does not mean the data is false or innacurate. There may be no clear line between trafficked women, and foreign women who happen to be alone in the UK without a family or any kind of support network, without qualifications, language skills or any other means of supporting themselves besides prostitution. The aim of the report is simply to find justifications for withdrawing funding from a women-led, women-supportive organization.
By the time they started chipping away at women’s abortion rights, by appointing an Anti-abortion group as sexual health advisor to the government, more than a few women were starting to feel a bit antsy.
But we can’t be too harsh. The Lib Dems did “vote overwhelmingly” to end the criminalization of child prostitutes. Not 100% of them then? Just an “overwhelming” non-distinct number, who conceded it might not, after all, be necessary to criminalize children for being raped. The mind boggles….
And to be fair, their recent September decision to cut benefits from terminally ill people if they take too long to die does in fact affect both sexes.
Men sure do know how to run society lol.
And now for this week’s latest clincher: women also Make Up domestic violence.
Legal Aid will be withdrawn from victims of domestic violence. Battered women currently receive legal aid to enable them to prosecute their abusers in court, but according to Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly, this will be cut on the grounds that” objective evidence” was needed when taxpayers’ money was being spent.”
What is this objective evidence of which he speaks?
It means that a woman will not even be entitled to legal aid unless there is objective evidence that (I presume) can be corroborated by a third party. Her word alone is no longer sufficient to even allow her representation in court.
“But Ms Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, told MPs: “The reality is that most women experience 20 episodes of domestic violence before they report it to the police. By insisting that only a report to the police, followed by various court actions, are required for legal aid, I am afraid the [government] is condemning more women to suffer domestic violence in silence.”
Labour say a GP’s assessment should be sufficient to qualify an abuse victim seeking legal aid for help in civil matters, for example, a family case concerning the custody of children.Women’s charities say other evidence, such as 999 call-outs, social services records and information from housing agencies, should also be admissible.
Shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter said restricting aid to cases where only “a narrow, onerous range of objective proofs is present” would put “thousands of very vulnerable women at considerable risk”.
But Mr Djanogly insisted the government took the “question of domestic violence extremely seriously”.He said: “What I am saying though is that we need to have objective evidence of domestic violence to target taxpayers’ money on genuine cases where the victim needs assistance because of being intimidated or otherwise disadvantaged by the fact of facing the abuser in proceedings.”
The justice minister added: “I am not questioning the integrity of genuine victims. However, many people during the legal aid consultation were concerned about providing an incentive for unfounded allegations and the government shares this concern.”
Yeah right. “I am not questioning the integrity of genuine victims.” Translation: All I’m saying is, women tend to make it up.