Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Women, get a grip!

It's more than a little suspicious that the Lord Rennard allegations should be aired just as the Lib Dems were making some headway in the Eastleigh by-election. Not that it'll make much difference, according to the BBC's James Landsdale. What's been making me cross is the way that the women involved have been characterised. The Daily Mail reported that a young woman had been "molested" by Lord Rennard at a party event in Peterborough:
She was hysterical, shaking and crying and said that he had touched her up in his room. There were senior MPs in that room and party officials and everyone saw how badly she had been affected by it.
Hysterical? How appropriate! That's exactly how women should react in those circumstances, isn't it, the poor things? Having a man's hand on your thigh is enough to make you take leave of your senses.

If it was, there'd be a lot more crazy women than there are, since a significant proportion of the male population has been groping, and worse, for millennia. It's unfortunate that the young woman mentioned in the media hasn't been taught how to take care of herself. Yes, I know that the gropers and worse are the ones who need training, but they're all rather stupid, aren't they, so it's up to us to teach them, since their mothers clearly failed.

To read some of the sanctimonious, hypocritical crap on Twitter and elsewhere, you'd think that the Liberal Democrats are the only ones to have this problem, which is nonsense. You'd think that Nick Clegg has failed in his duty to ensure that Liberal Democrat women remain unmolested, which is also nonsense. You'd think that there was some sort of ideal large organisation, political or otherwise, where everyone is conversant with the rules of appropriate behaviour, and detailed records of every complaint are kept. There isn't. As we've heard lately, this sort of thing has been going on all over the place, wherever powerful men think that they're entitled to sexual favours.

So, girls, no hysterics, please. It only confirms the view of too many stupid men that women are poor, weak, emotionally fragile beings. Don't get hysterical; get angry. Perfect the art of the withering look and the caustic put-down. If that doesn't deter the morons, poke them in the eye, shout very loudly, kick them in the nuts if necessary. Make sure it's his reputation that suffers, not yours. Boadicea never had this trouble. When she was angry, the Romans regretted it. So should any lecherous men who try it on.

And keep a sense of proportion. Gender violence is one of the most common human rights abuses. A hand on your thigh in the lift or some unsubtle rubbing on The Tube may be unwelcome, but they're the sort of thing that a strong woman with a loud voice should be able to deal with. Thousands of women have to deal with far worse. We won't get very far with stopping any of that if we go to pieces over a grope.

"The worlds I inhabit are politics and the media, but women in all walks of life know that this kind of routine sexism exists in any workplace." -- Cathy Newman, Presenter, Channel 4 News

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