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What does a Feminist look like?

'By the time I was in my mid 20s, there were quite a few men, myself included, who wanted to say and do the right sort of things that might lead the brighter more attractive feminists toward a developing relationship, or at least a shag'

I am old enough to remember a time before the equal pay act, before “Ms”, and when there actually was a fairly vast “patriarchal versus matrifocal” based imbalance of power in the UK. There are probably countries where this is still the case. I was taught that Jamaica's system where men were often seen as feckless and unfaithful was actually “matrifocal”, the men came and went from the family set up but the power resided with the mother, the matriarch, and those men flitting in and out of the home were really free to go make reggae classics and get stoned.

The UK, though, was described by many as patriarchal and it had some fairly well established rules about what men and women were supposed to be like, and what they were expected to do.

Whatever that included, I know that there were no men at that time, nor in the following decades of the 70s and 80s, who called themselves feminists.

By the time I was in my mid 20s, there were quite a few men, myself included, who wanted to say and do the right sort of things that might lead the brighter more attractive feminists toward a developing relationship, or at least a shag. Juices flowed and I was one of many who had good times with several flag-waving feminists, but it would be hard to picture any of the group I belonged to then being content with what feminism has become.

Maybe these guys pictured above are some kind of continuation of the theme that prompted such accommodations, and maybe they do get their shags, but I need to inform them – feminists are not what they used to be, and neither is the balance of power.

It was recently discovered that many middle class American women, including those who identify as feminists are pissed off at the lack of wealthy attractive men that are available to them – well played feminists!). Too many men, it seems, have become wary of the exploitation that has been exposed as all too common, and which has prompted MGTOW (Men Going There Own Way) and other ways of shielding that are the unintended consequences of crapping all over what was once a more generally acceptable set of parameters for coupling up and the continuation of the species.

Sure, there are still some advantages to being a man, in the various male dominated spheres that still exist. But, there were also always places and arenas where women had an advantage (divorce laws being one that has since expanded at a pace), and there are a lot of persistent myths from that era that really do need to be shot down in flames now.

The biggest myth?

Feminism is about gaining equality.

Maybe it never was, but it made a pretty good job of disguising that, and the celebration among those of us who did believe in it was real when the equal pay act was made law. I remember reading two feminist writers who mostly did live out their creed, one that I still hold true and incredibly important, that, with equal rights come equal responsibilities. (Germaine Greer and Janet Radcliffe-Richards if you are wondering).

And, I had zero problem with working with feminists in my role as community development officer, right up to the arrival of the new millennium.

In 1998, in response to a local man coming to my office seeking help because his wife kept violently assaulting him, we set up a support group called, “Men in Confidence”. And, with the support of a worker from Torfaen Women's Aid, we managed to get quite a few men to come forward and discover that they were not such a tiny minority as they had feared.

The Women's Aid worker had told us that her office (covering a population of under 80,000) received two phone calls a week from men who were being attacked by their wives or partners, but could not think of any other place to turn than the women's charity.

Extrapolated to a national figure that would suggest around 8,500 men calling out for help from violent spouses per year, just those seeking help.

And, yet, we know that men are far less likely to seek help than women, so the figures for what is really going on need to be calculated in light of the recent research that shows domestic violence is very much not based on gender, with lesbian couples having the highest rate. If I was to seek to help these men now, in 2023, I would not dream of asking a Women's Aid worker to help – because I cannot imagine that any workers like the lovely lady of Torfaen still exist within the employ of any such group.

Feminist debate has become an arena that is now overtly hostile to men. Women like Erin Pizzey who always tried to champion equality via the means of employing men in refuges to counter the negative ideas of men that children there might otherwise develop, have been “cancelled” for refusing to accept the feminist animal farm dogma: woman good, man bad.

Men looking for any such support should be looking at those 90% of women who do not identify as feminists if they want some help in gaining a more equal society here in the UK. I may need to explain the term to someone from my generation who has grown older with the idea that there was no difference, but I will be looking for 'equalists', not feminists. The second biggest myth?

Women get a raw deal from the Criminal Justice System.(CJS)

I used to be an energetic campaigner for increasing rape convictions – again this was back in the 1980s and 90s. The police then were well known for being widely dismissive of the few women who did go to them after being raped (6% of the 90,000 total according to the research). “Shouldn't have worn that short skirt luv”, being the cliched response we accepted as common.

As part of that campaigning, I did a little research on the history of rape law and was amazed to discover that, far from a victim focused piece of legislation, it was fundamentally a property law, with rape being a method of damaging or devaluing a man's chattels.

There is a highly amusing piece of case law that covers the difference between burglary (a particular crime committed with intent to rape or to steal) versus the definition of theft, check it out for a laugh plus an insight into how crimes become defined. It seemed to me then that the word “Rape” had long since become an emotive smoke screen that succeeded in spoiling the chances of proper justice for victims. Being so keen to have a positive effect, I filled in the appropriate forms and applied to the Law Commission – to change the law so that there was no crime called rape, and that sexual assault with degrees of seriousness should be the only norm. This seemed utterly logical - and still does - because it focuses the crime on the attack on a person, and the serious effects of that, rather than the technicality of what part of a body was involved in any such attack (which was at that time a penis, no other tool qualified).

It was of course rejected, as the establishment is nothing if not attached like mastic to its own ways, and would dismiss every aspect of logic that might make a great case for this change. I believe this would still have been true if had I presented it from a position of power - as in, had it been the idea of a cabal of civil servants and judges.

Instead, they tried to introduce moderating gestures towards positive change, by allowing male rape to be seen as a crime (how generous!) and, then, more recently, penetration not having to be with a penis to qualify as rape. No reform has dealt with the issue I was approaching, and now the power of the word rape as an emotive weapon has been increased and its definition broadened– and not to the benefit of victims, male or female. Please see Sean Bw Parker's piece on how Rape law has been “democratised.”

I find myself back at my original question: What does a Feminist look like?

And, from where I sit now, in the aftermath of life-changing experiences of the system I thought I could usefully serve, the answer when applied to those men pictured is “a fool”.

The legal system has bowed to feminist propaganda to such a point that those three men pictured are almost as much at risk of being trashed, imprisoned or discarded for the new range of offences that used to be called, “seduction”, “making a pass”, or one of the many ways of falling foul of the women in their lives – divorce, leading to loss of contact with their children, career slammed down through rape rumours or legal action, so very many ways in which the innocent can be destroyed that I have trouble listing them. The trauma for me is still real, but I have enough male conditioning still left in me to refuse to play victim and be triggered by what people say.

But what women can say – can kill you.

Two friends who went through the hell of false allegations of rape/sexual assault were told by their doctors that the reason they had cancer was because their bodies' immune systems had been severely lowered by the long lasting stress of police action against them – and though found to be innocent, the cancer was still terminal.

Being older, forgiving priests by nature, these two men refused to be angry and blame those false accusers; neither did they pursue the police for failing to properly investigate - and instead pursuing the mad fantasies of abuse that had led them to that point - and now both are prematurely dead.

The myth that the justice system is the best in the world is one that has taken its deepest battering since the death and demonisation of Jimmy Savile and the other celebs. It is as though the whole Criminal Justice System was as embarrassed as the BBC and decided that any person claiming they had been raped or abused at any point in history, would be believed, and hardly questioned about their own dubious sources of these beliefs.

The boom in reports of rape to the police has not come about by accident. Feminists have made that happen. Those feminists who happen to be men and believe that they are helping “imprison the bad guys” when it comes to sex crime – they do look like fools to me now. If they can start wearing shirts that say “This is what an Equalist looks like” I will be ready to see them as people of some value. Until then I am likely to shout “Maaaate” at them.

And, I might suggest that any woman professing to be a feminist is completely unworthy of being allowed to claim the badge equalist, and will need to change drastically before I stop seeing them as “the enemy of justice”.

By Patrick Graham

Patrick is a justice reform advocate and director of the documentary film "We Believe You".

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