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Facebook rape page still up: mainstream press uninterested


Jane Osmond
WVoN co-editor



Round up of all events on

WVoN Updates:

13.2.12: Facebook Irony Fail

9.11.11: Campaigners and four demands for Facebook

5.11.11: Victory!!! Page is down – but the fight goes on…

1/11/11: Twitter campaign 2nd November 2011

20/10/11: Facebook rape page whitelisted and campaign goes global

1/10/11: Rape page campaign: Facebook sticks by rape jokes 

17/9/11: Facebook rape page: one of many

15/9/11:  When you ‘Like’ rape on Facebook, you support rape culture

3/9/11: Facebook rape page still up: mainstream press uninterested (see below)

29/8/11 Facebook: rape jokes no worse than pub jokes

6/8/11: Facebook ignores requests to delete page advocating rape

3/9/11: The WVoN Facebook rape page campaign against  this page – You know shes playing hard to get when your chasing her down an alleyway – is ongoing: despite an initial slowing down of comments, the misogynists are gathering again and the offensive – and usually badly spelt – comments are racheting up again.

This page is only one of many equally offensive pages which Facebook deems acceptable, reflecting its complete disregard for the seriousness of rape and how it affects not just the women and men who have suffered, but also their friends and families.

Sadly the mainstream press in the UK don’t care either: despite letters to The Guardian, The Times, The Independent and the Telegraph, not a single paper published our concerns.

However, 2540 people have now signed the petition, so please keep passing on details of this campaign, so we can get more signatures.

Meanwhile, a letter to my MP has been passed on to the UK Home Secretary, Theresa May. If you wish to write to your MP you can find their contact details by putting your UK postcode into Write to Them.

For US readers, you can find out details of your representative from the United House of Representatives.

If people from other countries would like to add contact details for their representatives, please let me have the links.

Also a friend in the US has written a piece for her magazine, advising schools to question whether their pupils should be using Facebook at all if this is the type of page that is deemed acceptable.

If you can help us take this forward, please do contact us.

See updates at the top of this page.


6.10.11: Talksportradio – interview with Mike Graham

Talksport radio interview mp3 version

  1. Chrissy J says:

    As long as rape and sexual abuse is seen as something that can be joked about, then it will never be taken seriously by those who can prevent and punish it.
    It worked in Germany where it’s a federal offence to joke about or deny the Holocaust.
    Legislation just drives the jokes underground. That’s fine with me- *I’m* not underground, and it’s not ‘in my face’.

    • Report the page as inciting hate, there is a complaint button on the page to report. Then select it as inciting hate and select “based on gender or sexuality”.
      That is using facebook’s own tool for showing that the page is considdered totally offensive and suggesting that sexual assult is funny or acceptable.

      Not a big statement maybe, but if they recieve enough complaints someone will have to take action- I am sure they have statistics to answer to about how they take action on formal complaints,

      • Jane Osmond says:

        Hi nomeo unfortunately Facebook have already stated that they do not consider this page as being offensive, which is why we are campaigning against it. The actual statement they issued is this:

        ‘We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss issues and express their views whilst respecting the rights and feeling of others.

        We have now more than 750m people around the world of varying opinions and ideals using Facebook as a place to discuss and share things that are important to them.

        We sometimes find people discussing and posting about controversial topics

        It is very important to point out that what one person finds offensive another can find entertaining – just as telling a rude joke won’t get you thrown out of your local pub, it won’t get you thrown off Facebook.”

        Given to the Annie Othen Show, 17.8.11, BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire.

  2. Wesley Harris says:

    This reminds me of the same reasoning that many Muslim practicioners use to express their dismay at photos of muhammad. Rape is horrid yes, but to express dismay at someone expressing an opinion, no matter how horrid, in a public forum, simply because the content is horrific, is a very European view there.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      To express dismay at someone expressing a horrific opinion is what civilized human beings do. The law may allow detestable speech but that does not make it any less detestable.

      In general European laws will only act against speech which incites some other criminal action. The Holocaust denial laws in Germany and Austria are an exception, they are not indicative of a ‘European view’ about freedom of speech. They are addressing a specific issue with anti-Semitism in those countries.

      The same argument can be made about rape. We have a specific problem with rape, certainly with its prevention and punishment, which was Chrissy’s point, and the law should adjust to take account of that. Justice is a set of scales, a balancing act. It seems it is only in relation to sexual offences that the civil liberties of men, in this case the right to tell an unfunny joke, are suddenly untouchable and cast in stone.

      • vicki wharton says:

        And the rights of women, to say no in this case and be respected, are invisible or treated as a joke. This is a rape friendly culture.

  3. FB has a Page for Lorena Bobbit you can ‘like’ as thousands have, and a ‘Free Catherine Becker’ (the woman who recently drugged her husband and cut off his penis). Does this mean Facebook promotes genital mutilation, or that we live in a penis-cutting-off friendly culture?

    You can either say all three pages should be removed, or accept that facebook can act how it likes and you don’t have to be a member. It’s barely a ‘rape joke’ anyway.

    • vicki wharton says:

      I think the point you’re missing Dan is the scale which is why it is refered to as a culture of rape or a culture of violence against women. Perhaps if 1 in 3 boys had their penises cut off by an angry girlfriend, mother or female family friend then you might be slightly more emotionally engaged with the subject. The ‘you don’t have to be a member’ doesn’t wash with gender violence in the same way that ‘you don’t have to smoke’ doesn’t work with people smoking around me – or are you also ignorant of passive smoking too. The culture of gender violence that most men these days seem to think is funny I can’t ignore as a woman since its the reason I am not safe within my own home from male members of my own family nor safe on the streets from male members of other people’s families. But I guess I can just leave my family of birth, which I have due to violence, and not mix with my ex partners families due to their culture of lying about me and to me because I’m a woman, and that solves the problem. Get the victim to exile herself – problem gone – typical Facebook solution.

      • Most men do not find violence against women funny. Women do often find violence against men funny though. Almost every ad or movie aimed at women will include a man getting hit in the balls. Did you see Sharon Osbourne on The View say it was good that Catherine Becker cut off her husbands penis, and that she would have thrown it to the do to eat, and the audience of women roared with laughter? The same would never happen if you reversed all the genders in the situation.

        I don’t think it qualifies as a ‘rape is funny’ joke – the joke, for what it is, depends on the allegedly humorous idea that a woman running away from you down an alleyway is ‘playing hard to get’ when clearly she is not. Ie the man is deluded. It is not about rape being funny.

        • Still apples and pears. Yes, being kicked in the balls is painful. That’s usually the end of it though – painful, recover. Can’t remember seeing an audience crack up because a man was violently sexually assaulted though. You’re also plainly watching different ads and movies to me because I can’t remember the last time I saw that happen.

          No I didn’t see Sharon Osbourne on the View. Sadly people will still laugh at that sort of comment because it’s one incident against a man in a world where women are preyed upon every day just for being women. Help us sort that out and I’ll help you complain about Sharon Osbourne’s unfunny quips.

          There’s a lot of deluded men on Facebook then – try searching on ‘you know she’s playing hard to get’ and see the variety of pages returned. Still trying to maintain that it’s not about rape being funny? Although, looking at the search results, you might actually be a bit right – it’s more likely about how men still feel entitled to a woman’s attention and time regardless of how she feels about it.

          • “Help us sort that out and I’ll help you complain about Sharon Osbourne’s unfunny quips.”

            Sorry, in my long and sad experience, men can try and help and understand women with their problems as much as they can, but when it comes to reciprocation the answer is ‘That’s a menz issue, we’ve got our own problems’

    • If you mean it’s not a ‘rape joke’ in that it’s not funny, I’d agree. I still can’t find the pages you mention, although knowing Catherine Becker’s name does assist with the search.

      Looking at the Free Catherine Kieu Becker page I note that there are just over three hundred people liking it and it has a variety of posts on a variety of crimes. It certainly isn’t in praise of her or cracking jokes. There is also a Don’t Free Catherine Kieu Becker page which has over 150 likes, and a variety of other pages on both sides of the issue with a handful of likes each. The page that has prompted this article and the campaign against it currently has 182,959 likes. So Dan, you’re trying to compare apples and pears here, but it does sort of answer my question about pages on emasculation, so thanks for that.

      • Th Catherine Becker page is in praise of her. It defends her actions and says she should not pay for her terrible crime. Again, reverse the sexes and imagine there was a page saying a man who had stuck a knife up a woman was mentally ill and should be freed. The don’t free CB is a direct response, and is probably the way to go via this issue – not banning stuff, but putting forward the opposing opinion.

        Coincidentally, I personally have managed to get a Page removed from Facebook. It was someone pretending to be a member of The Clash. They were talking about how they missed Joe Strummer, and because my gf at the time used to go out with this member of The Clash, we found it distasteful and got it removed. So I suppose I do support the ‘banning’ of certain things on Facebook – like a page for racists or paedophiles I suppose. But as far as this page is concerned I don’t believe it is close enough to saying ‘rape is funny’ to warrant removal.

        • The Catherine Becker page has just over 300 likes. Clearly not a huge issue, there’s no huge rallying ot the cause going on there.

          How close to blatantly, obviously racist would a page have to be before you objected to it? Or a page promoting paedophilia? Can you see why people are concerned that this page is as hateful?

        • ‘Imagine’ there was a page saying that a man sticking a knife ‘up a woman'(into a woman’s vagina/anus?) was mentally ill and should be freed? Oh my dear sir IF ONLY!!! We do not have to imagine, it gets even more insulting than using mentally ill as an excuse. Just recently a scootish man was aquitted of raping a fifteen year old girl at a party because he had been ‘sleep-walking’. The reports of men who are not even arrested never mind freed getting off without as much as a warning due to menial excuses and victim-blaming are more than you or I have had hot dinners as the saying goes. FYI ‘The blue Notebook’ is based on a true story where a young girl had a SWORD stabbed into her vagina by the son of an aristocrat. Needless to say she died and it was written that this was one of many similar offences by the same man. So we don’t have to imagine at all…

    • Can I ponit out to you Dan the the statistics for rape are one in four versus how many ‘penis cutting off’ (as you so eloquently put it)…are one in what ???? A few million? more?
      I think you may have missed the point

  4. Jane Osmond says:

    Hello Dan, it may not be a rape joke to you, but this particular page is certainly extremely offensive to us, which is why we are fighting it. Maybe you could try and identify with the feelings of the 1 in 6 women in the world who have been sexually assaulted or raped? That may help you understand why we feel so strongly about the page, and help you to be less dismissive of other people’s opinions.

    • Of course I care about rape. I know people who have been raped. I don’t think the page is laughing at rape. Some of the comments are more offensive than the page itself, perhaps FB should have more moderation in that respect.

      • If there are offensive comments please report them to FB.

        I’m sorry to hear you know people who have been raped, statistically speaking though we all do, or will.

  5. Wesley Harris says:

    I’ve always loved the culture of taking away Freedom of Speech because it offends someone. But, someone might be hurt by what you say? It’s your right to be offended, surely, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen to what I say. Meandering speech and jokes aside, just because you are offended, doesn’t mean that someone has to shut up because of it.

    • vicki wharton says:

      No Wesley, someone might be physically hurt/psychologically traumaticised/made pregnant/given AIDS/socially ostracised by what you encourage others to do when you treat rape as a laughing matter and not something to be respected as a human rights violation. Maybe if men made constant jokes about raping boys and 1 in 3 boys were actually raped, you might have some insight into women’s lives in the UK, but you live on a different planet, one where girls have to travel home in packs to avoid being attacked in public and where 1 in 3 of us is then physically abused by a male in our family or peer group who thinks their behaviour is ‘just a laugh/their right/their freedom of speech’.

    • You managed to take away someone’s freedom of speech, Wesley? How did you do that then?

      Have you stopped to think about why people would be offended by this page?

      • If everything that someone found offensive was banned where would we be?

        • Have you stopped to think about why people would be offended by this page?

          The petition is to take down an offensive page which appears to promote rape. If this is not the case the page maker has done a poor job defending his or herself. In what way does that constitute a ban on anything?

          • Why do you assume I’m so stupid as to not realise why some people might be offended? I’ve made it clear that i understand why – but I disagree that their offence trumps freedom of expression in this instance.

            The page does not promote rape. Read my earlier posts as to why i think you misunderstand the joke (not that i find it funny)

            Getting the page removed is censorship, ie ‘banning’

  6. Wesley Harris says:

    Alright ladies and gents. Here it is, the sentence that really impacted American freedom of speech.
    I may not agree with what you say sir, but I will defend to the death, your right to say it.

    Now ladies, you’re saying something like “, This is unacceptable, it offends us, so take it down, it’s demeaning to women.”

    I’m saying that part doesn’t matter, what matters is it’s protected speech, and should stay that way. If you don’t agree with something,
    give reasons NOT to like it, but don’t try and take away the football
    simply because you think the other team is playing more aggressively than you like.
    If you continually move the goal post, then we aren’t playing the game.

  7. Jane Osmond says:

    I am sorry Wesley, but we are not playing a game. This page represents a serious attack on the safety of women in that it promotes rape as a laughing matter. And to keep playing the ‘freedom of speech’ card is a tired and lazy argument – a) because with freedom of speech comes a responsibility to not offend others and b) freedom of speech is not seen as the be all and end all when we are talking about racist comments for example. That is not allowed, despite the freedom of speech rules, and this is because making racist comments is offensive and derogatory: as a woman I want rape speech to be taken with the same seriousness. So please, stop with the freedom of speech argument.

    • “This page represents a serious attack on the safety of women in that it promotes rape as a laughing matter.”

      The reason no newspaper will touch this story/petition, is because it doesn’t.

      You are reading too much into the joke. It gets away with being ‘edgy’ while at no time promoting rape. You are the ones filling in the blank and assuming rape is what is going to happen in that fictitious alleyway. And like I said the joke is on the man’s crazy understanding of the situation that he thinks a running woman is ‘playing hard to get.’ It’s not a rape joke. It’s kinda tasteless, that’s the point. It’s just not offensive enough for Facebook to remove, though if you get a big enough petition together, who knows. I don’t really care if it stays or goes, just that you are mistaken to be so offended by it, imo.

      Oh there are also millions of tasteless AIDs and pedophilia jokes. There’s probably a facebook page for Joseph Fritzel or Charles Manson. Facebook wants to seem cool, edgy and uncensorious, not safe as Mumsnet. FYI.

      • First off, I want to congratulate you Dan on being one man defending what you believe, in a forum of less than welcoming people.

        I want to say a few things:

        1) There will always be people offended by certain jokes. And frankly, that’s what makes them funny.

        2) I love how people keep claiming that feminism is about equality. Feminism (for the most part) is actually a thinly-veiled disguise for the hatred of men. I love how Brandy brought up on one of the other articles about the fact that there is nearly a 20% gap, by which more women are going to college than men are… and then the fact that not a single feminist group has made a stink about it.

        3) Ever notice how nearly every feminist you meet gets LESS feminist once she meets a guy she marries/loves. It’s often because she realizes that she WANTS TO BE A WOMAN, because woman is not just a societal construct!

        4) If men stopped being whiny little feminized bitches, more women would want to be like women. Let’s be honest here. Women are sick of the little momma’s boy bitch who asks their permission to go to the bathroom. A woman wants a real man who makes them feel safe, but just enough danger within that safety to make him exciting to her.

        Women of the world, I ask you this, how many times have you felt attraction towards a man who was a feminist?

  8. Wesley Harris says:

    Freedom of speech comes with the responsibility TO offend others.
    that’s apart of it.
    Are you so disconnected with the ideals of freedom, that you demand others sacrifice for YOU to feel safe?
    Lest we all give up our freedom for you to feel free? I would surely see my own self fly away in horror, than give in to that awfully twisted form of FOS.

    • Why are you promoting hate speech, Wesley?

      • H. Torrance Griffin says:

        At a guess, fear of how far bans on Hate Speech can be stretched. If something can be shut down on the basis of giving offense, how much else can?

        That being said Mr. Harris, would you be quite so quick to defend a page declaring the reported Black-on-White assaults in the U.S. as “Training Caucasian Track & Field Teams”?

        Crass stupidity and giving offense for it’s own sake is quite often the antithesis of amusing, however I wonder how much publicity this page is getting that ignoring it would deny.

        • vicki wharton says:

          The problem with ignoring bullies, which is what most of this sexist speech is – verbal bullying – is that without opposition, they take more and more living room, as in the case of Hitler. They do not limit their own boundaries, either physical or psychological, until someone or some group, stands up and says enough and no more. The original quote about freedom of speech was from the French philosopher Voltaire, who was making a plea for the right to discuss certain subjects that the Church deemed heretical. It was not about the right to rubbish or degrade another group of people, an action which by its nature, tends to limit freedom of speech in the opposite group. You can see by the type of people this FB page has attracted in its comments section that these people do not care about discussion of rights, morals or ethics – most are just social vandals, intent on over running other people’s rights to live a life peacefully and unharrassed.

          • Wesley Harris says:

            Ah, so we’ve just violated Godwins Law.
            Look guys, if we support hate speech codes, then we can extend this a bit further with blasphemy laws I supose.
            Heck, why not just make any and all things that are offensive in nature illegal. That’d teach people to not rail against the system.

  9. Dan – did you look at any of the other pages I suggested? And I am to assume that I can say whatever I like as long as I claim ‘it was only a joke’? That doesn’t wash.

    Wesley, having the right to say things does not also give people the right to go around encouraging violence and assault. Ask the UK legal system – they’ve just jailed someone for making that very suggestion on Facebook. Sure I am going to defend your right to free expression, but I’m still going to think you’re a colossal arse if you believe that it’s more OK for some juvenile efforts to go around inciting violence than it is for women to be concerned that someone will act on that suggestion. That does happen too, by they way – again, someone has just been jailed for killing his ex-girlfriend after his friend said that he should, and the friend would buy him breakfast afterwards. His friend didn’t think he was serious when he said he would kill the woman.

    This is the problem with that stupid FB page, in my opinion – you seem to be making your minds up that a parcel of mirthless feminists are creating a fuss over nothing much, but I see it as the tip of the iceberg. I find it frustrating that you, Wesley, and you, Dan, will not concede that pages like this can actually do harm to real people and aren’t ‘just’ jokes, they are reflections of real attitudes. If no one exercies their right to speak *against* this sort of thing then it is assumed to be acceptable.

    Wesley – your last paragraph, what does it actually mean? Reasons have been given as to why this page is a problem, did you read them? The rest of it – sorry, looks like a gibberish metaphor from here.

  10. “Sorry, in my long and sad experience, men can try and help and understand women with their problems as much as they can, but when it comes to reciprocation the answer is ‘That’s a menz issue, we’ve got our own problems’”

    Understanding only goes so far. Generally, in *my* long and sad experience, what happens is that a man will act like an ally and nod along, even actually understand, but then will make a grab for the spotlight and try and make it all about men, *again*, and *then* will get upset when met with frustration. I know men have problems too. My priorities are in trying to ensure that women are recognised as human too. Once that’s been done, there’ll be a lot more spare time for a lot of things. In the meantime, go and actually campaign for some of those ‘menz problems’ why don’t you? It’s Blue September, how about that for a start?

    • H. Torrance Griffin says:

      I fear that you are falling into the trap of a Zero Sum Fallacy. Namely that acknowlegement of, let alone actively addressing, situations where men honestly do get the short end of the stick will somehow negatively effect efforts to get women recognized as people.

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        Do you think there is insufficient acknowedgement of the problems and particular concerns of men, in general, in the media, in society at large? This website was set up specifically to counter the lack of news reporting by and about women in the mainstream media. Your disapproval is noted.

        • H. Torrance Griffin says:

          In general? Nope. There have been problems people suffer that are swept under the carpet as ‘unmanly’ (Rape, for one, not to mention the people presumed unfit to have custody of children) though.

          And presuming such observation intails disapproval of this site is what I mean by a Zero Sum Fallacy.

          • vicki wharton says:

            Rape isn’t a problem that people suffer – rape is a choice that men make. It is a gendered problem, which is why it swept under the carpet by male led Governments, media and the legal system who do not like the idea that men are less than perfect in their treatment of women and children. Likewise with unequal access to custodial care or access to children – until men begin to deal with the 1 in 3 of them that use violence against the mother and/or the children, or the 68% of them that are divorced on the grounds of ‘unreasonable’ behaviour, then equal access and custody is a choice that men make by a refusal to take on equal rights and responsibilities in childcare, within the marriage and a refusal to relinquish violence in their personal relationships. The problems most men face at the moment is a refusal to take on equal responsibility/work within the marriage whilst expecting to hold on to the respect of their team partner. Laziness and aggression towards ones team mates is never a winning formula in any team enterprise.

  11. Jane Osmond says:

    God, it is an uphill battle sometimes. Same old, same old from the men. Tiring.

  12. H. Torrance Griffin says:

    Rape of men (by both genders) tends to be swept even further under the rug than rape of women, and that is indeed saying a great deal.

    As for access to children and child custody, why should those men who do everything right, who are indeed anything but lazy or agressive, suffer for the actions of those who use violence and intimidation within the family?

    • Jane Osmond says:

      This thread is NOT about the rights or non rights of men – it is about the Facebook page that advocates rape against women. So can we please stick to that topic.

      • The Facebook page does not advocate rape against women.

        • But comparisons can be made – the subject of male rape, especially in prison – ‘don’t drop the soap’ – is considered comedy gold, and there is a long list of movies that actually feature this type of rape as a hilarious joke. Equally a man being raped by an animal – ! – is also deemed ok. In one episode of The Simpsons Homer is raped by a giant panda. Other examples in the movies Trading Places (a gorilla) and Top Secret (a bull).

          I’m not really defending the FB page, it’s a borderline case to me, but the subject of how rape is treated in the media is an interesting one,I hope we are not forbidden from discussing other examples.

          • Of course, men tend not to get raped by pandas very often, so it can’t be said to be encouraging or normalizing a serious issue. I think prison rape jokes are making light of a serious issue though. But at the end of the day I do not like censorship.

          • Jane Osmond says:

            Dan – the page DOES advocate rape against women – however some of the worst comments have been taken down due to the posters (who often use their real names – that’s how unserious rape is seen in our world) realising that they have exposed themselves. But to take your point about male rape being portrayed in the media as funny – yes, yes, and yes. I completely agree – we are focusing on female rape here because it is a female news site, but we are certainly not dismissing male rape and the attendance media portrayal – the portrayal of both feeds into our rape culture. So thank you for that comment.

    • Because apparently you are allowed to generalize about ‘men as a group’ in a way you could not about ‘black people as a group’ etc. For decades now all men are supposed to feel guilt by gender association with rapists, wife-beaters and male world leaders. Most of us want nothing more than to just get along, but we are vilified more year by year. As for some of the statistics being touted, one in three men use violence against their wife or children? Source? That’s clearly bogus, and is probably conflating physical punishment of children (which i oppose) with wife-beating. And domestic violence victims are 40% male. And its women that are most likely to kill their children, not men. But women excuse this because they are ‘stressed.’ Comment will be amazed if it passes moderation…

      • vicki wharton says:

        Dan I did not say men as a group are rapists or men as a group commit DV, what I said was 1 in 3 women in the UK experience DV in their lifetime (Women’s Aid and Home Office report) and 1 in 5 female children experience sexual violence at the hands of a male (NSPCC). The 1 in 3 men use DV is an extrapolation of the 1 in 3 victims as there are no studies into perpetrators of DV in the UK that I know of, but I don’t think it realistic to say that all these victims are the result of a few bigoted men that move in, beat up and move on again.

        • “I don’t think it realistic to say that all these victims are the result of a few bigoted men that move in, beat up and move on again.”

          Why not? The figure is one in 3 women will experience DV in their lifetime, and people tend to have more than one partner a lifetime! It is much more likely that it is the same core of violent men going from relationship to relationship, maybe ten times in their lifetimes… than as you said, one in three men being violent. Your ‘extrapolation’ is typical of the stat-twisting that women and feminists use to make things sound worse (and most men bad, when we are not), and why your stats are not trusted outside of your fem circles, either by men or women. Do you really think a third of men are violent against their partner? Ridiculous.

          • And please take into account that 40% of domestic violence victims are men. Women are almost as violent as men and more so against children, but women/feminists aren’t interested in facts that get in the way of their demonizing of men. Like the fact that domestic violence in lesbian couples is higher than that in straight couples. oh those peaceful women!

          • vicki wharton says:

            No, that is my experience. My father beat my mother up, I have experienced two violent partners out of 5 so statistically, that is far higher than 1 in 3. My brother has used violence in his relationships and so has my half brother. It looks fairly commonplace to me.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      Yes H. but why do you want us particularly to address those issues? The mainstream media is run by men, all of the editors are men, why are you here?

      You want the only site specifically aimed at news about women to stop specifically aiming at women and aim at men? What’s wrong with the Times or the Guardian, H? You’d get a much bigger audience. You want a bigger audience don’t you? Bye then.

      Or are you not really interested in male rape? Are you interested only in stopping women talking? Why are you here?

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        Same question to you. Why do you want Women’s Views on News to address domestic violence against men? Why aren’t you at the Daily Mail making them listen? If you actually had an interest in the problems of anyone other than yourself and that grievance you are working out on women you don’t know, it is inconceivable you would be wasting your time here.

        You just want an argument, don’t you Dan. Don’t you have a job to do?

      • H. Torrance Griffin says:

        I for one am here because of accusations about censorship. Having seen the Facebook page in question I agree with you about it making rape a joke, but question your tactics because I would not have even heard of it save for the campaign to take it down.

        That being said, if you wish to get your arguments across to men why demand a domain free of them? By that logic male-run media should not bother addressing the problems of women at all, which is a conclusion I doubt either of us think highly of.

        • Jane Da Vall says:

          180,000 people have liked the page. It may be just you that hadn’t heard of it.

          I won’t assume what you are thinking and you needn’t me, how’s that? I’m not demanding a domain free of men, I’m demanding a domain free of you. You are not, not do you speak for, men.

          I’m demanding a domain for women to discuss issues they care about, in a media landscape dominated by men talking about men. I am very happy to discuss those issues with men. You don’t want to do that, you want us to talk about men here, just like everywhere else. This small space reserved for someone other than you has got you all riled up. Your opposition is noted again, H, briefly.

          Nor do I wish to get any arguments across to men. I don’t know where you got that idea from.

  13. vicki wharton says:

    Sorry, having to split comments as having a few issues with posting stuff at the moment. The 40% figure you refer to for male sufferers of DV is one I’ve seen cited in US websites, but have also seen these dissected by academics to say that if these are drilled down into, female perpetrators are largely using violence in defence rather than as an attack or control strategy.

    The US academics also cited that most male DV perpetrators underplay their use of violence, whilst female DV perpetrators overstate their use of violence and mix up defensive violence with aggressive violence.

    The problem of gender violence and men’s recognition of it is hard to tackle for two reasons: one that men with a male superiority complex seem to have a group protection mentality where if someone outside their group ie a woman, draws attention to poor behaviour on the part of a male they go into a ‘laager’ to defend themselves, normally with statements like not all men are rapists etc as if they are one large interconnected being rather than a group of individuals. Its why the police need independent monitoring etc.

    • Wesley Harris says:

      These three paragraphs are loaded with innuendo.
      Please use more neutral language in the future.

      • vicki wharton says:

        No innuedo used … just siting reports, think you and Dan are just timewasters

        • Typical – you can’t handle rational debate, so deem anyone who disagrees with you or questions your suspicious statistics ‘time-wasters’ I’m spending my precious time trying to debate the issue, and you just don’t want to listen (you don’t have to agree).

          Let me be clear – this is absolutely typical of feminists – if they are given polite intelligent arguments that conflict with what they think they just delete, call the men misogynists or ignore their points. Men, for all our terrible faults, tend to debate fairly and give those who disagree with us the benefit of listening and debating like adults. My last post here, I shall waste your precious time no more.

          Perhaps you should add a comment before your invitation to comment – ‘only comment if you agree with us please, we can’t handle defending our position.’

          • Jane Da Vall says:

            “As if they are one large interconnected being rather than a group of individuals. Its why the police need independent monitoring etc.”

            I’m not sure Vicki, I think it is more for self protection. In exactly the same way, women blame other women for being raped, find something the victim must have done to bring on the attack, to convince themselves that the victim is different from them and they are safe.

            Men see themselves in the rapist, he’s just another bloke, if can do it, or be blamed for it, so can I. Slippery slope, isn’t it. There’s not a lot of feeling for a victim in either response.

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        Hahahaha, neutral language! That’s a gem, Wes.

        • Jane Da Vall says:

          Actually that reminds of a similar debate that had been attacked by wreckers, well they all are, aren’t they? I’d eject them. The point is not to play a Corinthian game, the point is to make space for women.

          In the other debate the fellow was quoting similar bullshit statistics which showed “after adjusting for severity” that men suffered greater harm then women. That still makes me laugh. I hope to see Transport for London using it often this winter.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      To humour wreckers is to defeat the purpose of the site. Dan, Wes and H don’t want to talk about men, they want to stop us talking about women. That is the only thing they want.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Hi Jane
        The interconnected group thing is a recognised psychological phenomenon called fuzzy boundaries and I guess does come from a need/wish for self protection so I think we’re talking about the same thing!


        • Jane Da Vall says:

          Yes, I see that. Whatever pyschology is going on, the driver of the fear is external, the media.

          Fear of malicious accusation is a media construction. I don’t remember it ever being discussed when I was a teenager. Rapists were still not being prosecuted, mind you, but fear of false accusations wasn’t why, not among the general public at least. The police had pretty much the same impressive portfolio of prejudices, false assumptions and myths as they do today.

          I don’t understand why the media have done it. Outside of troll land does anybody actually believe false accusations are a prevalent issue? I know people do believe it, because the Mail tells them so and has been reporting every case for years. Reporting across the media is hugely disproportionate to the number of actual cases.

          Most men aren’t any more likely to be be accused of rape than they ever were. What is the point of it?

          • vicki wharton says:

            Just lost another post!

          • Jane Osmond says:

            Because the people in charge of the media are men and they reflect their own opinions and what they think the majority of what other men think onto the rest of us. For those that don’t think this, there is the financial imperative; this stuff sells. The lunatics really are in charge of the asylum.

      • How can any comment of mine stop any woman from talking about what they want. I am the one who is under threat of deletion here if I say the ‘wrong’ thing.

        And please don’t dismiss me as a ‘wrecker.’ I care about gender issues and am adding my thoughts. Don’t dismiss them as just an attempt to disrupt.

        • Jane Da Vall says:

          ‘I care about gender issues’ is a careful choice of words.

          I do dismiss you as a wrecker, that is what you are. I repeat below your manifesto, in your words. I hope the moderators here are quick to exclude you, or this site will be a discussion of domestic violence against men, false rape allegations and ‘women who kill their children’ just like the rest of the net is. It is not an accident that women are excluded from every public news forum and then villified in their absence. It is the result of hard work and commitment by the like of you. To ignore you is a grave mistake.

          “Because apparently you are allowed to generalize about ‘men as a group’ in a way you could not about ‘black people as a group’ etc. For decades now all men are supposed to feel guilt by gender association with rapists, wife-beaters and male world leaders. Most of us want nothing more than to just get along, but we are vilified more year by year. As for some of the statistics being touted, one in three men use violence against their wife or children? Source? That’s clearly bogus, and is probably conflating physical punishment of children (which i oppose) with wife-beating. And domestic violence victims are 40% male. And its women that are most likely to kill their children, not men. But women excuse this because they are ‘stressed.’ Comment will be amazed if it passes moderation…”

  14. Jane Da Vall says:

    Eventually you get infuriated enough to remember to copy them before posting, until you forget again, that’s what I do anyway!

  15. real terms… is to be gained from engaging in dialogue with people who hold the views expressed by these men?

    It is my firm view there is absolutely nothing to be achieved in attempting to rationalise with them. They are not going to be persuaded from their view that they are oppressed.

    These men clearly have their own issues with women for whatever reason. Attempting to defeat their distorted world view with logical argument is futile. I would go further and say it is dangerous. The risk is it will simply reinforce their distorted perceptions of us and give them a sense of being validated in whatever else they might be doing that we are unaware of and that could negatively impact other women.

    I have no issue with including men in discussions about how we can achieve equality. Those with enlightened self interest always make valuable contributions to the debate and we need their involvement. These comments show no evidence of that being the motivation of the contributors.

    We all know what has been happening in places such as the Guardian in “Comment is Free” et al…do we really want to open the door to discouraging women posting their thoughts here in the misguided belief all contributions are valuable…when the evidence elsewhere is to the contrary?

  16. Jane Osmond says:

    Hello Jane, yes I agree with your statement. I very much would like men to engage with WVoN and the articles that we feature as I genuinely feel that with men behind us we could, at the very least, achieve a constructive dialogue much faster about how dangerous it is to be a woman in the world. However, to get this far, men need to acknowledge how dangerous it really is – if this is not acknowledged then we go round the same circle and it is a waste of everyone’s time.

    • vicki wharton says:

      The problem is how to get most men out of their defensive ‘laager’ – it is a biological group defense that we need to circumnavigate and one that the members of the group need to actually want to examine … self awareness of their own attitudes is not an attribute that most chauvinists seem to share … and men that aren’t chauvinist seem to be keeping a very low profile!

      Even when we concentrate on surveys, stats and the like all these men want to do is rubbish them – it’s like talking to Holocaust deniers, just goes nowhere.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      The depressing picture one gets of what men think about women after spending a few minutes on the internet is largely, I think, because the men who are moved to express an opinion have an axe to grind. Other men are on the football pages. It’s the same with most things, people only make the effort when they want to complain, and it creates a slanted picture.

      I think it is a concern, however, because the internet is where we get our news now and it is coming gift wrapped in misogyny. It doesn’t matter that it’s a tiny minority of men producing it, it is being distributed to the world with their news and that has an effect, Exhibit A – widespread fear of false accusations, Exhibit B – general belief that women do better out of divorce than men.

  17. Jane Osmond says:

    Far too many Janes on this thread 🙂

  18. Thank you for responding to my post…. I confess I am reminded of that much used phrase..”the road to hell is paved with good intentions”…when reading part of this reply.

    I am not a liberal and before I go further I don’t mean to be offensive to any who are by making that comment. It is just that I associate this type of tactial approach with liberal ideology…something I am in disagreement with.

    I would like to use a couple of examples to illustrate why I disagree.

    I would not be prepared to spend time discussing views about Islam with a member of the racist English Defence League. Their views are not going to be changed by any amount of persuasion I may apply particularly if I attempt to alert them to the dangers their views generate for ordinary Muslims. This is because the EDL have dehumanised the focus of their hatred in order to justify their actions against them.

    For reasons that run parallel to this example I would seek to prevent the publication of woman hating statements especially in spaces such as this. The people who vocalise them do not accord us basic human rights and will not therefore have any respect for our viewpoint no matter how well explained, valid or justified they are.

    If we want them and their like off FB we must be prepared to exclude them everywhere including here.

    It will always be my view the basis of the struggle must be for a more equal society.

    One only has to visit those countries where there is less inequality to experience the difference in every aspect of daily life for everyone.

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      Well I am a liberal but I despair at the hopelessly ineffectual ‘on the one hand’-ery of so many liberals . Moral equivalence is not a virtue and not all opinions have value. That is idiotic.

      Thoughtless application of a principle has caused the Guardian to hand over their hugely powerful media platform to a collection of bigots that would impress the EDL. Well, they are the EDL.  Likewise Facebook allows hate speech in the name of freedom.  

      How can they know the value of the freedom they have granted without looking at the use made of it and how it impacts on the freedoms of others? Rights are not exercised in isolation.

      I’m with you, Jane, I wouldn’t give these men here or tbe ones at the Guardian or the rape jokers any room at all, they will only use it to sustain the inequalities that I want ended.

      • vicki wharton says:

        You got my vote …

      • I find it depressing, quite apart from the terms of this particular argument (or debate – is it still a debate?) that we are told we must accept nasty words and horrible sentiments because the ‘right’ to say them is more important than our ‘right’ to feel safe and comfortable. I mean, I’m not even angry about it, just sad.

        • Jane Da Vall says:

          That’s right, and it is not just your right to feel safe, it is your right to be safe. Juries are filled by people with Facebook pages.

          If rights are only those things that can be protected then, in fact, you don’t have a right to be safe, no-one does. Some people make the mistake of thinking that this makes safety less important than rights such as free speech. That is because they have semantics where their soul should be. They don’t think that about their own safety and other people’s speech.

          • Since rights are things that we give to one another by general agreement I’m aware that they are delicate things. It saddens me that so many commenters can be so indignant that we protest we would like the right to feel (and be) safe as much as they cherish the right to dismiss ‘jokes’ that can harm other humans.

  19. I think most of us know those who shout loudest about the right to abuse, humiliate and offend are the first to baulk at being on the receiving end of same!

    Theirs is not really a discussion about “rights” and the nature of them…their strange ramblings are evidence of the impact of inequality…and how it distorts the soul, the psyche and the social relationships we all need to strive to achieve if we are ever to truly comprehend what the word “rights” means.

    I feel the time has come when we need to understand the complexities of inequality if we are to defeat it. That will require our focus to be on the big picture not the symptoms.

    We are seeing various communities making these demands elsewhere in the world..but, the grassroots evidence of their oppression is more vivid to all….ours is quite comprehensively obscured!

    As for FB? It is big business…it won’t take down this offending page or others like it no matter what the consequences…’s focus is purely on what it places on the bottom line for them and how the annual Balance Sheet looks. Conversations about the right of free expression and free speech etc are bogus in this context and should be ignored.

    There is a way to get this FB page down…it just takes a few good women..

  20. vicki wharton says:

    I totally agree with your sentiments above Jane S – has there ever been a political party that put gender equality and fairness at its heart? Do you think there would be room for one now? We are the majority of citizens of this country and yet we are continually treated as if we are an obscure minority that can be pushed around … how do we get women to stand up for themselves and start making democracy count …?

    • Jane Da Vall says:

      This has been more and more in my mind. The answer is no, there has never been a political party that put women at the top of its agenda and until women are an independent political force, our interests will be subordinate. 

      This is obvious. A clear up rate of 6.5% for rape (a crime where the perpetrator is known more often than not) is ludicrous, but no-one calls it ludicrous and nothing, nothing, is done about it. The % of women on boards ie the people in charge of everything, is edging up, but the % of women in the executive roles, ie the people in charge of the people in charge of everything, is stuck at around 1%. None, as good as. We have no power, we run nothing. 

      This is the position almost a century after women got the vote. Women look to Labour in the UK and the Democrats in the US to promote their interests but they only do so if there is no conflicting agenda. On the gender fault lines, where the interests of men and women directly conflict, rape for example, women always lose.

      Women have not organised because they are part of families, whose interests take precedence, also as individuals they are more impacted by, say, tax rates than whether they will ever be appointed Chairman of the Bank of England. 

      As divorce increasingly stops women from being tied to particular men during their lives, it becomes more of a possibility, and also exposes more women to the reality of being politically invisible.   Women will get the short end of any budget and budget cut until they have political power. 

      The pressure groups of the US show you do not need a party to wield power, but female MPs are desperately needed. I think tbe current crop are doing a bloody good job, on both sides of the House, but the fact that there is so much cross-party co-operation shows the measure of the current assault on women in Parliament.  

      • vicki wharton says:

        I would also add that there is a fair amount of aggressive anti female bullying within families by men and women to ensure that women and girls tow the line at accepting second place. Certainly that was and is my experience and the lack of discussion and addressing of male cultural aggression within sons on places like Mumsnet is quite shocking. The silence is deafening. I am wondering whether the Green Party is a credible option for fairness and equality?

  21. The political classes in all countries are full of self serving people. What few there are who are correctly motivated have insuffienct power to break through what is set against them.

    I believe there is always room for an alternative party but, the system is the problem as it is not geared to provide for the type of alternative we would need to get the changes required. If we got change I suspect it would be more of same just less bad than some.

    All women have to see we share a common enemy – and I don’t mean men..I mean the exploitative system that normalises the oppression of many people, including women…but, you only have to look at such as Palin et al to know the enemy has infiltrated our ranks and is exploiting the self serving natures of such types.

    This is not easy…but, those who want to fight must be prepared to set aside their own needs for the good of all. That requires a proper strategy and common agreements on tactics….

    • vicki wharton says:

      Social systems are man made though, so how do we organise ourselves into a force strong enough to take on the existing structures … all powerful forces for change have routed themselves around a political party haven’t they? If all the women’s groups collected together enough money to field one parliamentary candidate, that would at least give us a person to promote that had a human rights agenda. It seems to me that women’s greatest strength (numbers) is completely undermined by their unwillingness to be seen to be supporting other women over men.

  22. The structure and function of social systems are determined by external forces created to benefit capitalism. That system now enevelops the whole planet..and perpetuates the divisions between all human beings because that is what generates profit for the few.

    If we are to defeat its parasitical impact we have to forge alliances with those who understand what is happening and recognise it is in all our interests to work together against the few who currently control it. This will require us to work with (certain) men.

    The English Parliamentary system is designed to work with groups not individuals. The political class here as elsewhere… is the public face of big business and members of the wealth class. If they felt we were sufficiently important to them…our lives would change immediately. At this point in history they profit from our losses.

    People require an incentive to maintain their focus so ….clear explanations and logical examples are required for encouragement.

    We need a greater understanding of equality and why it is of benefit to everyone that we pursue it….and we need to make it a simple message that is not too abstract or complex for the majority to comprehend.

    The way forward is to find those willing to listen and start with them…dialogue involving men who see us as the enemy is no more useful than dialogue with women who deny their own reality….seek out those who understand the meaning of enlightened self interest and ignore those determined to spend their own lives immersed in self pity.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Trade unions perhaps?

      • Jane Da Vall says:

        Trades unions still haven’t grasped equal pay, not as a good thing at least

        There are degrees of venality amongst politicians.  Everyone who wants public office should be ruled out on that basis but then what?  Megalomania doesn’t necessarily mean bad policy. 

        Sarah Palin is an extreme, the rest of the Republican Party are frightening enough, but what about Hilary Clinton? – women are at the top of her agenda, or would be if she had freedom to set her agenda. She doesn’t, so she is going to personally hand Afghan women back to the Taliban. I bet that hurts. Yet she was out in front supporting Bush in Iraq, and she is riding tbe  bankers’ gravy train with the rest of Congress.

        Realistically, you can’t write everyone off, unless you want a revolution. The British don’t do revolutions, it rains too much. No, it is because we are too rich, even now. Talk of capitalism exploiting the people may be true, but compared to what? What better alternative has ever actually existed in the world?

        There are better forms of capitalism, more equal forms, that would be a start.  Keynesian capitalism has won the argument; equality, or limits on inequality perhaps, is it’s purpose.  Capitalism is popular but handing over government to the bankers is not. Neither party is responding to the people. The tea party filled that hole in the US. I hope that Britain isn’t like that.

        As for how to get women elected, Emily’s List is an effective campaigning organisation in the US. They raise money, pick their seats carefully and go all guns blazing to get their candidates elected. That model should work even better in the UK, where fundraising isn’t so decisive.  A national women’s lobby group pushing the parties to nominate women in winnable seats, bombarding the national media and campaigning locally for the candidates. That could be effective.

        • I agree…we have few women in public spaces whose actions and attitudes are representative of the bulk of women or who do us justice in terms of how they appear or who represent our interests.

          Personally, I see any form of capitalism as exploitative and definately not in the interest of anyone….but, as you say..the time for revolution is definately not now …so we must work with what we have that is the least worst option and build from that.

          A model such as that you describe would seem a logical first step. Winning hearts and minds by providing an alternative explanation of reality to that currently being promoted is definately something to pursue.

          The Tea Party is weird..and very scary…as it represents only a very small minority of groups with extreme views…yet it has managed to achieve purchase within certain sections of the Republican party to quite a worrying extent. Whether this is going to be sustainable as the race for the White House picks up pace is unclear. Ultimately they are anti big business..and the Republicans are definately not going to alienate that group!

          But..and because the next phase of the banking crisis is about to burst on us so everything feels in flux again..I personally take the view..there is more bad news to emerge and would feel better if there was more visible challenge to governement policy generally.

  23. It’s an idea but, only about 25% of workers now belong to Trade Unions. As public sector workers are diminished this number will drop further as most members are employed there. This is part of the methodology for eradicating TU influence on the ability of big business to exploit is all without fear of interference from legislation etc.

    Anti TU legislation introduced under the Tories in the 80’s was not repealed when Labour gained power …their strategy was to cosy up further to big business…and the consequences of that are what we see happening now. More anti TU legislation is being implemented at this time..and there is more to come.

    If Labour continues to refuse to support the broader movement and spirals further into decline as its membership falls…that may provide a space for an alternative political party to develop..but, to be able to hit the ground running so we can exploit that to our advantage… work is required now to motivate more women to place our political demands in such a way as we are seen as essential allies.

    At this time..I see nothing significant happening at grass roots level to make me think there is a mood for battle in that arena..however there are other things going on that are more radical and contemporary in my view. Th anti Capitalist/anti Imperialist currents forming on the internet and in London and which challenges global..not just local manifestations of oppression with a focus on the symptoms for women, the black community, the environment et al. This is the future.

  24. Jane Da Vall says:

    I don’t think the government have a clue how to deal with the banking crisis and as a result they have handed absolute control to the banks. It’s shocking how little discussion there is about options or little challenge to the ‘throw more money at it’ policy I don’t think crises will be allowed to boil over, I think people will act in the same’ it’s not happening’ way that they did with the ash cloud. The airline industry was on its knees before that happened, it was a hiatus that none of them should have survived. Best to just ignore it then and everyone did. It’ll be the same here, I hope. Can Dave competently stick his head in the sand though? It’s not so easy when you’re thinking about it.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Is it worthwhile lobbying the BBC to interview more credible people on women’s issues en masse? I have just complained to them about the business woman they interviewed with regard to the University Challenge women suffer trolling on FaceBook saying she was not an authority on the challenges faced by women in today’s world and that her ‘just ignore discrimination’ doesn’t wash when faced with a rapist, DV or constructive dismissal whilst pregnant. I also cited Susannah Read’s complete ignoring of Lowri Turner’s comments about male responsibility in abortion control on Sunday’s Live Programme and asked whether they were running a pro sexism/pro female discrimination agenda. They have written back saying my comments have been logged but I think it might be less easy to dismiss if there were a few more coming in – or maybe there are …?

      • I belong to an organisation that regularly lobbies the BBC about their negative or inaccurate coverage of certain events we attend. Their response is always the same as you had.

        The people now running the BBC are financiers…they give priority to controversial topics and polarise the debates because it increases viewing figures…and sod the consequences. Much of what is aired is populist rubbish…but, it is also dangerous. They consider themselves superior to such as Jeremy reality it’s the same “bread and circuses” approach.

        The internet offers us better opportunities to set our own agenda…so maybe this is the alternative for those of us who despise the mainstream propaganda that reinforces oppressive views.

        If you have never seen it…try watching The Kaiser Report on Russian TV on Freeview..for an example of the alternative viewpoints to our own “news”…it is hilarious as well as very illuminating…you just have to ignore the fact it is a propaganda device itself 🙂

        This format (as well as some of the content) would be my preference for a media outlet for women.

    • Don’t get me started on the banks 🙂 Financial bubbles and the role of bankers in creating them is centuries old..and lessons are never learned because the people who cause the problems don’t suffer the consequences.

      I agree with you..they should have been allowed to go bust..or been nationalised (properly). There is a bank in the USA that is state operates exactly as ordinary depositors would wish it to. Same in other developed or developing economies where private (unaccountable) banks are not permitted to speculate with funds.

      Dave (the PR bloke who acts like CEO of UKPLC) exists to protect the wealth class from which he was spawned. He and they all go on accumulating wealth no matter what the economy is doing. We only have to see what the behaviour of their “fund managers” gambling in the “markets” is doing to world food prices etc to know..these people function like a pack of sociopaths. They contribute nothing of any value whatsoever.

      • With regards to the banks, why not use credit unions instead? This could also be an act of solidarity with women in developing countries, as there are many successful microfinance projects aimed at women in poor communities, aren’t there? Why not make them international? If someone is going to use a financial institution that speculates then why not speculate on lending to people who actually need it instead of buying shares in arms manufacturers? There are never going to be huge returns, of course, but then is that what we ever wanted from our banks? Although, now I think of it I am reminded of Zopa, who facilitate lending between people at different risk levels. Surely there is scope to have a new bank built on those lines?

        As time goes one I grow more sure in the belief that the only way to operate sanely in the modern world is to try not to engage with many of its power structures. That has its drawbacks too, of course. For example the debate that arises every time there is an election and a woman raises the possibility of withholding her vote as a protest – she will inevitably be reminded loudly about the woman’s suffrage movement and how women died so we could vote. And more practically it is easy to dismiss non-engagement because of course those who make policy don’t have access to the opinions they need to hear.

        • Jane Da Vall says:

          Actually microfinance gives very good returns, it’s why the Gates Foundation have backed it so heavily. Bill Gates made a lot of money, let’s not forget. THe trouble with it is its micro there is an awful lot of administration that goes along with it. You could package it up but if you do, you are back where you started with people speculating on it and exponentially increasing the risks to make 3 or 3 times the fees with no extra work. It is like a casino that runs books on the games being played, people betting on people betting. The original bet may have been entirely sensible but loses nonethelesss, and because of that one event a whole series of bigger and bigger bets are lost.

          The trouble is people are greedy and easy money is almost irresistible. The credit unions in the UK were deregulated and have encome almost indistinguishable from the banks.

          There are so-called ethical investment funds that have rules about what kinds of business can be invested in. Here is some info: It is wise to look carefully at the investment rules of a fund. There are a million green funds whose environmental bona fides is either non existent or offset by other egregious practices.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Just sent this further complaint to the BBC about lack of credible experts being interviewed on discrimination issues but am finding the above discussion fascinating … keep going, am learning lots!

        Sent to BBC:
        FAO: Nicola Macguire
        Discrimination on the basis of gender is against the law which is what the University Challenge female contestants are essentially undergoing – on line harrassment which male contestants are not being subject to. You cannot disarm discrimination by ignoring it anymore than you can disarm a bullet by ignoring it. The business woman the BBC chose to interview is a successful woman, but not an authority on discrimination which is what these contestants are suffering from. This is why I ask again why, when the BBC covers issues on discrimination on the basis of gender, such as this Breakfast Story was, why they do not get in an expert on the subject of discrimination around gender such as Object or the Fawcett Society. Likewise regarding legislation that has a gender basis, Suzannah Reid totally ignored Lowri Turner’s comments about men’s responsibilities in abortion on Sunday Live programme (4th September). The reason the laws were changed in this country 40 years ago is that discrimination on the basis of gender isn’t something that can be ignored and it will go away, and it’s not something that happens to girls on an individual basis, it’s a cultural phenomenon that requires constant monitoring and discussion. The BBC is required to give both sides of an argument and it is failing to give women who experience discrimination in the culture around us, a fair share of voice via experts who know what they are talking about and have studied discrimination as opposed to ‘Rent a Quote’. Both my parents were Fleet St journalists and this is lazy, biased journalism towing a populist agenda that was disproved 40 years ago. I would like a concrete reply as to when you are going to interview human rights experts on human rights issues, not a tough it out line that flies in the face of the law.

  25. You think that’s bad?? The other ones are: ‘You know she is playing hard to get when she resists the chloroform,’ ‘You know she’s playing hard to get when she breaks out of the rope’ and ‘You know she is playing hard to get when you have to give her a black eye.’ WTF????

  26. By the way guys, this isn’t about freedom of speech, it’s about contributing to a RAPE CULTURE that makes it acceptable/funny to abuse women. Seriously google it if you haven’t heard the term before. Sure, cracking a joke about rape on its own isn’t going to turn a perfectly nice normal man into a raging raist, but an entire scoeity that thinks it’s ok to do that, a society that victim blames and constantly gives men the benefit of the doubt, contributes to a social context in which rape is tolerated, and therefore tolerable. If I want to do something a little bit beyond the pale and I know that though technically my society doesn’t approve but it’ll still tolerate it…then of course I’m going to do it.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Yes, this last 20 years of lads mags have made rape like tax evasion, I know it’s against the law but I also know I can and will get away with it … I wonder if rape was only taken seriously when women were property and rape seriously affected a women’s value in terms of bartering or marrying off for power.

  27. Keep Trolling off WVON…this is the only reason the blokes above have intruded here.

    Make women aware..the vast increase in sexual images of women appearing everywhere is not a positive thing.

    Rape has never been taken seriously…it is an expression of power…while ever we operate within a system that promotes the whole idea of power as a good thing..this will not be taken seriously by the majority of people.

  28. I am really concerened about the amount of detail the blokes posting here are entering to achieve a reply of a certain type. It looks like a form of sexual voyeurism. It needs to stop… it’s clearly very dodgy…and nothing to do with the main topic under discussion. Stop feeding their fantasy.

    • Without going into any detail, the fact that they are reaching so far to imagine examples is telling, isn’t it? There are a handful of cases where men are brutalised compared to thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, where women are. The tone of the reporting on the former can be inappropriately jokey but that can be seen as a reflection of how those reporting don’t live in fear of a similar attack occurring to them, how it is not a widespread problem. Generally such attacks are put down to a woman being mad, whether she is or not, so it’s the fault of women again. As we’re *still* told about rape against women.

      I also don’t recall ever, but *ever* hearing of a case of a man being raped and then being blamed for his own assault because of where he was, how he acted or what he was wearing. Is this because men are not seen as objects in the same way as women or because of some other factor? Is it such a patchily reported crime (I don’t know how often is occurs, either) that no one has come up with ‘well-meaning’ advice on how to ‘stay safe’?

      • I agree but, so far as this line of contributions is concerned I personally would feel far safer if we all agreed not to contribute further to the fantasies of woman haters attempting to force their way into this space.

        The fact this person has been permitted to continue to post what is simply his “routine” is tantamount to giving permission to him to continue abusing. Anyone who has worked with sex offenders can see exactly what’s going on.

        This is not a tolerable situation and should cease.

      • My main concern is the persistent nature of the contribution and the responses it is eliciting. This person is determined not to take no for an answer. The question to be asked is “WHY”..and there you have the explanation for why he is here in this space behaving in an offensive and provocative manner.

        This looks very much like the grooming behaviour of sex offenders. The responses are merely feeding the fantasy which is now developing down a certain route very rapidly.

        I personally would feel much safer if this were to be stopped going any further. It is very obvious to anyone who has worked with people who are sexual predators what is going on here.

  29. Jane Osmond says:

    Hi Jane and Halla – you will see it has been some time since the type of comments you are talking about have been posted. We do keep an eye on the comments at WVoN, and although we encourage differing views, we do also constantly make moderation decisions where necessary in order to keep the discussion constructive.

    • Many thanks for clarifying this. I had been updated by email in the past couple of days about these posts and hadn’t checked the actual date they appeared. I will check more closely in future. 🙂

  30. Jane Osmond says:

    Hi Jane, no worries – sometimes posts appear out of turn depending on which particular comment is responded to, so it happens a lot to me. 🙂

  31. I am an acquaintance of one of your American contributors,which is how followed up on her link and found this “discussion”.I care to hear women’s views,have no intention on trying to change them or dominate them,nor do I give a “flying fig” about football.
    I engage my friend ,who is a member of NOW,in any conversation as an equal and would in this forum as well.I believe a troll self- identifies rather quickly and agree some of the “debaters” were bordering on such and became unconscious wreckers in their zeal to defend themselves.
    Men do form up in defensive posture,and when they do it on pages such as this,they end up looking,hopefully feeling sheepish.
    I’m mostly trying to say I hope there is still some room for dialogue here and BRAVO to you all if you shout down a wrecker,obviously that reaction would mean he/she was not trying to contribute.
    The FB page in question is awful and with that large audience deserves to be challenged,one at a time,go get them sisters.

    • vicki wharton says:

      I’m glad of your support Bruce but like Jane below, don’t think what these guys do is unconscious, more a product of being completely unwilling to hear from the group of people they decry. Every time you give them a study or report that doesn’t agree with their bigotry, they dismiss it as feminist propoganda and carry on with their party line that its men that are the victims of feminist hatred. They cannot seem to bare to hear that not all men are perfect … which none of us are after all … but you cannot cure cancer or any other disease which I think bigotry is … without discussing the cancer or its symptoms. And in naming some of the behaviour and attitudes towards women that we are concerned about, they instantly counter with ‘not all men are like that’, which effectively turns the discussion from discussing the behaviour in question into an all out attack on every man, which then completely derails the discussion and stops any effective counter measures or greater understanding being debated. In short, wrecks the debate and takes us further away from any effective solutions. It would be good if a majority of men actually supported women in saying that anti equality statements harm us all, black, white, disabled, able bodied, men and women alike.

    • Jane Osmond says:

      Welcome Bruce – yes you are right about defensive postures: however we want constructive dialogue – like your contribution – rather than a ‘you feminists’ rant. It would be great to have men contributing to the discussions in a constructive manner, because the oppression that women suffer is also felt by many men who don’t fit into certain stereotypes: both genders need to be addressing this. Anyway, thank you for your contribution.

  32. Jane Da Vall says:

    That’s good to hear, Bruce. I don’t buy your ‘unconscious zeal’ idea though. These guys came to a discussion about apples to talk about oranges, which they then did until handed their coats. They could have talked about oranges on 1000 other sites, including almost all the places intended for apple-related discussion (victims of similar and sustained zeal) but instead they came to the apple store. I wonder how much of the Apple copyright lawyers’ day is spent on unauthorised use in analogies.

    • ” I wonder how much of the Apple copyright lawyers’ day is spent on unauthorised use in analogies.”

      That made me chuckle. 🙂

      • Agree with above posts in response to the hate talk. However, I remain of the view this is not a place for men to intervene ….importing a subjective view on how someone is able to rationalise their hatred of women is unhelpful as it simply reinforces the view their is a logical explanatio for it…plus I consider it intensely patronising.

        No matter how well intentioned the post I am sure if it were his wife, daughter,partner, mother,sister or close female friend being raped, threatend with rape or verbally sexually harrassed and abused as all women here were being subjected to…by people..who basically think we deserve it…then this type of contribution to explain how the incident may have arisen would disappear in an instant.

        On a topic not entirely unrelated to the purpose of the original post… this week…I saw a TV report regarding the complaints of a women who experienced a still birth 7 weeks ago. She had sought solace in the form of internet support groups and discovered a FB page promoting “DEAD BABY JOKES”. Her response was to write to her MP et al..and FB complaining this was hardly a suitable topic for amusement…and asking that the page be taken down.

        FB responded (in summary and from memory) “In the same way as a landlord would not eject someone from a pub for telling jokes of this type..we at FB adopt the same view as it’s all a matter of taste…”


        The reporter said..”you could chose not to read the page”..I wanted to punch him…

        I was struck by how much media time was given to this lazy the reporting was and how insensitively these parents were dealt with during what must be a horrendous period in their lives…and how little has been given to the one we are challenging here…

        I suppose that’s because they had tried and failed to find evidence of “contributory negligence” on the part of the parents…..and had therefore been forced to adopt a semblence of sympathy…call me cyncial if you like…

        The MP was unavailable for comment. Wonder why?

        • vicki wharton says:

          You can’t choose not to read something … until you’ve read it and it has hurt you. This defence is like saying to a stabbing victim – you could choose not to walk down a street with a knife assailant in it if you don’t want to be stabbed – it’s utterly illogical and handing the streets and our country over to people who bully and upset people out of a spiteful and vicious hatred of other people who are not in a position to fight back. Why would we want these people taking over the country? What kind of place are they making the UK? And the MPs and directors of FB are part of the problem since they seem to think this is all ok…

  33. The fact that men are contributing justifies this sites existence… err sorry about that what was i saying ..

    Fb and others can claim censorship and be justified by current legilation or lack of.
    Dan/wesley have trotted out the arguements against
    and have been countered.
    this arguement isn’t about fascists trying to censor it’s about 53% of population, if they had all seen seen the offensive pages,being disgusted and radicalised.It’s about companies profiting on crime inducment, considering the recent terms handed down to riot promoters where is FB arguement about what these pages constitutes in there message?Fb and others can claim censorship and be justified by current legilation or lack of, but what does this say say about the values of their company…tripe.
    despite my despair at my brothers contributions,which has made me reticent, i will say this to my sisters organise , plan ,attack and good luck to you.
    if i can help i will .

    • Thank you Terence. The freedom of speech (to hurt) argument gets tired quickly when you are faced with hate jokes.

      • Yeah. They’ve had their freedom to chuckle over bad jokes, now we have our freedom to be offended by it and to say so, and why. The freedom of speech argument is pointless and circular.

    • Agree, agree, agree…

      If you want to help..then challenge every incidence of hate speak when you witness it..and if it is safe to do so. No one can expect more of another person.

      FB is just a good example scum business practice…let us hope it’s “population” continues to reduce as it has been for the past 18 months…we need better and should demand better.

  34. Also the right to freedom of speech comes with special duties and responsibilities, one of which is to ‘respect of the rights or reputation of others’.

    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Article 19 of the ICCPR states that

    “[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice”.

    Article 19 goes on to say that the exercise of these rights carries “special duties and responsibilities” and may “therefore be subject to certain restrictions” when necessary “[f]or respect of the rights or reputation of others” or “[f]or the protection of national security or of public order (order public), or of public health or morals”.[1][2]

    • Which also nicely illustrates that there is no enturely free speech, so those who like to shout that as an argument are on shaky ground.

      • Yes exactly – the responsibilities bit of the act is conveniently dismissed by those who also dismiss rape as being a serious subject. However it is good to see the Coronation St storyline is encouraging contact from women – to date the storyline is satisfyingly ambiguous I think.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Also, there is nothing in the Article on the fact that the right to hold opinions also gives a person the right to shove that opinion down someone else’s throat with the maximum vitriol and abusive language … you’re a ***ing feminist bitch is hardly information or an idea, it’s an opinion which can be held but does not carry with it a right to express it abusively.

  35. terence says:

    Jane swain you sound like a dear friend of mine, thank you for instincts on challenging men and the caveat of personal safety,i wonder where this comes from? Of course ,for me when crossing the line into men’s expressed attitudes towards women ,it is so easy because they(we) don’t expect it. we expect collusion ,at least, and often reinforcement sometimes escalation of the hate/loathing.I am not a man hater ,i am one and i have a son ,but where can we begin to move forward ,when even men on men scratch the surface and find fear/hatred and deplorable values.The fb page is indicative of the males and as such leads to arguement for better education and politics that reflect our societal make up.
    I am also not burdened with the fear of violence when expressing my views because if someone tried to hurt me , it would only sustain my position . the psychology of fear is complex but the dominent perspective of white male types is only ever as the victor or valiantly fallen ,never the victim .So ,when a men looks in my eyes and says something positive about women i end up being confused,envious or delighted,because its a rare occurance,how bleak is that. Perhaps the rape page is not so distant from the men we all know and thats not a nice thought ,however fb profiting from it is on par with organised crime . A legitament front for perpetuating crime ,against women.
    to get some positive out of this i will ask everyone i know to not play the fb game.
    and i’ll reaffirm my stand on finding out if men i come across can be trusted.

  36. The comments beneath Cath Elliot’s piece today in the Guardian ( are the usual rape apologist crap. Sigh.

    • How depressing – the men get all up in arms about how someone could point out that most rapists are men too, instead of wondering why that point of view has been presented. Then they make the leap that the author is calling all men potential rapists. I wish they would get over themselves, stop, and think for a moment or two why people would say such a thing.

      • vicki wharton says:

        It’s just more of the same spin the argument around to make it all about us men … defensive and laager like and cherry picking what they want to take out of it which is all feminists hate men, rather than feminists are the only ones questioning and challenging rapists and the culture that spawns them. I think there is a definite psychological need for a good number of men to kneejerk react to this subject which is somehow bound up with their chauvinistic need to belong to a social group that they perceive as being above and more perfected than ‘others’. Rape, by its largely gendered nature, disproves their perception of moral superiority which I think is why they derail the arguments about rape or belittle and insult the whistleblowers.

  37. I just heard Jane Osmond on NPR. I would argue on her behalf that people who make offensive jokes, and those who find them funny, are consciously or unconsciously releasing hostility towards the target of the joke. And such hostile behavior shouldn’t be tolerated by a corporation as powerful and influential as Facebook in a civil society. A corporate entity as large as Facebook has the technological ability to set a civilized tone within its domain. The only explanation for not doing so is its desire for more revenue.

    • Hi Brian, thank you for listening and taking the time to post here. And yes it is revenue I think coupled with a dismissal of rape as being serious. I very much like your link between the offensive joke and hostility towards the target: spot on.

  38. Jane Da Vall says:

    It isn’t just that corporations like Facebook have the ability to set the tone, it is that they have the responsibility also. If the social network giants don’t require civilization within their domains, there will be none on the net and that is how people will communicate into the future. Facebook feels no sense of public duty, just like the banks. They care about revenue and cost. Not having standards is cheaper.

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