Sexism in Courts and Media
As I have said before, the frequency with which we see anti-male sexism means there are almost always good current examples handy. Take the following stories that have appeared in the news over the last week or so:
The first story was raised on MENZ by Wayne (21/01/11). It deserves fuller analysis and to be compared with similar cases involving male offenders. It was about a 17yo woman who had sexual intercourse with a 12yo boy after plying him with alcohol. Features of the case and the news article included:
– The female offender was consistently referred to as a ‘girl’. (Of course, if any of us did that we would be labelled misogynists seeking to ‘juvenilize’ women. Also, the fact that girls mature faster than boys is never mentioned when it might increase any responsibility placed on females regarding their behaviour, yet keenly highlighted when it suits the interests of females. In fact, the difference in gender maturation rates would serve to increase the relative mental/emotional age and power difference between this offender and victim compared with situations in which the genders were reversed.)
– Emphasis was placed on blaming the victim by a detailed claim that he went into her bedroom and asked for sex. (No mention here of the responsibility of the older person to protect children from experiences they are legally recognized as being not ready to handle safely, or for protecting children from alcohol. No mention either that the alcohol supplied to the boy probably influenced his behaviour, or of the likelihood that the offender probably engaged in sexual suggestion or invitation (i.e. grooming) earlier while letting the boy drink alcohol.)
– The article carefully avoided mentioning the gender of the ’23-year-old temporary caregiver’ who provided the alcohol that the two adults then allowed the 12yo boy to drink with them. Any guesses? (Clue: if a 23yo male had provided a 17yo ‘girl’ with alcohol, his gender would probably have been emphasized, his intentions impugned, and he would have been conveniently blamed for the ‘girl’s’ offending.)
– The judge indulged in further victim blaming by suggesting that the boy did not fit the law’s ‘assumption’ that ‘he doesn’t know about these things’.
– The judge bent over backward to excuse the offender from responsibility by, for example, suggesting that this offender did not fit the law’s assumption that an adult female was ‘supposed to know’ (about these things). So, because the offender is female, he suggests she didn’t know the age of consent or that it was illegal to have sex with 12 year olds. Yeah right. And anyway, isn’t ignorance of the law no defence? I guess such legal principles only apply to male offenders and can be conveniently pushed aside for females.
– The word ‘victim’ was not used at all (even though the offence against the child had already been proven beyond reasonable doubt; contrast that with complainants against male offenders who are referred to as ‘victims’ before it has even been established that any offence occurred at all”¦)
– The judge contrasted the case with those of male offenders against under-age ‘complainants’. According to the judge, those cases were different because they were ‘really very little short of rape’, involved grooming and were ‘more likely’ to involve older offenders. (Well, under the law because the boy was not legally able to give consent, this female offender’s behaviour is defined as rape. It’s simply beyond belief that a judge would imply that her offence was not rape.)
– Incredibly, the judge admitted that he had sentenced a male offender who had committed a similar offence that was ‘really very little short of rape’ (i.e. involved a willing younger participant without force) to 7 years in prison. I guess the judge saw it as something that could earn him extra brownie points from feminists who would already be applauding his efforts to excuse a woman’s criminal behaviour.
– The judge stated that ‘assistance rather than punishment’ was required for the offender in this case and sentenced her to 9 months supervision for unlawful sexual connection (that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years and that any male first offender could expect at least a couple of years prison or home detention for). The 9 months supervision, which means popping in to see the probation officer every couple of weeks, also included punishment for two unrelated thefts committed by the offender whilst on bail. Um, what?
– The judge described the case as ‘one of the more extraordinary cases’ he had come across. Well, really; perhaps it is unusual for a sexual complaint against a female to be taken seriously enough by families to report to police, and for police to take seriously enough to put before a judge, but the dynamics and details in this case were little different from the majority of sexual offending cases against young adolescents.
– The judge was ‘troubled’ by other delinquent behaviour from this female offender, particularly crimes she committed ‘since being charged’ for the sexual offence, i.e. whilst on bail. But, simply and only because this offender was female, the judge was clearly not troubled enough to see her accurately as a young, self-entitled criminal whose behaviour showed her to be unremorseful and an ongoing threat to society.
Can we find examples of Courts dealing more harshly with a male sexual offender? Oh look, surprise, surprise, here’s one in the paper just two days later. Who would have thought?
The case involved a 21-year-old male offender who ‘hooked up’ with an ‘under-age victim’ and had sex with her, after corresponding with her over Facebook and text messaging. Let’s look at how differently this case was dealt with.
– The complainant is referred to as a victim.
– The victim’s age is not given, suggesting she was probably a sexually developed young woman close to the age of consent. The age difference between him and the victim may have been only a year or two more than that between the female offender and her 12yo victim (actually lover who, because he was male, wasn’t seen as a victim).
– Although ‘there was no suggestion of coercion in the offending’ no specific mention is made that the girl was actually a willing participant, yet that is what ‘no suggestion of coercion’ means. Despite her willing participation, there is no effort by anyone to blame the victim (and I’m not suggesting there should be) or to hold the victim in any way responsible for her participation.
– There was no indication that the offender had allowed the victim to drink alcohol with him or that he even knew she was under-age, yet he was convicted of ‘grooming’ her for illegal sex simply by being friendly and suggesting they get together.
– There was good evidence the offender was remorseful and there is no indication that he engaged in other criminal offending whilst on bail. Yet the judge ordered an assessment for home detention, i.e. a prison sentence to be served at home, and he made it clear that imprisonment in prison was still a possible outcome.
– The article emphasized that the offender was given his first ‘3-strikes warning’ when that wasn’t mentioned for the female offender. If this young man makes the mistake of communicating with (i.e. ‘grooming’, because he is male) any young female who presents herself as older than she is, he will be sentenced more harshly than would be a thug or gang member who viciously beat and robbed someone.
We shall see what sentence this young man gets. I am happy to take bets that his sentence will be much, much more severe than that for the woman who f***ed a 12-year-old boy after allowing him to drink alcohol. Any takers for my bet? (“¦except the sentencing judge and anyone associated with him, for obvious reasons!)
While we’re here, let’s consider a couple of other interesting news articles from the perspective of aware men. Here’s one about female police officer Claire Stewart; she is in fact the Gisborne police prosecutor. She emailed well-known columnist Steve Braunias as follows: ‘You’re not the most handsome of men, but what a beautiful mind and heart you have.’ The news article focuses mainly on the subsequent, increasingly abusive email interchanges between the two including Claire Stewart calling Steve ‘an ugly f***er’. She then self-righteously complained to Steve’s newspaper about his language and he was sacked! What the article totally failed to recognize was that Ms Stewart’s original comment, if similarly made by a male against a woman, would be considered sexual harassment. Any woman sexually harassed in that way would be immediately excused for her unconstrained verbal response to the harasser. Given Ms Stewart’s demonstrated propensity to complain, if a fellow male cop or man from any other agency she interacted with had made such patronizing and insulting comments about her unattractive appearance you can bet this would have resulted in an immediate complaint of harassment. It’s exactly that kind of thing that, when male cops did it to female colleagues or members of the public, led to demands that our police force ‘change its culture’. But when a female police officer does it, nobody recognizes it as harassment, the police simply investigate her for unauthorized use of their email system, and the victim of her harassment is sacked for responding in anger. (Incidently, isn’t it ironic that our male police officers are being back-stabbed by feminists, after those police so stridently devoted themselves to the role of knights in shining armour rescuing damsels, arresting the man or ordering him to leave his home even when the woman is the violent offender, excusing women for most offending and where this seems impossible laying the most lenient charges available. They will probably still miss the lesson to be learned from this.)
Paula Bennett, Minister of Social Development, announced an enquiry into why numerous government agencies failed to protect a 9yo girl from horrific physical abuse even though they were involved with the family. We can already predict some of the reasons, and we can further predict that those reasons will be mostly covered up in any enquiry. They include: over confidence in the mother’s safety because she was female, unscientific risk assessments, excessive focus on investigating and harassing fathers, e.g. for trivial, non-violent breaches of protection orders placed on them even though they were never violent, and the degree to which those agencies now focus on investigations into mild, non-abusive physical punishment because it is now illegal.
And here’s a female who fraudulently obtained $33,445 worth of DPB payments. She was hammered in Court with 4 months community detention (i.e. having to keep to curfews for a maximum of 84 hours per week) and 150 hours of community work. That’s a pretty good hourly rate mostly for sleeping and watching tv at home; for women, crime does seem to pay quite well.
Here’s a news article about firefighters who risked their lives going into a burning house that was in the process of collapsing, because they thought a woman and her children were still inside. The gender of the brave firefighters was not considered worth mentioning (because they were males).
Similarly, this article expressing concern about the high number of farm deaths totally failed to mention the gender composition of those deaths, or that the vast majority (some years all) of those deaths are suffered by men in the process of their work roles.