Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Feminist 73


The Guardian has released yet another vicious man-hater on the world to pontificate on the DSK case. This one is called Zoe Williams.

Ms Williams actually thinks that it is a bad thing that:

“when a charge of sexual assault is made, everything the accuser says is picked over for inconsistency and improbability”

You do seriously have to question whether Ms Williams world view is not lacking in sane objectivity, if she can write that without self-reflection. No, of course Ms Williams, we should just immediately put the accused in a hell-hole for seven years without questioning the evidence of the accuser. Who could possibly have the temerity to examine the evidence?

Ms Williams brings in another red herring – the accuser’s immigration status. She quotes a Ms Dustin as saying “rape victims can have insecure immigration status … and they can still be raped”.

Of course that is true. It is also irrelevant. It is not Ms Diallo’s immigration status which is relevant. It is the fact that she admits that she lied on her application – and lied about being raped. Of course that calls her credibility into question. It damn well should.

Listen, Ms Williams. I expect I have done a great deal more, in the real world, to help asylum seekers than you have. I have given evidence for asylum seekers in dozens of cases. I have appeared at their tribunals. I am working on three cases right now. I have never lost a case at appeal. I have organised campaigns which have prevented two last minute deportations – one stopped literally on the way to the airport.

If there is one thing hated by those of us who genuinely have put in the hard graft to help real asylum seekers, it is false, lying asylum applicants who poison the minds of the public and administrators of the system against those in real need. Butt out, Williams. You have no idea what you are talking about.

There are other lies. Ms Diallo lied about her number of children to claim social security benefit, lied about her income to get state housing, lied about very large sums paid into her bank accounts. The same applies – defending welfare provision is not helped by benefit cheats. Yet we should not question her credibility?

There is other nonsense in Williams’ article. She claims that the discrepancy in Diallo’s account is only about whether she went to the next room to collect her things, but actually it is about a full missing hour in which she lied about where she was – lied repeatedly and for no obvious reason, not just in the immediate aftermath when, had she been attacked, she would have been in shock.

I could go on, but I won’t. The final thing worth noting is the quite amazing claim that:

Diallo’s credibility – which is undermined here by hints about her trustworthiness in a range of situations rather than any evidence about her sexual behaviour – comes under so much more scrutiny than Strauss-Kahn’s.

What absolute nonsense! We have been treated to mound upon mound of stuff about DSK’s past sexual encounters, his sexual harassment of women who have worked for him (of which I strongly disapprove), a previous allegation of assault, his use of prostitutes. Not least by the Guardian. To pretend that Diallo has had her past unpicked more than Strauss Kahn is another example of the distorted world view of those who see women as nothing but victims.

The Sheridan case, the DSK case and the Assange case have all brought to the fore the true ugliness of sex negative feminism and man hatred, and the extent to which they made inroads into our culture and society just as insidious as the right wing propaganda of the Murdochs. They have also shown how those right wing forces can so easily hijack stupid blinkered man haters to the right wing agenda.


73 thoughts on “Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Feminist

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  • mary

    Read Racist for Feminist if you happen to catch this character on the radio. I heard him talking about sharia law this morning and saying that if we did not stand up to the propaganda to introduce it here more generally, we would end up with another Breivik.
    .
    http://www.lbc.co.uk/james-obrien-3537

  • anon

    “right wing agenda”
    .
    That would be where fact becomes fiction, truth becomes the lie. Ask Murdoch, he is a master craftsman in this sinister art.

  • Martin

    The Guardian has released yet another vicious man-hater on the world

    A small shame Craig that you chose to use the words “has released” as the text anchor link to Ms Williams – when you could so easily have used “man-hater” as the link text, instead.

    Ah well.

  • technicolour

    Allegations…allegations… a headline like ‘Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Feminist’ is plainly suffering from an extreme case of the allegations. It is alleged that Strauss Kahn did this; it is alleged that his accuser did something else. It is alleged that Zoe Williams is ‘vicious and ugly-souled’ and hates men; the headline implies, triumphantly, that yet another ‘feminist’ has been unmasked.

    The Williams piece was bad; it clearly assumes that Strauss-Kahn was guilty, and twists itself to try and reinforce that assumption. What this says about Williams’ soul, or agenda, I don’t know. But since this piece pulls out every allegation against the accuser in return, I fail to see much clear water between them. You don’t demonstrate ‘innocent until proven guilty’ by these tactics, do you?

    And to smear the word ‘feminist’ with this kind of language is wrong on another level; feeding into right wing reactionary viciousness as surely as if you’d ordered Williams back into the kitchen. Why not say ‘Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Person’? It wouldn’t sound as vicious itself, of course. And it doesn’t play into the ‘men are victims’ sketch quite as powerfully. But I’m surprised you’d need to do either.

    Before I get accused of being blinded by hate-filled propagandists, again, I’d point out that a) I am an equalitist b) some of my best friends are men and women c) I am entirely against trial by media, including this one d) I am aware, and condemn the fact, that some men have been successfully smeared by false accusations of rape and of course agree any investigation should be rigorous e) I have no idea, as there has been no trial, and I have no primary sourced evidence, who did what to whom where and f) I find the personal backgrounds of both parties irrelevant, since I uphold the cause of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.

    Finally: ‘sex negative feminism’ (thanks for the eventual qualification), which could better be described as ‘sex negativity’, and ‘man hatred’, which could better be described as ‘hatred’, are features of the Murdoch press, and of the Mail and Metro and their ilk. Dividing and ruling are what these people are good at.

  • judith weingarten

    That headline, Craig, was worthy of NOTW: not just one, but yet ANOTHER ‘vicious, ugly-souled feminist’; is there really any other kind? Unworthy of you, Craig. By the way, and with all respect to the good work you do, I can’t really condemn some kinds of exaggerations on an asylum request if that’s what it takes to get out of a hell-hole. Like Hirsi Ali, I would do it too.

  • voila

    just out of context, has anybody realised that there is unnoticed war is going on between Iran and kurds of Irak these days. For the last two-three days Iran has moved significant number of military forces into Irak’s kurdish population areas and started bombing them.

  • JimmyGiro

    *Oh, let’s not be beastly to the Germans*
    .
    @ Technicolour
    .
    Allegations…allegations… a headline like ‘Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Nazi’ is plainly suffering from an extreme case of the allegations. It is alleged that ‘a Jew’ did this; it is alleged that his accuser did something else. It is alleged that Adolf Hitler is ‘vicious and ugly-souled’ and hates Jews; the headline implies, triumphantly, that yet another ‘Nazi’ has been unmasked.

    The Hitler piece was bad; it clearly assumes that the Jew was guilty, and twists itself to try and reinforce that assumption. What this says about Hitlers’ soul, or agenda, I don’t know. But since this piece pulls out every allegation against the accuser in return, I fail to see much clear water between them. You don’t demonstrate ‘innocent until proven guilty’ by these tactics, do you?

    And to smear the word ‘Nazi’ with this kind of language is wrong on another level; feeding into left wing reactionary viciousness as surely as if you’d ordered Hitler back into arts class. Why not say ‘Another Vicious Ugly-Souled Person’? It wouldn’t sound as vicious itself, of course. And it doesn’t play into the ‘Germans are victims’ sketch quite as powerfully. But I’m surprised you’d need to do either.

    Before I get accused of being blinded by hate-filled propagandists, again, I’d point out that a) I am Neville Chamberlain b) some of my best friends are Jews and Nazis c) I am entirely against trial by media, including this one d) I am aware, and condemn the fact, that some Jews have been successfully smeared by false accusations of subversion and of course agree any investigation should be rigorous e) I have no idea, as there has been no trial, and I have no primary sourced evidence, who did what to whom where and f) I find the personal backgrounds of both parties irrelevant, since I uphold the cause of ‘peace in our time!’.

    Finally: ‘patriot negative Nazism’ (thanks for the eventual qualification), which could better be described as ‘patriot negativity’, and ‘Jew hatred’, which could better be described as ‘hatred’, are features of the Goebbels’ press, and of the Völkischer Beobachter and Metro and their ilk. Dividing and ruling are what these people are good at.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    Credibility is extremely important particularly is cases like this one. But on the other hand DSK has few powerful friends and the ‘victim’ hardly knows anyone who is not involved in drug dealings. So, if it comes to sleaze against sleaze my bid is on DSK.

  • Jon

    @Technicolour, good response all round. I’d not spotted that ‘feminist’ was unfairly debased in the title, but I think you’re quite right. I normally quite like Williams pieces but yes, it does rather sound like she’s bending the case to fit a particular world-view.
    .
    I don’t know how helpful it is to regard Williams as vicious, though – perhaps misguided would be a better term. The problem with going off the deep end is that it stops the other person (and their supporters) hearing you even more abruptly. Which does no-one any good, especially when the criticism is otherwise valid.
    .
    And no, Jimmy, Zoe Williams isn’t remotely comparable to Hitler, nor misandry with Nazism. Such a suggestion, if made in all seriousness, would just be nuts.

  • Herbie

    Wow! Misguided feminists. Now there’s a thing and a half.
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    Will the not misguided feminists please stand up. Otherwise how can we distinguish one from the other.
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    The main problem with these identity politics is that they’re not identical. In public life and the political and business realm there are neither men nor women. There are merely social actors. Their men and womeness is an attendant factor but it is not the essence of what’s going on. That ought to be obvious now to even the most casual observer.
    .
    That’s why any politics based on such dubious distinctions will rapidly lose touch with enlightenment rationalism and descend rapidly into fascism.
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    Zoe ought to have observed by now that women who achieve power in public life never become women in the sense she wishes them to be. She rabbits on enough about it.
    .
    If your theory is shown so often to be wrong, best practice is generally to find a better one.

  • technicolour

    Jon, thanks; Judith, succinctly put; JimmyGiro, alas; Herbie, feminists who include Helena Kennedy, Naomi Wolf, Gloria Steinem and Natasha Walters have and do stand up. Anyone: ‘feminist’ does not mean ‘misandrist’: get your terms right. Personally, I aim for equality of choice, opportunity, education and pay and concentrate my efforts on achieving this for both genders: in most of these areas this includes a healthy dose of fighting for the equal rights of women before equality can be anywhere near achieved. As the exhaustive thread from which poor Jimmy learnt nothing some months ago pointed out with exhaustive research: women are paid less for the same jobs in this country; made to do more part-time or short term jobs with concomitant loss of security, holiday pay and pensions; have less access to higher paid jobs; are more likely to be put on addictive and dangerous anti-depressants, and so on. On the other hand men are more likely to be trapped into being child soldiers, boys are more likely to be given Ritalin, men are more likely to be driven into soul-destroying banking jobs and so on.

    The genders need to realise that everyone is being exploited by the capitalist system (just as they were under feudalism and communism and are under corporate communism). To try and continue to find a way towards a more egalitarian world is hardly easy, but the lack of common humanity in these misogynist posts is hardly going to help. I think.

  • Madam Miaow

    “Vicious”? “Ugly-souled”? “Feminist”? Not just one, but “another” one. Because the world is teeming with them. Us.

    This is disturbing stuff coming from you, Craig. I’m an admirer of yours and I’m hoping this is an aberration.

    What I drew from the piece was that there is a skewed treatment of the accuser. Yes, they have to be treated equally before the law. However, Strauss-Khan’s resorting to his lawyers and the PR campaign destroying the woman’s reputation before she has had a chance to put her case means that the playing-field is no longer level. She’s been forced into the public arena to re-humanise herself.

    DSK may be innocent — I want to see him given the chance to prove this in court if that is the case. If it’s not the case, then what I’ve learnt is that, as long as privileged, rich and powerful men target poor uneducated women who may have gone through desperate troubled times, they may get away with rape.

    A couple of examples of incidents where a jury would need clarification: the missing hour. In shock, you do sometimes go into automatic mode as the horror sinks in — especially if she is conditioned by her background to fear power to a paralysing degree. The overheard phone conversation hasn’t been properly translated (did the story come from Diallo’s or DSK’s side?).

    I just don’t know. It needs to be proved in a court of law. But the public monstering of Diallo is horrible. Poverty breeds all sorts of ugly circumstances where people are forced to survive. Perhaps we should be debating the class dimension rather than solely gender and race.

  • Jon

    Herbie, well I’ve had this particular ding-dong with Jimmy (though I think we had to abandon that discussion, and the reasons why will I dare say sharply differ between us!).
    .
    For the record, I regard myself as a feminist, and take the view that there is still plenty of positive meaning for the term. I am of the opinion that the inertia of past male dominance hasn’t yet given way to full gender equality, and so – as we observe – men dominate in politics as they do in business. Part of this is an ‘old boys club’, which feminists might call the ‘patriarchy’, and it is perfectly legitimate as a political grievance.
    .
    However of course mixed into the debate is the question of whether gender balance in any particular area is derived also from learnt roles/behaviours during childhood, and if so whether gender opportunity cannot be determined simply by looking at raw ratios. In this context, sex discrimination is therefore thornier to deal with than, say, race discrimination.
    .
    My rule of thumb for differentiating the misguided feminists is to see whether their views have given way to misandry. I should think there are plenty of feminists who don’t hate men – maybe they don’t get such a good media billing?!

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “And no, Jimmy, Zoe Williams isn’t remotely comparable to Hitler, nor misandry with Nazism. Such a suggestion, if made in all seriousness, would just be nuts.” Jon.
    .
    Yep.

  • Finisterre

    Kerrist! Who are you and what have you done with the normal, decent guy I knew of as Craig Murray?

    Whoever you are, you’ve illustrated yet again the fact that it’s not feminists who hate men nearly so much as men who hate feminists. What a ludicrous tar-brushing title, what immoderate language, what an incredible lack of self-awareness to launch such an attack while repeating words like ‘vicious’ and ‘poison’ ad infinitum!

    You may not agree with the content of Williams’ article, but to describe this:

    “Still, it’s understandable that with a crime in which it’s one person’s word against another, the credibility of the accuser takes on greater importance than it would otherwise. What is not understandable is the fact that Diallo’s credibility – which is undermined here by hints about her trustworthiness in a range of situations rather than any evidence about her sexual behaviour – comes under so much more scrutiny than Strauss-Kahn’s.”

    as evidence of poison and man-hating is just, well, hysterical. You yourself spend most of your post going through Diallo’s alleged lies – fair enough, but where’s the evidence for the man-hatred you were frothing about? What prompted this bizarre spasm?

    “No, of course Ms Williams, we should just immediately put the accused in a hell-hole for seven years without questioning the evidence of the accuser. Who could possibly have the temerity to examine the evidence?”

    I think you really need to ask yourself what you’re so angry about here. Is it because the media have picked apart your own sex life in the past? I agree that that is despicable, especially since it was clearly politically motivated and intended to smear, but why take it out on feminism?

  • technicolour

    Jon: agree that Williams is hardly coming across as ‘vicious’ either; unlike, say, Richard Littlejohn, or Melanie Phillips. Or, sad to say, this attack on her and an honourable movement which was engendered (no pun intended) by empirical inequality and exploitation which persists in various forms to this day; including among our allies abroad – Karzai ‘rape is legal in marriage’ of USUKAfghanistan, for example.

  • alan campbell

    Craig Murray channels his inner Jeremy Clarkson. There’s already an incredibly low conviction rate for rape charges – less than 10%?. Is it any wonder when so many men – especially famous and rich men – are convinced that they are above accusation?

  • technicolour

    Alan Campbell: what’s the correlation between Craig Murray, rape conviction rates and ‘rich and famous men’? Are ‘rich and famous men’, in your view, more likely to commit rape? Is Craig more likely to support ‘rich and famous men’ per se (evidence from Uzbekistan and since suggests not). Do you know that the overall rape conviction rate is too low because of ‘rich and famous men’ or do you just suspect that it is ‘too low’ and suggest it?

  • technicolour

    This is just non-sense: “Rape convictions are ‘too low’ relative to false rape allegations, which are too high.”

    This is simply untrue: “Women are being taught by Marxist-Feminists to regard men as untermensch, and disregard culture and justice”

    And here I leave this post, until someone has something of sense to say.

  • Jon

    Alan: rape is a unique crime, since it rests entirely on the word of one person or the other, and (I guess) it is much more difficult to prove. So if the ratio of accusations to convictions is much lower than for other crimes, I’d reckon it is hard to determine what component of that is down to “being hard to prove”, and what part is down to “odds stacked against the victim”.
    .
    That said, I am certainly in favour of more rapists being successfully prosecuted. The dilemma for me – as I noted in previous debates on this topic – is the lingering worry that if we try to increase the conviction rate arbitrarily, then injustice might be done the other way. Indeed, some of the language of some people within the wider debate comes rather close to suggesting that due process isn’t as important as women’s rights, since, well, the man probably did it, didn’t he? Wouldn’t have been accused if they didn’t (etc, ad nauseum).

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Poor old Karl Marx comes in for a lot of flak, doesn’t he? Actually, a lot of the contemporary suffocation of thought through multiple means, including language, comes from the cult of managerialism in the USA, rather than from Karl Marx. To a large extent, too, the diversionary obsession with individual ‘positive thinking’ derives from right-wing dogma in the inter-war period.
    .
    So, stop knocking Karl Marx. It’s facile. He wasn’t infallible – neither were/are any of the philosophers – but he wrote much that was profound, important and prescient, especially, of course, wrt capitalism.
    .
    Posts like this seem, in some – though, as has been demonstrated by technicolour, Jon and others, definitely not all – commentators, to bring out an unfortunate, reactionary atavism and a dearth of logical analysis.

    .
    Long live Mary Wollstonecraft!
    .
    And Mary Shelley!
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    And Asma Jehangir!
    .
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asma_Jahangir
    .
    Please do click on the link above and read about this remarkable woman and her work. Can you imagine what she faces, every single day? Now, let me tell you that it is people such as Asma Jehangir who are actually feminists and who risk their lives every day to help others strive for liberty and equality. Their actions represent – are – the truth of feminism. All over the world, Asma Jehangir and people like her – men and women – actually are doing not dissimilar work to what Craig was trying to do in Uzbekistan and since. Furthermore, given that modern war targets primarily women and children – as a deliberate strategy, both through organised, systemic rape undertaken by multiple armies and through ‘softening-up’ by repeated sniping at, say, women going to fetch water, when we campaign against war, we are campaigning to save the lives of women and children. Think about that. It’s not about columnists in newspapers or the dead-hand autocracy of managerialism. Feminism: It’s about blood and guts, life and death.

  • mary

    The Guardian manage to combine war propaganda and male chauvinism here.
    .
    Libya fighting puts Misrata’s nurses on hospital frontline – in pictures
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    Female medical staff, normally subordinate to men in the clinical pecking order, are taking lead roles in treating the wounded – and in the process, quietly waging a war to keep their newfound equality after the conflict ends
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    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/jul/28/misrata-nurses-in-pictures#/?picture=377352993&index=0
    ~~~~~~
    Incidentally the rabble rebels have executed their military chief. Or so the BBC said earlier quoting Reuters. They are now saying that Gaddafi was responsible but there is a very mixed message in this sshort report.
    .
    Libyan rebel commander Abdel Fattah Younes killed
    Abdel Fattah Younes defected in February
    .
    The military commander of the Libyan rebels fighting to topple Col Muammar Gaddafi has been killed, the rebel Transitional National Council says.

    TNC head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil said Gen Abdel Fattah Younes had been killed by pro-Gaddafi assailants.

    He did not explain the exact circumstances, but said Gen Younes had been summoned for questioning about military operations.

    Reports said Gen Younes was suspected of ties to pro-Gaddafi forces.

    Gen Younes is a former Libyan interior minister who defected to the rebel side in February.

  • Jon

    I can’t let Jimmy’s point about the “high levels” of false rape claims go without my linking to a previous discussion in which I expressed surprise at his figure of 94%. My figures from a quick web-search indicated levels between 3-8%. There is plenty more of interest in the debate but alas it was left unresolved:
    .
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/07/dsk-and-the-rush-to-judgement/#comment-313339
    .
    Happy to restart the discussion if you like though, Jimmy!

  • Jon

    Finally, of that video you posted Jimmy. (For everyone: it’s a clip of a US talkshow where five women discuss a news story in which a wife had severed her husband’s penis.) I agree it is galling to see people laughing about a serious assault, and there is definitely a double-standard at play. But to her credit, one lady at the end says that no-one would be laughing if the man cut off his wife’s breast.
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    There is a casual misandry at play here, and it is probably a reflection of the media-lite version of women’s rights, and perhaps also a silly part of a backlash against the persistence of male dominance.
    .
    That all said, I wouldn’t take this clip too seriously. I mean, it has bloody Sharon Osborne on it – who is previously on record as crapping in a box and sending it to someone she didn’t like. Why on earth do they invite her to anything these days? So, it’s not exactly a serious treatment of the topic. In any case, we’ve all laughed at things that are horrific, and that doesn’t make us bad people. We sometimes laugh at things that are so distant that they don’t matter to us, even though to the people concerned they’re horrific.
    .
    I know for damn sure that if I sustained such an injury, none of the women I know would have a laugh about it. I should think that would go for most women, in fact – which means that the video doesn’t at all set out what the original poster presumably wanted to prove, which was that all women are cruel and misandrist.

  • craig Post author

    What am I so angry about? The last bit. The fact that the establishment can use sexual allegations against any man they find dangerous, and like a dog whistle the feminists will come piling in to join in burying that person – be they DSK, Sheridan, Assange or – yes I am sore about it – me. The Murdoch press could even whip them up against the most liberal Justice Secretary since Roy Jenkins, Kenneth Clarke – who is a very decent man indeed.

    Feminism in terms of promotion of equality and of full rights, equal pay, etc I am entirely in favour. Sex negative feminism I am not.

    I would like to see 100% of actual rapists convicted, but not at the expense of convicting lots of innocent people. It is unfortunately an extremely difficult crime to prove, and always will be.

    As for it being OK to lie to get out of a hell hole – I understand the motive for saying it, but it is not right. The truth is better because lies really are corrosive of the system. The poor people administering the asylum system hear so many lies it is hard to get a hearing for the truth.

    One of the strange things about this is that Guinea Conakry is not actually a hell hole. I honestly can’t think of any real reason why Fulanis would need political asylum from Conakry at all.

  • Voila

    According to Islamic law sexual allegations have to be supported by four witnesses who under oath confirm seeing actual sexual act, i.e. male’s p…s inside genital of a female. Hmm, interesting, must be hard to prove and therefore accuse smn in sexism.

  • Eddie Truman

    I guess we have to face up to the fact that Craig Murray is a misogynist.

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