Tag Archives: misogyny

Far right demonstration in Nottingham on Saturday

Far right activists, led by Casuals United and Tony Curtis of the English National Resistance, will be holding a demonstration against a Muslim conference in Nottingham this weekend. They will be protesting outside the East Midlands Conference Centre at 1pm on Saturday 30th March.

Demo organiser Tony Curtis: Hate speaker?

Demo organiser Tony Curtis: Hate preacher?

In response to our previous article asking why they were coming, they have now seen fit to reveal that they are protesting the invitation of Haitham al-Haddad to speak at the conference. Previously they just told their followers to blindly follow their command to oppose the “hate preachers” and none of them asked questions. Blind obedience seems to be as alive and well in the far right as it was in the days of “just following orders” 1930s Germany.

The decision to oppose al-Haddad is not unreasonable, given that he has reportedly described Jews as “the enemies of God, and the descendants of apes and pigs” and believes in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He has said that should a woman refuse to sleep with her husband, “angels will curse” her and has written in favour of the prohibition of musical instruments. That he is speaking at a family event and passing on these bigoted ideas is very disturbing.

But it is the utmost hypocrisy for former EDL members to be protesting this man. After all, Tony Curtis has supported the NWI recently, even though leader, John “Snowy” Shaw also believes in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and extreme anti-Semitic ideas. Why is Curtis protesting a Muslim hate preacher but not the hate preacher in his own midst? We can also point the finger at Jeff Marsh, leader of Casuals United, who set up the the openly Nazi Welsh Defence League. Even the former leader of the EDL’s Jewish Division quit claiming that the organisation had been taken over by Nazis. The EDL has courted Jews when it has seemed politically useful but is now turning back to anti-Semites for support.

Casuals United leader Jeff Marsh's Welsh Defence League: very tolerant of Jews

Casuals United leader Jeff Marsh’s Welsh Defence League: very tolerant of Jews

It’s also hypocritical for the far right to criticise al-Haddad’s sexist ideas and lack of respect for a woman’s sexual consent. EDL members have been exposed for promoting rape as a weapon against their enemies and local members were exposed by us for their misogynist and sexually predatory posts. Some of these men will be turning up to “oppose” al-Haddad’s views on women at the weekend, but their own are equally disgusting and backwards. Why aren’t Casuals and Curtis booting them out of the ranks? Maybe because they aren’t brown or bearded enough.

Al-Haddad should be opposed by the vast majority who find his views abhorrent, not this ragtag bunch of far right misfits whose own ideas are just as disgusting. It would be best if both al-Haddad and the racist, sexist, homophobes of the far right were sent packing.

Easy meat

Blink and you’d miss them but 500 EDL members turned up in Rochdale yesterday to try to make further capital from the Rochdale grooming case. As I’ve said in a previous post, the far right have ignored a lot of the factual evidence and just followed their prejudices in “making sense” of this case, helped along by mainstream politicians like Jack Straw with his statement that some men in the Pakistani community “view white girls as easy meat”.

Given that the EDL say that they are so opposed to this mistreatment of girls and what they view as Islam’s mistreatment of women in general, you might think that they would be squeaky clean themselves. This is not the case. Another EDL member was outed for a paedophilia conviction recently, adding to the already extensive list. Experts suggest that male paedophiles flourish in environments where there is strong male bonding and an atmosphere of misogyny. The EDL is such a place.

Less than 10% of EDL members are female. The vast majority are men and the culture is correspondingly laddish and sexist. Indeed, EDL leader Tommy Robinson is a keen fan of the twitter feed of True Lad, who regularly tweets boorish sexist rubbish about “slags”, “fat girls”, making wagers for blow jobs from his girlfriend and even sexual assaults: “sneakily brushing against girls arses as they walk past in clubs. #covertarseratingLAD.” But then, girls are just easy meat to these people.

These offensive, sexist values are present throughout the male EDL (and are often considered normal and acceptable by the women as well). We have already covered the “lock up your daughters” attitudes of local members, the rape jokes and the perception that women should be domestic servants. There is plenty more abuse of women where that came from.

The most common perception of women is that they are sexual and domestic slaves, as summed up in this post by Adam Repton (Nottingham EDL member): “A real woman never lets her man leave the house hungry or horny”.

This is an attitude shared by Craig “Leicester” Elliott, Leicester organiser, who had this Mothers’ Day wish for Leicester mums: “Happy mothers day to all mums!  A little explanation to Leicester mums though! It’s such a special day for you on this day every year so this year we thought a special dinner was in order. In fact this dinner has got to be so special that were all off out to watch the footy whilst you cook it so we don’t get under your feet!”

Chris Conroy (Newark EDL organiser) is a man who clearly thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen and nowhere else. “Why do women try to talk football? Do you see me in the kitchen discussing dishwashing strategies? No, you don’t.” When questioned by a woman who objected to his stance, he wrote “you fail as a proper female”.

These lads think that lounging around playing football is a “proper” man’s role whilst “proper” females should be happy to cook and clean.

Oh and be perved at by them of course, as demonstrated by Martin Wealthall of Nottingham EDL:

Any women who disagree with this servile role are just trying to spoil men’s fun. Steve “Bod” of Leicester EDL reckons “men were brought into this world to enjoy there life. women were brought into the world to make sure they dont”. Or as Chris Conroy puts it “Fucking females… lol! dont have a clue… text you with abuse before they even know the crack…get real cunt.” Lee Tams (Leicester EDL) adds “FK UM USE AND ABUSE”. After all, they’re just easy meat.

Not content to joke about rape and sexual abuse of women, the lads also like to fantasise about extreme physical violence and murder of their female partners. Ian Humphries of Leicester EDL likes to “joke” about breaking his wife’s jaw (the “sound barrier”) and burying her under the house.

All of this should demonstrate how hypocritical these EDL members are every time they complain about Muslims abusing women or the inferior status that Islam confers on women.

Anti-fascists are against the abuse of all women and children, not just when it is politically convenient for us. We want a world where women and men are equals, not one where women slave in the kitchen whilst their menfolk relax in front of the footy. Whether it is paedophile grooming gangs or the misogynists of the EDL, violence, sexual abuse and threats of abuse against people based on their gender need to be eradicated.

Far right get grooming case wrong

The recent conviction of a grooming gang of nine Muslim men from Rochdale has put the far right into a frenzy. Anti-fascists might remember that the far right have been all over this case since the start of the trial. The EDL, BNP, National Front, Infidels and British Peoples Party all turned up to protest at the start of the trial, attempted to attack the defendants and almost caused a mistrial by attacking the defence barristers. There then followed attempts to stir up race riots in Heywood, when shops and businesses belonging to Muslims were attacked by a mob of white youths, something that was whipped up online by nationalists desperate for a populist cause (for example, posters on Nazi site, Stormfront, who could barely suppress their excitement about the “Race riot in Heywood!!! On now!”). None of the businesses targeted were actually owned by the men involved in the trial.

It is not surprising that people are disgusted with the behaviour of the grooming gang, which preyed on young, vulnerable girls, many of whom were from children’s homes and had already suffered neglect and abuse. It is quite right to want to end street grooming and all other kinds of paedophilia and sexual abuse. But the far right don’t have any credible answers.

The most prominent response bouncing around the far right echo chamber is “HANG THEM!!!!”, usually accompanied by a picture of gallows with an array of nooses. This might satisfy a desire for revenge but it won’t stop sexual abuse. Countries that do execute people for sexual abuse and rape, such as Iran, Syria, Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia (hardly countries that the far right would normally wish to emulate), have not eliminated the incidence of such crimes. A comparison of states with and without the death penalty in the USA demonstrated that the murder rate is actually 48-101% lower in states that do not have the death penalty, suggesting that it has no deterrent effect. As Amnesty International point out “The threat of execution at some future date is unlikely to enter the minds of those acting under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, those who are in the grip of fear or rage, those who are panicking while committing another crime (such as a robbery), or those who suffer from mental illness or mental retardation and do not fully understand the gravity of their crime.” I would add to that list those who are motivated by lust, such as child rapists.

The other “preventative measure” suggested by those like Nottingham EDL member, Ian Firmstone, is to encourage people to keep their daughters indoors and away from British Pakistani takeaways! Apart from the massively restrictive effect this would have on their freedom (and the racial segregation it would impose), this is no solution to the problem of sexual abuse, which is normally committed by those who are known to the victim. The US-based Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that 73% of sexual assaults are committed by a non-stranger and approximately 2/3 of rapists are known by their victim. In the more socially conservative context of Delhi, India, 98% of those accused of rape or molestation were known by their victims. RAINN state that 4 in 10 sexual assaults and rapes take place at the victim’s home and a further 2 in 10 at the home of a neighbour, friend or relative. The idea that rapists are predominantly strangers who make unpremeditated attacks on unaccompanied girls is unfounded.

The far right are leaping all over this case because it helps to confirm their prejudices. They have long set up British Muslims, especially British Pakistanis, as the source of all evil, claiming that they are responsible for everything from heroin dealing to terrorism and now sex crimes as well. As Leicester EDL’s Matty Noble and friends say, the problem is “the muslims”, “pakis”, “curry munchin arm pit b.o. smellin shit stabbin spear chuckin white gal raping bomb blower uppers son ov a mother fuckers” because after all “When do u ever hear of white ppl rapin pakis”. When you already have horrific racist attitudes like these, any evidence you can find of Muslims actually committing crimes is seized as proof that your attitudes are justified. Their hypocrisy can be seen quite clearly in their rather less energetic response to paedophilia cases where the perpetrators are white.

The far right have cited some rather dubious sources for their racialisation of grooming. For example, a Guardian article in which Martin Narey, an ex-Barnardo’s chief executive was misleadingly titled “Grooming offences committed mostly by Asian men says ex-Barnardo’s chief”. (Narey actually specified a much more specific category: “the street grooming of teenage girls in northern towns”. Most grooming prosecutions are against white men.) However, Narey is a somewhat controversial figure to quote on this matter anyway. Before joining Barnardo’s, Narey was director general of the Prison Service when notorious paedophile and prison guard, Neville Husband, was finally prosecuted for decades of horrific sexual abuse against youths in young offenders institutes. Narey had also been the assistant governor of the two institutes in which Husband had carried out his attacks. Narey never called for a public inquiry into Husband’s case. When interviewed earlier this year, Narey was still unsure “whether a public inquiry would be justified”. It could be argued that Narey has turned a blind eye to child abuse on his own watch.

We’ve seen that the far right have very little grasp on the facts around such crimes, so what do the experts say? Mark Williams-Thomas, a former police detective and child protection expert, is quoted as saying “Attacks in isolation and grooming tend to be perpetrated by white men. Collectively, the transferring of girls among young men for sex involves Pakistani men”. Ella Cockbain & Helen Brayley, researchers at the UCL’s department of security and crime science, believe that there are “two main profiles of the on-street groomer.”

First, we have the white offenders, who typically offend alone. So far, nothing new: the lone white male is the norm for UK child sex offences. Second, however, there are Asian offenders, many of whom are of Pakistani origin. They seem much more likely to offend in groups, lending their abuse a curiously social dimension. [My emphasis]

However, they warn against pursuing racial profiling because “entrenched stereotypes have a nasty habit of persisting, even when the evidence moves on.”

Nazir Afsal, the chief crown prosecutor for the North West, said of the Rochdale gang that “It wasn’t their race which defined them, it was their treatment of women”, an opinion shared by Professor Malcolm Cowburn, a criminologist at Sheffield Hallam University. “The larger issue is of problematic masculinity and how certain men view women, children and their sexual rights”, says Cowburn, “I don’t think it lies within ethnicity but within gender”. Communities with strong male bonds and patriarchal structures often generate a culture of silence around sexual abuse, as has been seen within the priesthood, and this may account for the cultural dimension in the on-street collective grooming phenomenon.

Ironically, the far right is also a patriarchal community with strong male bonds and its own culture of silence has protected paedophiles within its ranks. The overwhelming majority of EDL and BNP members are male and rape jokes, misogynist attitudes and sexual objectification of women are common in far right circles. Numerous paedophiles and sex offenders have been identified within the far right but often the truth has been slow to surface and the perpetrators have been protected. Take the example of Richard Price, an early leader of the EDL, who was portrayed as a political prisoner by Tommy Robinson and co, despite the fact that he had been charged with possessing child pornography. Rather than face the unsavoury truth that one of their brethren was a sex offender, the EDL protected Price and tried to suppress the truth. Indeed, Price was a still an admin of the EDL’s Facebook page until January of this year.

The real reason that men sexually abuse women and girls is because they feel entitled to do so by a patriarchal culture that views them as sexual objects. Therefore, the way to tackle sexually abusive behaviour is not to “hang the nonces” or “lock up your daughters”, something which promotes the patriarchal idea of women as weak and defenceless, but to challenge the patriarchal culture which promotes rape and the objectification of women and girls. The far right’s misogynistic culture which only views women as progenitors of the white race, a class of kitchen and bedroom slaves who are incapable of fighting for themselves, is extremely damaging to women and should be resisted.