‚Pestminster‘: Feminism’s Double Standards
(Ella Wheelan, sp!ked) »Earlier this year, following a testimony from one woman and one girl, police uncovered a gang of rapists and child abusers in Newcastle. Seventeen men, convicted under Operation Sanctuary, were routinely raping young women, and girls as young as 14. They plied their victims with alcohol and drugs before assaulting them.
This month, several MPs have been demoted or suspended pending investigations for allegedly touching the knees of journalists or researchers, and for making ‘lewd’ comments and texting women to ask them out for drinks.
Which of these things got more media coverage? The rape of working-class women or the inconveniencing of middle-class women with a hand on the leg or an unwanted text? The latter, of course. The ‘Pestminster’ scandal has dominated media coverage for two weeks now. For more than a month the press has obsessed over which celebrities and actresses were allegedly mistreated by Harvey Weinstein. And the #MeToo hashtag has been trending for weeks, designed to raise awareness about sexual harassment.
In contrast, the revelation that girls in the north of England had been raped on a terrifying scale was news for around a week. Some of the coverage was cautious and embarrassed. Don’t focus too much on the men’s backgrounds, commentators warned (the men were largely of Pakistani origin). It was a similar situation when the abuse and rape of working-class girls in Rotherham and then Rochdale was uncovered. Operation Stovewood, Operation Clover and Operation Sanctuary, all investigations of the sexual exploitation of young women or girls in northern towns, have now largely been forgotten.«