Feminists and allies: vote out the stupid!


2:43 pm - May 20th 2009

by Laurie Penny    


      Share on Tumblr

There are going to be European elections soon, and the fascist British National Party are hoping to get an MEP elected. On top of the far-from-insignificantly fucking scary racism, xenophobia and homophobia that riddles their policy platform, the BNP are pushing a specifically and deliberately sexist agenda. Stopping these stupid bigots from gaining any more of a toehold in our nation is a feminist issue, too. Here’s why:

The BNP hate what they call, without a shred of irony, ‘feminazis’. By this they seem to mean not just self-identified feminists but any woman who, in the words of a recent BNP candidate, is ‘unnatural and vile… it is a strange kind of woman who would want to invest [her] energies into her job rather than into a man.’ The BNP are specifically and explicitly AGAINST equal rights between men and women. Party leader Nick Griffin has described the very idea of gender equality as ‘feminist poison’.

One of the first things they plan to do if they attain power is repeal the anonymity currently granted to rape victims, on the basis that “innocent men who are falsely accused of rape have their lives ruined while their lying accusers cannot even be named” (P7, BNP manifesto). And it doesn’t stop there. Go on, read it for yourself in the BNP’s white paper on family law, but have a little bag to hand to be sick in. You’re going to need it.

This, lest we forget, is the same party which forwarded a senior London Assembly candidate who went on record saying that “rape is a myth…rape is simply sex, and women enjoy sex. To sugest that rape is a serious crime is like suggesting that force-feeding a woman chocolate cake is a heinous offence”.

Have you ever been f0rce-fed chocolate cake, Mr Eriksen? Finallyfeminism101 has a perfect (but potentially triggering) debunking of this ugly reasoning.

The BNP also want to reform family and tax law, bringing back tax credit schemes that would re-establish women as dependents of their husbands; introduce strictly fault-based divorce law “aimed at protecting the injured party instead of the current gender bias against women”; allow only married couples to benefit from artificial insemination; ban all homosexual partnership arrangements and, yes, deport all furriners.

*deep breath*

And in a shock move, the BNP is violently anti-choice.

Everyone’s experience of suffering the effects of racism, sexism, homophobia, ablism or any form of prejudice is different. However, the idiot, schoolboy logic of fascists like the BNP throws up some interesting similarities in the reasoning between casual and not-so-casual racism, sexism and homophobia. It’s the whipping-girl syndrome. It’s the process whereby a gang of disenfranchised, angry and often fairly personally inadequate people cast about for any convenient, preferably marginalised group to blame for the fact that they, the (mostly) white, (mostly) middle-or-working class, (mostly) miserable (mostly) men, are in so much bloody pain. The BNP are angry, heartsick, dissatisfied, and terrified by how individually powerless they are. Easier by far to blame immigrants, Muslims or ‘feminazis’ than to turn and look at one’s own culture and how it shapes you and works you over.

Watching the videos of speeches available on BNP live tv, what I felt to start with was amused. Then nervous. Then angry at the reams and reams of stupid lies coming out of these people like so much oily drool. But beyond that, I found myself…moved. Yes, genuinely moved. I felt the stuttering rage of these men like a punch to the solar plexus. I felt their bewilderment. I felt their utter incomprehension at what was happening to a world they were once sure of growing up to inherit. And I felt full of thick anger at the sheer stupidity of misdirecting those emotions towards a pointless bullying of other people who, guess what, haven’t inherited it either. In ‘Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man’, feminist journalist Susan Faludi points out that

By the century’s end, [there began] a search for someone to blame for the premature death of masculine promise. What began in the 1950s as an intemperate pursuit of Communists in the government, the schools, Hollywood…would eventually become a hunt for a shape-shifting enemy who could take the form of women at the office, or gays in the military, or young black men on the street, or illegal aliens on the border…but none of it would satisfy, because the world and the fight had changed. The real fight was between men on the same side…

Writing about feminism and equality movements often feels like one long game of ‘we are not your problem’. The further we get from living memory of what life was really like for men and women of all races and classes before the civil rights movement in the US, before the women’s movement, the more mythologised that time becomes. Certainly, old ways of life have been stripped away. Certainly, men in particular are suffering the loss of certain automatic loci of security and social status, and feeling their own disenfranchisement harder as a consequence. But if you or I asked even the most frothing BNP man if he genuinely thinks that he will be a happy, free, powerful, confident individual as soon as all the furriners and wimminz are sent back to their respective homes, I wonder what answer we’d get? Have they even bothered to think that far?

The BNP need only 9% of the vote to win a seat in the European Parliament. Don’t sit at home and let it happen. Vote them OUT. Not just because they’re sexists, racists, homophobes, xenophobes and crashing red-faced bigots who are a disgrace to the actually quite good country we live in. Vote them out because they’re stupid. They’re stupid. They’re idiots, idiots, crashing toe-sucking thickoes who shouldn’t be running a website, much less a department in Brussels. Please, if you’re a Brit, do your bit for your country and vote out the stupid.

Thanks to Louise Livesey at TheFWord.org for breaking this story.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Laurie Penny is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. She is a journalist, blogger and feminist activist. She is Features Assistant at the Morning Star, and blogs at Penny Red and for Red Pepper magazine.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: Blog ,Equality ,Feminism

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


Excellent article Laurie! Please encourage your readers to go to http://www.stopnickgriffin.org.uk and watch this video about how the Euro election in the region the BNP are targeting, North West, will work and how they can be prevented from getting a seat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv0uHWxhLgs

Bravo!

Best way to defeat the BNP is simply to focus on their ridiculous policies. Keep playing the ball and not the man, and the party will shrivel and die.

The last thing we need to do is allow the BNP to portray themselves as victims.

Although it would be nice to just tell Nick Griffin to fuck off, you’ve got to give a reason why first: “Your policies would ruin Britain. Got that? Right, now fuck off.”

People who vote BNP, in my experience, tend to have no clue about their actual policies. Spread the word and watch them die.

Bloody hell. Obviously the Eriksen comments are as vile as it gets, but I didn’t realise the BNP were quite moronic enough to *actually put the same kind of stuff in their manifesto*.

4. Richard (the original)

“One of the first things they plan to do if they attain power is repeal the anonymity currently granted to rape victims, on the basis that “innocent men who are falsely accused of rape have their lives ruined while their lying accusers cannot even be named”

Is this really particularly fascist?

Seeing as we abide by the principle of innocent until proven guilty in this country this isn’t that outrageous, even if one disagrees with it.

I’d be fecking cheesed off if I was falsely accused of rape by a liar.

5. Shatterface

Well, I’m in (almost) full agreement with Laurie for once.

It’s much better to attack the BNP by exposing their policies rather than dismissing as ‘scum’ supporters who haven’t looked too closely at their policies before declaring an intention to vote for them, as one writer did here yesterday.

This is how arguments are won.

6. Fellow Traveller

The Queen has inadvertently invited Mr Griffith to her garden party in June. So in a great two for the price of one outrage, you can all gnash your teeth and wail at the fascist monarch entertaining the fascist party leader. It’s like King Victor Emmanuel (the third) and Mussolini.

Perhaps Ms Penny could chain herself to the railings of Buck Palace in protest?

7. Fellow Traveller

I can’t even get his name right.

Griffin.

Griffin.

Like on a coat of arms.

Well Richard, you’d better make sure you don’t put yourself in that position then, hadn’t you?

Any man who claims to be against rape must support any measure that encourages the reporting of this hideous crime. And that includes protecting the anonymity of the victim.

9. Richard (the original)

“Well Richard, you’d better make sure you don’t put yourself in that position then, hadn’t you?”

Are you saying everyone accused of rape has put themselves in that position? What a strange assumption.

“Any man who claims to be against rape must support any measure that encourages the reporting of this hideous crime. And that includes protecting the anonymity of the victim.”

And anybody who believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty should at least support the anonymity of the accused as well.

10. Shatterface

(4, 8 & 9): this is why I included the ‘almost’ but I didn’t want to get specific because I know the next 300 comments will be about that one sentence.

I’m happy to accept anonymity for the accuser so long as it’s matched by anonymity for the accused. I don’t see anything unfair in that.

“And anybody who believes in the principle of innocent until proven guilty should at least support the anonymity of the accused as well.”

Why should accused rapists be given anonymity?

The law doesn’t grant anonymity to defendants in criminal cases except where the defendant is a minor.

And the proportion of false allegations is “extremely low”, ranging from 2 per cent to 9 per cent, the same as any other false reporting of crime, said a recent study on rape by the HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6283719.ece

12. Shatterface

Because an accusation of rape isn’t one you can shake off: the ‘no smoke without fire’ effect. And 9% isn’t exactly low, is it?

I knew this was the way the thread would go. Forget the BNP let’s just line up with our usual tribes: all-men-are-beasts on one side, all-women-are-bunny-boilers on the other.

“But if you or I asked even the most frothing BNP man if he genuinely thinks that he will be a happy, free, powerful, confident individual as soon as all the furriners and wimminz are sent back to their respective homes, I wonder what answer we’d get? Have they even bothered to think that far?”

For the most part I’d say of course not. I don’t think it’s about the end for many of these people (aside from the real nutcases writing their manifesto and policy documents), but the means. They want inflict suffering on those whom they hold responsible for their perceived drop in status – just like any bully from the playground on up.

@11, the law doesn’t generally grant anonymity to adult victims in criminal cases either, but recognises rape as a special case. That doesn’t mean anonymity for alleged rapists is a good idea (there’s a trade-off between protecting the innocent – and being accused of rape is obviously worse than being accused of robbery or assault – and encouraging the other victims of serial attackers to come forward), but it does mean your argument is entirely specious.

I’d also be wary of quoting Dr Kelly’s study until it’s been published – Christ knows what methodology she’s using to authoritatively determine how the ‘he said / she said’ cases break down…

“I knew this was the way the thread would go. Forget the BNP let’s just line up with our usual tribes: all-men-are-beasts on one side, all-women-are-bunny-boilers on the other.”

But this *is* about the BNP’s suggested policies.

And the full report says that figures are nearer to the 2% than the 9%, and I repeat *the same as any other false reporting*

And where did I suggest that ‘all-men-are-beasts’ my husband and son are deeply upset.

False allegations of rape are the same as any other false reporting of crime, and this is also mirrored by FBI figures.

“Because an accusation of rape isn’t one you can shake off” No, and neither is being raped. Except rapists have a 94% chance of not being taken to justice. The BNP want to send women back a hundred years and this ‘protecting’ rapists is just part of it.

Why do the BNP and some men want to invisiblse rapists even more than they are now?

And 10% of rape victims are men (a hefty chunk of my case-load as I’m a S/A/rape counsellor) are they all running around making ‘false allegations’ ? no of course they’re not.

How did I know LBek was a rape counsellor. I must be psychic.

But I’m well pissed off Penny has written an article I can’t disagree with. Because if I did I’d be a fascist.

Very cunning.

“Best way to defeat the BNP is simply to focus on their ridiculous policies. Keep playing the ball and not the man, and the party will shrivel and die.”

This, resoundingly…this.

I can’t wait for Noo Laybah to save me from the big ugly ‘fashist’ one-eyed monster Nick Griffin. I am swooning on the toilet for all these valiant ‘antifashists’ and ‘antiraycysts’ with their ethically sourced courier bags, I sleep so much better at night knowing they are ceaselessly banging the revolutionary Habitat sale drum of Justice.

I think you’re preaching to the converted Laurie, I doubt if anyone here has any intention of voting BNP.

Cabalamat; you’d be surprised

I dunno, I suspect that morons like Matei might.

@lbek, glad you’ve seen the full report, obviously reluctant to comment until it’s published more widely. but probably worth bearing in mind, given the appallingly low initial reporting and subsequent testifying rates for rape, that ‘people who make formal accusations to the cops of rape’ != ‘people who report being raped to counsellors and medical professionals’.

Given what we all know about how rape stigmatises its victims, how the judicial system makes victims relive their accounts, and how that deters people who’ve been through that horrible ordeal from reliving it, you’d expect that under the current system false accusations would be represented proportionately higher in cases that make court than cases that don’t.

(and no, I don’t have a magic bullet solution for any of this. But I suspect the woefully inadequate system we have at present favours both rapists and vindictive fakers, the former more than the latter, at the expense of victims and those falsely accused.)

Well, here’s hoping that the BNP doesn’t get an MEP. But the real reason that would be a Bad Thing is simply what it says about the number of people stupid enough to fall for their stupidity. (Nasty enough for their nastiness? Back to Mad Mel again…)

In fact, BNP elected officials bring with them a silver lining: everyone can see even more clearly just how nasty, stupid and bonkers they really are. Richard Barnbrook, for instance, has hardly been a great advert for the party – and it’s fair to assume as their choice for the London Assembly, he’s a reasonably high form of the species. Whatever must the less ethical or intelligent ones be like?

25. Richard (the original)

“The BNP want to send women back a hundred years and this ‘protecting’ rapists is just part of it.”

Have they said that those convicted of rape will be protected?

We’re talking here about those who are accused, not necessarily guilty.

“The BNP need only 9% of the vote to win a seat in the European Parliament. Don’t sit at home and let it happen. Vote them OUT.”

Quite. As of course all sensible people vote against socialists, whether of national or international types.

🙂

Whatever must the less ethical or intelligent ones be like?

e.g.:
http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/news/article:248-BNP-Barking-councillor-resigns

@24 Richard: In fact, BNP elected officials bring with them a silver lining: everyone can see even more clearly just how nasty, stupid and bonkers they really are.

That’s why I’m not bothered if the BNP get publicity. They’re welcome to as much of it as they want.

“Have they said that those convicted of rape will be protected?”

Most rapes are not even reported and the lifting of the plaintiff’s anonymity (as the BNP propose) will deter even more women (and men) in coming forward. Ironically this is starting to sound much like the laws of the nations they despise. Whats next? three men of ‘good standing’ actually having to witness the penetration.

Nut: they want to deter women from reporting rape – it’s hardly a sub-text.

So, you support *some* of the BNP’s proposals then – or is it just the ones about women and rape apology?

Ugh, certainly won’t vote for a backwards left-wing party like the BNP. They’re just Labour with racism.

31. Matt Munro

“One of the first things they plan to do if they attain power is repeal the anonymity currently granted to rape victims, on the basis that “innocent men who are falsely accused of rape have their lives ruined while their lying accusers cannot even be named” (P7, BNP manifesto)”

I don’t see a problem with that, nor do I see it as a right wing policy – It would perhaps be better to grant anonymity to the accused as well, but that would create a secret, unnacountable courts, rather like the “family” courts . Are you saying it’s acceptable to be protected, in law, whilst making baseless and serious accusations against an innocent person ? The real question is why no mainsream party seems to have taken this issue up.

“Are you saying it’s acceptable to be protected, in law, whilst making baseless and serious accusations against an innocent person ? ”

Excuse me, are *you* saying that all complainants in rape cases are making false accusations?!

Check your privilege.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Ben Howard

    The BNP, “hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too”.. http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  2. Daniel Portillo

    RT: Xenophobia not the only facet of the BNP http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  3. Nikki Butler

    RT @norliss: RT: Xenophobia not the only facet of the BNP http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  4. VideoNasty

    RT @mondomovie The BNP, “hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too”.. http://bit.ly/CkbWR #theBNParetwats

  5. Paul

    RT @mondomovie The BNP, “hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too”.. http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  6. Jules Howard-Wright

    Makes me want to take to the streets in protest http://bit.ly/SIXCi

  7. Jules Howard-Wright

    BNP would call me unnatural and vile 4 working http://bit.ly/SIXCi – get out your glass house before I throw a TV transmitter at you, t**ts

  8. Ben Howard

    The BNP, "hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too".. http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  9. Daniel Portillo

    RT: Xenophobia not the only facet of the BNP http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  10. Nikki Butler

    RT @norliss: RT: Xenophobia not the only facet of the BNP http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  11. VideoNasty

    RT @mondomovie The BNP, "hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too".. http://bit.ly/CkbWR #theBNParetwats

  12. Paul

    RT @mondomovie The BNP, “hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too”.. http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  13. Paul

    RT @mondomovie The BNP, "hey we’re not just racist, we hate women too".. http://bit.ly/CkbWR

  14. Jules Howard-Wright

    Makes me want to take to the streets in protest http://bit.ly/SIXCi

  15. A vote for Green is a vote against the BNP and UKIP | The Big Blog

    […] political part, at the end of the day they are still racists, xenophobes, homophobes, and misogynists. I am half-Turkish and there is no place for me in a BNP state. According to them I am an immigrant […]

  16. Liberal Conspiracy » How churnalists become friends to the BNP

    […] Holocast-denying literature, a London Assembly member who spouts made-up crime stories and a track-record of misogyny that could keep Jim Davidson in material for the rest of his […]

  17. Benjamin Dobson

    May 20, 2009: The BNP and gender equality http://liberalconspiracy.org/2009/05/20/feminists-and-allies-vote-out-the-stupid/





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.