Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries’ agenda


4:28 pm - May 19th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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This week Nadine Dorries said on the Vanessa Show that “If young girls were taught abstinence, there would be less sexual abuse.”

She has proposed girls-only abstinence classes become a mandatory part of the national curriculum.

And Dorries and Frank Field have made the first attempt since the coalition came into office to restrict abortion access.

Of course, this is only the latest attempt by the Dorries-Field double act to chip away at abortion access for women in England, Scotland and Wales. To just keep abortion rights in the state they are now is going to be a serious endeavor, and those behind these latest efforts have their end-game in sight and their strategy is already in play.

So Jess McCabe from The F Word and I are organising a strategy meeting.

We’ll be talking about what we can do to step up the response by pro-choice/reproductive justice activists, which backs up, supports and amplifies the work that groups such as Abortion Rights and Education for Choice are already doing.

Details
The meeting will be on Monday 6 June, starting at 6:30pm (get there for 6!)

It will be free to attend.
It will be at a pub in central London.
The details of the location will be emailed to all those who RSVP.
There will be speakers (TBC)

If you would like to come, please RSVP to jess.mccabe[AT]thefword[dot]org[dot]uk

Note: places are very limited because of the size of the venue. Please let us know as soon as you can.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Cynical/Realist?

This week Nadine Dorries said on the Vanessa Show that “If young girls were taught abstinence, there would be less sexual abuse.”

All the grief Ken Clarke got yesterday, and yet Dorries gets away with spouting shit like this?

You can argue the toss about whether Ken Clarke’s cock-up was either an indication of negative views to some forms of rape or whether it was more poorly worded – but this quote from Dorries is just plain nasty and wrong.

How about focussing on promoting evidence-based policy in such cases, while ignoring Dorries, so as not to give her the oxygen of attention?

You cannot oppose a policitian by talking about them. That is the one thing they want. For Dorries, people like us “opposing” her is life itself.

Promote the right policies and her ilk will eventually fade away.

Go on and on about personalities and they’ll just get bigger.

> “If young girls were taught abstinence, there would be less sexual abuse.”

So it’s the fault of those slutty 12-year olds that they get raped? Dorries gets a little more revolting every time she opens her mouth.

Can I just remind people that these morons are not bothered abut abortion. What they really hate is people, particularly woman having and enjoying sex outside of marriage. That is why the American anti abortion movement is now escalating it’s campaign against contraceptives.

It is not about life or any other lie they may claim. These people are anti sex, unless it is for the purpose of getting pregnant in marriage. Woman who have sex outside of marriage in their view should be punished for their slutty behaviour.

The rate of teenage Pregnancy is the llowest it has been for 20 years. These people don’t like other people having sex, so they don’t like condoms or the pill or sex education. What they do like is controlling woman. Unless you are a right wing female politican, and then it is “do as I say, not as I do.”

Oh for a “Like” button! Good luck in this endeavour. Neurosceptyic’s point is a good one too.

Promote the right policies and her ilk will eventually fade away.

That asn’t exactly worked in the past and wishing that Dorries will ‘fade away’ I think is wishful thinking.

She’s a Parliamentarian in a government does isn’t too fussed about evidenced based policy. In fact she doesn’t care if her policies don’t fit any evidence.

I don’t really think this is a viable strategy…

7. Mr S. Pill

The self-confessed liar and adulterer with dubious expenses claims Nadine Dorries MP (all of these facts can be backed up, btw) should be sacked without hesitation by David Cameron if he is to have any credibility. Making up nonsense that the way to stop child abuse is to just teach children to say No to their abusers is a new low even with her murky track record. What a disgrace of a person, never mind an MP.

Can we focus on the strategy instead of the ad hominems? I’m not a fan of the woman but this is just hot air. Action is needed now, not words.

9. Chaise Guevara

@ Sunny Hundal

“Can we focus on the strategy instead of the ad hominems?”

FWIW, this is what I’d do: focus on the clear sexism of her policy rather than attacking her for being pro-abstainence. Teaching abstainence as the One True Method is stupid, but teaching it as an option alongside contraception is sensible, and I’ve yet to see anything saying Dorries wants to outlaw lessons about condoms (if I’m wrong about that, ignore the above).

Also, I’d put some thought into whether you want to combine the sex ed issue and the abortion issue or keep them separate. They’re different things, and you can’t assume someone who backs you on one will back you on the other. On the other hand, combining them may get you the most supporters. So think it over before deciding.

Also, good luck. I’d be tempted to come along if I lived near the capital.

@ Sunny Hundal
“Can we focus on the strategy instead of the ad hominems?”

Well, just an idea but you could brand her the pro blow job queen.

I only suggest this because those states in the US which pushed pro abstinence education saw a huge increase in oral sex.

“This week Nadine Dorries said on the Vanessa Show that “If young girls were taught abstinence, there would be less sexual abuse.”

All the grief Ken Clarke got yesterday, and yet Dorries gets away with spouting shit like this?”

Actually, that’s not as silly as you make out. In a lot of abuse cases the abuser relies on their victim’s ignorance on what is and isn’t appropriate behaviour — trying to convince them that’s it’s normal, that’s it’s just a game, or whatever. If children were taught that certain parts of their bodies are and should be off-limits to other people, it would be harder to use this tactic. Obviously this wouldn’t help in cases involving force, but it would mean that abusers could no longer rely on their victims’ ignorance of sexual matters, and might help with reporting/conviction. For a longer version, see http://dizzythinks.net/2011/05/tory-mp-supports-paedophile-no-wait.html

It may fun to goad her but quite a few people believe the shit she pumps out.

I would like to see more attention paid to links between the Tory party and the TEA party by the liberal left. Dorries is an example , dim idiot that she is.

Another more potent link is the one between the Taxpayer’s alliance and the TEA party.

The Tories are nervous of this

@ 7:

“should be sacked without hesitation by David Cameron if he is to have any credibility.”

That’s for the voters to do, surely?

Also, I’d put some thought into whether you want to combine the sex ed issue and the abortion issue or keep them separate

Good question… though I think most will see it as part of the same agenda

15. Chaise Guevara

@ 14 Sunny

“Good question… though I think most will see it as part of the same agenda”

That would be my guess too. All I’ll say is, if you find a lot of people are telling you that they’re on board with one issue but not the other, it might be easier to separate them out than try to convince people to back you on both.

The self-confessed liar and adulterer with dubious expenses claims Nadine Dorries MP (all of these facts can be backed up, btw) should be sacked without hesitation by David Cameron if he is to have any credibility.

Sacked from what? She’s not in any Government position. If you’re suggesting she should have the whip removed for being a loon, then you’d end up with an awful lot of whipless MPs from all parties.

17. Flowerpower

Nadine Dorries is right to say that abstinence training might lead to less abuse.

XXX gives one good reason why this should be so above.

See A Scientific Review of Abstinence and Abstinence Programs by Wilcox (2008) where it is claimed that child abuse is more common among children of unmarried parents etc.

Abstinence has been shown to promote family stability. A large proportion of abuse is perpetrated by stepfathers/mother’s new partners.

Not sure abstinence teaching is particularly helpful (albeit it would be the one lesson where pupils were taught to do nothing…). The same effect could presumably be achieved by teaching pupils self-reliance and how to think and challenge effectively – i.e. providing a proper education.

My problem with Ms Dorries is less ideological than intellectual – I think she sees a problem, devices a solution and then fails to consider the impact of the solution or indeed unexpected consequences…

Mind you, this sort of machine-like, input-output modernistic thinking is hardly unique to Ms Dorries amongst politicians. It’s just she’s so good at attracting attention to her particular unconsidered ideas.

19. Chaise Guevara

@ 18 Watchman

“Not sure abstinence teaching is particularly helpful ”

Depends what that means. Failing to tell people that abstaining is the most effective way to avoid unwanted pregancies and STDs would be folly. However, telling people that abstaining is the RIGHT thing to do is ideological stupidity, and it becomes actively harmful if you neglect to mention any other aspect of safe sex as a result.

The answer seems simple enough to me: just present the facts.

20. Watchman

Chaise,

The answer seems simple enough to me: just present the facts.

Nah – no government of any stripe is going to want to do that – it will let people make their own minds up…

You do need to ensure people know how to use facts as well though – otherwise the Daily Mail just manipulates them in front of you and you don’t spot it. I actually think sex education in this country is pretty good (albeit you really don’t want to have to teach it to a class of teenagers…) but the ability to take advantage of it is limited by the lack of critical thinking. Which wierdly may be where most of us actually agree with Ms Dorries, although I doubt anyone wants to admit it…

21. Chaise Guevara

“Nah – no government of any stripe is going to want to do that – it will let people make their own minds up…”

I am definitely not drawing all sorts of parallels right now. No sirree!

“I actually think sex education in this country is pretty good ”

I agree, although that’s mainly based on my own education at a couple of state schools (technically religious, but they both left out the religion as much as they could get away with). It was factual and non-preachy.

22. ronchesta

@flowerpotty marriage cost money i think…receptions cost money hiring halls cost money honeymoons cost money buying a new home cost money..therefore only people with lots of money should get married.anyone who isnt rich enough shouldnt get married and have children..(but they do and as result breed like flies just to sponge off the state…(obviously) perhaps next plan is to ban divorce to keep the sanctity of marriage alive..next week: banks offer huge bonus temptation ” i couldnt resist although i tried!” says boss

23. ronchesta

as if a rapist would give a damn whether a young girl was ‘off sex’ or not, blimey 8 year old girls get raped too…smacks of blame the victim for the crime..”yeah well she was asking for it anyway..look at her record..12 year old slut..mum on benefits workshy dad…they should hang them..save tax payers money too…

24. ronchesta

“Abstinence has been shown to promote family stability” really , so how do ilttle babies get born? oh yeah the stork brings them..i forgot..

Abstinence has been shown to promote family stability. A large proportion of abuse is perpetrated by stepfathers/mother’s new partners.

How exactly does one lead to another? Given that abstinence only generally leads to MORE single mothers.

Until we grow up about sex as a nation, I can see very little being resolved. Teaching abstinence is a nonsense. Teaching that sex is okay, with appropriate guidelines, eg. not just within marriage, and providing contraception to all, at all ages would be a help. It’s not dirty, it’s not something to giggle at, it’s a normal, natural and pleasurable function of human beings. What we need to teach is when it isn’t natural and normal. We need to teach that abusers manipulate, that they frighten children into believing that they will not be believed, trusted etc. That they are lying when they say that they will hurt their families.
As for Dorries, why is she saying just teach girls to say no. Ever since Eve, women have been blamed for the ills of society. If you try to demonstrate common sense with her, she dismisses it with comments about ‘lefties’. She will not talk to abused or abusers. Perhaps she should be presented with both, as well as the facts about abuse, I do mean facts, not the rubbish she posits as theories.

27. Chaise Guevara

“As for Dorries, why is she saying just teach girls to say no. Ever since Eve, women have been blamed for the ills of society.”

This.

Even if you accept the idea that we should teach abstainence, the idea that we should only teach it to girls is so insulting that I’m baffled a politician would say it in public. It’s offensive to women, as it suggests that the responsibility rests solely on them, and it’s offensive to men, as it implies that they’re incapable of being sensible about sex. I get the impression that Dorries hitched a lift from the 50s to the present day in Marty McFly’s DeLorean.

28. Pete Lee

The southern US where the bible belt is strongest has the highest level of teenage pregnancies in the the developed world. The Phillipines, where abstinence is promoted also has serious problems. They preach abstinence in Saudi Arabia.

I happen to think teenage pregnancies are not a problem. Many women go to college after their families are grown up in their thirities and have fulfilling careers. I should know I taught in an inner city college for two years and many women did well on this basis.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries' agenda http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  2. Dave Cross

    RT @libcon: Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries' agenda http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  3. Samuel Tarry

    RT @libcon: Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries' agenda http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  4. sunny hundal

    .@jester and I are organising a strategy meeting to discuss how to oppose Nadine Dorries’ agenda. http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  5. Lily Hill

    London people? Go. RT via @DrPetra and @libcon Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries' agenda http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  6. Laurence Durnan

    .@sunny_hundal @jester Do we not elevate Dorries' status by making this all about her? http://bit.ly/iOovtE

  7. Hannah McFaull

    RT @SamTarry: RT @libcon: Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries' agenda http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  8. Aaron Chandra

    RT @sunny_hundal: .@jester and I are organising a strategy meeting to discuss how to oppose Nadine Dorries’ agenda. http://bit.ly/lG4Mda

  9. DarkestAngel

    Open meeting to oppose Nadine Dorries’ agenda | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/qjUPPO0 via @libcon

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  11. Emma Taggart

    @BeSexPositive You might be interested in this meeting re Nadine Dorries: http://bit.ly/juHIFX

  12. socialworkuk

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