Saturday, 21 May 2011

Ken Clarke and the culture of shame in the public/political sphere

This is about Clarke, but it is also about all the women - left-leaning and otherwise -  who have been disappointingly cautious and almost sympathetic in their attempt to positions themselves away from potential, tarring accusations of 'opportunistic scary validated feminist' (Shami Chakrabati, Melanie Phillips, Suzanne Moore).

Moore points out that: "in terms of the law, some rapes are more "serious" than others. Sentencing and punishment vary according to circumstances and aggravating factors". So what? Clarke may have been "right" in a legal definition sense, but his belligerence revealed an inadequate understanding of rape. The fact remains that the legal system for which Clarke speaks CONSISTENTLY FAILS THE VICTIMS OF RAPE. His inabailty to sensitively phrase this issue does excuse his proposals. He revealed a worrying if predictable POV that ignores the still pervading culture of shame that victims face -  75 - 95% or rapes in the UK still go unreported, shame culture is alive and kicking  - and is attempting to capitalize on the post-rape trauma that victims endure by introducing a cost-cutting measure that will give perpetrators a 50% jail time discount, despite the persistent offenders stats that prove short/custodial sentences frequently lead to more rape.

He FUCKED UP! There is no shame in pointing this out! It should make absolutely no difference that other MPs  have used this event as a chance to crow hypocritically at Clarke. His attitude and proposals are NOT ok and the fact that he is one of the Tory party's most progressive (ha!) members should not lessen our ire.

Also, here is a depressing/positive piece penned by Roseanne, on the "staggering sexism and class bigotry" she endured during her sitcom years, and her rad survivor spirit: “This is no fucking character! This is my show, and I created it—not Matt, and not Carsey-Werner, and not ABC. You watch me. I will win this battle if I have to kill every last white bitch in high heels around here.”


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