Friday 21 October 2016

Newsflash - men are against rape, too

Published 07/02/2016 | 02:30

Campus stand-off: In England, Warwick University student George Lawlor refused to attend a consent seminar.
Campus stand-off: In England, Warwick University student George Lawlor refused to attend a consent seminar.
Wendy Grace of Spirit FM

We've always been obsessed with what the ­neighbours think and nowhere has this been more obvious than on Irish ­campuses, where the madder elements of American and British ­universities have become ­increasingly ­fashionable in recent years.

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The latest pale Irish imitation comes with the news that Trinity is to ape Oxford, Cambridge and most US colleges by introducing mandatory sexual consent classes for new students from next September.

Apparently, young men all over the Western world need to be taught that rape is wrong - who knew? - and therefore they will be forced to attend a consent class.

It's all demented nonsense, of course, but it's demented nonsense which comes with an added side of sinister.

The latest meme to occupy the minds of the professionally empty headed is the myth of 'rape culture' in American colleges, when what we have seen in the last two years is a steady succession of fake rape claims, mass media hysteria and a moral panic which dictates that either you accept that all men are potential rapists, or you must somehow tacitly support rape.

Demanding that all men attend a compulsory class to prevent a tiny minority from raping is about as dumb as demanding that all pregnant women attend compulsory classes telling them not to kill their newborn.

It's insulting, reductive and also lumps a group of people together on the basis of the actions of a tiny minority of their gender. Aren't we meant to frown at that sort of thing?

Of course, in the world of the authoritarian halfwit, nuance is as grave an enemy as common sense and so we have seen the usual suspects stumble over each other in their desire to be seen to welcome this latest example of thought-policing.

Interestingly, one piece in an Irish newspaper argued that opposition to compulsory classes: "Comes from a place of privilege, selfishness, immaturity and narrow-mindedness."

Um, no. No it doesn't. It comes from people resenting the idea that they are compelled to attend something which denotes that they are a danger simply because of their gender. Nobody is going to object to any class which helps younger people become better, kinder, nicer people. But once you force someone to do something against their will, they will rebel against it and that's why so many young men at English and American colleges are simply refusing to attend such courses.

Bizarrely, the phrase 'white, male privilege' keeps cropping up, which shows the fatuous oppression-envy of Irish activists. After all, most of the women giving out about those dastardly 'white males' are, um, white.

Also, as someone from Crumlin, you'll forgive me if I laugh whenever hacks who were educated at some of the most expensive fee-paying schools in the country lecture me about privilege.

Whether it's furiously complaining about songs they don't like, or shaming people who offend their sensibilities, or portraying women as hapless victims of rapacious, predatory men who are simply slaves to their biology, it's like the 1950s all over again.

This time the totalitarian prudes are secular clerics, not religious ones. But the personality types are the same - dour, humourless and convinced they have the right to tell other people how to live their lives.

So, if you're attending TCD next year and are compelled to attend, simply refuse.

After all, these people are mad and pursuing an agenda, you are not.

Don't let them convince you otherwise.

Comment is free - but only to the right sort

There are several handy rules for life. For instance, when it comes to rooting out ­phonies and shapers just look for the person who loudly parps that they "believe in freedom speech... but..."

In other words, they believe in freedom of speech as long as they agree with what is being said. Which, I'm sure you'll agree, is no freedom at all.

Now that bastion of posturing, absurd moralising, The Guardian, is to close some comments sections because: "Certain subjects - race, immigration and Islam in particular - attract an unacceptable level of toxic commentary."

Translation - they don't like any views which don't conform to their own, narrow world view.

Interestingly enough, The Guardian actually bucks the usual trend of comments sections in the media, where you have reasonable articles attacked by mad people. Instead, they tend to run pieces written by mad people and have reasonable people comment underneath.

But, incredibly, it appears this move came at the behest of some Guardian journalists who didn't like their own readers.

According to their 'executive editor for audience, overseeing participation, loyalty and reach', some Grauniad hacks have complained that they: "Can often find themselves on the receiving end of abuse and agenda trolling."

Oh, the humanity! The terrible travesty of it all! Those poor little lambs!

Here's the deal - if you're arrogant enough to put your name to a controversial topic, you're going to get a kicking.

If a writer can't handle negative comments then they should look for a different gig. Because without readers, we have no job.



Wendy Grace of Spirit FM

As might be abundantly clear to any ­regular readers, I'm not particularly religious. In fact, I'm a very happy little atheist, thank you very much.

Yet I often find myself defending religious types from the sneering of secular bullies who automatically assume anyone who believes in God is thick.

So, I sometimes appear on Christian radio station Spirit FM, despite the fact that I'm a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-drugs sinner. In other words, I believe that people can hold entirely opposing views and still have a civil conversation.

Interestingly enough, Spirit is now the only radio station in Ireland which works off a 50/50 gender ratio.

They didn't need to impose quotas. They don't need to rely on token wimmin.

So why hasn't there been more celebration of Spirit's gender diversity?

After all, we're constantly bombarded by the same people popping up to complain that women aren't given enough air time, yet here's a station that applies an even hand, regardless of sex. Far be it from me to engage in conspiracy theories, but a suspicious type might conclude this is because the conservative ethos of the station doesn't fit in with the current illiberal orthodoxy.

Surely not?

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