X Close

Sexual assault is the great leveller The current narrative forgets one thing: 'Rape Culture' isn't confined to private schools

Hollie Adams/Getty Images


March 31, 2021   4 mins

The truth is here, and it is vicious: even a public school education does not protect women from their own femininity. Even in the enchanted castles of the English public schools, where everything is available, some things can’t be bought: bodily autonomy, for instance.

Last week, testimony from pupils at Highgate School, Latymer Upper School, Dulwich College and elsewhere was circulated online from a website called Everyone’s Invited, a name that is bleakly witty. The allegations are posted anonymously by those at both private and state schools and universities across the country: but the media emphasised the private schools, where the cognitive dissonance is more dramatic, and the photographs are better.

There are stories of forced fellatio, emotional bullying and rape, drunken and sober. It is repulsive to read, and the schools had to respond. They will listen to The Times, if not the students, whose parents pay £21,600 a year. Allegations were reportedly ignored or soothed away with conundrums such as: we believe you — but will others? Now Dulwich College has called the police on two of its own pupils and Highgate offered an apology and promised to commission an independent review: the medium guns, then, and they need them, because anger is building.

The term “rape culture” is used to describe what is happening in these schools, and this makes me uneasy. The very phrase seems to offer the possibility of mitigation, for rape is the only crime in which this race for mitigation exists: if everyone is complicit, no one is guilty. Is a culture convictable? Is it punishable? I would be amazed if there were more sexual assaults in public schools than in state schools, even as the word entitlement is also used of these children: why would there be? Who is not entitled when it comes to young female bodies? Sexual assault: the great leveller.

There will be hand wringing and an offensive and cosmetic penance. Let us see how many careless teachers are sacked, how many teenage rapists jailed. There will possibly be a handful of out-of-court settlements, and then — nothing much at all. And that’s for the public school girls. Will the girls from state schools get any justice worth the name? The experience of the victims of the Rotherham grooming scandal suggests not. The victims will carry their burden alone; many will break, not under the burden of the crime, but under the burden of the disbelief: a double abandonment. That is usually the way.

For the private school pupils, though, it is different. Their stories lead the news pages, which may give them hope, but the defensive propaganda has already begun, as it does when these institutions, entwined with the British state for centuries, feel themselves threatened. They can afford skillful PR. They are selling a dreamland, after all; but a dreamland for some is not a dreamland for others. It has begun to roll out already; and there will be more of it.

My teenage son is not a rapist, wrote an anonymous mother in a Sunday newspaper, of an anonymous son that no one is calling a rapist: call him then a straw rapist. Do not blight a generation of schoolboys with upsetting allegations of rape, they say, ignoring the basic truth that rape is upsetting, and should always be treated as such. I would call these the old guns. There is an element of tribute in the reporting of the crisis for the public schools, even as this is described as “the next major scandal” for the country. But gawping is not justice. It is, quite often, a way of not seeing. It is entertainment.

And people, and journalists, will gawp. I was educated at a minor public school: almost half of newspaper columnists are, which is probably why our journalism on this subject is not better. We circle the fountain of inequality with jealous eyes; we rarely challenge it. Shame can still a pen. So can envy. Even progressive newspapers do not attack private schools as they should (it is not education they offer — if they did it would be cheaper — but social privilege) because so many journalists are educated there, and so are their children. Better to be a hypocrite in private than a fool in public. If you want justice, don’t look at us. We’re banging on the door too.

We do this because they are enchanted castles: it is no coincidence that Hogwarts is quite obviously an English public school, and strictly selective, though all fees are paid by the magical government, magically. Free public school standard education for all and an elite which includes everyone: that might be the most fantastical thing J K Rowling ever wrote.

But that enchanted girdle that public school winds around your future will only extend so far if you are female. The pay gap between the privately educated and state school educated university graduate with the same class of degree (7%-15%) does not exist for women, according to Engines of Privilege by David Kynaston and Francis Green, the definitive polemical book about private schools. Those girls who walked out of lessons last week in protest, might turn to this next.

But first, there are allegations like this: “In year 9, a teacher said to a class of 13-year-olds that ‘wife’ stood for ‘washing, ironing, fucking etc.’ It came to a head for me when I was sexual assaulted by my then boyfriend and his friend at 17. I tried to confront them about it and was told I was ‘over-reacting’.” That is the race for mitigation, but they wouldn’t call it that. They imbue it subconsciously, completely, and without critical thought. Perhaps it will matter this time. But, again, I doubt it. William Knowland, the Eton master fired for his lecture The Patriarchy Paradox — “saying smash the patriarchy amounts to saying smash human nature and biological reality” (a straw mob now?) — had support for his reinstatement from thousands of alumni, and boys.

It is ageless. What should be a moment of genuine crisis, a catalyst for change, borne on the rising tide of domestic violence under the pandemic and the singular, shocking murder of Sarah Everard and the police’s response, will likely ebb away. The private schools at least have the resources for counselling, if they are minded, which is part of their ocean of privilege; the state schools do not. I grieve for all victims, but will the state school girls even be heard amid the clamour?

Perhaps, if we are lucky, we will learn exactly what has happened in these schools, and whether the privilege they inculcate in their pupils has contributed to something ignoble, and terrible. We will learn what happened in all the schools where girls are unsafe, and how to make them safe. Or will we learn that — as I think more likely — men of all classes like to harm women when they can get away with it, and they can get away with it as easily in an enchanted castle as anywhere? It is a kind of equality: of misery.


Tanya Gold is a freelance journalist.

TanyaGold1

Join the discussion


Join like minded readers that support our journalism by becoming a paid subscriber


To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Subscribe
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

103 Comments
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

“Or will we learn that — as I think more likely — men of all classes like to harm women when they can get away with it, and they can get away with it as easily in an enchanted castle as anywhere? â€œ
This ruins your entire point, it makes it appear that you cannot think anything through – it’s just a knee j**k reaction. It leads to ideas like let’s have a curfew for men at night. 
Why on earth do some people have a problem grasping that some people are simply bad people? it isn’t about all men, it isn’t even about most men. But yes, some men like some women are rotten people. It also isn’t about public vs private schools.
btw, the testimony on the website Everyone’s Invited is anonymous. Are we really to blindly believe everything that anyone says anonymously?

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

“Why on earth do some people have a problem grasping that some people are simply bad people?”

Because this is another hysterical response to lockdown conditions, they are irrational, and left-wing feminist journalists like Tanya Gold have a living to make.
Incidents like the death of George Floyd, the abduction and murder of Sarah Everard and now flying accusations amongst school children, act like sparks. They become opportunities for all that frustrated, collective emotion and energy held in and concentrated by the lockdown to erupt and find release. One thing leads to another.
And then all that is put to political use by the Left.

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago

Are we really to blindly believe everything that anyone says anonymously?” – well yes, provided it’s people with vaginas who are making the claims.

Geoff H
Geoff H
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Aren’t they called women (nod to JK Rowling)?

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Women without vaginas have high rates of sexual abuse too .Although the figures are somewhat distorted by a large number of pre-op Brazilians working as prostitutes

Colin Macdonald
Colin Macdonald
3 years ago

There sure are, but the Graun et al are uncomfortable with judging individuals, unless they are Tory politicians, and prefer to judge Society. In my experience, of my own local school, certain damaged individuals are able to run amok, they’re aren’t enough tough men in the faculty to reign them in. The head is a nice woman, but ineffectual, perhaps a Guardian reader! The schools going down the toilet at warp speed, girls aren’t safe, but they talk a good talk about sexual equality, and LGBTQ etc also, a passing inspector would deem them compliant. It’s all utter bull, and the education authorities don’t care, as long as they’ve covered their backs.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

Well that’s a call for more male teachers, role models and authority figures. I’ve always thought the role of adults is to socialise feral kids into becoming productive members of society. Kids don’t teach themselves, it’s not ‘instinctive’. Instinctive wouid be more like Lord of the Flies. Lions cuffs naughty cubs. The emasculation of men is, to me, one of the most damaging things to have happened in our society.

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
2 years ago

Make an end to single-sex institutions (Army. Navy, Police, Fire Service, Schools, The Church, Scouts, Guides etc.) and immediately serious crime in the form of rape and murder will suddenly appear and thereafter increase (anyone watched the various US TV series which occasionally feature the real-life NCIS?).
With single-sex institutions internal crime vastly reduces in all-female domains and is mainly restricted to ‘bullying’ and rarely (sometimes enforced) pederasty in the case of all-male ones (e.g. the Catholic priesthood, also formerly the police (homosexuality being not uncommon) etc.etc.)
While the forcing or cajoling of lower-status, younger males to engage in homosexual behaviour is an admittedly bad thing, it can’t really be said to rank as high as violent rape and murder.
The reason that most institutions of the state were once single-sex was not ‘male supremacy’ or ‘patriarchy’ but the realisation that dual-sex institutions spend too much time sorting out the social problems produced by the mixing of large numbers of men and women in a ‘closed’ environment, with all the double-dealing, plotting, jealousies, collusion and betrayal that such a situation inevitably entails.

Last edited 2 years ago by Arnold Grutt
Weyland Smith
Weyland Smith
3 years ago

‘Credible and true’ as the police once said.

Mel Usina
Mel Usina
3 years ago

lol. Just keep ignoring reality if you have to. If “some people are bad” then then there are a hell of a lot of bad men out there.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

Yes, there probably are. Women too. Were you born this past week?

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Colin Colquhoun
Colin Colquhoun
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

I think it’s about one in ten. If you pick ten people at random, one of them will happily do really terrible things and sleep just fine as long as they get away with it. I think they are equally likely to be male as female. Males do more street harassing. But there are other ways to be unpleasant. Black or white, rich or poor, man or woman. Doesn’t matter. Charming or dour, happy or sad. Doesn’t matter. You might even know them fairly well.
Some people are bad. You never really know who. It’s entirely apolitical. Grasping this information seems to me a basic part of adulthood.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago

The saying used to be that 90% of Police time wa spent dealing with 10% of the population. Orwell said ” Good people sleep soundly abed because rough men stand ready to violence on their behalf”. Put this together; 10% or less of the population can make life miserable for the 90% unless they are physically stopped.
Since the mid 1960s middle class leftwingers, not the likes of Labour politicians like Lord Callghan, have reduced responsibility and punishment for criminal acts. Consequently, criminals pray on the defenceless. When Fathers had grown up boxing undertaken tough manual labour and served in the Armed Forces, they would have been thrashed to an inch of their life anyone who asked to take nude picture of their daughter. The Authorites have made it almost impossible for Fathers to take responsibility for the safety of their families.
When Mary Whitehouse was villified by feminists for criticising the sex and violence on television; did she have a point ? Where should the line be drawn ? If adults cannot define the line, how can teenagers.
In the novels of J Austen, there are characters who are officers who would have grown up bare knuckle fighting, cudgel fighting and fencing( sports of the 18th and early 19th centuries ). These officers were expected to be able to kill at close quarters on the battlefield, yet behave with gallantry to ladies in the ballroom; why is this not possible today?

Colin Colquhoun
Colin Colquhoun
3 years ago
Reply to  Charles Hedges

I wasn’t thinking of violence and overt physical crime so much as poor moral character and covert cruelty which might not even break the law. The law can only proscribe very clear and egregious acts, and much of human behaviour is not really understood or regulated. But sure, crime too.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

I think the idea is that in any society a certain number of free riders will exist. They break the rules and mores when they can and reap the benefits. If their numbers get too high, all trust breaks down. Below that though it can be a winning strategy.
Societies generally take action to reduce free riding, so it’s fair to say that in any society there are free riders, and that their behaviour would be worse if not kept in check.
I believe it is estimated that around 1 in 11 is about the limit before general trust breaks down.
How scientific this is I don’t know.

Colin Colquhoun
Colin Colquhoun
3 years ago
Reply to  David Morley

Yes I think what I’m saying is related to that idea, although I think we’d see “moral freeloading” in whatever society or grouping we lived. I think a few people are born evil. I’m a scientist but this idea is not science it’s just something I’m making up in a not wholly serious way to explain my life experiences. But, it sounds like something stanley milgram or a similar person might have investigated.

Richard Parker
Richard Parker
2 years ago

Thank you – that reflected my own thought processes more eloquently than I could manage to convey at this hour on New Year’s Day.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago

Are the contributors even all girls ? Probably attracts male fantasists . And some girls will just like the drama and sense of belonging that comes with contributing . Not to join in will make them feel left out .
None of this matters to a journalist who wants to maintain her ranting against injustice line while she diversifies into car reviews and restaurant columns

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
2 years ago

Spot on!

Marie Morton
Marie Morton
3 years ago

Two points – in all the articles you read vastly different degrees of interactions are lumped together – from ogling to abuse – this is not helpful. Rather like the outrage when a Minister – Damien Green I think who resigned – was said to have assaulted a woman 10 years earlier by putting a hand on her knee being compared to full on rape.
Secondly no one is allowed to bring up the mass rapes of schoolage girls that have happened (and are continuing to happen – see last week’s news re Nottingham) by grooming gangs in at least 35 towns and cities in the UK. As far as I am aware not one manager in social services or the police who were being told by their frontline workers has been removed. There have been no demonstrations – because these were working class girls.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Morton

There have been no demonstrations – because these were working class girls.

I suspect the identity of the perpetrators may have had something to do with this as well.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago

Too damn right it did.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Marie Morton

in all the articles you read vastly different degrees of interactions are lumped together – from ogling to abuse – this is not helpful. 

actually, you are quite wrong. It’s massively helpful. Without it the argument would fall flat on its face!

Last edited 3 years ago by David Morley
Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

So, on the one hand we have Will Knowland being sacked and villified for making a video which promotes the idea that decent men protect women, because this is an affront to feminist orthodoxy and the ‘equality’ agenda.

On the other hand we have feminists and some girls now demanding better levels of protection against male predators.
Who do they expect to protect them?
And ‘equality’ ?

Talk about confusing . . .

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

This really has got very little to do with class. It’s much more base than that.

Ready, free and essentially anonymous access to pornography online, particularly that which transcends mere nudity, I believe, is one of the major contributory factors to these prevailing unpleasant attitudes of young men towards women.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m in no way a puritan, pornography isn’t something that should be banned, but this commodification and ubiquity of sex and sexual acts, seeming growing social acceptance of it (or at least the tacit erosion of its illicitness) and the growing ease with which it can be accessed by literally anyone, anywhere and of any age nowadays must surely be having a deleterious effect on many young male minds in their formative years.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
Judy Simpson
Judy Simpson
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I agree and I’d like to add alcohol consumption by school children to the mix. When my children were in high school (in Australia), the amount of parent-sanctioned drinking by teenagers was almost out of control and I don’t think it’s improved. How do we expect children, both male and female, to make sensible decisions when they can barely stand upright? Yet, rather than address this issue, we hear endless rhetoric that appears to condone its use. Girls, we are told, are not capable of giving informed consent when drunk, yet boys are expected to never misread the signs of consent when they have consumed the same amount of alcohol. And how much responsibility should parents have? If a 16 year old girl is sexually assaulted at a party where all concerned are drunk, are the parents complicit for turning a blind-eye to the drinking?

Last edited 3 years ago by Judy Simpson
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Judy Simpson

16 year old teens get drunk and have sexual disasters. Not usually maliciously, just out of complete ignorance or inexperience. If your parents raised you right you should have the foundational sense of right and wrong that will help you navigate this.

Chris Milburn
Chris Milburn
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I agree. On one hand kids are sexualized from a very early age by online porn (“they grow up so fast these days”) and are wearing sexually-provocative clothing at an age where I was still playing soccer with boys and girls on the playground. On the other hand they don’t have real relationships anymore, have all their problems solved by adults, and are still living in their parent’s basements at age 30. (“kidults”)

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Milburn

If kids are oversexualised by porn it begs the question how are they accessing it so easily? It’s not like stumbling across a copy of Playboy in the bushes, access to online porn is via devices. Devices that need to be paid for.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Hang on I thought the ‘young people’ were the progressive SJW Labour voting future??

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The term “rape culture” is used to describe what is happening in these schools, and this makes me uneasy.
Almost predictably, it makes the author uneasy for the wrong reasons. Every one of those female students on campus has a father and/or other males figures in her life. The notion of ‘rape culture’ assumes that at least some of those men either expect this young lady to be assaulted or tolerate it. Since neither of those is even remotely true, please stop with that obnoxious term.
No one is in favor of sexual assault. But two students getting drunk and one regretting what followed is not assault, it’s regret. There is a big difference between force and stupidity. There are innumerable stories of false allegations that did tremendous damage to the accused while the accuser walked away without consequence.
ï»ż

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I agree with your sentiments, but must take issue with “No one is in favor of sexual assault”, if that were the case there would be no rape, no violent pornography, and no discussion. The very existence of such means that there are people who are in favour of such things, regrettably. As ever ‘polite society’ always aims for the low hanging fruit rather than the monsters.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

The notion of ‘rape culture’ assumes that at least some of those men either expect this young lady to be assaulted or tolerate it.

Actually it’s far worse than that: the idea is that through their actions they condone and even encourage it. The position is made clear in a video from CARE Norway.
https://youtu.be/dP7OXDWof30

Last edited 3 years ago by David Morley
Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
3 years ago

Ok, I’m in America, not England, but it’s completely not believable to me that  â€œIn year 9, a teacher said to a class of 13-year-olds that ‘wife’ stood for ‘washing, ironing, f*****g etc.’

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Agreed, a teacher would Never say that or anything like it in front of 30 witnesses unless he had a scr*w loose

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Totally unbelievable. Indeed a sure sign that stuff is being made up. It’s usually easy to spot by it’s exaggeration, and comes about because it is believable to the activists posting it (but not to anyone else). They can’t help but over egg it.

Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
3 years ago

Here’s a crazy idea: Maybe our ancestors didn’t set up social norms preventing young men and women from socialising unsupervised just because they were a bunch of ignorant prudes or malevolent patriarchs, and maybe the post-1960s mania for tearing down all barriers to promiscuous interaction between the sexes has been a mistake.

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago

Agreed. I’m beginning to think that protecting young women via teaching chivalry to men was a good idea.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Giulia Khawaja

Yes as I’ve gotten older I’m starting to see it too. I don’t want the pendulum to swing to women are property and need to wear burqas though. There must be some middle ground between WAP and puritanism. I’ve always thought ‘you can look but you can’t touch’ was a good rule.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

Look no further to the twisted, and ubiquitious, and Liberal Lefty protected, degenerate Porn industry and how it is tolerated, even promoted, by the sickko society who act so outraged.

Want mean spirited, evil, cruel, harmful porn seconds away from every human on the planet? For Free? Well, this is what your secular humanist progressive society will give you, and it is just beginning.

Here is your ‘Freedom of speech! Any word not 100% politically Correct means canceling everywhere Porn is not involved wile very perversion, cruelty, harmful sex act an ill mind can conceive of is Promoted in Pornography – Free of any canceling! Tolerated, and protected and shown to every person with internet – even on BBC and Channel 4, and MSM TV to a degree which is not healthy at all!. There you are you sick, degenerate Liberals, look how you are making the new world.

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Yes, the easy availability of porn is probably something to do with it, to the extent that ‘it’ is based on fact and not just a few incidents blown up by the media. That aside, it seems that the more we ram ‘progressive’ virtues such as ‘tolerance’ and ‘understanding’ etc down the throats of children and wider society, the more vicious we become.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

Tolerance and understanding are worthy notions, but those words don’t have the same meaning for leftists. They won’t tolerate people who disagree with them and cannot understand why anybody would think differently. What they mean is tolerate attacks on your culture and history, and understand that if you’re a straight white male, you’re always the baddie.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

Because they think racism, misogyny are not to be tolerated – but they are the ones who decide what qualifies as such.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The fact that you think the BBC is showing porn suggests that your definition of porn may differ from that of most people… I’ve no wish to return to an age when table legs were covered up to avoid corrupting the servants. Furthermore, the left are pretty puritanical in their wish to clampdown on porn… Remember it was a labour mp who spent years campaigning to remove page 3. The only reason genuine porn still flourishes in this era of political correctness is that there’s money to be made and its creators have no interest in virtue signalling.

Last edited 3 years ago by Mike Boosh
Cassander Antipatru
Cassander Antipatru
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

I’ve no wish to return to an age when table legs were covered up to avoid corrupting the servants.
You are aware that that never actually happened, right?

Scott Carson
Scott Carson
3 years ago

Speak for yourself. Those piano legs?? Phwoar!!

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

That was a product of the overcrowded slums which developed in the UK from 1800.
Pre Industrial Britain is based upon agriculture and hence fertlility. The Maypole , dancing and music in the countryside were celebrations of fertility and are pre Christian, as are most agricultural rituals. One could not grow up in the countryside and not see sex. In particular, Elizabethan England was not only merrie but also bawdy.
The difference was that people from the age of 12 or 14 years of age worked with adults and though there were plenty of grassy glades where young lovers could go, the village kept watch on where they went. Sons were told that if you get a girl pregnant you will marry her as you have responsibilities, for example W Shakespeare.

David Hughes
David Hughes
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

“Want mean spirited, evil, cruel, harmful porn seconds away from every human on the planet? For Free?”
Can you recommend any good sites? (Asking for a friend)

Lee Jones
Lee Jones
3 years ago
Reply to  David Hughes

I imagine if you type “mean spirited, evil, cruel, harmful porn” into google you will be given links to it all.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Jones

Enough links to occupy you for the rest of your life. Or so I’m told.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  David Hughes

Are you claiming that you don’t know?

Chris Hopwood
Chris Hopwood
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

The golden era of the Sun’s page 3 was in the 1980s when its heroine Maggie Thatcher (a Tory) was in power

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Hopwood

I’m no prude or SJW but I did always find the notion of a topless woman in a daily newspaper somewhat grotesque and unnecessary.

Fabian Destouches
Fabian Destouches
3 years ago

Bring back sex segregated schools instead of furthering the war against boys.

M Spahn
M Spahn
3 years ago

It is completely verboten to consider “culture” with respect to any crime other than rape. Try pointing to “murder culture” or “stealing culture” as an explanatory framework and you will be labeled a bigot before the phrase leaves your lips. Interesting, that.

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
3 years ago
Reply to  M Spahn

Your comment nails it! I’m a career prosecutor and it’s irrefutable in my opinion that a lot of crime stems from a perpetrator’s immediate sub-cultural environment. Read “Life at the Bottom” by British author Theodore Dalrymple for a keen first-hand account of the social and criminal pathologies he observed during his long career as a psychiatrist treating England’s (white) lower class members.
However, I don’t see an overall cultural approval of rape in the modern Western world.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

Dalrymple is the pen name of Anthony Daniels. He still contributes to City Journal (no paywall), if anyone else is interested. He is both eloquent and astute in his observations. And he doesn’t make the mistake of assuming that those who Live at the Bottom are invariably stupid. Because clearly many of them are not.

Last edited 3 years ago by Terry Needham
Diana Durham
Diana Durham
3 years ago

The phrase ‘rape culture’ seems more appropriate to describe the Muslim grooming gangs of Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Huddersfield and 69 other UK cities than drunk and drug addled party teens of both sexes.

John Lewis
John Lewis
3 years ago

I hope before long female Unherd columnists will feel able to write an article without referring to Sarah Everard, although to her credit Tanya does also mention Rotherham, something beyond some of her contemporaries.

On a broader note why is the sudden furore concentrated so much on public schools? Because that’s where the “privileged white males” are.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Lewis
Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

‘I was educated at a minor public school: almost half of newspaper columnists are…’
This probably explains why so many of us gave up on the MSM a long time ago. Compare and contrast with Tim Pool, whose interview with Freddy can still be viewed. Tim grew up in the south side of Chicago and dropped out of high school, yet he is probably the best and most knowledgeable journalist of the last 10 years. 

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

“Or will we learn that — as I think more likely — men of all classes like to harm women when they can get away with it, and they can get away with it as easily in an enchanted castle as anywhere? â€œ
This ruins your entire point, it makes it appear that you cannot think anything through – it’s just a knee jerk reaction. It leads to dumb things like let’s have a curfew for men at night.
Why on earth do some people have a problem grasping that some people are simply bad people? it isn’t about all men, it isn’t even about most men. But yes, some men like some women are rotten people.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago

You clearly didn’t get the feminist memo annette: men bad, women good. Don’t go confusing the issue with strange notions about not lumping millions of people together into a category and attributing them all with the same behaviour and characteristics.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

What about men who identify as women? Strangely, the feminists are silent on something that poses genuine harm to women.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

TBF some feminists do express their views on this and have found themselves attacked and cancelled. You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh. Their renewed recent screeching is probably an attempt by feminists to pull women up the victimhood league table, where they’ve recently been overtaken by black people and the TS end of the alphabet community

Giulia Khawaja
Giulia Khawaja
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Not really, any woman speaking out agains tr..s is labelled TERF.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago

Why is this ha teful nonsense acceptable as journalism?

How does stuff like this fit in with UnHerd’s mission statement?

Sort yourselves out UnHerd.

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

I’m all in favour of different points of view in the articles, and it’s refreshing to read something utterly nonsensical that we can all attack below the line. Tanya can always be relied upon to provide some rubbish that we can all agree we disagree with.

Claire D
Claire D
3 years ago
Reply to  Mike Boosh

I agree with you in a general way about Tanya’s work, though “refreshing” is not the word I would use, but I found this article + one last week in The Post by another rabid feminist, particularly unpleasant.

Last edited 3 years ago by Claire D
Richard Turpin
Richard Turpin
3 years ago

”I was educated at a minor public school: almost half of newspaper columnists are, which is probably why our journalism on this subject is not better. We circle the fountain of inequality with jealous eyes; we rarely challenge it”
I always find it mildly amusing when public school wokes try to put a subtle veil on their privilege. Did this author stand up for the 3,000 plus white girls that were systematically groomed and raped ? Thought not. What a stupid assumption that Private Schools have the manadate on rape compared to the State System….if they even have a manadate at all. Rape Culture? I think if people want to coin this as a descriptor then why not be brave enough to look at the crime statastics across Europe and the US and see how the “rape culture’ stacks up statistically relating to culture, colour and relegion and in doing so ,society can maybe starting dealing in truths and data rather than politically convenient narratives penned by a post modernist feminist.
” Men of all classes like to harm women if they can”.
That sentence alone is reason for anybody with half a brain to reduce identity politics to what it is, rascist to the core and a social fabric and community destroyer at all levels.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Turpin

Talking of crime statistics. I remember getting into a debate with a Muslim apologist who said the West was decadent and immoral, evidenced by all the rapists and rape statistics. He said ‘we have no rape in Muslim countries’. I replied that he was deluding himself because in Muslim countries rape is normal and reporting it would get the woman put in jail not the rapist. Rape is only rape if it is viewed as such.

Steve Hall
Steve Hall
3 years ago

There is no generic ‘rape culture’ in this country. Why does Unherd employ these mainstream radical feminist hacks? I thought it was an alternative media platform.

Jonathan Ellman
Jonathan Ellman
3 years ago

Groups competing for status. Rape culture, islamaphobia, environmentalism, racism … the issue is arbitrary. How you can abuse and manipulate it to justify your claim for power is all in the void where belief in Empire once was. Try to find order and reason in this and you enter the fray; overcome with indignant grievance, you lose your rational faculties. To engage with this is to enter a hall of mirrors where reason is warped into fury and to lay yourself open to becoming collateral damage. A generation of schoolboys can be sacrificed as was a generation of vulnerable schoolgirls in this toxic war for supremacy, so can you be.
Only the project and the process of reconstructing a value system can lead us out of this mess.

jonathan carter-meggs
jonathan carter-meggs
3 years ago

Most boys and girls muddle along and this “learning by experience” is normal and appropriate. There is an almost infinite amount of sexual objectification by boys of girls and, I suspect, a good deal by girls of boys. This is very normal for teens as the hormones kick in. Girls cannot conceive of how boys feel about their sexual urges any more than boys can imagine what a girl’s urges feel like. There is no doubt that main stream media, the internet and social media has amplified the availability of sexual content, including extreme sexual content, for all ages, even the very young. Most boys and girls muddle along. However, the few “bad eggs” can catalyse a meme in the same way a jihadist can influence the impressionable. Home life and peer examples will be key factors.

I would start by setting better standards on content, and holding the purveyors of sexual content to account. I would also spend a lot more money explaining to the young the consequences of actions involving sexual content and contact. I would avoid exaggerated terminology such as “rape culture” and resist the urge to bring out more laws, as good ones exist already. Encouraging the common ground and building on it will always be better than the enforced demarcation of groups and setting them against each other, or of demonising one group.

Aisha Akhtar
Aisha Akhtar
3 years ago

Eminently sensible post, fully agree

David Stanley
David Stanley
3 years ago

I’m starting to think that Unherd keeps publishing these feminist articles because they get the most ‘engagement’ from readers in the form of comments below the line. They know this sort of man hating nonsense is not why any of us come here (if we wanted that we’d read the Guardian) but they know that we’ll all get angry and post millions of comments about it.

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
3 years ago
Reply to  David Stanley

Oh no, hou just exposed Sarah Ditum’s breadwinning trick!
Oddly, this occupies space that should belong to real, pressing matters that intelligent folk should be discussing. Instead…

google
google
3 years ago

I went to a boys-only school. I don’t remember there being much of a problem there.

Sharon Overy
Sharon Overy
3 years ago

Well you’ll be pleased to know that a school in Australia has made the boys stand up in assembly and apologise on behalf of their gender. Struggle sessions are, apparently, the way to go. It’s progressive. /s

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharon Overy

Yes. Fortunately the pushback from normal people was strong and the head teacher apologized for the apology

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Mitchell

Have we had the apology for the apology for the apology?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
3 years ago

It would be interesting to know how many schools are currently suffering an IT malfunction which deletes all past emails.
For years I wondered why serious incidents of physical assault by pupils never seemed to be recorded in the behaviour and commendation systems that state schools used. When I was assaulted by a pupil and so badly injured that I had to leave my employment, I found out. The school could only be sued if I could provide evidence that that individual pupil had been as violent on a previous occasion. Providing examples of violence not being addressed was insufficient, if the violence was committed by someone else. Then there was the girl who had previously made an accusation against another teacher that she later admitted was false. That accusation and admission had also disappeared from her school record by the time I feared that she would make a false accusation against me.
I suspect that there are a lot of head teachers currently assessing which of two paths to follow. Either they will decide that their tracks can be hidden and past reports of sexual abuse denied. Or they will be banding together and issuing a group ‘mea culpa’, which translated into English means if all of us are guilty none of us can be punished. I would not be surprised that by the time this issue dies down not one head has resigned for failing in his or her child safeguarding duties.
Going back around 20 years my neighbour complained that her daughter had been put on the pill by her boarding school without her knowledge. It would be interesting to know if this was to protect her from consensual sex or assault.

Ian Wigg
Ian Wigg
3 years ago

I went to an all boys public school on the 70’s (apart from Bedales and a few others they were all single sex.)

I agree that there was a culture of misogyny and male dominance – right up until we were actually exposed to real members of the opposite sex. Then it all rather descended into blind panic, much mumbling and pathetic gratitude if a girl actually spoke to us (assuming we were capable of responding coherently.)

There were always those outliers but generally any physical advances tended to come from the girls who seemingly were much more confident in those matters.

From, thankfully not personal experience, my understanding of rape culture in public schools is more likely to be getting buggerd in the dorm or the forced application of a hairbrush handle in the girls equivalent

This is not to condone either but to understand it as a power/dominance action amongst a homogeneous group rather than a sexual aggression.

David Morley
David Morley
3 years ago

The very phrase seems to offer the possibility of mitigation, for rape is the only crime in which this race for mitigation exists: if everyone is complicit, no one is guilty. Is a culture convictable?

whoa, whoa, whoa
the term “rape culture” wasn’t invented by rape apologists trying to let rapists off the hook. It was invented by feminists trying to put all men on the hook for what a few men do.
sure, bundling rape in with jokes and wolf whistles trivialises it. So stop it. Get rid of the whole silly concept.

David Waring
David Waring
3 years ago

Am I alone in finding this worrying? After all no one from the Managerial or Political Class batted an eyelid while it was young Sikh or working class Northern white girls being abused?
Several thousand victims spread across over 50 English towns and cities all with minimal comment from the MSM.
In fact today I read some of the perpetrators have been released early and are now back on the streets
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/14/police-officers-knowingly-neglected-girls-exploited-grooming/

Last edited 3 years ago by David Waring
Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago

Love the way she says she went to a MINOR public school . See Tanya isn’t truly privileged . And what about that 7% pay gap that female public school pupils endure ! IsTanya boasting that she’s as disadvantaged as a working class girl from Rotherham or is she whining that she isn’t getting her due ? Hard to tell

She is clearly middle class and privileged but ,unlike working class journalists like Julie Burchill ,needs to play the victim .

Last edited 2 years ago by Alan Osband
Jean Nutley
Jean Nutley
2 years ago

I might have had more time for this article and author if there had not been consistent use of “enchanted castle” when describing public schools. Public schools, in my experience, are most certainly not that, and to describe them as such shows prejudice.
The real battle is getting those in authority to stop hiding behind arguments such as “she was asking for it”, or “I thought she agreed” or “we were drunk and having fun”

Thomas Laird
Thomas Laird
3 years ago

Yes It’s confined to the minds of feminists.

Stephen Tye
Stephen Tye
3 years ago

I skimmed the sexual misconduct reports in the website Everyone Invited.
Some were from boys reporting the ‘won’t take no for an answer’ girls.
Some were for henious crimes such as slapping a girls bottom, or taking a peek up the girls skirt!
Many many many were from girls who got drunk, had sex at some point , and regretted it.
A few were genuinely (if true) unaceptable, such as waitresses having to put up with wandering hands between the legs etc.
I didn’t find one report of an actual ‘dragged me off into the bushes’ experience, but I’m sure there would have been a few.
However did the website complaints illustrate a ‘rape culture’ – not that I could see.

Last edited 3 years ago by Stephen Tye
Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Tye

A waitress getting felt up should have clear instructions. A loud clear No, then going straight to the manager who should have the culprit shamed and thrown out – or call the police if deemed serious enough. End of. Perhaps what needs to be tackled is the not doing anything there and then and nipping it in the bud. I’m not of course talking about times when you are on your own or threatened with violence but a lot of this stuff is low level bad behaviour. Get away, go straight to the police or to HR. Don’t wait. Get it on the record. Deal with it immediately. The ones who think it’s ok won’t think it for long.

Last edited 2 years ago by Cheryl Jones
Mark Lilly
Mark Lilly
3 years ago

The weekly language competition. Please read the paragraph beginning ‘My teenage son is not a rapist,’ and translate it into coherent English.
Seriously, why are Unherd columnists unable to write basic English?

Alex Delszsen
Alex Delszsen
3 years ago

What is disturbing is that the Parisian Influencer, who began this movement, decided to call it, “Everyone’s Invited.” The name is disturbingly similar to the name of the website, “Only Fans.”
Still, women are glad that groping is being called out. I nominate Bill Clinton to have a conversation about this with Kamala Harris.

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Delszsen
James Wardle
James Wardle
3 years ago

I was contacted and encouraged to claim. I was half hearted about it and eventually it turned out that because I didn’t become alcoholic, addicted to drugs, violent, poor relationships, they said I hadn’t lost anything. My claim was worthless as the acts themselves are not of any value under tort law. Actually I wanted not compensation but I could have met with the head, had some acknowledgment and it would have been nice to hear why it could never happen. I remember at the time they changed the policy of having single men as housemasters to married couples and if you tell me it has nothing to do with it, I’ll tell you to sod off. Ironically the settlement would have been without any admission of guilt, and yet for many, you don’t want anything more than an acknowledgement and some assurances about safeguarding.
My family were unsupportive and Chosen documentary has a policewoman commenting how parents didn’t want to soil the family name by admitting their child had been abused at school. May affect their career. If you wonder why the planet is FUBAR, it’s always the parents, said slightly sarcastically but middle class families, they’re toxic, with many exceptions but when they go bad, they go FUBAR. My parents heard rumours and sent me anyway, because it was my brother who complained there was an attempt. I think that and the case was the more harmful. But you cause twitter offence and Sadiq’s twitter police are coming for you. I don’t have children and it’s not my problem but 1 in 6 and it’s your children. Not my kid. But as I say don’t have children, if no one else gives a toss, why should I? I mean twitter police or set up traps for peadophiles before they offemd? Peadophile hunters do it as police have no resources. I just think ….madness.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

There is no ‘rape culture’. There are men (and women) who are predators though and pick on people they think can’t or won’t fight back. The feeling of power gets them off and they hope to get away with it which is why they pick on who they do. They know it’s wrong or they’d do it in plain sight. Our society at large seriously frowns upon it, only bent coppers get it worse in prison than rapists, wife beaters and paedophiles. No-one is more reviled. That does not say ‘rape culture’ to me.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

There is no ‘rape culture’. There are men (and women) who are predators though and pick on people they think can’t or won’t fight back. The feeling of power gets them off and they hope to get away with it which is why they pick on who they do. They know it’s wrong or they’d do it in plain sight. Our society at large seriously frowns upon it, only bent coppers get it worse in prison than rapists, wife beaters and paedophiles. No-one is more reviled. That does not say ‘rape culture’ to me.

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
2 years ago

This is an extraordinary article. Confusing, inarticulate and lacking focus. Confusing – because I’m still not sure what the writer’s point is. Inarticulate – well, sorry, but writing as clearly as possible is especially important in something as emotionally charged as sexual assault. Lacking focus – because there’s no ending, no recommendation, no ‘call for action’. One is left with a vague sense of fury, of anger, perhaps rooted in her own childhood and adolescence (as – perhaps – revealed by her anecdote about her boyfriend).

Mangle Tangle
Mangle Tangle
2 years ago

This is an extraordinary article. Confusing, inarticulate and lacking focus. Confusing – because I’m still not sure what the writer’s point is. Inarticulate – well, sorry, but writing as clearly as possible is especially important in something as emotionally charged as sexual assault. Lacking focus – because there’s no ending, no recommendation, no ‘call for action’. One is left with a vague sense of fury, of anger, perhaps rooted in her own childhood and adolescence (as – perhaps – revealed by her anecdote about her boyfriend).

Mel Usina
Mel Usina
3 years ago

I doubt any of the “not all men” whiners commenting on this article have bothered to listen to the testimony of the girls referenced in this article. Or maybe they have and just don’t care. You desperate want a culture that ignores and allows sexual assault and it doesn’t take a lot of thought to figure out why.

Colin Macdonald
Colin Macdonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

You can literally be strung by the male friends of the woman you groped, at least in Newcastle anyway. That’s a true story I heard while on a tea break working on the mysoginistic paradise of a North Sea oil rig.
So I tend to disbelieve that society condones the mistreatment of women

Mike Boosh
Mike Boosh
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

There’s only culture that ignores and allows sexual assault, and it was allowed to operate unhindered throughout English cities for many years while the police, local councils and MSM looked the other way for fear of being called racist

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

The minute you used the phrase ‘ “not all men” whiners’ was the minute you lost all credibility.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

Since it’s all anonymous, we don’t even know if any of it is true. And much of it isn’t sexual assault, read it, some of it is nothing more than normal teenage and college sexual activity. Anyone who went to college knows that. “We got drunk and had s*x I regretted it in the morning.” Story told over and over around the world. Since forever.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

Strangely enough, at the time of typing this comment, there is not one single comment whining about ‘not all men’. It appears that you formed a preconceived conclusion and went on the offensive from there. There’s a lot more nuance to this issue than your comment seems to suggest.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

To the best of my recollection, I have never raped, or assaulted, or threatened, or harassed a woman.
Perhaps you could remind me when I did any of these things. Feel free to be anonymous, if you feel that anonymity will add credibility to your account.

Andre Lower
Andre Lower
3 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

Terry, that is not how this works. The fact that the vast majority of men was never remotely close to doing any of the deeds ascribed to men (as a gender) is irrelevant – the feminist feel just fine burying the whole gender with no consideration for potential innocence of “some men”.
In short, insulting all decent men is perfectly fine. Yet men are the cowards in the feminist narrative. Got it?

Last edited 3 years ago by Andre Lower
James Wardle
James Wardle
3 years ago
Reply to  Mel Usina

I have seen a few murmurings about the impact of pornography on boys, to teenagers etc and not only is it traumatising if young children see it, but it can affect how these young men then go on to treat women. There’s a huge impact on sexual assault and attitudes to consent are on a spectrum. There should be no spectrum at all. Consent or no contactsent. Where is the grey area? I have not had the heart to watch the US doc about a girl drunk at a party and how the boys there filmed and published her rape/sexual assault online and she was bullied, the police and prosecution messed up the case so no one was convicted. And yet it was filmed. The US is ahead but we always catch up. I’m glad I’m not a girl coming into womanhood trying to navigate the sexual politics, and poor attitudes. I don’t understand why anyone would sleep with an unconscious girl. Most of us make a mistake if we drink and I drank a litre of vermouth and was so ill I drink very little. Girls-women do have it harder because let’s say teenagers were drunk and a bit of petting, some think she’s up for it e en if she then were to drink too much. There is a big problem with consent.