Victim Blaming, Sexual Abuse and Katie Hopkins

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Inured as we all are to the lime light seeking idiocy spewed by Katie Hopkins with regard to any trending news topic, her comments in relation to sexual abuse toward women this month have hit a new low.

In the wake of the #MeToo campaign many brave women have come forward to tell their own personal stories about sexual harassment, sexual abuse, rape and sexist victimisation. These frank and honest accounts have helped educate the public at large as to the scale of the problem we still face with the abuse of women in our society.

This bravery has been met with the typical bull in a china shop belligerence by Hopkins (and others) who have spectacularly failed to grasp the point of the #MeToo campaign and who have derided the women courageous enough to take part as capitalising on their abuse to seek attention.
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Hopkins goes on to imply that in some cases women have not been abused but have used sex as a bartering tool for personal gain.

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However the comment that showed a particular lack of empathy and understanding toward this sensitive discussion was the tweet where Mrs Hopkins suggested women should ‘man up’ with the clear implication that if women behaved differently they would be less likely to suffer abuse.

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This is victim blaming at its worst. It is no different from claiming women who wear a mini skirt are asking for it. Our society has gradually evolved to understand that the blame of rape must always lie at the feet of the rapist and not the victim. Katie Hopkins seems hell bent on dragging us back fifty years into the past with her unhelpful and anachronistic attitude that with the right behaviours a woman can stop herself from being violated.

This negative attitude toward victims of sexual abuse was further perpetuated in the media by Anne Robinson who jumped on the band wagon to call modern women ‘fragile’ and commented: “In the early days, 40 years ago, there were very few of us women in power and I have to say we had a much more robust attitude to men behaving badly.”

This victim blaming attitude was further endorsed by Caroline Santos of UKIP who went further even than Hopkins and Robinson to suggest not only could women stop abuse if they want to, but some actively welcome it.

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When women in the media speak out with such little understanding of the issues involved there is a very real danger that it will once again silence those women who did speak out and who did shine a light on the unacceptable behaviour of the small number of men who do use sex to try and obtain power over their female colleagues.

The fundamental mistake that Hopkins and co are making is to assume that women are all the same. They assume all women have the same levels of confidence that they do and that all women are able to fight off sexual harassment in the same way that they believe they would be.

But this is a very naïve point of view. Women differ greatly in their personal circumstances, their background and abilities. What one woman may find easy to shrug off may traumatise another. This is not because one of the women is weaker than the other but because one may have more emotional issues and trauma in their past.

Speaking personally I am extremely lucky in the fact that I have never been abused or raped, I have never had an abusive partner, I have never had personal or working relationships where my gender or sexuality have been exploited and I was fortunate enough to be brought up by parents who cared enough about me to instil me with the confidence to speak up if anything inappropriate was said or done to me. This is privilege. My confidence is not my achievement, I just got lucky.

Other women have not been so lucky. Other woman have suffered abuse, discrimination and sexual harassment. Other women have been so in fear for their jobs that they would endure unwanted attention for the sake of feeding their children.

What Hopkins doesn’t understand is that women do not all start off on a level playing field. There are those of us who would be confident enough to (in her words) “Toughen up and stand alone” but this is not because we are stronger or better in any way, it is because we have been luckier than others.

Hopkins and Robinson make a virtue of their confidence and their ability to stand up for themselves but these are powerful women in the public eye. They have no concept of the vulnerabilities of others.

I did see a flasher once and gave him a round of applause and marks out of ten which entirely killed the rather uninspiring erection he had. But I do not consider my confidence to be something to brag about. I have been fortunate, very fortunate. Many women are not. We must own our own privilege when we have not been subjected to the trials that others have. It is too easy to claim to be strong when you have never been tested.

The point of the #MeToo campaign was to give a voice to women who have been abused and to give them a platform where they can speak out. When people of our own gender like Hopkins and Robinson mock these women they are not just letting down the sisterhood they are undermining the whole principle that those who harm others should be held responsible for their actions.

Keep on speaking up with the #MeToo ladies. Your courage does you all credit.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK

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Cheerleaders of Terror

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 Another deadly, despicable terrorist attack takes place with Islamic extremist terror organisation ISIS the main suspects and the worldwide far right cannot hide their celebrations. Donald Trump is at his most shaky since his election as media attention is switched from the Trump administration’s alleged collusion with Russia towards Muslim bans and “extreme vetting”.

Whilst 99.99% of worshippers of the Muslim faith do not support ISIS, Islamophobes everywhere are logging onto Twitter and Facebook with the sole intent of spewing toxic hatred against every Muslim, no matter now liberal and peacemaking. Within minutes of the press announcement following the New York terrorist murder, death threats pumped out with vitriol against all Muslims. Every hater on the net was soon busy blaming an entire faith for the actions of a tiny minority.

All it takes to stir professional bigots such as Pamela Geller, Douglas Murray, Katie Hopkins, Paul Golding and Tommy Robinson into action, is a tragic report of a suspected terrorist incident. No sooner are ambulances on the scene, the extreme rightwing scapegoating begins in earnest, deliberate trolling from notorious haters designed to bully, harass and marginalise Muslim minority communities throughout the Western World and to drive a wedge between America, Europe and the Middle East. So ready is the anti-Muslim propaganda machine to swing into action, far right rabble-rousers have often turned up at scenes of non-terror related incidents wrongly believing them to be terror-related.

No-one is faster off the mark than Donald Trump. Not even Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lemon), who has a nasty habit of appearing at the scene of suspected terror incidents to thrust cameras in police and ambulance crews’ faces whilst bodies are still warm. Seeking to blame all Muslims for everything wrong in the world, Trump and belligerent bosom buddy Steve Bannon shamelessly capitalise on the anguish of victims with outpourings of vengeful bigotry.

Let us make absolutely no bones about this – The extreme right’s intent is every bit as deadly as ISIS. The end game of White Nationalists and Islamophobics alike is a “clash of civilisations” (the latest term for the far right’s lusted for race war) – A final battle of biblical proportions which will result in the mass slaughter of (mostly brown or black-skinned) Muslims living in Western societies, and deadly, possibly even nuclear warfare between the West and the Middle East. Such a battle (though most certain not to come to fruition) is the racial fantasist’s wet dream, the blood lust for genocide – the ultimate far right snuff fantasy.

For the extremist far right mindset, the “clash of civilisations” is God’s will, and will ultimately result in the death of Jews as well as Muslims, plus everybody else who does not repent and follow Jesus Christ at the eleventh hour. (The irony of course being that these bigots are as far from being Christians as it is possible to be.)

The first lie out of the traps, used by Islamophobic bigots after each and every ISIS-linked terrorist attack is that the far right are relatively peaceful compared to Islamic extremists. As if anyone has forgotten about Auschwitz…

In the revisionist cloud-cuckoo land of the alt right, today’s Nazis are nothing to do with yesterday’s Nazis, even though many Islamophobic Twitter profiles openly glorify the Waffen SS, and share phrases and memes venerating Adolf Hitler.

Just because ‘only’ one person was killed at Charlottesville, fascist defenders continually play the numbers game, trying to portray their deadly allegances to genocidal hate as “better than ISIS”. You do not need to be a first-class historian or mathematical wizard to understand that Islamic extremists have not, and will never match the total death toll of Adolf Hitler and his genocidal regime.

Stephen Yaxley Lennon is unashamably remunerated to troll hate – a fact that Twitter should be aware of, but refuse to take action on. At a time when paid Russian trolls fall increasingly under the spotlight, other, more racially-charged purveyors of hate such as the Luton Liar, continue to be shown the green light from @twittersupport no matter how false and inflamatory their dialogue is. Yaxley-Lennon has been temporarily banned in the past, not for bigoted content, but for personal harassment. Much like ex Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulus who lost his account for the same reason. Unfortunately it appears that once you receive the “blue tick” from Twitter, your extremist political output is beyond censor. The only way you will lose your account, is not for denying the genocide in Myanmar, or telling lies about the faith of Islam in regards to paedophilia, but purely and simply for engaging in personal abuse. (Fortunately a lot of the far right do this on a regular basis so still get suspended rather a lot).

Every so often, from time to time, Twitter management will go to press with a promise to get tough on hatred and extremism, and hardened optimists still get taken in by such false promises. It is amazing PR for the company to pretend they will get tough with haters, when in reality, for the greatest of offenders, it is always business as usual.

Even when Katie Hopkins tweeted about wanting a Hitlerite “Final Solution”, Twitter failed to remove her from the platform, despite thousands of complaints and a campaign by Resisting Hate members.

When push comes to shove, the most popular haters, be they Richard Spencer, Pamela Geller, Tommy Robinson, Paul Golding, or Katie Hopkins, will never lose their accounts because each time their fans log onto Twitter for updates, significant revenue is accrued by the company (similarly with Facebook). No matter how disgusting, prejudical, or hate-crime inspiring a prime user’s account is, controversy generates big money, which is the main reason why multiple “Terms of Service” breaches for the top verified accounts are deliberately ignored by website moderators.

Violent, or even deadly hate-crimes don’t happen within a vacuum. Especially not in today’s technological age. Whilst printed media is still a factor in nurturing destructive prejudice against minority groups (as is family-nurtured racism, peer pressure bigotry, and just hanging out with a bad crowd in the bar who loathe anyone who happens to be non-white) – the ubiqitous nature of online hatred, in particular via social media, most definitely shapes the mind of the hate-crime offender from any starting point, nurturing raw bigotry and intolerance, and shaping attitudes towards a siege mentality where violent action, (although rarely called for by the professional bigots themselves), becomes a self-justifying necessity in the paranoid mindset which has been successfully-programmed to believe Muslims, refugees, foreigners and non-white people are “swamping” and “taking over” unless “drastic action” is taken.

Horrific terror attacks, like the one that happened in New York, are outrages of absolute evil. The nihilistic slaughter of New Yorkers going about their every day business, cycling home from work or study to be mown down by fanatics, is horrendous beyond belief. If it hadn’t been for the quick-thinking actions of the security forces, the death toll could have been even greater, which is a deeply chilling thought.

Despite Neo Fascist lies that antifascists support terrorist organisations like ISIS, the truth could not be further from this. ANTIFA fighters pushed back Islamic extremists from Rojava and continue to have an impact in the fragile situation currently playing out in Syria. Everything that religious murderers stand for is rejected by anarchists and antifascists a hundredfold. The skewed philosophy of deadly intolerance towards anyone who doesn’t share their religious beliefs actually puts ISIS firmly into the same deadly dogmatic category as National Socialists. ANTIFA have proven to be up for the challenge of combating hate from any quarter, something that the beer-bellied drunken football hooligan bigots of the EDL have never once attempted to do.

Also quick to scream abuse at passing Muslim families the ‘soldiers’ of the “Taliban Hunting Club” would run a mile if they ever came face to face with actual extreme Islamists. As would the ‘hard football lads’ of the FLA.

In the spirit of unity and reconcilliation, aware of how far-right Twitter trolls always accuse ordinary Muslims of “doing nothing to stop terror” in the wake of any terrorist attack, a group of peace-loving female Muslims approached John Meighan (leader of the FLA) asking him for assurances of their welcome and safety if they joined in a future FLA march. This was an admirable overture of solidarity and highlighted by our own organisation, Resisting Hate. Sadly, this hand of friendship was overwhelmingly rejected by the FLA leadership who blocked all requests for unity on site. Instead they chose to ‘combat’ the ISIS threat by allowing far right speakers to deliver Islamophobic lectures on non-terror related rants such as the non-Islamic practise of FGM, and the equally non-religious extremist-inspired child abuse that occured in Rotherham.

Opposing terror, for the FLA, just as with the EDL, simply means the continued demonisation of all Muslims.

A previous Resisting Hate article highlighted the plans of senior FLA officials to create mayhem when crowd numbers reach a significant size.

Worldwide, the amount of Muslims who agree with, and support the actions of ISIS and Al Qaeda are miniscule. However it is always the ordinary, law-abiding vast majority who suffer for these events beyond their control. Ordinary Buddhists living in the west, with no allegiance to the Myanmar regime, are quite rightly not tarnished with the genocide against the Rohingya people, however it is always, without fail, the ordinary, everyday non-problematic non-white man or woman in the street who is confronted by racist bigots, and assaulted or abused for their (assumed) race or religion.

Walk through any American, European or British city, and you will struggle to find many, if any, apologists for Islamic State terror, and yet, if you read Twitter, follow Facebook, or listen to Donald Trump’s comments on TV, you would not believe this to be the case. Click on the White House-approved far right conspiracist site InfoWars, and they will tell a totally different story, as will Breitbart and Prison Planet (fake news organisations who create false facts to push their intolerant anti-Muslim agenda.)

In Britain Muslims wearing religious dress, or spotted in the close proximity of mosques or other Muslim religious buildings have been subject to hate crimes, especially in London and Manchester following a surge in far right activity related to the spike in terrorism. People just trying to go about their ordinary, everyday lives feel the brunt for acts of evil which they absolutely do not support.

Such people do not deserve to suffer fall-out from the actions of extremists whose tenuous faith link is condemned outright by British Imams.

When Tommy and Katie tweet far right lies about Western Muslims celebrating murderous terrorist attacks (lies no more grounded in truth than #pizzagate) the consequences can be deadly. The so-called “revenge attack” carried out by a van driver from Wales is a stark warning that radicalised far right terrorists can be just as deadly as ISIS.

For Western Muslims, discrimimination is becoming an everyday fact of life. Be it discrimination at work, abuse in the street, or being targeted for being non-white and in control of a vehicle (stop and search!) Settled Muslim communities collectively shudder each and every time a bomb goes off, or a vehicle ploughs into crowds, fully aware that they, as non-terrorists will be in the firing-line for hate. All these people want to do is live their lives free from the stigmatisation that comes with being members of a visible faith group. Instead they are constantly vilified by a rabid rightwing media and an increasingly toxic social media landscape.

The longer social media is allowed to spread hatred and lies, the more intense this discrimination becomes.

After the horrific Manchester concert bomb, bigoted Twitter users tweeted disgust that the Greater Manchester Police were making an effort to protect Muslims from hate crimes. A common fascist response was that the GMP were “taking the piss”, and that Manchester’s Muslims had brought physical attacks and mosque-burnings “on themselves” for the deadly bomb they had absolutely nothing to do with. The myth of culpability with extremists sadly persists for Muslims, and is likely to feature in the aftermath of the New York attacks also. The more Donald Trump pontificates about banning Muslims, the more ordinary law-abiding US Muslim families will suffer.

The overwhelming longing for Western Muslims everywhere, is to live lives free from hate, however, the antagonistic mindset of the ISIS terrorist perversely admires the Islamophobic far right for creating hate. Reciprocal anti-Muslim hatred stirred-up in response to terrorist acts is admired by the leadership of ISIS as much as the deadly acts of terrorist killing itself. Every Muslim hated and discriminated against following “revenge” for an ISIS killing, is ultimately viewed by the terrorist organisation as a possible future recruit. The goal of ISIS is to drive a wedge between multicultural communities.

When haters fight terror with hate they doing exactly what ISIS want them to do.

If a significant number of US or UK Muslims secretly supported ISIS, they would actually be encouraging their own persecution. Both ISIS and the fascist right oppose multiculturalism, people of different faiths living peacefully side-by-side, which is why ISIS have made a nasty habit of striking during election campaigns in the hope they could boost the fortunes of intolerant rightwingers. Remember back to the timely French and UK election bombs…

Any far right thug who thinks going on the rampage, ripping off headscarves, burning down mosques, beating-up and killing Muslims, is “revenge” against ISIS, think again. Besides becoming a category A criminal who will ultimately end up serving a predictably long sentence behind bars, you are also doing the terrorists’ job for them.

Actual revenge should be inflicted upon actual culprits, not innocent people who worship mainstream Islam.

By helping alienate otherwise peaceful and well-adjusted Muslims, you are encouraging disillusionment that ultimately prolonges the caliphate, and ensures terrorist attacks commited against the West will continue into the future. Not that Donald Trump, Katie Hopkins or Tommy Robinson care less about alienating whole Muslim communities, and any future repercussions to public safety. They are too busy cheerleading hate.

NO PASARAN!

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Who is Ann Coulter?

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Ann Coulter is an American public figure with a legal background who regularly represents far right political views in the American media. She is the author of several books including ‘In Trump we Trust’ (written when Coulter still supported Trump as the Republican Presidential candidate.)

Coulter is something of an extremist, outspoken on her favourite topics of immigration and Islam. In the aftermath of September 11 she made a public proposal that America should invade Muslim countries, kill their leaders and convert the population to Christianity.

Some of Coulter’s most infamous quotations including the extremely racist “Congress could pass a law tomorrow requiring that all aliens from Arabic countries leave… We should require passports to fly domestically. Passports can be forged, but they can also be checked with the home country in case of any suspicious-looking swarthy males ” can be found in this article. These quotations are not isolated examples of Coulter’s extremist hate views. A quick You Tube search finds hundreds of videos of her spouting her hate rhetoric and making provocative and inflammitory comments, deliberately intended to offend.

She has been given a vast amount of media attention and numerous platforms upon which to air her views. As the poster girl for ultra Conservative Republican ideals few individuals have received more attention.

However the tide has been changing for Coulter recently. For all her celebration of Trump’s presidency Coulter has become increasingly disenfranchised with the man she so enthusiastically endorsed and this has lost her support among the President’s far right fan base. She called Trump out for his failure to build his promised wall on the Mexican border, and publicly criticised him for changing his stance on immigration.  More recently Coulter clashed with Trump over the ‘Dreamers’ program (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and published a tweet calling for the President to be impeached.

Before her views are examined Coulter cuts an impressive public figure. She is confident, smartly dressed, articulate and obviously someone who has read widely in her chosen field of interest. Unfortunately though, as soon as she opens her mouth (or her Twitter app), she is exposed as an individual notable not just for her bigotry but for her stupidity. This is a genuine tweet from Coulter’s personal Twitter account in reaction to Hurricane Harvey:

This closed minded world view was again illustrated on her Twitter account when she tweeted:

(Based on Coulter’s logic here Donald Trump, who had a German grandfather, would not even have been eligible to vote, let alone to stand for the Presidency…)

To best explain Ann Coulter to a UK audience I’d simply summarise her as a US version Katie Hopkins albeit with a bigger budget for hair. Her Twitter feed yields the same threats, rants, prejudices and hate that we have come to expect from Madame Hopkins. Let us hope that the American media tire of her vitriol and push this blowsy loudmouthed hater out of the public eye.

A selection of tweets that show Ann Coulter for what she is >

 


Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK

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Katie Hopkins Your Hate Has Gone Too Far

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Accustomed as I am to reading the attention seeking articles and tweets from Katie Hopkins with a sharp intake of breath, her online antics this week have taken me even closer to an apoplectic asthma attack than usual.

Few of you will need reminding of the tweet I am referring to:

It is important to put some context into this. This isn’t an isolated example of a journalist having a strong opinion and expressing it unwisely, this is the latest in a garrulous and spiteful sequence of online hate tweets, abusive newspaper articles and bigoted radio appearances displaying mockery and cruelty to people from different community groups to Ms Hopkins herself. It is, in short, hate speech.

Ms Hopkins rejects the idea of online hate speech. She claims “There is no such thing as online hate crime. Just cowardice and illiteracy from intolerants.” Ms Hopkins is wrong. Hate speech is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “Abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.”

It is my belief that all these tweets published by Katie Hopkins fit this definition of hate speech.

The laws of the country relating to hate speech are clear. The 1986 Public Order Act states:

A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if they intends thereby to stir up racial hatred or having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby”.

This was amended with the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act to add “A person who uses threatening words or behaviour or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.”

I would argue that this recent tweet by Katie Hopkins and indeed many of the older tweets in her Twitter time line are in clear breach of UK law.

There are good reasons why we have laws against hate speech. The laws are there to protect the persecution of innocent people and to promote safety and security in society by prohibiting speech that may incite public violence. When we allow Katie Hopkins (or anybody for that matter) to openly, consistently and publicly flout the laws of the land we are risking not just the security of the people but the integrity of the UK legal system itself.

I would be prepared to bet that Katie has no stronger personal views on the Islamic celebration of Ramadan than she has on any of the topics she so freely espouses with her trademark venom. She jumps on the bandwagon of controversy with any topic in the news (see her disgusting comments on the parents of Madeleine McCann) and sees making cheap Islamophobic jibes as a way to raise her profile. Such hate rhetoric is ignorant and dangerous enough when spouted by the small fry Twitter accounts that Resisting Hate often get suspended. Talk like that coming from a journalist employed by the Daily Mail, the most read newspaper in the country, takes danger to simply unacceptable levels.

Many people say the only way to deal with Katie Hopkins is to ignore her. I disagree. I am not willing to ignore hate speech published in the newspapers and social media. I am not willing to allow our Muslim communities to be slandered with these lies and hate inciting tweets. I am not willing to turn my back on this rubbish and neither should you be. We have laws in this country for a reason. This woman has broken these laws time and time again and she needs to be held accountable for her actions.

If not now, then just when do we draw the line? Just how much hate are we going to watch Katie Hopkins spout before enough is enough? I have reported her to both the police and Twitter. If you agree with me that she is guilty of hate speech then I suggest you report her as well.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK

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Katie Hopkins – Hate Tweets

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Katie Hopkins has the responsible job of being employed by the UK press. The manner in which she conducts herself in this job, both in her column at the Daily Mail and on her talk show at LBC are often border line offensive and discriminatory. However it is her personal Twitter account where the hate really shines through.

The tweets below represent just a very small selection of the personal hate views Mrs Hopkins has expressed through her tweeting. She has used the privilege of her position to attack women, mothers, people with weight issues, people with disabilities, Muslims, migrants, children and for no apparent reason – the Scottish.

We do not believe this is acceptable behaviour for a woman in her role and would ask our readers if they feel the same way to contact @DailyMailUK and @LBC to share your thoughts with them.

 

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK

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