Hunt the abuse – the posts that led Ally Fogg to ban Bitethehand

Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, April 2013

Botanical Garden, Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, April 2013

Hunt the abuse – the posts that led Ally Fogg to ban Bitethehand

I started posting on Ally Fogg’s blog in July 2012 and was banned by him twice, in July 2014 and again under another moniker in August / September 2014.

So in order to demonstrate that if anyone has been abusive it’s Ally  Fogg, here is a complete record of everything I’ve ever posted on his two blogs, including some of his rather abusive ones.

In time I’ll make what I wrote and what I’m quoting from other posters more clear, but that’s going to be a bit of a task to complete.

July 2012

On rape “jokes”  and McCarthyism

Bitethehand quoting Ally Fogg defending men telling rape jokes:

“I’m also concerned about the McCarthyite zeal with which the evil rape joke is hunted down and its author persecuted into repentance and contrition.”

Well apart from the over-zealous use of McCarthy, – who is in a position to wield the kind of power and influence he had at the height of his influence? Certainly not the feminists who object to all rape “jokes”.

But isn’t that what you’ve done, and quite rightly, with Daniel Tosh, about whose “joke” you say, again quite rightly, For what my opinions are worth, I find that pretty loathsome.


On rape “jokes” and McCarthyism

Bitethehand quoting Ally Fogg:

I think the phrase ‘McCathyite zeal’ needn’t imply that the impacts are equivalent. It implies (to me and I think most reasonable people) a kind of reds-under-the-beds paranoia we sometimes see in hunting down the unquestionable evil of a rape joke – any rape joke.

Except that McCarthy saw “reds”, not under the bed but in beds and every other item of furniture, in every place from the White House down. He really was an evil man who ruined countless numbers of lives and reputations.

So the point I’m making as you quite clearly missed it is that nothwithstanding the individuality of humour, you haven’t provided a single rape “joke” that’s funny, or even that you find funny, and as such I feel, as so often in the past, you have an ulterior motive for writing this article.


Wealth, bribery and corruption in China 


Sun Guiying, a chicken farmer from near Beijing was touted has having purchased a silver Toyota Publica with her earnings. While the article was largely fraudulent (Mrs. Guiying did not know how to drive, and her husband was a senior official rather than a peasant), the message came across loud and clear.

And as someone who has lived in one of the poorer provinces of China for more than 4 in the past 10 years, to me this account rings true.

Just one question to kick this off Ally, did you do any research into the legal status of wealth ownership in for instance China and India, or much of Africa?

It might well be the case that one third of China’s millionaires are women, but if they’re married to a man, who owns that wealth?

And if they’re not, what about her family?

China, along with most countries in the world is not after all the Equal Opportunities paradise of the USA, the UK and much of the EU, Australia and New Zealand.

And are you talking about RMB, US Dollar or GBP millionaires?

Or Vietnamese Dong, where exchanging just over £30 makes you a Vietnamese millionaire.

So where reliable statistics are concerned, aren’t there a few more questions you need to research the answers to?


Wealth, bribery and corruption in China 


No I’m not going to tell you that the collective wealth of Chinese women, across the board, has not changed one iota since 1978? Because clearly it has:

From the Wall Street Journal of 9 April 2009:

Between 1981 and 2004, over 500 million people were pulled out of poverty, according to the World Bank’s poverty standard. According to the bank, “A fall in the number of poor of this magnitude over such a short period is without historical precedent,” with China basically accounting for the total poverty reduction in the developing world during that period.

Without China there would have been no decline in the numbers of poor in the developing world over the last two decades of the 20th century, the report said.

And with the vast majority of the political elite in China being men coupled with so much corruption, it would hardly be surprising that women comprise one third of millionaires. But on a global scale the proportion of wealthy women is far closer to the one / ten percent figures.

From Forbes:

So, how many ($US) billionaire women are there, you might ask? Not that many, it turns out: just 102 out of 1,210. That amounts to a mere 8.4%.

And world population has gone from c4.3 billion in 1978 to 7 billion in 2012, with most of these in the developing world where gender income and wealth disparity is greatest.

And according to this 2009 paper:

$1.25 per day level is generally used for the least developed countries now predominantly African while the US$2-per-day is used for middle income economies such as those of East Asia and Latin America. According to this measure there were 982 million people out of the developing world’s 4.8 billion people living on $1.25 per day in 2005 with another 2.5 billion (40% of the world’s population) were living on less than $2 per day.

So while I’d agree that measuring the wealth distribution between men and women is not without its difficulties, this doesn’t mean the issue of inequality can be ignored because Annie Lennox or anyone else quotes a report that’s 34 years old. Having said that, there is a great deal of difference between “10 per cent of the world’s income, and 1% of the means of production”.

One final point which Cohen doesn’t mention in his analysis is that in the subsistence economy in which most women in the developing world exist, some will actually have negative income and are likely to be in debt permanently. So while at the top of the pile, US women have fared quite well in recent years, this should be balanced by the huge numbers of women in the developing world whose situation has worsened, as world population has increased.

So my conclusion would be that despite the gains made by a relatively small number of women in China and India, the bulk of the world’s wealth is still under the control of men and not split 50 – 50, or thereabouts as it should be. It’s a shame Cohen’s battle against the one percent didn’t prompt him to investigate more thoroughly what the figure actually is.


Domestic violence against women


Except Cohen isn’t just writing about murder but about domestic violence in general:

Since the 1990s, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service have taken domestic violence seriously. More to the point they were made to take it seriously by Harriet Harman, Vera Baird, Jacqui Smith and Labour’s other women ministers. I know they had a hard time in the Tory press — ‘crop-haired harridans’ and all the rest of it — but I admired their Cromwellian doggedness. Rather than follow the polls, they came to office with a clear determination to ensure that the criminal justice system treated women decently, and made damn sure that they got their way.

Other measures have helped drive down domestic violence. Rape crisis centres. Charitable and local authority efforts to get battered women away from their men and into emergency housing. Improvements in women’s education, and police campaigns that encouraged women to report and tackle abuse rather than treating them as ‘domestics’ to be kept in the family.

So without the figures for all domestic violence – and this itself is a highly controversial issue in that for instance, they exclude sexual assaults – which are overwhelmingly perpetrated against women, by men – many of whom are partners or former partners of the victims, has domestic violence seen the same decline as other crimes?

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, in a speech in April 2011, among many other things said:

The position is improving domestic violence now accounts for 14 per cent of violent crime whereas in 1997 it accounted for 23 per cent. But that figure is still far too high and the level of violence is disturbing.

So whether or not Cohen’s “celebration of feminist achievement is premature, ill-judged and does no one any favours”, is an accurate conclusion about his article, does it really constitute “a dangerous domestic violence myth?”.

Personally I doubt it.


Domestic violence against women



I’m fine thank you, as I hope you are.

I am not disputing Ally’s statistics about:

The number of women killed by partners or ex partners over the past decade has hovered very consistently around the 100 per year mark. In 2010/11 there were 94. Since 2001 we’ve had a high mark of 117 and a low mark of 80 (in 07/08), but the overall trend is static.

What I am asking is why when Kier Starmer reports a decline in DV from 23% of all violent crimes in 1997, to 14% in 2011, this is not reflected in the number of murders.

Or maybe it is as taking Ally’s high and low points gives a decline of 31.7%. Taking the high point and the 2010/11 figure shows a decline of around 20%. This is not as he claims an overall static trend if my calculations are correct. And I’m quite prepared to agree that this isn’t my strongest field and would welcome a correction and explanation.


See my reply to Paul. (pbj2)


Domestic violence against women


We live in a viciously gendered world. Roles for both men and women are socialised into us from the day we are born and heavily reinforced from all quarters until the day we die.

This is such crass determinism it’s hardly worth treating seriously.

You sound as if we don’t have a brain and a free will but are merely the automatons of external forces.

From a very young age all males are able to decide the kind of person they want to be, whatever they have been “raised to be”.

Their choice – some make the right one, most don’t and some pay for their mistakes.


On disagreement and the nature of online debate


“Oh great, now you’re quoting ultra-right wing libertarian loon Roy Baumeister at me? What next, Ayn Rand?”

Well if you only countenance academics with whom you agree politically then you are a determinist. However someone more to your liking might be Georges Sorel, French philosopher and theorist of revolutionary syndicalism who by the end of his life held an ambivalent attitude towards both Fascism and Bolshevism.

Sorel’s work is best characterized by his original interpretation of Marxism, which was deeply anti-determinist, much like my own, particularly with regard to the crude attempts to interpret Marx as an economic determinist. Sorel’s ideas, most notably the concept of a spontaneous general strike, have contributed significantly to anarcho-syndicalism. But then I’m sure you know that.

From wiki:

Whether Sorel is better seen as a left-wing or right-wing thinker is disputed: the Italian Fascists praised him as a forefather, but the dictatorial government they established ran contrary to his beliefs, while he was also an important touchstone for Italy’s first Communists, who saw Sorel as a theorist of the proletariat.

And is there not something awry with your claim that I “need to find disagreement and fault in everything I say”, when in the previous paragraph you correctly observe that my view of the origins of feminism as refusing “to accept what “men” have determined should be their role in life,” coincides with your own?


Sexism, feminism and violence


Thanks for taking the time to respond and let me start by saying that I agree with much of what you say and where I don’t it’s about emphasis rather than anything fundamental.

So for instance in the quote by Emma Goldman, it’s perfectly possible for an individual to reject that “conditioning” or “socialisation”. Some do and I count myself among them. Many don’t. Likewise it’s also possible, even essential for the State and your “political and economic ruling class” to tolerate and even encourage rebellion and unorthodoxy. Just as long as it doesn’t go to far and become a danger to its hegemony. And for me “free will” is the ability both to reject and / or accept that orthodoxy. Which is why my position isn’t that the “processes of socialisation, learning, and conditioning make no difference to the choices that will be made by an adult”, of course they do, but that individuals make conscious choices about those bits they keep and those they reject.

So my main disagreement is with the emphasis you put on the feminist view of sexism that it is “not the oppression of one gender by another, it is the oppression of one gender by the values of the ruling class.” For me this comes far too close to providing an excuse for the sexist, sometimes downright violent opinions that are still all too common, among, for example, large numbers of male posters on Comment is Free.


Sexism, feminism and violence

“I was asking what we should call systematic discrimination against men (in military conscription, for example) if we’re not allowed to call it sexism because, according to some feminists, sexism is only sexism if it involves the oppression of one gender by the other.”

Well if that’s what you meant, it’s not what I understood – and I did try hard, and even ended up wondering whether you were being deliberately obtuse.

But I agree with the feminists here. We might find objectionable the oppression of men by other men or women by other women, but for me it isn’t sexism. It might be exploitation or something else, but not sexism.

And while you use conscription as only one example, (are there others?) during WW1 and WW2, women were conscripted, as this article shows.

But the UK hasn’t had conscription since 1960 and the US since 1973 – all recruits are volunteers, so how are they oppressed, whether they are men or women?


On ‘victim-blaming.’

“The people issuing these opinions don’t intend to blame the victim, and I’m sure it doesn’t feel like that as they say the words. Consequently they become defensive and angry when it is suggested that they’ve done it.”

Which is why I think the words “the rapist sympathiser” would be more to the point. I see no reason for sympathising with ignorance and cruelty.

When Cath Elliott wrote in January 2009………:

Taken in Handers practise what they call “consensual non-consent”, which basically boils down to physical and sexual chastisement, up to and including rape, as punishment for the woman’s transgressions. It apparently doesn’t matter if she screams and cries throughout her ordeal, no amount of pleading is going to make the “punishment” stop: by dint of the fact that she’s in the relationship in the first place she’s deemed to have consented to any mistreatment and abuse her husband doles out. I’m not providing a link to the article, but any movement that tries to make a case for “when rape is a gift”, deserves nothing but contempt, and not just from feminists.

……… there was no end of men and sadly some women who posted that they found nothing wrong with “consensual non-consent” and a lot to recommend it


Rape and “consensual non-consent”


That wasn’t really Cath’s finest moment, as I recall.

Well more accurately that seems to me, given the passage I quoted from the article, to be shifting responsibility from some of the BTL posters to the ATL writer.

Some of the comments, as you point out, were defending the practice of “Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism” and implying, with no concern for the feelings of those who might actually have been raped, that there was some similarlity between pretending to rape and be raped as part of a sex game, and actually raping and being raped. I can imagine the genuine rapist taunting his victim with comments like – “this is only BDSM which lots of women like – just lighten up and enjoy it”.

The article was about the way that the act of rape is also diminished in its severity by it’s use in a “consensual non-consent” situation, where in the paragraph I quote, it was less about sex and almost exclusively about men exerting power and control over women, ie the main motive of the male rapist.


Rape and “consensual non-consent”


That’s a ridiculous analogy in this context. Are you suggesting an author is not responsible for what he or she writes?

What analogy – I didn’t employ one. I merely implied you had a different interpretation of the article to the writer.

And how exactly does the writer of an article misrepresent her own views? In fact she came BTL three times to post extensive comments defending her article and countering misrepresentations of it. This of course included a mild rebuke aimed in your direction:

“Ally If I’d said anywhere “look out sisters, these mad anti-feminists are threatening to pray over us all and force us all to become Stepford wives just like them” you might have had a point. But I didn’t; the key to my argument was actually no more than: “You probably aren’t aware of this, but these strange groups are out there with these really outdated views of womanhood. This is what I think of them, what do you think?” (the other part of my post that you conveniently ignored). So I’m afraid you stayed up extra late taking the piss out of a big straw woman argument that only existed inside your own head in the first place.”

“Having said that, I also think you’re ignoring something that others have picked up and run with in their posts, and that’s the spread of more extreme versions of evangelical Christianity and other religions that all promote a similar backward looking version of womanhood.”

So those BTL who thought her article was anything to do with consenting adults who role play rape in the privacy of their own homes, were completely wrong – according to the writer.




Men aren’t supposed to take precautions against rape as the common belief is that they can’t be raped.

Well this one does who hasn’t been raped but has been beaten unconscious and robbed.

They are dismissed with statements like “That wasn’t rape”, “You must’ve wanted it” and so on.

You clearly don’t read the Guardian’s Comment is Free as any article on rape inevitably attracts poster complaining, “what about the men”. Which is rather out of order given that rape almost exclusively, is committed by men, whether they’re raping women or other men.

And men in prison who are raped and men in war who are raped, are raped by men, not women.

Unless that is, having educated yourself on this subject you can provide some evidence about men being raped by women.




Ally Fogg (@AllyFogg)

Tamen, I can only apologise for the comment by Bitethehand above. I always assume anyone disclosing or describing their own sexual abuse here is being truthful and you’re under no obligation to justify yourself to anyone.

If you ask me to I’ll happily delete the post concerned if you request it, otherwise I’ll follow my general policy of letting people hang themselves by their own words.

Thanks for your contributions.

I can only apologise for the comment by Bitethehand.

Apologise to Bitethehand – Don’t you think your arrogancy would be breathtaking if it wasn’t so excessive?

You might know more about Tamen’s life than she / he has disclosed here, but there’s nothing in her / his post or my response to indicate anything that would justify your outrage. Well other than your past history as a censor on the Guardian’s Comment is Free, about which you should quite understandably be rather ashamed.

Ally you really are being rather God like here and in your deity role is there anything else in the world you’d like to apologise for?

How about the civil war in Syria or Victoria Pendleton? Is that something you feel responsible for?

So just what was the sexual abuse you claim Tamen was disclosing?

He / she links to a Jezabel article that’s almost too comical to be believed. I can’t imagine even a sexual champion like you would be able to perform as much as the 43 year old partner featured in the story to which Tamen links.


Sorry I need to correct my typo:

Well other than your past history as a censor on the Guardian’s Comment is Free, about which you should quite understandably be rather ashamed.

And so you should Ally, it was a most disgraceful episode in your exemplary history on CiF.





Bitethehand: You are pretty absolute when you state that it’s men who rape men in war and in prison. You modify it slightly with the statement: “Rape almost exclusively, is committed by men, whether they’re raping women or other men.”

But it is not almost exclusively men who rape.

Your evidence refers to incidents, other sexual contact, sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, sexual violence, sexual assault, conflict-related sexual violence and sexual initiation, but you provide no figures for actual rape of men by women.

And some of the figures you do quote are tiny compared to the actual number of women who are raped.

In this report which I understand is considered to be one of the best and most accurate:

Extrapolating this incidence rate to the population of Metro Boston reveals the stark disparity between “official” rape statistics and the reality of sexual violence. In 1998, there were 1,687 rapes reported in all of Massachusetts, and 526 arrests were made. That same year, among the approximately 1.75 million women in the Boston Metro area, there were actually 15,225 rapes. (of women)

from “The Undetected Rapist” by David Lisak, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts Boston




Sarah, on August 4, 2012 at 12:10 am.

An excellent post and one that not only presents Tamen with the reality of sexual assaults, but also brings into question Ally Fogg’s defence of his visitor.



Sarah writes:


“Men aren’t supposed to take precautions against rape as the common belief is that they can’t be raped. They are dismissed with statements like “That wasn’t rape”, “You must’ve wanted it” and so on.”

I can’t say I have ever heard those kinds of sentiments expressed about a male homosexual rape victim, and I was referring to homosexual rape. I’ve heard it every single time when comment has been invited on a female rape, mind you. Where have you come across them?

Tamen continues:

“Sometimes even that is hard to pull off. When that happens it’s clear that many people will assign blame to male rape victims for their rape: as exemplified by this Jezebel article: and in all mainstream media articles I read about this case (and the followup case where the woman raped another man just a few days later).”

To which Sarah’s response is:

Okay firstly, this is not homosexual rape.

Secondly apparently it wasn’t heterosexual rape either, the woman wasn’t charged with rape, she was charged with sexual assault and illegal restraint.
Thirdly, the article doesn’t blame the victim, it questions whether he will be blamed in the same way a woman in that situation might be.

Well said Sarah.

And Tamen, and Ally Fogg as host of this site, in defending his visitor seems to be suggesting that rape is a crime committed equally by women and men, which I doubt very much is something Ally will defend.

Unless Ally Fogg you’re going to qualify your defence of Tamen’s peculiar understanding of who it is that gets raped by whom.




But do men feel the same way about being forced to penetrate as women feel about being forcibly penetrated? Are we talking about the same crime here or are we borrowing terminology?

Exactly Sarah.

I really can’t understand Tamen’s intention here.

Furthermore the police complaints records and conviction records indicate that female rape of men hardly exists.

Maybe Ally can explain.


Abuse against women

Neither am I aware that many men experience this:

The student film, Femme de la Rue, a shocking account of everyday sexist insults in the street, is now at the centre of a political and social storm in Belgium and across its borders. After it was shown on TV and at a screening last week it has become an internet success and triggered a public debate.
Female acquaintances admitted the problem was so bad they never went out in a skirt, avoided the metro, never made eye contact with men, avoid walking certain streets, never wore shorts and in one case, only ever left their house by bike.



Sexual abuse of men

Ally, you say:

There was a fairly explicit example of a man being forced to have sex as part of a coercive violently abusive relationship in the papers the other day

And you refer us to an article in the Daily Mirror that’s nothing to do with rape – indeed it isn’t even mentioned in the article. So you’re really scraping the barrel with that, unless your purpose is to deflect the discussion away from whether women raping men is an everyday occurance, as is men raping women, which we all know is.

As to whether any article in the Mirror involving battered husbands and soap opera “stars” can be believed – for me it’s a big doubt. Seems more like an advert for Coronation Street, whatever that is.

The photograph showing an open wound six weeks after the attack is rather difficult to believe, unless the victim has some specific condition that prevents it healing or it hasn’t been treated and sutured. But the Mirror doesn’t disclose this.

So if you’re saying that some men are violently abused by their female partners, I’ll agree with you. But they are few and far between compared to women who are violently abused by their male partners.

And what exactly what have either to do with women raping men?


Tamen makes an opening post on this thread in response to thesazzajay’s post Well if men did stop raping women (and other men) that would fix the problem.:

Well, thank you for so explicitly saying that me being raped by a woman is not a problem.

And thesazzajay is one hundred percent correct.

But instead of agreeing with thesazzajay, (and I assume now that Tamen is a man), Tamen tries to deflect the obvious by claiming he / she’s been raped. But despite five more posts he provides no more evidence or detail and instead presents us with a variety of statistics that show that female sexual abuse of men is tiny compared to the number of women who are raped by men.

And your response Ally Fogg:

You really are a vile piece of work.


Sexual abuse of men

Ally Fogg, there was a time when I respected you as an intellectual, in fact I still do, but not quite as much.

But the idea that you’ve been reduced to quoting from an article about Coronation Street to support someone who seems to be saying that men being raped by women is equivalent to women being raped by men. represents a sad day. Especially as it’s from someone about whom I said in response to kizbot’s challenge, defending you and your reputation:

bitethehand – you seem not to like men who have opinions about feminism… why is that? Are you afraid they are trying to take some kind of power away from you… from feminism?

To which my response was:

“Before I look at the rest of your post, (12:22pm) when I referred to ‘anti-feminist men’ I certainly wasn’t referring to you (AllyF) – quite the opposite. From what I’ve read you (Ally Fogg) place gender equality issues pretty high on your agenda.”

To which kizbot replied at 30 Jan 09, 1:02pm:

“awfully glad you weren’t meaning ally when talking about antifeminists… my misunderstanding…”

And your response today Ally Fogg:

You really are a vile piece of work.

And your view:

As for you… confronted with a first-person interview with a victim of domestic abuse, complete with photos, details of the offence committed and the sentence given and the names and hometowns of the offender and victim and photos of the injuries – your reaction STILL is to disbelieve the victim?

But I don’t disbelieve the victim, (Tamen) I disbelieve that he’s anything to do with being raped by his female partner, about which he’s remarkably silent once challenged by thesazzajay

And Ally, if you’ve never known about men who have a less active sexual appetite compared to their female, or indeed male partner, and that this causes problems in a relationship, then you’re more naive than I thought.

But again what has this got to do with men raping women or women raping men.

And I’m not a vile piece of work according to my mother, 91 year old MrsBitethehand, who says I’m wonderful each week I visit her, and with whom I’ll discuss your problem next time I see her.


Sexual abuse of men


You’ll have to rephrase this part of the sentence as it makes no sense to me and I’d rather not make assumptions as to what you meant:
“I disbelieve that he’s anything to do with being raped by his female partner”

Yes of course, my mistake:

“I disbelieve that it’s anything to do with being raped by his female partner.”

The charges appear to be sexual assault and illegal restraint. Not rape.

From the NISVS report

Nearly 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives, including completed forced penetration, attempted forced penetration, or alcohol/drug facilitated completed penetration. (p18)

The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male perpetrators. (p24)

Rape is overwhelmingly a crime committed by men.


Violence against women


The answer to male-on-female violence is not more female-on-male violence. It is less violence of all sorts.

That’s an apple pie and motherhood position and would be accepted across the entire political spectrum. We’d all like to live in a violence free world. But sadly men continue to commit the vast majority of acts of violence, both as individuals and as members of organisations and this is what needs to be addressed.

I’m referring in my post to the question of balance of forces. And this will occur only when one side is prevented from being so dominant and this situation is enforced by a social – legal framework that maintains that balance.


Sexual abuse of children


Thirty years ago such ignorance on the part of adult males might have been excused. And even eleven years ago – your example Ally, it might have been understandable. But given the attempts that governments around the world have recently made to prevent children being abused by male paedophiles, who as we all know too well, have been allowed to operate for years, almost unchallenged, I find it no surprise that airlines are recognising their duty to protect the most innocent of their passengers, despite the politically correct courts.

Any man travelling alone who finds he’s been seated next to a child, who doesn’t seek an alternative location in the plane is either arrogant beyond belief or deserves the very very mild embarassment of being asked to take a different seat by a member of the cabin crew who has the interests of child passengers ahead of the bruised egos of men. And quite rightly.

Furthermore, Boris Johnson made his remarks in 2006 long before he was London’s mayor, and following his over-reaction, British Airways defended their policy, saying it had been at the requests from customers, presumably those with children. And quite rightly so. Many parents have to send their children alone on international airlines and as a father Ally I’d have thought you’d have realised this obligation on airlines to ensure that those children are safely seated and protected.


Sexual abuse of children


<em>I am a 46 year old male company director with a four year old a daughter.</em>

So how would this father have reacted if a 36 year old man had been seated next to his ten year old daughter on an eight hour trans-Atlantic flight, with much of it in darkness?

I have responsibility for ensuring that girls and young women are safely transported to the UK on international flights and it would surprise and outrage me if airlines didn’t ensure that such passengers were protected from the possibility of encountering one of the all too many men who prey on members of the opposite sex and to a far lesser extent the same sex, whenever the opportunity comes along.

I seem to recall Ally you defending ogling women’s breasts at sometime in the not too distant past.

Your correspondent continues:

<em>However, once I had sat in my new seat I started to feel that I had been treated very strangely and wondered what other passengers had thought- it was humiliating and it only began to strike me once I had had a chance to reflect on the situation.</em>

Why humiliating? Why “very strangely”?

Because the airline staff had put the interests and safety of a ten year old boy before that of a 36 year old executive?

And I can guarantee you that British Airways would have taken the same action had they made a similar mistake in their seat allocation.

Maybe next time your executive finds himself in a similar position he will take the initiative and approach the cabin crew himself.


Sexual abuse of children


<em><a href=”″><strong>In a statement, BA said</strong></a>: “We carry tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors every year and take great pride in the service that we provide to them and their parents.</em>

<em>”We have offered this service on all flights for many years for children aged between five and 11 years old, who are travelling alone.</em>

<em>”Given that some of these flights last up to 13 hours and are overnight, we take the responsibility of caring for these children, whose safety and security has been entrusted to us, extremely seriously.</em>

<em>”There is a specific seating department which has a range of guidelines to ensure that we place in an appropriate seat.</em>

<em>”On some services, this will be in a specially created Unaccompanied Minors zone within a short distance of the cabin crew in the galley. </em><em>Children on BA flights will be seated in a special area if they are travelling alone</em>

<em>”We have recently changed our internal advice to our seating and airport teams to ensure that the seating of unaccompanied minors is managed in a safe but non discriminatory manner.”</em>

Seems BA’s parent customers prefer to put the welfare of their children before the sensitivities of their self-important adult male customers.


Sexual abuse of children

On the other hand you “vile corrupting men” might just take time to read the conditions of service of the airline on which you choose to fly.

I’m sure there must be airlines – try Biman, that will offer a “superior male” experience that’s far more to your liking.


Under performing boys


You say:

The relative underachievement of boys and men in education and employment is indeeed a hugely pressing concern.

No it isn’t in education as the following indicates:

8% of boys’ papers score top grade, compared with 7.9% of girls’
But girls record more grades of A and above
Number of grades of A or above awarded falls for first time in 21 years
In total 26.6% of exams were given an A or A*, down from 27% in 2011
Maths and sciences gain popularity but exam boards warn of ‘crisis’ in modern languages, with falling entries in French, Spanish and German

I suggest there’s been a short term impact where boys have been demotivated by the loss of manual job prospects but are now realising that they need qualifications if they’re going to succeed. And girls have been motivated to succeed in education, particularly by the women’s movement and increasing numbers of women role models, and the increasing numbers employed in the professions as a result of equal opportunities legislation.

I agree with your points about the long hours culture we have willingly marched into and that we need to reverse. But if some men are now objecting because some women are showing that they can compete as well and even better than men, then complaints by the men seem to me to be a serious case of sour grapes.


Under performing boys


<em>This isn’t really aimed at you, but I also think there’s something quite telling about the way the media picks out one subject where men are still doing better (eg physics) and present it as some sort of scandal. Even in a perfectly egalitarian society, if we allow for even very minor social / neurological differences between boys and girls, we should expect boys to be doing slightly better in about half the subjects and girls to be doing slightly better in the others. That’s how statistical distribution works.</em>

And if that were the case there’d be no cause for concern, but to take the case of physics,  the Institute of Physics (IOP) has found that <strong>nearly half</strong> of all state schools in England do not send any girls on to study A-level physics.


Girls were two-and-a-half times more likely to go on to study A-level physics if they came from a girls’ school. The same is not true of other science subjects, suggesting that physics is uniquely stereotyped in many mixed schools as a boys’ subject.

<a href=”″>IOP president Prof Sir Peter Knight says many girls are not receiving the education they are entitled to.</a>

So if as<em><strong> redpesto</strong></em><strong> </strong>points out the evidence appears to show that there’s no reason why girls and women shouldn’t be as successful or more successful in physics as their male counterparts, it must be the men who are teaching physics and to a lesser extent the men in charge of state schools that are the problem. I could also suggest that the way the media and some parents characterise physics and to a lesser extent the other sciences and IT, hardly makes it the most attractive  subject to learn and it’s good to read that the government  are  giving the IOP £6.85m over the period 2011-14 to provide <a href=”″><em>an inspiring, engaging and innovative programme of physics lessons and continuing professional development for teachers.</em></a>


Under performing boys

<strong>Adiabat,</strong> you say:

<em>Firstly, no school ever sends any student to do any subject; the students choose for themselves what subjects they want to do.</em>

Strange as my understanding is that schools tend to group subject into arts, languages, sciences, economics/business and so on. But this rather misses the point, namely that so few girls studying physics in state schools is a national disgrace.

You say:

<em>I really find ideologues like you annoying.</em>

Well that’s cheered me up a lot as what you’ve demonstrated is the poverty of Ally’s hypothesis that <em>”It is entirely unacceptable that generations of young men are considered increasingly obsolete by economics, society and themselves.”</em>

They’re not in any way considered increasingly obsolete, quite the opposite.  We have a education system that is the envy of much of the world and until they’re 18 it’s free. But what they’re realising in a time of austerity, is that they need to study hard, get qualified and make themselves attractive propositions to those who might consider employing them. In short they need to take some lessons from the young women who have shown such massive improvements in recent years.


Under performing boys

I’ve no figures for England or the UK but <a href=””>this paper</a> from the USA says:

<em>Teachers of physics also illustrate this gender discrepancy; at the high school level, only 29% of physics teachers are women</em>

<a href=””>And this report states</a>:

<em>Attainment levels of boys and girls in physics/science at age 16 are quite similar with, if anything, girls doing slightly better (JCQ, 2011a). This demonstrates there is little if any inherent difference between boys and girls in their ability at physics.</em>

<em>There is a strong influence of gender on intended physics participation and the gender gap in perceptions of teachers, lessons and physics increases as students get older.</em>

<em>Boys report far more positive responses about teachers’ encouragement, personal relationships with physics teachers and competence of physics teachers.</em>

Is it any wonder as they get older, the girls <em>”just don’t want to do Physics”.</em>


Feminism and Capitalism


<blockquote><em>To a large extent, the newly fashioned workplace is a victory not for feminism, but for capitalism.</em></blockquote>

I doubt very much that the millions of women who have benefited from the equal pay and minimum wage legislation would see it as a victory for capitalism, neither did the Institute of Directors who I believe opposed both measures.

If some men are now objecting because some women are showing that they can compete as well and even better than men, then complaints by the men seem to me to be a serious case of sour grapes.

Unless of course you’re suggesting that women should uphold the status quo until the men overthrow capitalism?



Domestic violence

Good article Ally and the silence from Alan Travis and Nick Cohen I guess is significant.

One point you might want to consider though. As you rightly point out there has been a marked increase in the number of women reporting DV and a greater number of police taking such reports seriously, although I believe there are considerable variations between different areas of the country.

As far as reported rape is concerned, figures obtained by the BBC, in 2009 using Freedom of Information legislation, found:

Forces in Humberside, Gloucestershire, and Northamptonshire recorded at least 90 per cent of rape cases for investigation.

In Northumbria, 172 of a total 382 reports of rape (45 per cent) did not make it into official Home Office figures.

If this is the case for rape, is it reasonable to assume that the situation for DV is similar?

However I suspect there is still a great reluctance, for a number of social and cultural reasons for much male on male violence to go unreported and were this to be reversed I suspect we would see a similar fall as more violent men were apprehended and convicted.


Domestic violence


Back in July, I wrote a blog entitled “A dangerous domestic violence myth is born,” which queried the claim made by journalists Alan Travis and Nick Cohen, and criminologist David Wilson, that the ongoing fall in the British homicide rate could be attributed to the simultaneous decline in the prevalence of domestic violence.

And back in July I responded with some figures that challenged your claim:

“However the overall trend for both intimate partner and child deaths remains stubbornly flat.”

And to quote your original article:

“The number of women killed by partners or ex partners over the past decade has hovered very consistently around the 100 per year mark. In 2010/11 there were 94. Since 2001 we’ve had a high mark of 117 and a low mark of 80 (in 07/08), but the overall trend is static.”

In my response I cited Kier Starmer who reported a decline in DV from 23% of all violent crimes in 1997, to 14% in 2011, and asked why this is not reflected in the number of murders? I then went on to answer my own question:

Or maybe it is as taking Ally’s high and low points gives a decline of 31.7%. Taking the high point and the 2010/11 figure shows a decline of around 20%. This is not as he claims an “overall static trend” if my calculations are correct. Neither to quote this article is the overall trend stubbornly flat.

So the reality appears to be, if my calculations are correct, that the homicide rate for women killed by their male partners has in fact declined more than the decline in DV cited by Kier Starmer.


Domestic violence

Ally Fogg has written a new article A dangerous domestic violence myth revisited in which he repeats his claim that:

“The number of women killed by partners or ex partners over the past decade has hovered very consistently around the 100 per year mark. In 2010/11 there were 94. Since 2001 we’ve had a high mark of 117 and a low mark of 80 (in 07/08), but the overall trend is static.”


Kier Starmer, Director of Public Prosecutions, reported a decline in Domestic Violence from 23% of all violent crimes in 1997, to 14% in 2011.

And using the figures Ally uses between 2001 and 2011 the low and high points of 80 and 117 gives a decline of 31.7%. Taking the high point and the 2010/11 figure shows a decline of around 20%. This is not as he claims an “overall static trend”.


Domestic violence



<blockquote><em>Unfortunately on the same day, Sandra Horley, CEO of Refuge,<a title=”Horley piece” href=”; target=”_blank”> had a piece on Comment is Free</a> that was an almost perfect illustration of the point I was making. She gave a precise and narrow definition of domestic violence as follows:</em>

I think you’ll find if you read the comments that she was writing about domestic violence against women, not men.


If you or anyone else wants to write about the men, then I’m sure there’ll be lots of people who’ll read it. But it remains the case that domestic violence against men is of a quantitative and qualitative difference to that which men commit against women.


As for the petition, is there any evidence that they achieve anything?


Advance of women in the work place


<blockquote>I believe much of the anger directed towards feminism from the angry dudes of the internet boils down to the disconnect between a narrative that tells men they are privileged, and the lives being lived by those guys, which feels largely powerless. They don’t feel privileged, they feel like losers, they’re floundering, they don’t feel like they’re running the world. Hey ho.</blockquote>

As you don’t offer any evidence to back up this hypothesis, let me offer an alternative. The anger your “dudes” express comes from the fact that increasing numbers of young women, and particularly those with black ethnicity, have recognised the opportunity provided by fifteen years of free education, to get qualified and continue into either university or employment, to delay or even abandon becoming mothers and seek and find partners outside the peer group the were born into.

And where there is evidence, it shows that women are to be found in increasing numbers in the professions, while men, particularly young men, are increasingly found among the unqualified unemployed.

<a href=”″><strong>Medicine</strong></a&gt;

Kathy Oxtoby looks at where the struggle for sex equality in the profession
has come from and where it’s going.

<em>It’s been a long battle, but women within the medical profession now seem closer than ever to being afforded the same career opportunities as their male colleagues.</em>

<em>Just a few years ago women faced numerous obstacles to becoming doctors and to advancing their careers. Now, at a time when a larger percentage of graduates and newly qualified doctors are women rather than men, those barriers appear to be breaking down, allowing more women clinicians to realise their full potential.</em>

And also the <a href=” 309?journalCode=lawsocsci”><strong>legal profession</strong></a>

<em>In recent years, the legal profession has undergone significant change, with rapidly rising numbers of women among its membership. </em>

And I suspect the same is true in journalism, accountancy, architecture, marketing. etc. But sadly not engineering.

In the end attrition and better performance will win.


Girls ‘more resilient’ than boys at school

And here’s a dilemma for the post dualist intersectionists:

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><a href=””><span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>Girls ‘more resilient’ than boys at school</strong></span></a></span>

<em>Girls from single-parent families outperform boys in class because they are less affected by parental input, study shows.</em>

So the myth of the “weaker sex” is finally exposed.



One’s own privilege is, according to the classic metaphor, an invisible knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks – invisible not to others but to ourselves. Privilege doesn’t feel like privilege, it just feels like a natural state of being, the norm.</blockquote>
And possibly because it isn’t.

Add to that what <strong>Pascal Mercier</strong> wrote in<strong><em> “Perlman’s Silence”</em></strong> on:
<blockquote><strong><em>”The Personal Past as Linguistic Creation”</em></strong></blockquote>
“One of the subheadings in his new text was…. the inevitably invested past, he said.
<blockquote>’One moment’.</blockquote>
Ruge jutted his bottom lip and leaned far over the table on both elbows.
<blockquote><em>’In that case is there such a thing as a true story about the experienced past?'</em></blockquote>
“No there is no such thing as a true story about our experienced past.”

We make it up to suit our circumstances, consciously or otherwise I suppose.


Role of fathers


<blockquote>Eh? I assume by “post dualist intersectionists” you mean anyone who believes in intersectional models of oppression, what has that study got to do with anything?</blockquote>
No, what I mean is that a four dimensional analysis of society is little if any better than a two dimensional one.  We live in a multi-dimensional world and we need a multi-dimensional analysis to understand it.
<blockquote>Nobody with half a brain has believed in “the weaker sex” for decades, so I don’t see your point there.</blockquote>
And anyone less defensive would have realised that was a tongue in cheek comment. But I’ll add your “half a brain” to the growing list of psychiatrical put downs.
<blockquote>In general terms, the study is telling us that girls from single-parent families outperform boys from single parent families.</blockquote>
On the contrary, it tells us that girls from single parent families outperform almost all boys – as the article says – <em>”The tendency for girls to do better in the later years at school has become increasingly pronounced in the UK in the past two decades.”</em>

So my conclusion is that it’s the behaviour of fathers that cause the problem, whether they’re present or absent from the family home.  And those fathers who don’t provide a positive influence on the education of their sons and daughters need to change, if they want to see their children doing better at school.



<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><b><i>
<em><span style=”color: #888888;”>If we want to rid the world of the horrors of female genital mutilation, how much easier would that be if we agreed that it is inexcusable to inflict unnecessary genital mutilation on any child, girl or boy?</span></em>

The suggestion that male circumcision is in any way comparable to female genital mutilation is an obscenity that even in the long time I’ve followed your writings Ally Fogg, I hoped you wouldn’t make.

But you have and from a man steeped in feminism it’s obscene


Depressed fathers

It showed that a baby born to a depressed father is vastly more likely to develop behavioural, educational and physical and mental health problems. Here is how Observer columnist Barbara Ellen responded

It all adds up to an ugly picture

If you think this is ugly what would you call this Ally?

Slightly unpleasant?



If we want to rid the world of the horrors of female genital mutilation, how much easier would that be if we agreed that it is inexcusable to inflict unnecessary genital mutilation on any child, girl or boy?

The suggestion that male circumcision is in any way comparable to female genital mutilation is an obscenity that even in the long time I’ve followed your writings Ally Fogg, I hoped you wouldn’t make.

But you have and from you, a man steeped in feminism, it’s obscene
on November 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm | ReplyBitethehand

It showed that a baby born to a depressed father is vastly more likely to develop behavioural, educational and physical and mental health problems. Here is how Observer columnist Barbara Ellen responded

It all adds up to an ugly picture

If you think that is ugly what would you call this Ally?

Slightly unpleasant?
on November 28, 2012 at 11:38 pm | ReplyBitethehand

Men and women are interdependent. Men’s issues are women’s problems and vice versa.

On the contrary – increasingly women who want children and not men do exactly that. If men want women for companions they need to get it into their heads that there are ways to achieve that objective and ways not to. You Ally seem to be championing the latter.


Men’s Conference

on November 29, 2012 at 12:00 am | ReplyBitethehand
But out in the real world, the one occupied by you guys every day.

Does this mean there were no women in the audience Ally or were you addressing both male and female guys?

I’ve searched the internet but can find nothing about women at your conference. So were there any? You don’t say in your report. despite mentioning them fourteen times in your presentation.

I ask this because at the early modern feminist meetings in the late sixties men were present in droves, and insisted on having their say. So was there a strong presence of feminists at your gathering Ally?


Family courts
on November 29, 2012 at 12:17 am | ReplyBitethehand
If we want genuine equality in the domestic realm and the workplace, where better to start than the institutional discrimination of the family courts and criminal justice system, the parental leave regulations and every other institution that equates parenthood with motherhood.

The answer is Ally when you can produce some empirical evidence of men who have taken their children from the womb of their woman partner and ensured that their child has been fed, succoured, comforted, bathed, changed and protected, from birth to adulthood, then maybe you’ll have a case for your “institutional discrimination”.

Otherwise I’ll assume this is just more bombast on your part.


Domestic violence
on November 29, 2012 at 12:27 am | ReplyBitethehand

Intimate partner violence springs from a well of interpersonal conflict, abuse, neglect and anger.

No it doesn’t it springs from the fact that men in general are stronger, heavier and more violent than women and it is this that men need to address. And when they have and convinced women that they are not violent, then maybe women will start to trust them.
on November 29, 2012 at 12:32 am | ReplyBitethehand
No conflict has ever been solved by squabbling about who has it worse or who started it. That is the politics of the playground and it is fruitless.

I think you’ll find Ally that most conflicts are resolved in exactly that way – but I’m no historian so I’ll bow to your expertise if you can provide the evidence.
on November 29, 2012 at 12:46 am | ReplyBitethehand
The issue of domestic abuse remains laden with ideological baggage. Intimate partner violence springs from a well of interpersonal conflict, abuse, neglect and anger. Violence against women cannot be separated from violence against men, violence against children. It is all part of the same self-perpetuating machine.

No it isn’t Ally, all you’re doing is trying to excuse those men who by fact of their physical superiority can beat up the women in their lives. Almost all violence against men is committed by violent men, NOT women. It’s the men who need to sort out their problems and the last thing they need is you providing them with excuses for their violence.


Domestic violence

on November 29, 2012 at 12:56 am | ReplyBitethehand
To reduce the amount of violence inflicted by some men – against women, other men or themselves, our first priority must be addressing the ways in which we socialise, marginalise and often brutalise our boys and men, how we normalise violence in the male identity.

And you leave this floating in the air as if the solution is self evident. Well it isn’t Ally and if you were honest you’d have devoted a few minutes on this assumption you have about boys being brutalised and how it turns them into beaters of women.

Sounds to me like another excuse for men beating up women and getting away with it.


on November 29, 2012 at 1:07 am | ReplyBitethehand

The men’s sector, the men’s movement if you prefer, has much to gain from working alongside feminists. Most of us are pretty new to this gender business, feminists have been at it for decades.

Pretty new?

No Ally you have been involved with the feminist movement and have studied it intently for much of your adult life. You don’t need to pretend otherwise.

Here you are in 2008 responding to Cath Elliot (MsWoman)

“Dworkin used to claim that anti-feminism is always misogyny, and I think you skirt close to that line here.”

At this time of night I can’t be incited to find the citation but I don’t think you’ll challenge it.



on November 29, 2012 at 1:46 am | ReplyBitethehand
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

“Of course as men’s advocates and activists, we cannot charge into feminist space and tell them what to do.”

You mean not charge in like this?

Comment on: What do you want to talk about?
Bitethehand 03 May 09, 1:48am

MontanaWildhack, you say, about Cath Elliott’s blog:

“I have NEVER been treated as shabbily on Cif as I was over there.”
And I can believe that, in the same way as I can about the effrontery that JayReilly, kizbot and AllyF felt when they stormed in without so much as a tiny consideration of who they were talking to, or what their experiences might have been, and found their presumptions were not welcome.
You see when you refer now to “those sweet little radfems with their oh-so-delicate sensibilities”, you prompt me to ask, ‘what is the problem with people having “oh-so-delicate sensibilities”?’ I think I’ve got them. And you know they’re rather nice.
So you see Ally you did charge in and you continue to charge in and fortunately the historical record is here for all to see.
on November 29, 2012 at 2:06 am | ReplyAlly Fogg Addresses the Menz….. « Bitethehand – the real Untrusted?
[…] Ally Fogg – the darling of Comment is Free addresses the conference of Menz: […]
on November 29, 2012 at 2:41 am | ReplyBitethehand
And just in case you missed the follow up Ally, here’s one of your fan club, MontanaWildhack quoting my earlier post:


And I can believe that, in the same way as I can about the effrontery that JayReilly, kizbot and AllyF felt when they stormed in without so much as a tiny consideration of who they were talking to, or what their experiences might have been, and found their presumptions were not welcome.

See, I don’t know if you’re genuinely confused about this or if this is willful on your part. Ally posted a polite, reasoned and intelligent response to one of Cath’s blog entries. Nothing wrong in that. Cath says anyone’s allowed to post as long as they keep it nice. The response he got from the women who are apparently regulars there was gobsmackingly vitriolic. Kizbot and I made the mistake of thinking that part of the reaction might have been a knee-jerk response to the fact that Ally is a man and he posted something that wasn’t totally ‘right there’ with the radfem party line. We thought that, being female, they might listen to us a bit better and see that what Ally was saying wasn’t a load of misogynistic codswollop. But no – Kiz and I were instantly branded as self-hating, man-worshipping teenyboppers (their terms – not my paraphrasing). Enter JayReilly. More of the same from the radfems.

Of the Cif regulars who posted there, I would have to say that I came the closest to being ‘abusive’ of all of us. One of Cath’s regulars said that the fact that she’d been sexually assaulted meant that she was in a better position than I to make a judgment. Well, as a survivor of child sex abuse, sexual assault in adulthood, and domestic violence to boot, I took umbrage with that, lost my temper and called her an arrogant cow. Cath deleted it and I apologised for it. In my book of offensiveness, telling a man that he probably only helped his girlfriend after she was raped because he wanted sex is much more offensive than calling someone an arrogant cow, but that’s just me. (By the way – referring to a woman’s genitalia as her ‘most vital part’ is pretty fucking offensive. If you’ve apologised for that, I missed it.)

For reasons that only you know, you have chosen to align yourself with women who hold an extreme view of what ‘feminism’ is. They don’t even represent what most women who consider themselves feminists think feminism should be. You may not want to believe this, but I’d bet my farm that they hate you as much as they hate Ally or Jay.

And I’m quite sure Montana that they do hate me as much as they hate Ally and Jay, but please keep your farm and try to make sure your son stays alcohol free – you know and I know it’s the best way to go.




“There was talk in the piece about periods, menopause and socialisation as a girl, in the context of what defines a woman”

No I think it was about what is unique to a woman, rather than what defines her, as was my comment about pregnancy. But I think you need to explain more about this comment of yours for me to understand.

” I think the biological ones can safely be put to one side as I don’t think anyone can successfully argue any of them are necessary or sufficient.”

And by the way this post will be censored by Ally before long, in the same way but not for the same reason, that Ms Burchill’s was by the editor of the Observer.


Violence against women


Or as <strong>Marina Hyde</strong> says of the Sun in today’s Guardian:

<strong><em>I wonder if that same circulation department were rubbing their hands, or their trousers, or whatever it is they rub, when they saw that the paper would be splashing on Friday with a huge picture of Reeva Steenkamp pulling down the zip of a bikini top, even as her corpse was lying in a Pretoria morgue awaiting a postmortem. The killing has yet to be described as a tragedy for women, probably because in the continual clustertragedy that constitutes female representation in the media, Steenkamp is just another casualty, who obligingly happened to be hot.That the story leading the news for the entire day of the One Billion Rising global action opposing violence against women concerned a woman being allegedly murdered by her partner was unfortunate. That the death was covered in the way it has been begins to look like something else. But nothing new, obviously.</em> </strong>


Parental leave


<em>It is striking, however, that they proposed not a single legal or structural demand between them.</em>

I’m not sure who proposed it but the decision to allow <a href=””>maternity leave to be shared between partners</a> might be considered one and it will be interesting to monitor how much this opportunity is taken up by the men in the partnership – what you refer to as the “social shift over generations”.




<strong><em>…..does it matter to you that most women do not adopt the label of feminism, and if so, why?</em></strong>

Yes of course it does because it is an eternal reminder that had feminists never stood and demanded together, most of the things many young women now take for granted – an education, a career, equal pay, property ownership, their own bank account etc etc, would never have happened.

Likewise it is a constant reminder to men that their one and only real grouse about life is that in most advanced societies, they’ve lost some of the privilege they enjoyed for thousands of years until feminists came along. Of course in most developing societies things have changed little.

Here’s REBECCA WEST 1892 – 1983

<em>I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.</em>



If you want to write about racism – rather than feminism, why not ask Ally if you can have some space ATL?




Well if that’s a universal law you’re citing there Ginko it means that every white household on the planet is so racist it would break the law rather than employ a black male applicant as a housekeeper.

And I think you will accept, that’s nonsense.


Young black women

Yes you’re right and in the case of black young women, as students they have recently rejected the “street wise” ideology of many of the black males counterparts, and have demonstrated that as hard studying students who pass their exams, they can become graduates and then employees in jobs that not so long ago they considered out of their reach.


Male deaths devalued

“Our culture systematically devalues male deaths (in news reports specifying numbers of deaths of women and children, for instance) because economic interests require a degree of male disposability in the workplace and military interests may require the mass dispatch of young men to die on battlefields at a moment’s notice. ”

Your problem Ally is that your idea of military practice is about 100 years beyond its sell by date.

Moving to FTB


I’d never come across FTB before, so thanks for bringing it to my attention. And having spent the last hour or so browsing some of its blogs my view is that if you move there you’ll almost certainly get lost in a jumble of all kinds of peculiar life philosophies. Just the sheer size of the place is off-putting to me.  You say:
<blockquote><em>Above all, I decided to do this because I’m not sure where else this blog would really belong. It couldn’t live on a feminist site or a men’s rights site.</em></blockquote>
I agree with you about the “feminist site”, but whether you think it or not, there are some who feel this is most certainly a <em>men’s rights site</em>  more than anything else, and I’m one of them. Your defence of the OK Cupid dating site is a case in point, about which I wrote at the time –  <em>So really what we have here is another piece for men who are against female equality, by a recent convert to the “what about the menz” cause.  </em>Quite how that will go down with the strong feminist bloggers at FTB is for you to decide, but I suspect it might become very uncomfortable.

I’d also be concerned about what is clearly a strong “editorial control” as pointed out in the second post above from <strong> danielleparadis</strong>, although again I have neither the time or inclination to study the reasons why two of FTB’s bloggers were banned. But it does sound a little too close to CiF’s moderation police for my liking.

My final observation from the limited time I spent on FTB was that the quality of the articles and the posts in response to them, could in no way compare with those here. This might be a reflection of the US online culture, as <strong>femdelusion</strong> suggests, but whatever it is, if it’s true, again I think you might find yourself in a minority of one.

Your call.


Moving to FTB


Well all best wishes Ally and hope things turn out the way you want them to .I hope to join you from time to time and will now go and read your opening piece.

There’s something surreal about “going away” and staying where you are, but that’s the internet. 🙂


Men’s roles


<blockquote><em>The collapse of manufacturing industry and the restructuring of the family unit and family finances have left young men like Great Britain after the second world war: having lost an empire and not yet found a role.</em></blockquote>

No Ally Great Britain after the second world war was in debt to the United States for more than the next sixty years. And in the period immediately after the war – 1945-53, when rationing ended, the vast majority of working class Brits lived in near poverty and the middle class had to learn to live without servants.

Young men today have been betrayed by their parents who refused to see the writing on the wall – that their daughters would take full advantage of the free education they were offered and benefit from it, and do insufficient to change the way their sons, like their fathers before them viewed the world.

Sad but true.

Maybe we lost an Empire but found a semblance of sexual equality.



“I have no idea where the recipe for this particular cocktail originates. I’ve never heard of it before.”

Well maybe you need to read your own newspaper Ally – and this isn’t the first report like this that I’ve read.

Try googling it.


Young Men

“These stereotypes are in themselves enormously damaging, especially when it comes to a working class lad – and above all a black working class lad – finding employment and fulfilling his educational potential.”

But if they’re either “finding employment” or “fulfilling their educational potential”, when would they have either the time or the inclination to worry about what Diane Abbott was saying?

After all Ally, whatever the fall in teenage pregnancies, one thing that’s certain is that they were mainly caused by young men failing to use contraception, rather than staying at home doing their homework.


Doscrimination against men


<blockquote>The Guardian is a particular offender in this. I can barely remember the last time I read anything positive about men in it.</blockquote>

You’re clearly not a fan of the sports pages, or those on politics, industry and commerce, finance, business, the judicary, etc etc.

<a href=”″>Have a look at this site</a> to see the true picture of corners of the world where women have yet to tread.

It’s a big corner.


Men and feminism


So many men have “missed the boat” and are only just realising it.

While vast numbers of men, as you point out, have seen feminism as the bane of their lives, in reality it has been eschewed by many women.

But at the same time increasing numbers of women have taken advantage of the increasingly equal education and training opportunities that are now available to them. This has resulted in more women in all the professions and management. In some they are now or are approaching a majority.

So while men opposed to “feminism” have seen this as the source of their problems, women in general have quietly demonstrated that in the all important workplace, they are as good as any man and better than most.

Maybe you need to modify your number 6. Men as success objects?



@42 – and just to reinforce the point, from today’s Comment is Free:

“With women making up nearly half the workforce and more than half of all college graduates, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we now make up 40% of breadwinners in the United States.”


“The rise of ‘breadwinner moms’ is less a win for equality than it looks –
Women are the main earner in 40% of households, but America’s total lack of family-friendly policy means reality is not so rosy” by Jill Filipovic

Of course there’s a sting in the tail.


Sexist double standards

There is also this double standard which I’m quite certain is what is at the heart of many men’s hatred of feminism, which you hint at in <strong>4 and 5</strong> but, in my view, insufficiently.

<blockquote>I would like to see an end to these shameless, gratuitously sexist pieces and the slut-shaming of women for behaviours men are rarely criticised for. I live in hope.</blockquote>

from – <em><a href=””>’Slut-shaming Kate Winslet exposes sexist double standard applied to women'</a></em> by <strong>Zoe Margolis</strong>



<blockquote>If we genuinely want rapists to be convicted for their crimes, saying “I believe her” (or for that matter “I believe him” in around 10% of reported rapes) has to be the default starting position for police, media reporters and social media commentators alike.</blockquote>

And it is the basis of the UK’s adversarial legal system, as I understand it.


<em>Stern rebuked Harman for not distinguishing between the conviction rate for rape…..</em>

No she didn’t. A rebuke would at very least have required Harman to have been named in Stern’s report but she wasn’t. <a href=””>What Stern wrote in her report can be read here: </a>

<blockquote>“The six per cent figure is widely quoted We found in carrying out this review that it was well known and used by almost everyone in the field.”</blockquote>

Indeed if anything the government response was more harsh than Stern’s:

<blockquote>In addition, the review was critical of the way in which incomparable statistics had overtaken the debate around rape, the extent to which they had obscured the reality of criminal justice outcomes and their likely impact on the confidence of
victims to report.</blockquote>

<a href=””>And the Government “generally agreed” with her recommendation:</a>

<blockquote>”We recommend that the National Statistician and the Home Office should aim to ensure that the publication of crime statistics is always accompanied by enough explanation to ensure that their meaning can be widely understood.”</blockquote>



@Ally 184:

My problem with you is not just that you have creepy, stalky tendencies, but that you are a really, really shit stalker. It’s not even a challenge. Please mate, you’ve been at this for about 5 years. Get a life of your own, eh?

“Get a life of your own?”

Not sure where you were last week Ally, Manchester was it? The Peak District of Derbyshire?

Well my life took me to this place among others.

And do you still subscribe to this view?

It is absolutely impossible to debate rape without acknowledging that some claims of rape might be false. That’s what the vast majority of rape cases turn on.

Or have you moved on in the three years since?


Sorry I messed up the formatting on the previous post so please feel free to delete it.

@Ally 210

Is this the same 82 year old man you wrote about here?

Licentialiquendi wrote:

AllyF gets 70 recommends for posting two highly dubious ‘case studies’ to back up his defence of rapists. In one report in that bastion of ethical journalism The Sun, an 82 year old with serious physical and mental health problems, walks into the sea to drown himself. In the other the man with a history of alcoholism is the victim of someone who has an intense grudge against him, but appears not to have been arrested for anything, let alone rape.

To which, Ally, you replied:

They are not case studies, they are newspaper reports. I linked to the first newspapers that came up from google, but if you don’t believe The Sun, here’s another.

I’d like to link to a nice liberal lefty source like the Guardian, but as we both know (we’ve been here before, Bitey) the Guardian has a strict policy of never reporting cases of false rape allegations, even when they are proved beyond all reasonable doubt and lead to such horrific, fatal consequences.
Perhaps you want to deny that Ian Adams or James Bamber even existed? Perhaps you want to deny that they committed suicide after being the victims of malicious false allegations? Perhaps you think they were really guilty of rape? Which is it? Spell it out.

As for your other comment, I don’t for a moment deny that to be the victim of a horrific crime like rape is a deeply traumatising experience for anyone, and that it leads directly to PTSD and sometimes suicide. That is not even up for discussion.

All I ask is for blinkered ideologues like Julie Bindel and yourself to accept that being the victim of false allegations can also be deeply traumatic and lead to PTSD and sometimes suicide.

And do you still feel Julie Bindel is a “blinkered ideologue”?

And as an aside Ally was there any other reason for identifying Licentialiquendi as Bitey, other than to get me banned from posting on The Guardian’s Comment is Free?


@Ally 210

If I’m angry at you (to be more accurate, if I’m angry at the line you are arguing) it is purely because of your abject refusal to display any meaningful compassion, empathy or basic humanity towards people to whom dreadful things have happened, including an 82 year old man who took his own life.

The trauma and distress suffered by the victims of rapists and those who’ve been sexually assaulted, the vast majority women, are well researched and documented.

….according to the National Women’s Study, rape victims are 4.1 times more likely than non-crime victims to have contemplated suicide and 13 times more likely to attempt suicide.

Could we have some equivalent statistics for those, almost exclusively men, who’ve been falsely accused?

And incidentally, the 82 year old man to whom you refer, went to a woman’s house, offered to lend her money, according to him fumbled about with her, and according to her raped or attempted to rape her. And you think she was wrong to report it to the police?


@Ally 240

I honestly have no idea, since I’m not in the habit of compiling detailed files on people with whom I’ve argued on the internet several years previously. But if I was to hazard a guess, I’d imagine I was seriously pissed off with you for harassing people, keeping files on them, quoting them out of context, misrepresenting them and otherwise behaving like a stalky, creepy freak.

So it’s ok for you to quote in this article something that “Prisoner Ben” Gunn has written but not for me to quote what you’ve written? And incidentally you’ve got some pretty decent files here – yes? Isn’t that the very nature of the internet and the web? I suggest you try getting used to it as it’s not going to go away.

I’ve challenged you before to produce evidence of me harassing people – unless you’re going to classify as harassment, the very essence of this and other interactive fora that the internet has encouraged? Same goes for me quoting people out of context – always the defence of scurrilous politicians that one. No evidence Ally, just tittle tattle designed to attract those with too little inclination to undertake so basic investigation.

Unlike you Ally I have never used expressions like “she spouts the ravings of a paranoid fruitloop” as a means of abusing those with whom I disagree, so I suggest if the cap fits….

And as you know very well while Baroness Stern did call for more funding for research on false allegations of rape, which is yet to be forthcoming, it isn’t true that “the research simply isn’t there”, as she and her team who compiled the report did some:

It was suggested to us that women often make false allegations of rape.
Beliefs that many allegations are false are said to affect the way rape complaints are dealt with by police, prosecutors and juries. The research that is available on false allegations gives a wide range of figures for how many there are, although those we spoke to in the system felt that there were very few. Nevertheless, the effect on those who are falsely accused can be severe. The public holds very strong views about sex offenders, and those who have been under suspicion of rape are likely to suffer considerably from the allegation having been made, even when they have been cleared and the allegation has been established as false. The penalties for making false allegations and persisting with them through the legal process can be commensurately severe. The complainant making false allegations can be given a substantial prison sentence. Since the subject of false allegations comes up so often in discussions about rape, and the information about the prevalence of false allegations is so scanty, we have recommended that research be undertaken to establish their frequency.


How common are false allegations? It is not possible to establish an exact figure and the research that is available gives a wide range of suggested percentages. Some research suggests that a figure of eight to ten per cent of reported rapes could well be false reports. However, those we spoke to in the system felt that there were very few. A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) lawyer told us, ‘They are extremely rare. I have been prosecuting for 20 years, and have prosecuted for a false allegation once.’ The judges we talked to said these cases occur very infrequently. An experienced police officer had come across two such cases in 15 years.

Now you might call the work of these researchers “anecdote” but it’s a serious allegation to make against the professionalism of those social scientists who work for the British Government’s Home Office and were in Baroness Stern’s team

As for the 82 year old man with cancer who walked into the sea, do you think the woman who he admitted to “fumbling with” was wrong to go to the police with what she considered to be a sexual assault? Or should she have just put up and shut up?



“the legality of male genital mutilation.”

The suggestion that male circumcision is the same as female genital mutilation is quite grotesque. To make this suggestion is a denial of the purpose of FGM and the life threatening and life long problems it causes to those girls who are forced to undergo this barbaric “operation”.

Is it small wonder that attempts to save girls in the UK from enduring this practice have been so appallingly ineffective, when a prominent social commentator provides the pro-FGM lobby with an such an alibi?


<blockquote><em>”Kate Millett’s assertion that women are incapable of violence has been proved grotesquely wrong.”</em></blockquote>
But as you say Millett wasn’t even an historian yet alone a social scientist, although had she been the former she might have known that 30 years before she wrote about this, over 800,000 women had served in the Soviet armed forces in World War II. Nearly 200,000 of them were decorated and 89 of them eventually received the Soviet Union’s highest award, the Hero of the Soviet Union. They served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members and partisans, as well as in auxiliary roles.

However just to put their role in its proper historical and social context, <a href=””><strong><em>”very few of these women were ever promoted to officers”.</em></strong></a>

As such your claim that <em>”Kate Millett’s assertion that women are incapable of violence has been proved grotesquely wrong.”</em> is also grotesquely wrong as the historical evidence has always confounded such a claim. And you from the land that produced among others Boudica (Died AD61) and Queen “Bloody Mary” 1516-58 and Mary Ann Cotton 1832-73 and Myra Hindley 1942 -2002.

One thing is certain though and that is despite the very recent increase in the number of women being convicted of violent offences, which might explain why <em>”Julie Bindel has toned down her rhetoric considerably”,</em> if in fact she has, most violence in our societies is still perpetrated by men.


Worse still, victims, either individually or collectively, have been widely smeared as probable abusers themselves, under the assumption that any attack against them was an act of self-defence. The defamation has even stretched to murder victims.

And the defamer you accuse here is none other than your fellow Guardian journalist Libby Brooks, whose article in November 2009, you actually asked to be censored.

So where was the “systematic attempts to all but deny the existence of male victims” in Libby Brooks’ article in which she says in her second sentence:

“I began corresponding with Jane Andrews, who absconded from an open prison in Kent last Sunday, in the autumn of 2001, some months after her conviction for killing her partner Thomas Cressman. ”

If there’s any defamation here Ally then it seem to coming from you.

Your comments at the time were well and truly taken apart by among other Cath Elliot (Ms Woman) here and here:
Matt Seaton, here:

AlexJones here:

and humptydumpty, whose contribution I particularly liked, here:

There’s enough pompous, self-righteous bile and indignation here to sink a flotilla of battleships moored in the boating lake at Tunbridge Wells. Anyone would think that Libby Brooks had murdered Mr Cressman, not Jane Andrews. But as well as the usual suspects, when paragons like Lord Summerisle and AllyF are swept away neck and crop by the tidal wave of hysteria, then it really is time for everyone to lie down in a darkened room and keep taking the tablets.
Because a judge and jury rejected Jane Andrews’ assertion that she’d been abused, many people here are satisfied that the abuse never happened. Nonsense! Judges and juries hand out verdicts (ie opinions) based on probabilities, not certainties. Try telling the Birmingham 7, the Guildford 6 and Stefan Kiszko (were he still alive) that their court verdicts were reached on the basis of cast-iron facts.
Libby Brooks knew Jane Andrews and she seems to give some credence to her story. Neither I nor the horde of tricoteurs and tricoteuses clogging up this blog have this personal knowledge, so I’m inclined to defer to Libby’s view.
In any case, how odd it is that calls in the abstract for leniency for abused women, just as for calls for the courts to exercise great care before sentencing women with children to a prison term, are always greeted by shock and horror by (mostly male) bystanders.



<strong>@40 Microdog</strong>

One thing, among many that intrigues me is why you married / got involved with this violent woman in the first place. I’ve known women who’ve started relationships with men who they knew had been violent to the previous women in their lives but never men.

Were you so totally unaware of this aspect of her character when you married her and had children with her?


<strong>@42 Microdog</strong>

You write:

<blockquote>These days the Grauniad deletes any comments about male victims of domestic violence straight away, however benign or factual. Suppressing any views on male victims is now an un/official policy of the mods.</blockquote>

I hope your previous post was more honest and accurate that this one. 🙂

I’ve just done a search of the Guardian’s database of contributions to CiF articles which include the all the words <strong>”male victims of domestic violence”.</strong> There are 135 of them, the first on 16 July 2007 and the most recent on 21 June 2013.

Here’s one from a certain <strong>AllyF</strong> on 29 November 2012 at 9:31am on the thread of an article “The government’s position on domestic violence is hypocritical”. Quoting a contributor called Clare:

<blockquote><em>It doesn’t take a long stretch of the imagination to realise that a high percentage of male victims of domestic violence are being beaten up by other men: their partners, their fathers, their brothers.</em></blockquote>

Ally’s response:

<em>”Hi Clare,

As others have said, this is simply flat-out wrong. The figures I was quoting are technically called ‘intimate partner abuse’ and refer to all violent acts, threats and sexual crimes committed specifically by partners and ex-partners, including non-cohabiting couples..

So there will be a small percentage of reported crimes in each committed by male gay couples and lesbians, but those will cancel each other out. Around 95% of those male victims will have been abused by a female partner.

That’s plain and simple fact, and easily checked if you click on the link in the previous post”</em>

That’s a long way from your “un/official policy of the mods”.


I’m posting this merely because it seems to add something to the discussion:

<em>”Studies of violence by men appear to be moving away from single theory explanations towards more integrated approaches which take account of
situational characteristics, social and economic factors as well as interpersonal factors. There has been increasing attention to developing understanding of women’s use of anger, aggression and violence recognizing that most work in the field has been developed on the basis of men. This identifies differing socialization and up-bringing patterns for men and women which encourage men to use aggression, but women to suppress it. Women’s use of aggression is characterised as largely expressive and men’s as instrumental in gaining control. Thus the use of anger and aggression, ways of expressing it, reactions to its use, and the social reinforcements of such behaviours are very different for the two sexes.</em>

<em>Experiencing violence in childhood does not inevitably lead to its use as adults, nevertheless, among women in the criminal justice system a high proportion will have experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse as children or adults. Prison based studies indicate a link between the victimization of girls and criminalization, making them more vulnerable to violence on the streets. Alcohol, and particularly drug use, are clearly associated with violence by women.”</em>

from:   <a href=””><span style=”color:#0000ff;”><strong>Understanding Violence By Women: A Review of the Literature. </strong><strong>Explanations Of Violent Behaviour By Women</strong></span></a>



Hi Ally,

You don’t actually say whether you agree with the vandalising of the UK’s national works of art or one of the Church of England’s cathedrals.

Neither do you say anything about the viability of the F4J’s claim that it is following in the footsteps of the Suffragettes, something that displays as much historical ignorance as it does hyperbole.

I cannot imagine a more welcome present for mothers struggling to protect their children via the services of the Family Court.


What you need to address <strong>Adiabat</strong> is that even where mothers work full time they still undertake most of the care her child needs.

When father’s can demonstrate that they as a whole have reversed this, they can expect some support from the Family Court.


<strong>@117 Ace of Sevens</strong>
<blockquote>@bitethehand: So men as a class should be punished because some men are shitty? Good fathers only deserve the support of the system if they can get all the bad fathers to straighten up, too? How is that a legit argument. You sound like my racist uncle last reunion arguing that black people shouldn’t get upset with the police for mistaken shooting because black people do commit more crimes.</blockquote>
On the contrary, men are just under half the world’s population, they are not a class and they will never be one.

And I’m not suggesting men should be punished, quite the contrary, they should be rewarded. And rewarded by taking on the real tasks that their children will appreciate, like doing the cooking and the washing up, remembering their friends’ birthdays, making sure their school uniform is washed and ironed and they’ve had sufficient encouragement with their homework, and the toilet is clean along with the shower and the wash basin, and the shopping’s included their favourite sweets and savouries, and their teeth have been brushed properly and so on. You know all those things that women seem to find so easy but men find so difficult.

As such to try to equate what <strong>men</strong> suffer or enjoy or appreciate or disdain with one ethnic minority group is specious.

So if I sound like your racist uncle, I think you’ve been spending too much time with your male relations and not enough time with your female ones. 🙂



According to this piece of advice in the article <strong>”The UK situation for men and fathers – a brief summary”</strong> , UK <em>”family courts award mothers sole custody in 71% of cases and fathers sole custody in 7% of all cases, joint custody is awarded in the remaining 21% of cases.”</em>


Yet nowhere in the article is there any analysis of why the 7% and why the 21%. What follows is a lot of complaining about the injustice suffered by fathers, bias in the award of state benefits, exteme hyperbole such as fathers <em>”coming to terms with their situation of spending a lifetime in slavery”</em>, (slavery when were they living 1066?), complaints about having to spend money on their child / children’s upbringing, mental health problems of fathers and the loss to the country at large.

But nothing, not one sentence on what it was that enabled 7% of fathers to get sole custody and 21% to get joint custody.

The only real piece of advice offered is:

<strong>You can read in these pages the risk undertaken by men on entering marriage and fatherhood:</strong>

Seems some fathers and their advisers are their own worst enemies.



“Men from central Scotland are not known for our smiley, flamboyant extroversion at the best of times. In Murray’s case one senses that he has constructed a thick protective wall around himself. Perhaps he cannot easily let emotions spill out, because with only the smallest crack, the deluge would be overwhelming.”

On the other hand maybe becoming a Grand Slam winner at Wimbledon and a world champion takes more than a little single mindedness.

And for the record I’ve seen him display his emotions in public lots of times, as have millions of others.

<blockquote><em>our impressions of society are formed by looking at individual factoids and scare stories as if through a long thin tube, only ever seeing a snapshot rather than the full panorama. We then depend upon cognitive biases and heuristics to fill in the gaping blank spaces.</em></blockquote>

Rather like your assessment of Andy Murray’s character then?

How many times have we seen him in tears on tv; how many times lambasting the umpire with crude obscenities (never seen Federer do that) how many times abusing his racquet on court?



While I am not in favour of withdrawing benefits from single mothers, I do believe that their payment should be conditional on the father being identified, where this is possible, (sometimes the father is deceased) so that he can be required to make a meaningful social, economic and financial contribution and committment to his child’s life.


<strong>@22 pikeamus</strong>

Yes I’m sure as you point out, that asking boys and men to take responsibility for the children they father is fraught with difficulties and there will be all manner of arguments as to what that responsibility entails. I was merely trying to raise the issue of the role of the fathers of the children of single mothers as they are rarely mentioned when the issue of “single mothers” is raised.

This thread which seems to me to be about “ownership” rather than responsibility, is a case in point.



<blockquote>(if you’re interested, I agreed with every word of Deborah Orr’s piece the other day)</blockquote>

I’m certainly interested because I thought it was a scandalous piece of opportunism in which she trashed the memory of the late Stephen Lawrence in order to add her voice to the distortions her fellow Guardian journalists, Gary Younge and Joseph Harker, along with the paper’s editorial team, had already made public.

You can read my views here – <strong><a href=””>Deborah Orr adds her own distortions to the Zimmerman – Martin story</a></strong>

I want to study the rest of your piece Ally because I don’t see how anyone who knows the Stephen Lawrence case as you know it, could possibly consider him or his death to be in any way similar to that of Trayvon Martin.


<em><blockquote>When all the dust and bluster is cleared away, the inescapable likelihood is that Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white.</blockquote></em>

And on what evidence presented to the jury or otherwise are you basing that conclusion? You will know that the chances of a Black man in the USA being shot by a White or an Hispanic man are far lower than him being shot by a Black man.

Sad but it’s true.


Ally Fogg

Black men in the US are the most vulnerable racial-gender group

Correct and it’s because they kill each other.

But this most important observation is absent from your polemic.


<strong>Ally Fogg</strong> –

<blockquote><em>Yes, black women are also subject to racism, to prejudice and suspicion, and I do not for a moment seek to downplay that. However it goes without saying that assumptions about race and ethnicity intersect and react with assumptions about gender to create very different outcomes. It was not just that Trayvon Martin would be alive today if he were not African-American, he would probably still be alive today if he had not been male.</em></blockquote>

Except you do <strong>”exactly downplay”</strong> it.

Try to suggest a scenario when a Black woman might be in a gated community dressed in the way Martin was and acting in the same way. It’s almost unimaginable, except for someone who’s seeking an excuse for why men shoot each other and women tend not to.

Women, in my experience tend towards the discussion and agreement end of the spectrum, rather than the abuse and murder end.


Ally Fogg writes:

To understand this (that the statistics indicate that Black men tend to shoot each other, thereby contributing to their lower life expectancy) we need to appreciate not only the assumptions that are made about black people, but also the assumptions that are made about men.

You mean understand that in general it is men that kill other men?

Or what?

Ah yes here we have an explanation from you:

<em>In both cases we are talking not only about the externally imposed prejudices, but also internalised markers of identity – what we ourselves believe to be the appropriate and acceptable ways for someone like us to behave, assumptions which are inevitably informed by and reactive to dominant cultural values, including racial and gendered stereotypes.

You mean people expect us men, and especially Black men to shoot each other so we do exactly that?

How many men have you shot Ally because of these “externally imposed prejudices” and “internalised markers of identity”?

Or even punched them on the nose?


I’ve argued before that contrary to some feminists’ claims, misandry is indeed a thing.

Sorry Ally but could you expand on this? Misandry is a thing?

You continue:

So too is black misandry the stereotyping, negative prejudices and oppression visited very specifically upon black men – which is different not just in degree but in quality from either half of the whole, in other words there are assumptions made about black men which do not routinely apply to either all black people or to all men (aspects of sexuality or probable gang membership, for example.)

And I’ve argued before that sometimes your sentences are difficult to understand and that this is a deliberate ploy on your part, to avoid having to state what exactly it is that you’re arguing.

And in this case your hypothesis about why Black men attack each other in such great numbers.


And now you have a Muslim Aid advertisement heading your blog Ally.

Is that appealing for funds to kill more British citizens like Fusilier Lee James Rigby, of the Second Fusilier’s Corps of Drums, hacked to death on a London street just a few weeks ago?



129 @ FloraPoste

“Why is it hard to imagine? I can easily imagine it. Just not that it would end in gunfire.”

Because I believe a woman being followed by a man like Zimmerman would go home and lock the door and probably call the police. It’s what I would do and I think it’s what most men would do. And even more so in a state where guns are so prevalent and with a “stand your ground law.”


131 Ally Fogg

However at 130 you’ve resorted to full-blown racism.

And what race is Muslim so I can be sure which one I’m being racist about?

For that matter what race is Christianity, or Buddhism?

I happen to be living in China at the moment, and I’ve lived here for over 4 years in the last nine. I’ve travelled extensively in the country. Here the major religion is Buddhism. There are Buddhist temples everywhere and many homes and business premises have a Buddhist shrine.

Is it anti-Chinese racism to be critical of Buddhism? Or is it just Islam that in your view enjoys that privilege?

If you’re happy to have ads for the Muslim religion on your blog that’s your decision. But don’t pretend that Islam isn’t a religion that considers, among many other objectionable things, that women are inferior to men and treats them accordingly.


129 @ FloraPoste

“Please explain why this has anything to do with your victim blaming?”

The members of the jury found Zimmerman not guilty of murder and manslaughter. Had they considered Martin to have been the victim they would have reached a different decision. And doubtless it would have been the one you and millions of others would have preferred them to have reached. Am I right about that?

These were two men fighting with each other. Had they not fought they would both now be alive.


<strong>133 @ carnation</strong>

<blockquote>”Invoke Godwin all you like, but it’s fairly easy to guess what you’d have been up to in Germany in the mid 1930s. Bandwagon jumping, tabloid narrative believing, intellectually lumpen buffoon.”</blockquote>

<strong>Carnation</strong>, do you know what <a href=”’s_law”>Godwin’s law</a> is?

<blockquote>”Godwin said that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis.”</blockquote>

Why not have a read about it and then tell me how I’ve invoked it?

And as an active trade unionist for most of my working life and a campaigner for a variety of civil rights causes, in all probablility I’d have been one of the first to have had his collar felt. 🙂


Ally Fogg

“But there’s another aspect to the death of Trayvon Martin that has gone almost unnoticed.

When all the dust and bluster is cleared away, the inescapable likelihood is that Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white.”

Ally, in addition to Deborah Orr’s piece I’ve read ones in the Guardian by Gary Young, Professor Patricia Williams, Marina Hyde, Randolph McLaughlin, Amy Goodman, Lindsey Bever, Bella Mackie, in which you were “commenter of the week”, an editorial and the speech by President Obama, each of which were open to comments which totalled 7331. The view that “Trayvon Martin would never have died had he been white” was one of the more frequently posted comments and one which prompted much discussion.

In Deborah Orr’s article when one poster claimed “We just don’t live in a world where a black person can shoot a white person saying they felt threatened…and get a way with it”, the response was:

“The 2009 Christopher Cervini case. A white youth shot by a black man. The black man pleaded self-defence in front of an all-white jury and was aquitted.”

One the same thread is this post:

“Of course there is a racial angle.

The point is not whether Zimmerman was guilty of 2nd degree murder or not. The point is, what if Trayvon Martin had been white.

If Trayvon had been a 17-year-old white kid walking home from the convenience store after buying candy, and George Zimmerman had been a black man with a gun. If the black Zimmerman had followed the white kid and challenged him, and when the white kid resisted, shot him dead, then what would the verdict (from this white and a little bit Hispanic jury) have been?
That is the point. And it is racial.”

We can speculate all we like about whether if Trayvon Martin had been white he’d still be alive today, but to say it hasn’t been discussed is not accurate.

Possibly of more interest is this article which I’ve only just read – “If Trayvon Martin had been a woman …” by Jamila Aisha Brown. It contained the following:

“Despite Piers Morgan’s assertion that if Trayvon Martin were female, then her case would assure a guilty verdict, all the evidence suggests otherwise. The same social and cultural protections afforded white women are not readily granted to African-American women and girls.

If Trayvon Martin had been a young black woman, no police chief would have resigned over a bungled investigation. No CNN host would be discussing the case of her accused killer. And we wouldn’t be livestreaming her murder trial and hanging on every word of each witness.

The reality is we would probably never have heard of her.”


Zimmerman, Martin and patriarchal misandry: An intersectional analysis

Ally Fogg – on patriarchal misandry

“The phrase captures for me how psychological, emotional and physical traumas are imposed routinely or sporadically upon men purely as a result of their gender, in large part in order to nail them to their expected place in the social order. That place that includes being the oppressor of others, whether you want to or not, and it includes not just the gender hierarchies of society, but the racial, sexual, social and economic hierarchies of society.”

This sounds as if any and every act of men, however anti-social, discriminatory, heinous becomes the responsibility of someone else – in the patriarchy. Are the men who commit these acts to take no resposibility?

What about those men who for example decide to work in the public sector because they are aware of what will be expected of them in the private sector? The same might be said for many who work in the voluntary sector or for charities. Are they not to be praised for their self-sacrifice and the example they set others?

Then you imply with this:

“The pressures which drive men to be big cheese on their block, in their gated community or in their merchant bank are to a large extent the same pressures that drive men to the prison gates and the psychiatric wards.”

That even the members of the patriarchy have no say in what they do and no or very little responsibility for the outcomes; that somehow there are unseen forces instructing us all.

So how does any of this change, if not by the actions of men and women? How do we rid ourselves of this ruling class partiarchy and arrive at what others would call an egalitarian socialism?


149 @ Carnation, you write:

“I said “invoke Godwin all you like but it’s fairly easy to guess what you’d have been up to in Germany in the 1930s” – the clear implication being that I suspect, given your comments here, that you’d be scapegoating Jews, just as you scapegoat Muslims. I mentioned Godwin as I suspected you would have responded with it.

Yes as I suspected you didn’t understand what Godwin’s law is – in fact you have just provided in your quote here a good example. I said nothing about Hitler or Nazi Germany, so how could I have been invoking Godwin. I criticised a religion and you accuse me of scapegoating a racial group – Jews.

So just to make my position clear here’s something I posted on the Guardian’s Comment is Free  back in September 2008 and it’s still my position today. From the thread following the article:

Let Muslim women speak: Stop talking about us as though we are not in the room

“It is only because the masses of Muslim women are steeped in poverty and illiteracy that oppressive ideas have been accepted and tolerated for so long. Until recent times, the vast majority of Muslim women have remained wholly or largely unaware of their “Islamic” (in an ideal sense) rights. Even privileged, educated Muslim women — like women of other religious traditions — have been denied systematically the opportunity to acquire the critical tools for examining the roots of their tradition and discovering how they became so disadvantaged. Their exclusion disables their response.

The negative ideas about women that prevail in Muslim societies are rooted in certain theological ideas. Until we demolish the theological foundations of Muslim culture’s misogynistic and androcentric tendencies, Muslim women will suffer discrimination despite statistical improvements in education, employment, and political rights. Islamic tradition will remain rigidly patriarchal until we break the chains of ignorance in which women are shackled.”

The analysis is spot on, but the way forward really leaves a lot to be desired, especially in the light of the content of Channel 4’s ‘Undercover Mosque – The Return’

“Ultimately, it will be up to Muslim women, once educated about Islam and their rights, to articulate in a proactive fashion the meaning of their lives, their selves. Reacting against the Western model of liberation no longer suffices. What is required is a positive formulation of their own goals and objectives, individually and collectively.”

From: “Members, One of Another: Gender Equality and Justice in Islam” By Riffat Hassan


8 @ Gjenganger

But the best way of avoiding the ill effects of gender roles is to not have any, just like homeopathic drugs are the only drugs without side-effects – because they have no effect at all.



28 @ Gjenganger

And to be fair, it is not exactly obvious whether and to what extent a transsexual is ‘really’ a man/woman

A very fair point, not just a fair one.

And even if scientific research and development enables the possibility of trans-sexual men and women to produce children, just like our wonderful Kate and William, they’ll still be considered something different by most people. Won’t they?

So let’s celebrate diversity – I do in my multi-culti family who with Aunty Edith recently arrived from Australia, come from four of our six continents. And while we don’t love each other, quite the contrary, we at least demonstrate that we can sit down and have a civilised conversation with each other. (Unlike any other species that would end up eating each other).

And we are atheist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist.

So don’t let anyone, least of all Ally Fogg and Carnation, with Ally’s foul mouthed retort, presume to tell me that I don’t experience and understand religion, even though I struggle to find a reason why in the 21st century, people cling to it like a drowning man or woman clutching a straw.


170 @ Ally Fogg


Just on the off chance that you really are as stupid as you are pretending to be… Jews are not an ethnic or genetic monolith, and not all people who have semitic ethnicity are Jewish. Are you going to argue that anti-semitism isn’t a form of racism?

No I’m stating the exact opposite, that anti-Semitism is racism. Islam however is a religion and Muslims belong to most if not all races, nationalities and ethnic groups.

Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People
By Harry Ostrer

Oxford University Press, 288 Pages, $24.95

In his new book, “Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People,” Harry Ostrer, a medical geneticist and professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, claims that Jews are different, and the differences are not just skin deep. Jews exhibit, he writes, a distinctive genetic signature. Considering that the Nazis tried to exterminate Jews based on their supposed racial distinctiveness, such a conclusion might be a cause for concern. But Ostrer sees it as central to Jewish identity.

“Who is a Jew?” has been a poignant question for Jews throughout our history. It evokes a complex tapestry of Jewish identity made up of different strains of religious beliefs, cultural practices and blood ties to ancient Palestine and modern Israel. But the question, with its echoes of genetic determinism, also has a dark side.
Geneticists have long been aware that certain diseases, from breast cancer to Tay-Sachs, disproportionately affect Jews. Ostrer, who is also director of genetic and genomic testing at Montefiore Medical Center, goes further, maintaining that Jews are a homogeneous group with all the scientific trappings of what we used to call a “race.”


162 @Thumper; Atheist mate

“You know perfectly well that colloquial usage of the word encompasses prejudice against others based on race, ethnicity or cultural identity (including religion). Religion is an integral part of ethnic and cultural identity. You know all of that, so stop trying to dodge the accusations through definitional technicalities. Instead, try demonstrating that the accusations are unfounded. Or even better, hold your hands up, admit you said a racist thing, and apologise. Or if you’re not willing to apologise, just admit you’re an awful person. Either way, stop being so bloody disingenuous.”

If you read my response to Carnation at 153 you’ll notice that I am very specific about those adherents of the Muslim religion with whom I agree and those I don’t.

Does your “colloquial” definition mean that you think it fine for the Islamic state of Dubai to jail a woman for being raped? A woman who fortunately through international outrage from millions of people like me, has now been released.


168 @ Ally Fogg

“Portraying all members of a religion, even those running an acclaimed humanitarian charity, as being responsible for the worst crimes of their social group is an extremely and inescapably racist thing to do.”

See my response to Carnation at 153 and Thumper; Atheist mate at 188 about those Muslims I have sympathy for and those I don’t.

Muslim Aid the “acclaimed humanitarian charity” claims to be “one of the international faith based charities whose humanitarian principles are deeply rooted in the Islamic teachings of equality of gender and provision of basic amenities for the most needy.”

These principles include all the discriminatory ones that apply to women in for instance Shariah courts.

“A new documentary secretly filmed inside several of the 85 Islamic Sharia Law courts operating in Britain has exposed the systematic discrimination that many women are suffering at the hands of Muslim jurists.”

And the charity still abides by the discriminatory practices in those countries where they exist:

“The aim of development programmes is neither to bring about major structural changes within the society nor to challenge the social and cultural norms of the society.”

Muslim Aid also accepted its failings and changed its security policies relating to street collections after being criticised for its failings in the terrorist offences committed by Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid,, and Ashik Ali.

If you wish to advertise this charity it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t.

“It is identical to holding all Jews responsible for the acts of a rich banker or the war crimes of the IDF, and absolutely identical to assuming all black people are muggers.”

No it isn’t and now you’re just being silly. Criticising religion is as yet not a crime in the UK whereas the racial abuse of Jews and Black people is. I thought you’d have known that.

“If you don’t like being called a racist, first of all, learn what racism is then secondly, stop spouting racist shit.


Ally you have a long history of abusing people, including me and it’s water off a duck’s back.

Even easier.


192 @ Carnation

“Two soldiers were murdered in Northern Ireland in 2009, the murderers tried to kill Dominos pizza delivery staff in the attack too. Were you as outraged at their deaths?”

As outraged as what?

If you mean was I outraged, yes of course.

“I’m also curious, what’s the difference between you and Stephen Lennon, ideologically?”

If you mean he of the English Defence League why don’t you look at my site here or my comments as Bitethehand here, or more recent ones as kyushuchaos here.



202 @ Thumper; Atheist mate

Because the colloquial definition of “theocratic misogyny” in Dubai, ie that women can’t be raped, seems as far away from internationally recognised legal definitions as your and Ally Fogg’s argument that criticism of religion is racism.


14 @ Paul

One of the criticisms of the various strands of the feminist movement in this country is that they’re dominated by White middle class women who in effect exclude those women who challenge them.

But these are far outweighed by the advantages of having women who were and are able to put together cogent, coherent, forceful arguements and campaigns that in the 50 or so years that the modern feminist movement has existed, has seen success after success. Whether that’s equal pay, equal opportunities, the minimum wage two thirds of whose beneficiaries have been women, funding for child care, women priests, no fault divorce, access to and reform of education, and so on.

When I look at the list I find it difficult to imagine any man however radical or conservative, however progressive or reactionary who might be excluded. Hardly a formula for successful campaigning.



Ally Fogg

I’ll admit this never struck me as the most pressing social justice campaign on the table at present, but by the same token, nor did it strike me as something that anyone could get especially upset about.

On the contrary, the fact that the Bank of England was so surprised that its decision should be opposed so vehemently is yet another indication of how little the male echelons of the British establishment have learnt in the past 50 years. And proof of this is its rapid decision to have a second woman on a banknote. (Her Majesty the Queen is on all of them and that might just be a female humming bird on the tenner).


67 John Austin

The Suzanne Moore article was prompted by recent stories of men’s antics with toasters, handcuffs etc and I’m not sure there has been an equivalent story reporting the antics of women.


Ally Fogg

What motivates people – mostly but not entirely men – to attack others online using the most extremely violent, threatening and offensive terms at their disposal?

I think where men are concerned there’s a lot to be said for the “sexual frustration” argument but to what extent is it the case that there’s a profound envy of other men who do appear to have successful and satisfactory sex lives. And what better way to upset this sexual / emotional equation than to target a woman in an “if I can’t have you he won’t either”, attack, a sort of secular online honour killing. It feasible that such an attack would so traumatise the victim that it would threaten her own relationship(s)?



Ally, you say:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you does not mean treat everyone equally, quite the contrary.

And you assume this is some kind of equality message. But it isn’t.

So when you suggest:

“The logical endpoint of the Equal Treatment Fallacy is the belief that if we treat everyone equally, then everyone will become equal. The truth is that in an unequal system, if we treat everyone equally we maintain the unequal status quo.”

Isn’t this based on a misunderstanding of the Scripture and long before it, what made us what we are today?

Doesn’t it mean – take a beating to save someone else having to take one?

And isn’t that the essence of leadership?

You might never receive your reward for the beating you’ve taken, but having taken it, you can feel mightily content about the world around you, and be in a rather better position to offer advice and even give orders?

Maybe that’s why Suzanne Moore wrote her piece?

And maybe what we have today is too many people wanting to deliver beatings and not enough prepared to take one?


AllyFogg asks


I’d been opting to ignore your tedious nitpicking at Deborah Orr’s piece, since it had very little to do with the article above.

So why did you chose to introduce it to this thread?

But as you have, it seems only right that those who treasure the memory of Stephen Lawrence, might want to object.

I’d also chosen to ignore your increasingly dodgy dogwhistles over Trayvon Martin.

However at 130 you’ve resorted to full-blown racism.

I say in my guidelines that if you’re a racist shite I won’t necessarily delete it, but I will call you for racist shite.

And I will add that if you pull any crap like that on my blog again, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ban your spiteful, racist little arse out of here faster than you can say boo hoo censorship.


To which I replied:

189 @Bitethehand

And just in time here’s Anne Marie Waters on the National Secular Society website:

“In short, a crime against humanity is being committed in Saudi Arabia. The same can be said for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere; every bit of it is propped up by religion, justified by religion, and strengthened by religion.”

Are you going to call Anne Marie Waters a racist as well Ally?


“Notwithstanding the usual debates about rates of intimate partner violence, It is certainly true that for every woman committing a violent act, there will be several men. Male violence, in both prevalence and severity, remains the most pressing criminological trend in our society. To acknowledge that does not require us to simply ignore or dismiss female violence, whether targeted at men, women or children.”

Both before and after this statement you provide us solely with examples of female violence against males and provide none for the vastly more serious problem of male violence against women and other men. Where in the world does female violence against men compare in any way to what Robert Fisk describes here:

“Ms Jilani is a tough, brave lawyer with a harsh way of describing the “honour killing” – the murder – of young women. She has to be tough, given the death threats she’s received from Pakistan’s Islamists. She speaks with contempt for the families who murder their women – with even more contempt for the police and the judges who allow the killers to go free. Pakistan has the grotesque reputation of being one of the leading “honour-killing” countries in the world.”

And on a global scale:

“Yet this violence against women occurs in almost every country of the world and is increasing. In 2000, the United Nations estimated that 5,000 women were victims of honor killings each year. According to BBC, “Women’s advocacy groups, however, suspect that more than 20,000 women are killed worldwide each year.” Murder is not the only form of honor crime, other crimes such as acid attacks, abduction, mutilations, beatings occur; in 2010 the UK police recorded at least 2,823 such crimes. ”




“Show your workings” is smutty playground humour?  I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.

Young boys and sadly many men every day, all over the world, shout at woman – from a distance, or close up when they feel safe, as Ally Fogg feels here, “show us your tits”.

To labour a point, Ally is engaging in the kind of juvenile sexist humour that made him so popular with the male chauvinists that congregate on his blog.

Let Ally Fogg deny he meant anything other than him seeking an answer to a difference to complex statistical calculation, and I’ll post an apology.


<strong>Darren Ball</strong> you write:

<em>Religion brings a whole new dimension to domestic violence which needs to be treated differently We are stuck with us as a species – we can’t do anything about that. What we can do something about is the way we raise children – to ensure that they’re raised in families and a society in which violence (including DV) is unacceptable. So-called “honour killings” come from a sub-culture within our society in which children are raised to believe that extreme and even lethal violence against one’s own children can be honourable. </em>

A very good point, but look at Fogg’s obsession with <a href=””>his reference to young girls: </a>

<blockquote>I should have stuck to the question of whether little girls can pee standing up.</blockquote>

I can understand why Fogg wants to attract F4J men to his site but which audience is he trying to attract with that comment?


Ally Fogg writes:

You make a valid criticism that I use the two terms interchangeably without clarification, which could cause confusion.

And the two terms are ‘domestic abuse’ and ‘domestic violence’

But it isn’t confusion it’s dishonesty because “abuse” includes women complaining that their men leave the toilet seat up after taking a standing piss. (During which they often miss the bowl and piss on the floor, leaving “their woman” to clear up their mess.)

And this “nagging” is reported by men as abuse.

As such Ally, those women and men who accuse you of being a male chauvinist are quite correct. You abuse the statistics to support your chauvinism.



Ally, you’re a treasured contributor to the Guardian, both below and above the line and a long time recognised authority on feminism.

And your own blog aimed I think largely at the male of the species?

Just 24 comments on asking-some-awkward questions-about how women are mutilated but over 200 on your article about men masturbating on the public rail system.

For a statistician that’s quite a significant difference don’t you think?

Would you, with the agreement of the editors of the Guardian, write ATL about the audience you attract to your blog?



 As far as I can work out, there are currently arguments still ongoing on four different threads on this blog, which may be a record.

I’m not sure you all really need somewhere else to argue, but since we haven’t had a new open thread for a couple of weeks I figured we should have a new one. Here you can drift as far off topic as you like, (since topic is there none) or raise any issues or points of interest that you’d like to share with me or the rest of the world.
Since there are so many arguments elsewhere, you may wish to keep this fluffy and friendly and post links to pictures of your kittens. Or you can just call each other fucking idiots as usual.

Sounds as if you’re losing control of your own blog Ally as well as making a real pratt of yourself on YTU.

just call each other fucking idiots

Oh dear…… o(╯□╰)o



Ally Fogg

Reporting research by the school of public health at Columbia University, published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, the coverage recounted findings that were so shocking as to take the breath away.

It is time to stop defaming our boys.

From the researchers:

Bell pointed out that the small and relatively uniform sample makes it difficult to generalize from the results…

But hey let’s not listen to Dr Bell when sensationalism is at stake.


“My concern over Cooper’s proposals are less about preserving CROs and more about preserving the principle that to provide the best possible protection for victims, we need flexibility, imagination and courage.”

You forgot the bit about motherhood and apple pie and eating it in the middle of the road.



New signon Tendentious?


@ Lucy 15

Except Paul Elam was being deadly serious when he wrote:

“…for men who are being attacked and physically abused by women – to beat the living shit out of them. I don’t mean subdue them, or deliver an open handed pop on the face to get them to settle down. I mean literally to grab them by the hair and smack their face against the wall till the smugness of beating on someone because you know they won’t fight back drains from their nose with a few million red corpuscles.

And then make them clean up the mess.”



Nichi Hodgson has an article in The Guardian “Lesbians know the secret to the best orgasms you’re not having”, so there’s a sort of connection with this as she claims that lesbians have orgasms 75% of the time compared to only 63% for het women and a “mean ratio” of 85% for men. She ends up by claiming “there might just be an opportunity for men to fill the gap: put that old-fashioned psychosocial chivalry to good use, and make sure the women in your lives get their orgasms first.”

Anyway it got me wondering whether there might be a connection between failure “to orgasm” and domestic abuse.



The UK’s National Health Service provides details on its website of why male circumcision might be advisable, is necessary and what alternative treatments might be considered.

I cannot find any medical reason that would necessitate Female Genital Mutilation, which is one of the reason why it is illegal in the UK and in many other civilised countries.

To equate male circumcision and female genital mutilation provides an excuse to those
who would continue to condemn millions of women to suffer the barbarity of Female
Genital Mutilation. Look at where FGM is referred to as circumcision. “For us in the Muslim world female circumcision is, above all else, obedience to Islam, which means acting in accordance with the fitrah and following the Sunnah which encourages it.”


The report on the situation in South Africa states:

“According to CRL Chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, botched circumcisions, abuse and drug use associated with illegal schools will be the death of the time-honoured practice.

“We cannot have mothers lose their boys up there and be told only when the other boys come back,” Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said. “At this rate, (the practice) is going to die of
natural causes because…people are scared of taking their kids to initiation schools.”


“The Department of Health recently announced that it would spend R180 million to support safe circumcision in initiation schools. The department has already begun providing pre-initiation health screenings to initiates, and medical supplies to traditional surgeons and nurses. Traditional practioners are also slated to receive training in preventing and identifying infection.”

So it is quite clear that the situation in South Africa is quite different to the ones in Kenya and Tanzania. And although the article refers to sub-Saharan Africa, where “hundreds of thousands of boys and young men submit to initiation ceremonies” it is nor clear whether this is in addition to what is happening in Kenya and Tanzania, or whether this is a case of geographical confusion on the part of the writer.


@ 31

“Do you really think those who oppose circumcision are arguing against it being carried out when the foreskin is riddled with metastatic cancer, or has developed in such an abnormal way so as to painfully cramp the penis?”

Well if you look at the comments following the Guardian article there are posters saying they oppose it in all circumstances. They may be doing that from ignorance but that’s what they’re saying.



“Whilst the url might say “why circumcision is necessary”, but the page carries the rather more reasonable title of “when circumcision might be necessary” and lists identifiable pathologies that might be effectively cured by the procedure.”

Quite right, but it also says:

Conditions that require circumcision

Balanitis xerotica obliterans (BXO) is a skin condition that can only be cured with circumcision. However, the condition is rare in young children and usually affects children over nine years old and adults.
BXO can cause hardening and inflammation of the penis, usually affecting the foreskin and tip of the penis. It causes symptoms such as:
difficulties passing urine
pain when passing urine
itchiness and soreness of the penis
In cases of BXO that primarily affect the foreskin, circumcision is usually the most effective treatment, and often results in a complete cure. In some cases, BXO can affect the urethra and treatment to widen the urethra may be necessary (a meatotomy)


@ 31 you write:

“Do you really think those who oppose circumcision are arguing against it being carried out when the foreskin is riddled with metastatic cancer, or has developed in such an abnormal way so as to painfully cramp the penis?”

From the same NHS website:

Cancer of the penis

“Research has shown that men who are circumcised in childhood are three to four times less likely to develop penile cancer than men who are uncircumcised. This is because many cases of penile cancer develop in the foreskin.

However, cancer of the penis is very rare. On average, 550 new cases are diagnosed each year in the UK. It would, therefore, be very difficult to justify routine circumcision as a method for preventing penile cancer.

However, in some rare cases a person may be more at risk, for example if they have a family history of penile cancer or a weakened immune system. In such cases, circumcision is recommended as a preventative measure.”

So male circumcision has proven benefits as far as cancer prevention is concerned, but as far as I can find there is no such benefit for girls and women who have been butchered by those administering Female Genital Mutilation.

You continue:

“Go to the same site. Look under “labia” and “vagina”. You will find mention of procedures that would be termed FGM in other contexts. Vaginal cancer, for example, is sometimes treated by cutting away parts of the vagina.”

And your suggestion that the UK’s National Health Service is carrying out operations that have anything to do with Female Genital Mutilation is both grotesque and desperate.


@ 31

“So why do you propagate this myth that to argue against one form diminishes arguments against the other?”

It is not a myth for the simple reason that there are vast differences, both short and long term, between most male circumcision and FGM, so to equate the two diminishes the the campaign against FGM.

You only have to read the descriptions of adult male circumcision in Ally’s article to understand that and to understand that it is far closer to FGM than standard male circumcision.

Deaths commonly occur through dehydration, blood loss, shock-induced heart failure or septicaemia. And there are estimated to be two total penile amputations for every death. Countless numbers of participants are left with permanent scarring or deformity. Urologists describe seeing patients whose penises have become so infected and gangrenous they literally drop off.

Indeed that is why the writer agrees with the The South African Department of Health, supported by the WHO, Unicef, etc when it recently announced that it would spend R180 million to support safe circumcision in initiation schools.

Again as far as I am aware none of these organisations has announced it is supporting “safe FGM”.


@ 38

“Yeah, I’d like an answer to that too”

See my post @49.

I don’t think there’s anything there that’s “to the detriment of men and boys”. quite the contrary it’s saying that the barbarism Ally describes in his article should be banned.

Furthermore, my own view is that standard male circumcision carried out by qualified medical practitioners should be limited to adult males who request it.


@ 39 you ask:

“Can you link to a comment where someone is opposed to removing the foreskin where riddled with cancer, or something along those lines? Just curious.”

No I can’t as even posters on Comment if Free aren’t that pathetic.

But here you are, third post down with 195 recommends.

All circumcision should be proscribed, male and female.

The fact that, in 2014, adults are still hacking their childrens genitals for ancient, quasi, ritualistic purposes is an indictment on how we treat children in general.

Every man or woman who mutilates a child should be treated as a child abuser.

As I said before – “They may be doing that from ignorance but that’s what they’re saying.”


@ 41

Please provide an example of where referring to circumcision as genital mutilation (which it is) has made a quantifiable and negative difference to the effort to prevent FGM.

It is in fact the other way round – referring to FGM as circumcision that’s the problem. See my post 30.



@63 Adiabat:

” I agree with you that circumcision is a form of mutilation, by all definitions of the term.”

Yes the forms described in Ally Fogg’s and Fezisa Mdibi’s articles, clearly are mutilation and designed to be so, as are a number of other male initiation practices.

But would you apply this definition to all forms of corrective surgery that carried out on the human body, whether that is for medical or cosmetic reasons. After all why should the penis be considered so different to the face, ears, mouth, nose and breasts, all of which can be the subject of corrective / plastic surgery for both medical and cosmetic reasons.

And I suggest that although much male circumcision is carried out for religious reason, I suspect there are plenty of cases where is it done purely for cosmetic reasons – for example where parents say – I don’t want my boy to risk being different to the friends and class mates he’s going to be spending time with.


Tendentious? is a persistent contrarian troll-cum-stalker

You missed out the “racist” bit Ally.

Never mind I’ll be doing a short piece about how your (and other’s) conflating criticisms of Islam with racism, helped the Rotherham child rapists to get away with their criminal actions for so long. You might want to reflect on that.

StillGjenganger says
August 31, 2014 at 11:51 am

Too bad about Tendentious? – he was as sensible as anybody and more polite than many on this thread. I guess he cannot complain if he has destroyed his credit elsewhere already

Oh dear Ally, you’ve made yourself look like a cheap Stalinist censor – again, or to quote one of your admirers, playing the man not the ball there.


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