The India Rape Controversy – Ally Fogg v Owen Jones
I have a long on-going dispute with Ally Fogg as a result of his even longer standing habit of verbally abusing posters* (see below), with whom he has lost an argument and with him resorting to actions that have identified returning posters to Comment is Free’s moderators. In effect he becomes a CiF censor.
However there is currently an on-going discussion about the gang rape in India where Sunny Hundal has come out strongly against the cultural relativist position adopted by Owen Jones writing in the Independent.
Sunny Hundal has written extensively on the issue and particularly in an article entitled Why a Guardian piece on Delhi gang-rape misleads on rape culture:
“Of the British media’s coverage of the Delhi gang-rape case, a key aspect that has annoyed me is commentary by (white) people who’ve never been to India, very anxious to defend it from imaginary hordes of racist white people.”
One of Ally’s contributions was this:
“But that said, we also have to recognise our own achievements, realise what we have done and acknowledge how it has happened. In the US, official victimization surveys show the incidence of rape has plummeted by about 90% since 1980. In the UK records are incomparable before 1994, but just since that year, BCS reports of rapes (ie not police reports but more reliable victim survey research) show rape has fallen by about 50%.
“How has that happened? In large part, I think, because these conversations about women’s rights, sexual violence and abuse, sexual consent etc etc etc have been going on since the 1970s. It baffles me that feminist commentators in particular seem so reluctant to acknowledge their own successes in this.
“It’s important not to be smug and complacent. But it is also important to maintain an accurate sense of perspective. It is downright dangerous to feed a downright lie to reactionary forces in India and elsewhere that all that stuff about feminism and women’s rights hasn’t really done anyone any good, or that in many ways things are just as bad in Europe or USA as they are in India or other countries.
“They’re not. The attempt to draw a false equivalence between the experience of rape victims in India and in the UK (or US), a false equivalence between the “rape cultures” of India and the West, is potentially immensely damaging to women’s groups and social justice activists in India who are trying to change things.
“We have done a lot that can be emulated, and it does nobody any favours to deny that.”
* Ally Fogg abusing the feminist writer Bidisha
* If on the other hand she reveals that the politics and ideology underpinning her articles are more akin to the ravings of a paranoid fruitloop, then we’ll continue to engage with her articles on that basis.
* I suggested that she spouts the ravings of a paranoid fruitloop not because she’s a woman, but because she writes paranoid ravings. I’m sorry, but someone who thinks that her interviewees don’t look her in the eye because they are all misogynists does come across as a paranoid and pretty loopy.