7 Sep 2016

The Feminists Who Are Turning British Justice Against Men

By Laura Perrins: The Crown Prosecution Service is meant to be one of the guardians of the British public. Its duty is to tackle criminality without bias, regardless of the background of either perpetrator or victim.
Its guiding spirit should be the famous, blindfolded figure of Justice that stands on top the Old Bailey, reflecting the ideal that we’re all equal before the law.
But, as a barrister myself [right], I fear the service is sliding towards the status of a noisy pressure group in the grip of feminist dogma.
No longer the stern, impartial bulwark of our legal system, it now appears to be increasingly driven by fashionable politics and ideological fads.
That’s certainly the outlook that shines through the CPS’s annual report on Violence Against Women And Girls, published earlier this week. In triumphant language, the document spells out a lengthy catalogue of success for the modern feminist agenda.
‘More than 100,000 defendants were prosecuted for domestic abuse, with over 75,000 convicted — the highest volumes ever recorded,’ reads one passage.
‘Domestic abuse, rape and sexual offences now account for nearly 19 per cent of our workload, an increase over the past six years from just under nine per cent,’ declares another.
Much of this focus on offences against women has been driven by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, who took up her post in November 2013, and has since been regularly embroiled in controversies over her decisions, such as her refusal to prosecute the late Labour peer Lord Janner on multiple allegations of paedophilia.

But it is her attachment to a doctrinaire brand of feminism that is the most disturbing feature of her CPS leadership.
This is the public official who stated last year that any woman who wakes up in bed with a man, with no memory of the previous evening because of drunkenness, should go to the police if there is the slightest suspicion that an assault may have been committed. In the same politically correct tones, she has published complex guidelines on sexual consent which, she boasted, ‘take us well beyond the old saying that “no means no”.’
In Ms Saunders’ brave new world, a rape suspect may have to show the steps he took to establish that consent was ‘fully and freely given’, which rather inverts that age-old British tradition: innocent until proven guilty.
Hardline feminists may be glorying in Ms Saunders’s tenure. The rest of us should surely be concerned that the organisation is in danger of losing its sense of purpose and proportion. 
I am not, of course, arguing that crimes against women should not be prosecuted with the full rigour of the law. In the name of genuine justice, such an approach is essential, and it is true that in the past, prosecutors often ignored offences such as rape within marriage and domestic violence.
But what profoundly concerns me is the CPS’s lack of balance.
Amid all the eagerness to celebrate the prosecution of offensive tweeters and misogynistic bloggers, the questions have to be asked: are similar resources being put into the fight against other crimes, such as theft and burglary?
Is the same energy devoted to incidents where men are overwhelmingly the victims? Grievous bodily harm, for example?
The feminist lobby likes to talk grandly about gender equality, but the reality is that in this focus on women’s rights, men increasingly receive a raw deal.
In practice, the CPS — and much of the rest of the political establishment — now gives the impression that offences against women are treated with more robustness than those against men.
We see that in the rash of new legislation designed to meet the demands of the feminist creed.
Indeed, the CPS report this week is full of references to recent laws, including the Malicious Communications Act (under which ‘revenge porn’ cases are prosecuted) and the offence of ‘controlling and coercive behaviour’, which is aimed at domestic abuse.
Yet most of this legislation is not necessary, since personal abuse and harassment are already against the law. Was the recently introduced Modern Slavery Act — designed to fight people-trafficking, where most of the victims are female — really necessary? We already have a barrage of anti-slavery legislation that covers these sorts of crimes.
The feminist lobby is endlessly demanding new laws to signal their virtue and campaigning zeal, and the CPS, under Alison Saunders, is only too happy to accommodate them.
A prime example is the legislation against female genital mutilation (FGM). There was no need for yet another Act, for this vile form of misogynistic torture was already covered by a host of measures, such as the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.
Predictably, it has had no impact beyond garnering favourable headlines from progressive newspapers such as The Guardian.
There has not been a single successful prosecution. The only attempt to bring charges — against London doctor Dhanuson Dharmasena — was a farcical case that rightly ended in humiliating failure when the jury acquitted him in just 25 minutes.
There is also an element of hypocrisy about the CPS’s action in areas like this. After all, the organisation is fully signed up to the political establishment’s loud demand that we should all embrace multi-culturalism and celebrate diversity.
As a result of this prevailing mood, any challenge to any ethnic minority practice, however odious, was treated as a form of racism. It is little wonder that, in this climate of political sensitivity, alien customs like FGM, domestic servitude, human trafficking and forced marriages all flourished.
This approach reached its nadir in the Rotherham child abuse scandal where, for more than a decade, predatory Muslim gangs were allowed to attack and groom vulnerable white girls with impunity because the authorities were too fearful of accusations of Islamophobia.
With this shameful record, it’s a bit rich of the CPS to now posture as the champion of female emancipation. The CPS’s strategy is not only unfair to men, who are, in fact, by far the biggest targets of crime, but it also undermines the concept of due process under the law, one of the pillars of our justice system.
When referring to offences against women, Alison Saunders and her underlings peddle political jargon about the problem of so-called ‘victim-blaming’ — where a woman is blamed for a sexual assault against her — as if the only reason more prosecutions are not secured is because the criminal justice system is insufficiently feminist. Such an insidious approach ignores the age-old notion of establishing the burden of proof.
A rape suspect sometimes walks free, not because of ‘victim-blaming’ by the defence, but because he’s genuinely innocent.
But perhaps the biggest disservice of all is done to women themselves. The CPS appears determined to create a mood of infantilised hysteria, where threats lurk for women around every corner, where masculinity is nothing but a reservoir of violent anger. 
Ms Saunders said on Tuesday that social media had built ‘a new landscape for controlling, sexually motivated or other forms of inter-personal offending’.
Yet the internet has also been a tremendous force for liberation, helping modern women to enjoy more choices and freedom than in any previous generation.
With this relentless message, the CPS seems to want to trap women in victimhood, whipping up fears and exaggerating dangers. There is something offensive about its urge to sweep all kinds of crime, from brutal rape to nasty texts, into one vast category of female misery.
The shallowness at the heart of this outlook was highlighted recently by a CPS campaign against rape which compared sexual consent to having a cup of tea. ‘You wouldn’t force or pressure someone into having a cup of tea, and you can tell when someone wants a cup of tea or not,’ said Ms Saunders in pushing the initiative.
That’s the naive quality of argument and poor leadership we have to endure in our legislation.
This week’s intellectually flawed report simply reinforces how badly her service has lost its way.

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