This story and accompanying video crossed my Facebook page late last week:
Gina Martin was at a festival when a man took a photograph up her skirt and shared it with his friends. When the police told her they could not do anything because upskirting was not a crime, she started a campaign. This is how a 26-year-old woman with no legal or political experience is trying to change the law.
The first thing that crossed my mind was that these festivals probably attract weirdos and sex pests who mark down lefty women with facial piercings, tattoos, or funny-coloured hair for special attention. Trying to change national law based on what went down at a festival is a bit like campaigning for restrictions on alcohol after a bad experience on a stag do in Prague. Now upskirting – the practice of taking a photo up a woman’s skirt without her permission – is an unpleasant thing to happen and I can see why women want it stopped, but there are a few points I’d like to make before we rush headlong into creating yet more laws.
Firstly, let’s not pretend this is something so traumatic it needs to be dealt with as matter of priority by the national government. I haven’t seen any upskirting pictures but I can’t imagine they show very much other than some blurry skin and what might be knickers. As the police mentioned in the video said, they’d show more than you’d them to show, but they’re hardly pornographic and you couldn’t identify anyone from them. When the woman in the video says “I had no rights over my own body at that point” she is engaging in laughable hyperbole which is all too common when talking about women’s rights in the modern era.
Indeed, this looks to me like a campaign by middle class British feminists to further their credentials as perpetual victims; there are fewer more middle class pursuits than attending festivals and complaining about the behaviour of the people they encounter. Another sign this is more about advancing the political aims of feminists than women’s rights is the immediate demand the national government makes new laws criminalising men. Never mind how they are to be enforced: how is upskirting to be defined exactly, and what is deemed admissible evidence? The woman in the video snatched the offender’s phone and ran off with it, which is usually described as theft. Existing laws cover the creation and distribution of pornographic content especially where minors are concerned, and there are already laws regarding voyeurism. But the people pushing this don’t care, they just want more laws with which to threaten men who might be behaving in ways they disapprove of. How long before some poor sap is arrested for taking a picture on the tube while sat opposite a radical feminist in a short skirt, or for taking an innocent photo beneath an escalator?
The other issue is that feminists are in many ways responsible for what’s going on here. In order to fend off Cathy Newman, I am not saying women deserve upskirting for wearing revealing clothing. Instead, I’m saying their relentless campaign to emasculate ordinary, decent men and insist traditional gender roles are obsolete relics of a bygone era has left them vulnerable to the inevitable weirdos that prowl any society. I’ve written about that recently:
From what I can tell the main beneficiaries of feminists’ efforts to remove traditional male roles from society, and the collapse of common-sense policing, are sex-pests who are free to operate without fear of either.
There was a time when peeping Toms and upskirters would have been swiftly dealt with by those in the immediate vicinity of the offence; basically, a couple of blokes would have given him a good kicking and sent him on his way, and if he persisted or targeted children he’d have got a lot worse. Indeed, this is pretty much how it works in places where men are generally still expected to behave as men. But modern women decided they were strong and independent and didn’t need a chaperone. Only actually they do, just nowadays the chaperone is the government. Notice the first thing the woman in the video did is run to a policeman: having decided men no longer have a role to play in society as protectors of women’s decency, modern women rush to find a policeman as soon as they’re subject to what they believe is an indecent act. How this is supposed to demonstrate progress is beyond me.
It’s also revealing when she says “the authorities that were meant to be there to support me, now weren’t”. Well, yeah – imagine how the girls in Rotherham felt. One would have thought British feminists concerned with women’s rights had learned a harsh lesson in not relying on the police and other authorities to protect them, but it appears they haven’t. Instead, having seen the authorities utterly abandon working class girls to be raped by gangs of men from an alien culture, they think things will be different for them, presumably because they’re nice upstanding middle class girls with Instagram accounts and home counties accents.
Despite the defeat of the upskirting bill thanks to a Tory MP who thought the opposition shouldn’t be making laws, this will likely be railroaded through the legislature by Theresa May; this sort of thing is right up her street. We’ll see much celebration from wealthy, middle class feminists which will drown out the ongoing and actual sexual abuse of women up and down the country, followed by some token prosecutions of hapless men who took a photo at the wrong time in the presence of some deranged harpy. Otherwise, things will carry on much as before and soon we’ll be hearing how the childlike faith women put in government was misplaced, decent men have largely abandoned them, and we need yet more laws.