Tasteless but legal

The French might be odd, but they can hold the line when they want to:

A French court has ruled that posters showing a woman tied to train tracks did not promote violence against women.

The posters were put up around the town of Béziers last December to celebrate the arrival of high-speed TGV trains. They carried the caption: “With the TGV, she would have suffered less.”

The ads faced a legal challenge from a number of feminist groups and criticism by France’s equality minister.

But the court said they were legal, despite the questionable humour.

Would a British court have ruled the same way? Maybe, but they’d have found some other way to get the advert removed (as Sadiq Khan did with billboards showing nice looking women on the London Underground).

But the far-right mayor of Béziers, Robert Ménard, defended his campaign, accusing critics of “political correctness” and pointing to a history of such images in old films and cartoons.

After the French court threw out the complaint, Mr Ménard tweeted that the case had been “an inquisition in petticoats”.

Quite right too. Now I don’t know whether M. Ménard is actually far-right given the label is nowadays meaningless, but if so it’s rather illuminating that this is who we now rely on to advocate freedom of speech and push back against corrosive third-wave feminism.

The court in the southern city of Montpellier said the posters had been designed to provoke a reaction, and did not encourage violence against any specific group, including women.

Good. As I said after the Charlie Hebdo attack:

Nothing highlights the cultural gap between France and Britain more than the uncomfortable suspicion that Charlie Hebdo would not have lasted more than a year in the UK before being hounded out of business by the state and its backers in one form or another, as this article makes clear.

I have no confidence this advert would have been displayed in the UK. There’s a good chance anyone posting it would be charged with a hate crime.

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Pink Petro

Via a follower on Twitter, I came across an outfit called Pink Petro. I first assumed it was something to do with the gay lobby, but it turns out it’s an organisation purportedly aimed at boosting women in the oil industry. The first thing that struck me is this outfit is going to run into trouble if it encounters some proper lefty feminists; they’ve been trying to shed the “pink for girls” maxim for decades.

So what is Pink Petro?

Pink Petro is a global community of energy leaders and disruptors committed to busting the diversity gap and creating a new, inclusive future for energy.

Ah yes, the diversity gap:

The energy industry ranks second to last when it comes to gender diversity, with a workforce that’s just 22% female.

Firstly, so what? Perhaps 22% female participation is the optimum balance? Secondly, how many of those 22% are in admin and overhead positions? Judging by the makeup of the Pink Petro management, it seems to be dominated by over-educated power-skirts from HR and marketing with very few having any engineering or technical experience. Do energy companies really need more of these?

The whole thing looks to me like a racket aimed at enriching the founders by shaking down companies for sponsorship and hoodwinking young women into paying to listen to feminist boilerplate. Naturally, like all good SJWs, they claim to be working for the greater good:

3/4 of industry employees are 50 years of age and older, meaning the need for talent is now.

I’ve been hearing this lament for at least 12 years (see also here and here). The fact is oil companies have no idea how to recruit, largely because they’ve taken the responsibility away from the technical management and handed it to sprawling HR bureaucracies filled with the sort of people who now are running Pink Petro. Amusingly they say they are “disruptors”, as if those who bang the diversity drum while climbing the greasy pole of giant multinationals are non-conformists. You’d see more disruption in an abbey full of Trappist monks.

The need for change is now. That change requires a new way of thinking that focuses on community, connection and purpose.

Do you reckon you’ll hear “new ways of thinking” in a conference organised by this lot? In their next one the headline speaker is Randi Zuckerberg, who is rich and famous due to the efforts of her brother Mark. That’ll inspire young female engineers, I’m sure.

Funnily enough, I actually know one of the keynote speakers and have worked with her. By all accounts she’s a very good senior manager, although the myth built up around her probably wouldn’t stand up to serious scrutiny. I know lots of men who worked with her who said she was a great boss, as well as a good personal friend to some. But I recall a young woman who worked with her who told me that while she was a good boss, she made it very clear that all achievements on the project must be hers and hers alone: nobody else could take any credit. She also said that if challenged she could quickly turn childish, making personal remarks which anyone with experience would recognise as overcompensation for insecurity. This was particularly the case with young, ambitious women who crossed her path. That said, this was some time ago; hopefully she’s changed since then.

So what’s the conference about? Well, you tell me:

The Pink Petro HERWorld Energy Forum is an innovative experience that addresses new frontiers in the energy industry where business, workforce, innovation and policy intersect. Powered by creative disruptor, Pink Petro, our forums are hybrid in-person, digital simulcasted experiences built on a firm belief that energy education is changing and needs to be accessible to everyone, everywhere in classrooms, the field, office, and the C-Suite.

Are you any the wiser? The only effect that word salad had on me was to make my teeth grate at the term “C-Suite“. I first heard it during one of my lectures a few weeks back and it makes a firm’s senior management sound like a bunch of status-seeking egomaniacs whose first order of business is safeguarding their own power and privilege. Does anyone know how long this term has been in use?

HERWorld is proud to boast the contribution of women and minorities in energy. Seeing is believing. For us it’s not about talking about diversity, it’s about socializing energy by tapping the diverse faces and voices in our industry.

Because nothing will boost the prestige of women in the oil industry like paragraphs of woolly guff from a bunch of power-skirts with MBAs from Ivy League business schools.

Since the forum’s inception, our focus has been to put a focus on reverse-representation. Most industry events include 95%+ male speakers. HERWorld reverses that and does better. We include women and minorities in our panels and keynotes (on average 85%) and have over 20% male attendees.

I know lots of very good female engineers working in the oil industry, some of whom do face difficulties because of their sex (see here, for example). Women in the oil industry would be better served by rewarding competence and delivery rather than sheep-like compliance, bootlicking, and an ability to enthusiastically embrace every idiotic management directive. Self-serving, discriminatory outfits like Pink Petro might be able to charm or scare the PR managers of major companies into sponsoring them and have HR managers singing their praises, but they will do nothing to help normal women navigate a career in the oil industry. On the contrary, they are more likely to do them considerable harm.

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Utopian dreams

On Saturday I attended a seminar where we were divided into groups and asked to present some ideas on how we would run a business. All the groups except mine said they would achieve gender equality by staffing their businesses on a 50:50 male to female basis. All but four of those presenting were women, mostly in their early twenties. Someone asked how they would manage sexual harassment issues in such an environment, and the answer came quickly from a bright young woman:

“There would be zero tolerance; anyone who engages in sexual harassment would be immediately fired.”

At this point I piped up to say that sexual harassment is notoriously hard to define, and that a huge number of graduate employees end up in relationships, and often marrying, someone they met on the same program. Will this be outlawed under a zero tolerance regime, or is it only sexual harassment if the girl isn’t interested in the guy? Just then an NHS doctor chimed in with an anecdote. She knows of a case where a doctor asked out a nurse (of about the same age) and she filed a sexual harassment claim against him. The management started trawling and found, to everyone’s horror, he’d asked another nurse out. This was enough to get him suspended for 6 months and, although he’s now practicing again, his name has been dragged through the mud. My doctor colleague  thought this was extremely unfair. Having listened to this, another bright young woman said:

“Well, he should have thought twice about sexually harassing women, then.”

There then followed a discussion on sexual harassment in which someone proposed that, if more than one woman makes a complaint against a man, he should be fired even in the absence of any proof because there’s no smoke without fire. A chap sat behind me didn’t think much of this, and thought people are innocent until proven guilty. I realised that if this is the future, men will simply refuse to engage with women in the workplace beyond speaking in heavily-guarded sentences and ensuring there is always another witness around. Does anyone remember this story, about the professor who was accused of sexual harassment for making a joke about ladies’ lingerie in an elevator? Well, he’s had his appeal rejected. If this keeps up, segregated workplaces will look like an increasingly attractive proposition. At the very least, sensible men will avoid certain women at all costs – and certain companies.

A little later in the seminar, I shifted the conversation. I pointed out that all the business plans I’d seen involved some sort of manufacturing or production process. This will inevitably involve machinery, technicians, warehouses, forklifts, and large trucks. While you will find some women involved in such activities, the overwhelming majority of applicants will be men. However you cut it, women in general don’t want to be working the night shift loading lorries at the back of a paper mill or crawling around under a steam press trying to get a nozzle attached to a grease nipple. So whereas their intentions might be noble, they’re going to really struggle to fill 50% of the available positions with women: there simply won’t be enough of them applying. Women, in general, prefer to work regular hours in offices. In a business where the money is made in manufacturing or production, this makes them overheads.

The response was that very soon all these manufacturing jobs will be done by robots, and in the near future company roles might be better suited to women. I replied that anyone who thinks that has been nowhere near a production facility. The robots replaced the humans way back in the industrial revolution, but wherever there is machinery you still need humans maintaining it and doing the thousand tasks which don’t lend themselves to automation. A modern oil and gas facility can, in theory, run itself 24/7 without human intervention. Yet they have a small army of people monitoring the dials, ready to jump in when things go wrong, and another army working full time on maintenance and inspection. So I remain sceptical that robots will make all these jobs obsolete in the near future.

But the exchange confirmed what I already knew, having written about it before:

It beats me why people are currently wringing their hands at the prospect of robots taking all the jobs, and worrying over how the work will be shared around when we’ve already found the answer: we’ll invent jobs, and pretend it’s real work.

And it’s no secret which demographic is going to be fully engaged in these make-work schemes. But I fear some young women are in for one hell of a shock. When Laurie Penny fantasised last year about robots making men’s work obsolete, she didn’t seem to realise that mindless, repetitive, paper-shuffling in compliance and HR is a far riper target for automation than the stuff men do.

There seems to be money to be made filling the heads of young women with fantasies about 50:50 workplaces in profitable industries where men are fired on the spot for the slightest transgression. These efforts have succeeded to the point many think this is the inevitable future of global businesses. One thing is certain: the manufacturers of antidepressants have a rosy future ahead of them.

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UN-driven neo-colonialism in Africa

I’ve noticed that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals seem to get mentioned a lot in my presence recently, particularly when I’m in Geneva. It’s not so much that my university has a policy of pushing this stuff as Geneva being home to various UN bodies, hence is stuffed to the gills with do-gooders, NGOs, and busybodies who latch onto them. In short, it’s more by virtue of proximity than anything else.

Naturally, I’m unimpressed by it all. I sat in a seminar recently where various well-educated, pasty-white western folk living the high life in Geneva at taxpayer expense spoke about Africa as if it were populated by retarded children who haven’t yet worked out that gender equality will catapult their societies into a whole new era of peace and prosperity. If they’d been wearing pith helmets and talking about Christianity rather than gender equality I’d have thought I’d gone back in time to the peak of colonialism. I’ve decided I’m going to do a podcast on each of the UN’s sustainable development goals. highlighting the downsides and trade-offs of which their proponents seem unaware.

Anyway, yesterday a long-time reader and ex-boss sent me the link to this paper:

This research explores how female-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in semi-arid lands experience and respond to climate risk. MSMEs account for about 80% of employment in developing countries, are highly vulnerable to climate change and are limited in their capacity to adapt.

Female entrepreneurs can be key in promoting resilience at micro (e.g. household) and macro scales but how they experience or adapt to climate risks has been little researched. This paper addresses that gap with a case study of how female-owned MSMEs experience climate risk in the semi-arid county of Narok in Kenya’s Rift Valley. Findings suggest female-led MSMEs in Narok may face both additional exposure to climate risk compared with men, and additional barriers to adapting to that risk.

So in parallel to pushing more women to become entrepreneurs in Africa the neo-colonial missionaries have discovered these same women are now at greater risk from climate change. The reasoning is a veritable work of art:

The research found that strong social and cultural norms around gender roles, and resource use and access, confine female-led MSMEs to sectors that experience higher exposure to climate risk – most notably agriculture.

Society and cultural norms must be overturned to protect UN-encouraged female-led small businesses from climate change.

These norms also create pronounced barriers to women coping with climate risks and building business resilience, including reduced access to land, capital, markets, new technology and educational opportunities compared with men.

This seems to have very little to do with climate change.

The research identified examples of female entrepreneurs pursuing unsustainable forms of coping that may help in the short term but which reduce their capacity to adapt to climate change in the longer term.

Go on.

Coping strategies include selling business assets, e.g. reducing stock at times of water scarcity; diversification, e.g. into the charcoal business, which weakens long-term resilience by exposing agricultural land to erosion;

Clearly these are gender-related problems.

and land sales, which are usually carried out by men, with female-led MSMEs usually not receiving any direct benefit.

So climate change might lead to a female-led business having to sell land which, for some reason, is usually carried out by presumably random men and the woman will usually not receive any money. I don’t know about you, but I’m convinced.

Adaptation tools appear to include social networks such as women’s groups and table banking initiatives, through which groups of women save, rotate funds and lend money. However, these funds appear unlikely to be adequate to protect MSMEs from the impacts of climate extremes.

If female-led businesses insist on excluding men from their financing operations they’re going to struggle, regardless of what the climate is doing.

Female entrepreneurs in this research suggested a strong dependency between household resilience and business resilience. Therefore building women’s resilience at the household level is likely to serve as a key route to enabling private sector adaptation among female-led MSMEs.

Okay, but when western countries build up women’s “resilience” we find a lot of them never actually get to run a household. Is this what African women want, increased “resilience” at the price of being single?

The research also finds that while Kenya recognises the need to support female entrepreneurs in various national policies (including in national climate change legislation), these policies are currently poorly implemented.

Why, it’s almost as if the government pays lip service to the latest western fad in order to keep the aid money rolling in but doesn’t actually implement anything. In Africa, of all places! Who knew?

The research consisted of a literature review plus focus group discussions and interviews with 17 female entrepreneurs, most of whom work in agriculture, and a workshop with other stakeholders including government and NGOs.

This is the basis on which they want to overturn African societal norms? Interviews with 17 female entrepreneurs? Meanwhile, a thread on Twitter provides the view of an actual African woman on such matters. I recommend reading the whole thing, but here are the most poignant parts:

“The religious aspects of these secular movements”. I’ve written about this before.

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True Colours

From the Daily Mail:

This is the international lawyer filmed ranting at Air India staff on a Mumbai to London flight after she was refused alcohol – leaving other business class passengers holding hands in terror.

Simone O’Broin, 50, was arrested after she was caught on camera shouting abuse at male and female cabin crew and demanding another glass of wine.

At one point in the footage, she is seen yelling: ‘I work for all you f***ing people… The f***ing Rohingyas, the f***ing people of all Asia, for you, I’m an international criminal lawyer.

‘Don’t get any money for it by the way. But you won’t give me a f***ing glass of wine, is that correct?’.

The shocking incident took place on an Air India flight from Mumbai to London Heathrow last Saturday.

The full video is here. So who is she?

Belfast-born Ms O’Broin, who trained as a lawyer in the UK, studied international law and worked for years in Palestine…

Uh-huh.

…was understood to be on her way home from a two month break in Goa when she was caught on film.

Ah. She’s one of those. I guess she wasn’t at a Zen retreat for inner calm.

My only surprise is she doesn’t have turquoise hair.

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The Banality of Feminist Agitprop

Via a reader, an article on LinkedIn from “Award-winning CEO, Keynote Speaker, Author” Andrea Heuston, who runs a small graphic design company in Issaquah, WA.

7 Traits of Successful Female Leaders

I’m certain we’ve all met confident women throughout our lives. These women command a room and they leave you wanting to know more about them. They usually leave a good impression and they inspire positive action within their circles of influence.

But what makes these women special? What makes them stand out from the crowd? I’ve been researching these women for years. From Oprah Winfrey to Coco Chanel to Indira Gandhi and Melinda Gates, these women have strength and that certain indefinable ‘something’ that creates loyalty and makes you want to follow their lead.

So, what are those characteristics or traits that make those leaders stand out? Can we isolate them to emulate them? I think we can.

Here are the seven traits I have been able to identify that strong female leaders possess:

I’m not going to reproduce them here – readers can see for themselves if so inclined – but what she’s done is take leadership traits common to all leaders irrespective of sex and thrown in the word “female” at intervals. This resulted in nearly 70k likes and 1.5k swooning comments.

What this shows is not only that LinkedIn users are a bit dim, but how desperate people are to read anything positive about women in business that they’ll go giddy over something as banal as a list of 7 leadership traits dressed up in pro-women language. Now hats off to Andrea Heuston; she’s mining a rich seam if she can charge for this crap, and I’m half minded to do the same. But it’s indicative of the intellectual level at which these discussions on female empowerment take place, isn’t it?

(And I didn’t miss the irony of listing as a female icon Melinda Gates, who is influential solely because her husband made a hell of a lot of money.)

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A pimp’s view of romance

Via little Billy Ockham comes this article, which needs a complete fisking. So here we go:

Emily was an ambitious woman with a high-powered career in finance

Yeah?

when she met the man who would become her husband. But when she and Richard started a family together, they decided that she would give up her job to raise their three young children.

Okay.

At first, the arrangement worked well: Richard continued in his role as a partner in a leading accountancy firm, while Emily remained at home. But, as time went on, they began to fall out over little things – he was spending too much time at work…

Providing for his family, or was he there just for fun?

they disagreed over an issue with one of the children’s schools, and so on.

Whether to send him to one which charges £45,000 per year or a mere £39,000?

One day, shortly after a fierce row between them, Emily went to do the weekly grocery shop but was told her credit card had been declined. She phoned her husband to find out what was going on, only to learn that this was his “revenge” for their recent tiff.

Hmmm. I’d like his side of the story. Was she spending cash like a sailor on shore leave, demanding he maintain the lifestyle she was accustomed to when she had her high-powered job in finance? It wouldn’t be the first time, and it may explain arguments over schools and why he was spending so much time at work.

He wanted her to beg him each time she needed cash, and revelled in his power to control exactly what she did and how she spent her money.

Again, we’re only getting one side here. For all we know he merely said “Watch what you’re spending love, we’ve only got one income now, remember?”

She felt humiliated and became increasingly isolated. When she eventually decided to leave the marriage, her husband laughed and told her she would walk away with nothing: he could hire the best lawyers and she had no way to afford representation.

If this is what he said he’s an idiot, and he clearly doesn’t live in the UK, US, or any other country where you can drink the tap water. So I suspect it wasn’t.

(In fact, she came to my firm, and we secured lending for her to fight her case.)

Oh, so we’re getting her lawyer’s side of the story! And what a surprise that she secured loans for her to pay the fees she’d be charging her. How altruistic!

Behaviour like Richard’s is far more common than you might think. In my many years of work as a divorce lawyer at Vardags, I’ve met countless people who feel they are trapped in relationships or marriages marred by financial conflict.

I imagine a divorce lawyer’s views on marriage are a little like a prostitute’s view of sex. Let’s just depart from the article for a second and look at what Wikipedia says about the author, one Ayesha Vardag:

She has gained notoriety for representing in divorce proceedings high net worth individuals, such members of the Royal Family, heiresses, international footballers, artists, professionals, entrepreneurs and celebrities.

In other words, she specialises in divorce among societies most narcissistic, selfish individuals. Let’s bear that in mind as we continue:

When this takes the form of one partner forcing the other to be dependent on them for housing, food, clothes, transport or money, it can tip over into economic abuse, which occurs across the social spectrum.

The institution of marriage is so utterly wrecked that mutual dependency – which is the whole damned point – is now seen as a problem.

A study in 2015 of more than 4,000 people showed that one in five experienced such abuse in a current or former relationship.

It’s odd that access to unlimited housing, food, clothes, transport and money are considered “rights” in a marriage, but not the one thing men surrender all this in exchange for: sex. A woman can withdraw access permanently, and he’s not even allowed to seek it elsewhere.

In the UK government’s forthcoming Domestic Abuse Bill, due to be published in the coming months, this will, for the first time, be identified as a form of domestic abuse – thus exerting control over someone’s personal finances would be recognised as a criminal act.

Can the money earned by someone else really be considered one’s personal finances? Not for the first time this week we’re seeing people’s ludicrous sense of entitlement enshrined in law. Chalk that up as another reason not to bother voting Conservative.

The culprits are not only male, though more often than not it’s the man who has more money in a heterosexual relationship. It is particularly rife in instances where one spouse has a high net worth on which the other is financially dependent, and is often cited as unreasonable behaviour on divorce petitions.

If material dependency on one’s spouse is grounds for divorce, I think we can put a fork in the institute of marriage.

I’ve seen women who live in palatial mansions with tennis courts and swimming pools, yet can’t even buy a bar of chocolate or box of tampons without pleading and justifying the expenditure to their controlling husband.

Normal people agree a monthly allowance befitting the husband’s salary and the wife’s needs. By contrast, celebrities, and those who marry them, are sociopaths.

Speaking to the other lawyers in my firm, I gathered hundreds of stories; they told me of husbands tapping phones and paying for private detectives and bodyguards to spy on their wives, and sometimes their grown-up children, whenever they left the house.

Did they have reason to? Are we to believe that of all these hundreds of instances, not one man caught his wife cheating and his children snorting lines of coke? And how many wives spy on their husbands?

One retail magnate sent bodyguards to his adult daughter’s university. When they reported back that she had been on a date with a fellow student, he decreed that she leave her studies and return home, where he could keep a closer eye on her.

Do we get details of the date? Who it was with, where they went, and what she got up to? Or, perhaps, the father’s religion?

A member of the Silicon Valley “brotopia” would force his wife to beg him whenever she needed anything. His home was a fortress of hi-tech security, cameras watching every move, fingerprint locks, electronic gates and 24/7 security staff. Every “transgression” on his wife’s part led to financial penalties.

I suspect this guy was a complete sociopath when she met him, but the sound of the cash register in her head repeatedly opening and closing masked it.

Another husband, an oil magnate, installed secret cameras in the bedroom and bathroom of his wife, a full-time mother of two young children, so as to monitor her fidelity.

When wealthy women do this in order to monitor their third-world peasant nannies, nobody says a word. On the contrary, most think it’s a good idea.

When she started divorce proceedings, we had to take him to court to make him support her and the children even during the process.

Was she fulfilling her obligations towards him during this period? Or didn’t she have any?

As long as she toed the line, she received, quite literally, castles and Ferraris. Once she crossed it, there was a complete shutdown.

Perhaps the man feels that, given he’s literally buying her castles and Ferraris, he can expect certain standards of behaviour. Now he might be unreasonable in what those expectations are, but then he is paying in castles and Ferraris. Frankly, if someone was going to buy me a castle he could put me in a dress and call me Susan.

Often it is staff who are delegated to exercise the control. Housekeepers are instructed that only certain sorts of food are allowed, and drivers are the only means of exit from the home, tasked with either reporting back or chauffeuring their employers’ wives to pre-approved destinations.

If these women had married more humble men, they’d not be spied on by a veritable army of housekeepers and chauffeurs. I’m not excusing the behaviour of the men, but why should we absolve women of their poor decisions?

Nannies act as spies, too. The controlling spouse locks the victim in a gilded cage – try even getting to see a lawyer in those circumstances, let alone friends.

Don’t these people have phones or email?

When I told one woman who was trapped in such a marriage what award she was likely to receive in divorce, she was terrified by the idea of actually having her own funds. Of Middle Eastern origin, she had married a Britain-based multi-millionaire businessman at a relatively young age and had never had financial independence.

British-based? So we have multi-millionaire foreigners being beastly to one another. Why does anyone in Britain care, let alone think it’s a problem so severe we need another slew of laws which will wreck marriage further?

She was dripping with designer clothes and handbags, but withdrawing money from a cash point was a totally alien concept to her.

Arabs, I expect. Why the hell is this our problem?

Elsewhere, I have met with countless individuals, usually women, who have found that access to the family finances is used as a tool to control, manipulate or punish them within a relationship.

And how many men have you met who found access to the children was used as a tool to control, manipulate, or punish them? Or access to sex?

These women have quite often been married for many years, and have not only sacrificed their own careers to look after the children and the home, but have also channelled their energies into helping their husband reach the top of his profession.

Yes, this is what a partnership means: sacrifice for the common good.

Frequently, they have no earnings, savings or pension themselves, having trusted the person they love to manage their finances for them. When the relationship is healthy, this arrangement can work very well; if it sours, however, the power imbalance usually fosters a sinister turn. And this can work both ways.

Once upon a time couples were encouraged to maintain the relationship at all costs for this precise reason. Now they’re encouraged to run to the nearest divorce lawyer at the first sign of trouble, and here we are.

One man came to me after his wife, a farming heiress, got him sacked from his job on the family estate when she – not he – started an affair. She then tried to turn him out of their home, which was also part of her domain, and refused him contact with their three small children, in whose care he had played a very active role.

Note there’s no defiant statement of how justice was served attached to this particular tale. I expect the man got shafted and stayed that way, thanks to a lawyer who was a carbon copy of the one writing this article.

The abuse customarily worsens when the financially vulnerable party takes steps to leave the marriage. With depressing regularity, we see clients whose access to bank accounts has been blocked, so they cannot even afford to take public transport to seek advice. They borrow cash from friends to reach us, terrified of being found out.

This is true of all relationships, be they commercial, social, or romantic: if someone tries to leave, they can no longer access the benefits the relationship brings. Only where marriage is concerned do people think they can walk out and still collect the benefits.

Others feel they have no choice but to stay in an unhappy, sometimes even physically abusive, marriage – not least when faced with the sheer scale and potential cost of their divorce.

Well, yes. Financial concerns drive many decisions in life, why should this be different? Especially as a lot of these cases sound as though the decision to get married in the first place was purely financial.

According to the charity Women’s Aid, victims are often unable to recognise the abuse until it has escalated to the point at which the barriers to leaving appear insurmountable.

When the supply of castles and Ferraris dries up, the writing’s on the wall.

We can only hope that now this abuse is beginning to gain public recognition as a potentially criminal offence, things will begin to change.

Because Britain is desperately short of criminal charges which can be brought by vindictive types and which disproportionately affect men. And let’s not concern ourselves that divorce lawyers are lobbying to criminalise mutual dependency in a marriage, I’m sure everything will work out fine.

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Playing with fire

In some ways this story, seen on Twitter, is related to yesterday’s post about Pakistanis fighting Roma:

16 Vancouver women facing human rights complaints for refusing to wax transgender woman’s male genitalia

“JY” publicly identifies as a woman, but still has all the male parts.  In recent months, JY approached 16 Vancouver-area female estheticians who only serve women, requesting a “Brazilian” bikini wax on his groin area.

In spite of the fact that JY is able to obtain a Manzilian in Vancouver, JY has filed 16 complaints against these women at the BC Human Rights Tribunal, claiming discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.”

It is similar because it represents yet another example of the government creating protected classes in order to advance political agendas, and gifting them special rights and privileges which result in ludicrous yet predictable outcomes bringing misery to ordinary people.

As we saw in the US, no sooner did the Supreme Court grant homosexuals the right to marry in the name of equality when activists went from establishment to establishment looking for someone to accuse of discrimination. It was only a matter of time before transsexuals started doing the same thing, and Justin Trudeau’s Canada was the logical place to start. That the whole thing is a shake-down is obvious:

One of them, Shelah Poyer, is a single mom who works out of her home.  JY was willing to withdraw his complaint in exchange for $2,500.

If JY is demanding similar sums from the other 14 women, he stands to receive as much as $35,000 for dropping his human rights complaints.

It’s a handy racket, one that Jessie Jackson deployed in the US for years to good effect. But it does leave me wondering how many of these women now being clobbered by insane legislation initially supported it, confident it would eradicate bigotry as they saw it? Or at least, how many voted for the government that’s brought it in? Feminists were quite happy to use bad law to bludgeon men into submission, and now they’re finding men in dresses are using those same laws against them. Whose fault is that, then?

That said, I think the trannies might be overplaying their hand here. As I’ve remarked before, gays are largely accepted in western societies because there are enough of them around that anyone my age knows a few, and most of them will be normal, decent people. It’s a similar story with blacks in the UK: once you go to school with a few black lads, eat meals, play sport, and joke around with them it’s rather uncomfortable to hear people talking about “jungle bunnies” and the like, and you’d rather disassociate from those who do. If you see those pictures of black men being beaten senseless by police in the civil rights era for standing in the wrong place, it’s hard not to sympathise. Similarly, when Iran hangs young men for being gay you wonder if it wouldn’t be too much trouble just to leave them the hell alone.

But with trannies it’s different, because there simply aren’t enough of them. If gays make up around 2-5% of any given population, it’s enough that you’ll get to know a few and realise they’re not insane. But trannies are around 0.1% of the population or thereabouts, and few people know any outside a trip to a Bangkok nightclub they’d rather forget. While I’m sure there are transsexuals who are reasonable, decent people who generally want to be left alone, the ones the public see appear to be in desperate need of treatment for mental illness. And to make matters much worse, those in the public eye have adopted a nasty authoritarian streak aimed at forcing the ordinary public to share in their delusions. This will not end well.

I’m not entirely sure that gays, if the more militant of them continue to act as they do, will not be subject to an appalling backlash in at least one western country. Their approach to the ordinary population is perilous enough, so where does that leave trannies? Out on a limb, that’s where. Few will have much sympathy if some bloke in a frock launches a program of aggressive extortion against women and ends up unconscious in a ditch somewhere.

The fault lies squarely with western governments and progressives who support these insane policies. We often hear how dangerous it is being transsexual, usually in articles which ignore the fact an awful lot of them work as street prostitutes. By passing laws which encourage these people, who are usually mentally unstable to begin with, to go around ruining the lives of strangers they’re making it all the more likely they’ll come to grievous harm. Politicians of all stripes need to get a grip of this, rid the statute books of these insane laws favouring certain groups, and stop this extortion racket before someone gets seriously hurt.

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A paucity of talent

From the BBC:

This year, we felt it was time to direct the spotlight away from Hollywood and celebrate the best cinema from around the world. We asked critics to vote for their favourite movies made primarily in a language other than English. The result is BBC Culture’s 100 greatest foreign-language films.

The problem with asking people what they think is they might give troubling answers, as the BBC has discovered:

If there’s anything disappointing about the final list, it’s the paucity of films directed or co-directed by women. There are just four out of 100. But we made sure to contact as many female critics as male ones; of those who responded, 94 (45 per cent) were women.

The obvious conclusion is women don’t make particularly good films, something even women critics agree with. However, the BBC devotes an entire, separate article telling us this isn’t so. So what is? Why, sexism, of course!

This troubling result puts the current conversation about the dearth of women film-makers in a wider context: by being barred from the exercise of their craft in cinema, women run the risk of being excluded from its history.

So women were barred from being directors, eh? Then how come four films directed by women made it onto the list?

“It’s a matter of volume,” says producer Deborah Calla, Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Producers Guild of America, the West Coast Chair of Women’s Impact Network, and advisor to the Geena Davis Institute. “There are fewer films directed by women, and so there are fewer films directed by women winning awards or being picked by festivals. Women directors end up having a smaller footprint.”

I wouldn’t have thought it matters if only ten women were directing films if their output was good enough. Welshmen are not underrepresented in marathon running because not enough of them train.

Scarcity leads to invisibility, and invisibility leads to more scarcity – and thus the history of cinema comes to be written and taught with little or no women in it.

I’ve written about this before and asked why, if sexism prevents women prevailing in the arts, they have been so staggeringly successful in publishing. Are we to believe studios were hotbeds of patriarchal oppression while publishing houses were staffed by woke feminists?

As cinema progressed from novelty to business, however, women were pushed off sets and out of studios.

So despite their talents, women were kicked out of studios because of business interests? Is this a roundabout way of saying their output didn’t sell? After all, our aforementioned booksellers didn’t seem to mind Agatha Christie, did they?

“We are on the cusp of great change, not just in Hollywood and the West, but worldwide,” adds Kelly. “We are half the world and we need to tell at least half the stories because up until now we have been hugely outnumbered. The exclusion is systemic, and the change will not be easy, but it is happening. I look forward to a time when it isn’t an issue and a director doesn’t need the prefix ‘woman’ in front of that title.”

I have a feeling Kelly is going to remain disappointed, unless she’ll be satisfied with watching mediocre female directors being applauded by SJWs as they receive participation trophies for films nobody will watch. For I suspect what’s happening is being a director requires a certain technical ability, obsession with details, risk taking, and stubborn perseverance which are more commonly found in men than women. Simply put, most women aren’t interested in becoming directors and, when they are, they don’t do a particularly good job of it. There are some exceptions – Kathryn Bigelow and Sophia Coppola have made some good films, although it would be hard to deny they’ve benefited from close proximity to male masters of the same craft – but in general women don’t make very good films, and can’t compete with men in the way their sisters who write books can. The BBC may just as well have compiled a list of the 100 best rock drummers and complained only a handful of women were on that.

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More on women attacking men

This video was doing the rounds on Twitter the other day:


Here’s the story:

A 5ft 1in woman choked a nightclub bouncer into unconsciousness after mistakenly thinking he slapped her on the bottom.

Police have released video footage of Kierah Lagrave, 22, from Plattsburgh, New York, coming at the man from behind in a local nightclub.

She then puts her arms around his neck before they both fall to the floor.

The bouncer did not resist because he assumed it was one of his friends playing a prank, police said.

He was unconscious for a few moments.

There’s a lot wrong with this. Mainly, what kind of a bouncer would just stand there while someone choked them from behind? I can’t imagine any of the Manchester Doorsafe thugs circa 1996 doing that (I’m sure Thud can verify). Also, could she really choke him out like that? Her technique would have to be spot on, which isn’t inconceivable but it is unlikely. So it might be that the whole thing was a prank.

But assuming the story’s vaguely true, this is another example of modern women attacking grown men which I’ve written about before. Looking at the video, the bouncer could have literally killed that woman with two blows. Whoever is responsible for teaching women how to behave, they should really emphasise that physically attacking grown men, especially large young ones, is a very bad idea. If this keeps up, one of them’s going to mistake a violent criminal thug for a middle class white boy and end up dead.

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