The Hunting of George Lawlor

http://theothermccain.com/2015/11/25/the-hunting-of-george-lawlor/

A 19-year-old student at Warwick University in England, George Lawlor ignited a controversy last month when he wrote an online column criticizing the “rape culture” hysteria:

 

Ah, the special feeling you get when logging into Facebook and find someone thinks you’re cool enough to invite to their event. Is it a house party? Is it a social? All the possibilities race through your mind. Then it hits you. You tap the red notification and find you’ve been summoned to this year’s “I Heart Consent Training Sessions”. Your crushing disappointment quickly melts away and is overcome by anger.
Let me explain, I love consent. Of course people should only interact with mutual agreement, but I still found this invitation loathsome. Like any self-respecting individual would, I found this to be a massive, painful, bitchy slap in the face. To be invited to such a waste of time was the biggest insult I’ve received in a good few years. It implies I have an insufficient understanding of what does and does not constitute consent and that’s incredibly hurtful. I can’t stress that enough.
I feel as if I’m taking the “wrong” side here, but someone has to say it — I don’t have to be taught to not be a rapist. That much comes naturally to me, as I am sure it does to the overwhelming majority of people you and I know. Brand me a bigot, a misogynist, a rape apologist, I don’t care. I stand by that.
I already know what is and what isn’t consent. I also know about those more nuanced situations where consent isn’t immediately obvious as any decent, empathetic human being does. Yes means yes, no means no. It’s really that simple. You’d think Russell Group university students would get that much, but apparently the consent teachers don’t have as high a regard for their peers as I do. . . .

 

Read the whole thing. There was nothing objectionable in that column. George Lawlor didn’t engage in slut-shaming or victim-blaming. He didn’t say anything about false accusations. He merely made the point that, as a “decent, empathetic human being,” he already understood that rape is wrong and was insulted by any suggestion to the contrary. Assuming that his fellow students were no more in need of such “training sessions” than he was, Lawlor said the result would be “an echo chamber of people pointing out the obvious and others nodding along, thinking the whole time thinking that they’ve saved the world.” Hear! Hear!

Why do feminists assume that male university students are all savages and barbarians, in need of “training sessions”? Is George Lawlor alone in feeling insulted by this assumption? Isn’t the discourse about “rape culture” really about demonizing men and inspiring female students to fear their male classmates? Why aren’t more “decent, empathetic” young men speaking out against this propaganda campaign? Perhaps because young men know they will be viciously scapegoated if they do speak out:

A student who caused a furore when he spoke out against sexual consent workshops fears for his academic future after a fierce campus backlash.
George Lawlor, 19, claims he has been driven out of lectures and bars at Warwick University by feminist campaigners who shout “rapist” wherever he goes. . . .
But he has now revealed that the reaction became so brutal that he stopped going to lectures.
The second year student said he had been attacked on Twitter and Facebook by student activists branding him a “rapist” and “misogynist”.
Mr Lawlor, who studies politics and sociology, said he feared the furore would affect his academic work and his future career.
“I was expecting a reaction, but I was not prepared for just how horrible it was,” he told the Daily Mail. “I remember putting it online and told a few people, who were? saying there would be a backlash.’
“The bus to university was the worst. I heard people talking to each other saying, ‘I really want to hit that kid’. It got really nasty.
“There was one guy messaging me on Facebook for over a week, calling me names like racist, rapist. I’ve stopped going to lectures and seminars because of the perceived threat.” . . .
The sessions are being rolled out across the country with the aim of decreasing the number of assaults and enabling students to talk openly about consent.

 

Questions: How many sexual assaults have been reported at Warwick University in the past five years? What is the scale and nature of the problem to which these “consent training sessions” are supposed to be the solution? Can anyone at Warwick University provide data that would give us some indication of what percentage of their male students are rapists, and what percentage of female students are victims?

 

The Politics of Hysteria

These are not rhetorical questions. Ever since American feminists began ginning up the “campus rape epidemic” hysteria, critics have pointed out the vast exaggeration involved. “Statistical Voodoo and Elastic Definitions,” as I said, were the basis of the phony “1-in-5” claim — a transparently false statistic publicized in speeches by President Obama and Vice President Biden, as well as by other Democrat politicians, most notably Sen. Kristen Gillibrand of New York. I believe this crusade against an artificial crisis (led by a White House Task Force) was fabricated as a partisan political effort, a continuation of the “Republican War on Women” rhetoric that helped Obama maximize the “gender gap” against Mitt Romney in his 2012 re-election campaign, and was specifically intended to boost Hillary Clinton’s electoral prospects as the presumed 2016 Democrat presidential nominee.

Taxpayer money is being used to promote this bogus crusade, as federal authorities have compelled universities to comply with a series of mandates — beginning with the 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter — that they claim are necessary to end a “campus rape epidemic” that does not actually exist. Universities have hired full-time officials to direct prevention programs, but incidents of sexual assault are in fact so uncommon (e.g., 28 reports among 17,000 students at SUNY-Albany in 2014, or less than 1-in-300 female students, rather than 1-in-5) that these programs have been condemned as an “employment racket.” On campus after campus, reports indicate an astonishing gap between feminist rhetoric and the real numbers of sexual assault complaints, so that the crusaders who have manufactured this non-existent crisis are now faced with a “Campus Rape Shortage.”

Feminists are performing mental gymnastics in an effort to maintain the plausibility of the myths they have created. Kirsten Gillibrand promoted a study by the American Association of University Women that found 91% of U.S. colleges and universities reported zero rapes in 2014. The AAUW insists that these numbers cannot be believed:

Schools that report zero rapes have work to do and require additional scrutiny. When campuses report zero incidents of rape, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, it simply does not square with research, campus climate surveys, and widespread experiences reported by students.

 

The absence of evidence to support claims of a campus rape epidemic “suggests students may not feel comfortable coming forward to report such crimes at some of these schools,” the AAUW argued. Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner expressed her disgust with AAUW’s tendentious and illogical analysis:

 

When you’re committed to perpetuating the myth of a rampant “rape culture” on college campuses, evidence to the contrary becomes baffling. . . .
The simplest explanation is that women just aren’t buying the whole “rape culture” narrative and don’t see themselves as constant victims. Reports are low because rapes are low.
There was once a time in this country where low incidence of crime was celebrated. How astounding that that’s not the case anymore.

 

 

Attempting to justify the hysteria they have created, and to avoid scrutiny of their fraud — a deliberate lie promoted by government officials — feminists have encouraged students to make unfounded accusations of sexual assault, and have relied on friendly media to promote these false claims. The debacle at the University of Virginia, where a gang-rape hoax was perpetrated with the assistance of an unethical Rolling Stone reporter, exposed the dishonest propaganda methods by which feminists have promoted their false claim of an “epidemic” of campus sexual assault. Implicated in the UVA hoax were astudent activist, Emily Renda, and an Obama administration official, Catherine Lhamon, and yet neither Congress nor Virginia legislators seem willing to investigate the circumstances that suggest official malfeasance in connection with the gang-rape hoax publicized by Rolling Stone, which is now facing multiple defamation lawsuits.

Meanwhile, more than 100 male students have filed lawsuits against universities, claiming that they were falsely accused of sexual assault and denied due-process rights in Title IX disciplinary proceedings, campus kangaroo courts where accused students have none of the legal protections guaranteed to any common criminal in a court of law. Reading the filings in cases like John Doe v. Brown University (where a student says he was banned from campus merely for making out with a girl he met at a party) we see how the victim mentality promoted by feminists has fostered a climate of sexual paranoia.

“Feminist consciousness is consciousness of victimization . . . to come to see oneself as a victim.”
— Sandra BartkyFemininity and Domination: Studies in the Phenomenology of Oppression (1990)

 

What is most striking in “rape culture” discourse is how few students are willing to speak out against this dishonest feminist propaganda campaign that has demonized heterosexual males. Perhaps this is because most students realize that they are not at risk either of becoming victims or of being falsely accused. The college girl who doesn’t make a habit of getting drunk at parties (and hooking up with equally drunk boys) knows she is unlikely ever to have the kind of “regret equals rape” experience that led to a sexual assault complaint at Washington and Lee University in Virginia. Nor does the average male student expect that a girl who actively pursues sexual activity with him would turn around and accuse him of rape months later, as Emma Sulkowicz did to Paul Nungesser at Columbia University. Even if they accede to feminist efforts to redefine the meaning of rape (“Moving the Goalposts”), these incidents are still rare enough that most students figure that they will never be personally involved in such a case.

‘Abandoned to the Mercy of the Witches’

Typical students probably view the sexual assault hysteria on campus as irrelevant to their own lives, and shrug it off. It is easy, at a university with thousands of students, to assemble a protest mob of a few dozen activists to chant slogans — whether the slogan is “Yes Means Yes” or “Black Lives Matter” — and students who are not directly involved with these protest campaigns most likely take a cynical view of such activism. We can imagine that many students view feminist “rape culture” discourse as a joke, but are not willing to risk the backlash they would endure if they dared to confront this nonsense in a direct and public way.

George Lawlor took that risk, and feminist hatemongers therefore must make an example of him, so as to discourage any other students who might be tempted to call their bluff. What has happened, we see, is that feminists have adopted the tactics of ancient witch-hunters. The purpose of a witch hunt is “to strike awe into some by the punishment of others,” as the 16th-century French jurist Jean Bodin explained:

 

“Now, if there is any means to appease the wrath of God, to gain his blessing, to strike awe into some by the punishment of others, to preserve some from being infected by others, to diminish the number of evil-doers, to make secure the life of the well-disposed, and to punish the most detestable crimes of which the human mind can conceive, it is to punish with the utmost rigor the witches. . . . Those too who let the witches escape, or who do not punish them with the utmost rigor, may rest assured that they will be abandoned by God to the mercy of the witches. . . . Therefore it is that one accused of being a witch ought never to be fully acquitted and set free unless the calumny of the accuser is clearer than the sun, inasmuch as the proof of such crimes is so obscure and so difficult that not one witch in a million would be accused or punished if the procedure were governed by the ordinary rules.”

 

Feminists, of course, have denounced the witch hunts as an injustice, a historic example of patriarchal oppression that Andrea Dworkin in her 1974 book Woman Hating called “gynocide,” and to which Mary Daly devoted a 44-page chapter of her 1978 book Gyn/Ecology: The Metaethics of Radical Feminism. While both Dworkin and Daly were guilty of gross distortions of the historical record (relying on dubious sources and exaggerating the number of cases), their political understanding of these persecutions deserves our attention. Are feminists correct that, during the centuries when accusations of witchcraft were taken seriously, the leaders of witch-hunts were simply attempting to defend male supremacy against the challenge of women who resisted the patriarchal social order? I don’t believe this, and neither do most serious historians of the era (see Ronald Hutton’s excellent 1999 book, The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft). However, radical feminists have accepted the Dworkin/Daly interpretation of the witch-hunts and, evidently, have decided that they are entirely justified in adapting these methods to their own purposes, encouraging dishonest women to make false accusations against men, to “strike awe into some by the punishment of others.”

This is terrorism, and George Lawlor is being made to suffer because he had the courage to challenge the feminists who have created a 21st-century witch hunt aimed at securing their own power to dominate our culture and politics. And it is possible to perceive that Jean Bodin’s warning was in some ways prophetic. Because so many are afraid to confront the diabolical lies of feminism, we now find ourselves “abandoned by God to the mercy of the witches.”