Poor old Harriet Harman, all her adult life she has worked for the rights of women and children and has actually been fairly effective in her own way, in promoting their interests. And yet the Daily Mail has managed to run a smear campaign consisting of the ludicrous implication that she spent the seventies supporting and promoting the interests of child-rapists.
It’s clearly absurd, like the allegation that Marxist Milliband hated Britain and the implied conclusion that on the basis of the sin of the father, we shouldn’t vote for the son. But the reason it was possible, is because of their wishy-washy liberal feminist outlook, rather than a more radical approach.
The reason the National Council for Civil Liberties allowed the Paedophile Information Exchange to infiltrate them, is the same reason Amnesty International has allowed pimps to infiltrate them: both organisations have solid liberal values and of course most liberalism, like every other political idea except feminism, is dominated by male values and assumptions which see men as default humans and consign women and children to the almost but not quite human, so human rights relevant only to women (or women and children), are simply not relevant or indeed, necessarily recognised as basic human rights. When liberals talk about human and civil rights, they don’t mean women or children’s rights, they only mean rights that affect adult men. If those rights affect women too, then that’s fine and of course they agree that women should have access to those rights; but rights which affect only women (such as safe and legal abortion) do not have the sacrosanct position held by rights which also affect men.
Organisations which know that women and children are as human as men are not vulnerable to falling into the trap of allowing men who directly threaten the rights of women and children, to infiltrate them. If the NCCL or Amnesty had been run by people who had a proper, radical feminist perspective on human rights and civil liberties, they would never have made the mistake of forgetting that women and children are human too and that their civil and human rights are as important as those of men. They would have instantly seen the arguments of the child rapists and pimps for what they are: the elevation of men’s right to sexual gratification no matter the cost to people other than men, at the expense of everyone else.
If you have never challenged the idea that the sexual expression of men at the expense of other people is a basic human right, then it is easy to become bamboozled by the libertarian arguments put forward by pimps and rapists. So much of the discourse about sex is about the right to sexual expression, but only within the confines of the sexual expression approved of by men. Inevitably, where men set the parameters of sexual expression, it will evolve around their boners and their ejaculations. In our society, many of them see women as useful applications to enable them to have a harder boner, or a longer one or a more intense one and a useful receptor for their sexual emissions. And of course the rest of us, if we haven’t developed a radical feminist consciousness regarding this, will accept those parameters so when men start talking about their rights to have consensual sex with children, we might actually countenance the concept because they are using the language we have been taught is liberating, forgetting that it’s not women and children who are being liberated. As with human and civil rights, when men talk about sexual liberation, they tend not to mean that of women.
It is because they don’t recognise this dynamic, that they failed to spot it when it turned up on their committees and in their workshops and in their debating chambers. Radical feminists would never have made that mistake. An awful lot of embarrassment would have been avoided. But of course, Harriet Harman would never have made it into government.