Feminist views 

I have a problem with some feminist views. I have been struggling with them for some time and wondering why I have a problem with moral issues associated within feminist belief. 

The term “Rape culture” was first used in the USA in the 1970s by feminists who believed a society which normalised rape as a part of the society and sees it as pervasive due to certain values it held about women’s sexual identity and gender. 

So what feminists are saying that somehow society doesn’t see it as being a bad thing or even a punishable crime in a society. They believe that making excuses of what a woman was wearing before hand is part of this “rape culture”. It is  prevalent and symptomatic throughout attitudes in the society and endemic to it. 

I had some discussion with a female friend and thinking about high profile cases where men had been convicted of rape or had been acquitted. I found it interesting that some on social media platforms held the view that the man was guilty even if he had not be convicted in a court of law. That the woman must be believed and the circumstances of the case were that the jury must have been made to believe that the woman was making the whole thing up something again feminists believe is part of ‘rape culture’ that society sees women as unreliable liars. 

Feminists belief in ‘rape society’ is that society is teaching women not to get raped rather than teaching men not to rape. This to me is where I find the stumbling block. Not that any sort of attack on a woman is abhorrent but that despite the calls of feminists to teach people not to rape there are ways that women should protect themselves but again I reiterate that feminist would say is part of rape culture and I am contributing to it by making sure a woman is keeping herself from harm.

I had to look further into this and see how ‘rape culture’ is viewed under various classifications of morality. The feminist view is an example of moral absolutism. The idea there shouldn’t be anyway in which someone who has said that they have even raped could have contributed to it. Rape is if someone hasn’t given their consent. To me there are cases where the victim isn’t able to give consent such as age but what do we decide if a woman is so drunk she has sex but afterwards saying that she wouldn’t have consented at the time. 

Feminists argue that there shouldn’t be grey areas and that it is clear that all sex that hasn’t been consensual is rape. Is it really this clear cut? We don’t hear of ‘murder culture’ or ‘robbery culture’ we look at the evidence to see if a crime has been committed and that is how the law and the courts deal with each case individually. As much as feminism would like to see perpetrators of rape be punished as they should it isn’t as clear as that. Sex is still sex and if you consent to it then it isn’t a crime. But how do you prove a crime has taken place when the evidence before a jury is that it is the word against another. There are no physical signs of trauma or force but the woman states she did not give consent. 

A murder takes place and usually in most cases there is a body. Some cases have been prosecuted when there has been no body found but this is rare. We have physical evidence in front of jury if an autopsy has taken place and cause of death can be established. It is up to the prosecution to build the case for murder or if the death was unintentional manslaughter or culpable homicide as it is known in the USA. 

A crime has a victim, a perpetrator and evidence. Some will go to lengths to cover their crime and destroy evidence. A report of the crime of non-consensual sex or rape needs to have more evidence than saying I did not consent. If life wasn’t as clear cut as this and crimes didn’t have to be proved beyond reasonable doubt then things would be different. That isn’t how things work in the UK. There are some societies where rape has been normalised in countries that are in the middle of civil war and rape has been used as a weapon and as a form of terrorist barbarism. 

We know are those men who go out on a weekend with the intention of having sex with women. It happens. Men do that and so do women. On the gay scene it’s no different. Men and women do go out on the pretence of a hook up. 

I don’t believe a woman or a man should ever have to modify their clothes to justify not being attacked but both sexes do dress to feel and look good. We have all go out in a best clothes but it’s never so we feel good we do it so we get others to notice this is what make up is for.

If you were on a desert island you don’t get dressed up just for yourself intention is there attraction is a part of life and the natural process of humans and animals. There are ways in which everyone should protect themselves that’s why doors have locks and cars have immobilisers. We don’t live in a society of absolute morals. 

Bullied

I was sitting in a waiting room at the doctors for a blood test. Checking to see if my testosterone levels are good when a lady brought in a young lad who look like he had been in the wars. She said he had seen doctor yesterday for the bruising to his eye and someone at school had pushed him into door and hit the same side of his head. The lad look terrified and it was obvious that his injuries weren’t by a simple accident. 

Got me think about bullying and the scars that it leaves. Physical wounds do heal with time and sometimes the scars are to remind us that once the body suffered trauma but now they are healed. The emotional scars sometimes never heal. We are left tending wounds for decades or even for the rest of our lives. How we deal with them is important. 

I heard someone say the other day the way I deal with my problems is sharing them with others. Bottling things up don’t help at all. I have kept a diary each day for five years now and somethings I will write here on my site. Others have remained part of me but shared with the diary who has acted like a second person in the house. 

At school as a kid I got name-calling few times and I retaliated when they continued to press the buttons. As an adult I won’t allow people to speak to me like dirt. I never allowed pupils at school or in my work to speak to me in a derogatory or abuse way. It’s simple. You treat each other with respect. 

I see it each day the way others dismiss their fellow beings and trample them to get to the top of the pile. You throw away the person once you have used and exploited them you have rung out every bit of them for your own gain.

Let’s hope the lad in the future tells someone about the hurt and abuse and can allow the scars to heal. 

Giving up 

I am annoyed. I am not too sure if it’s about me or other people. I get annoyed when things don’t get done. Even though I am the king of procrastination. I think about certain things in life and I wonder if they can be different.

Let me give you an example. I look at all the things I would like to do in my garden or my house. I have this idea and that idea but somethings I don’t have the skill to do. Or even the confidence of giving  something a go. If I start something and I don’t complete it I feel a failure and don’t think I should have started it in the first place.

Surely someone who is knocking at the door of middle age shouldn’t have these insecurities as I get annoyed at younger people and think they are having a go at something and it’s not about the end product it’s good that you tried and experienced it.

I have never been afraid of trying some food I have tasted or ridden a rollercoaster that looks a little too scary. But when it comes to me trying to produce something I fall at the first hurdle. In fact I look at the hurdle and think I not good enough to attempt it.

As a teacher I was there to instill a sense of curiosity in pupils that makes them want to learn. You stimulate them to ask questions not about other peoples ideas and thoughts but looking at their own. What about me? What’s gone so badly wrong with myself? I am too afraid of being or perceived to be a failure?

I know completely my diploma a degree and my teacher was a great accomplishment. I know passing my driving test first time I was ecstatic. I know becoming head of year by the time I was 30 made me feel I couple accomplish anything as long as I worked hard enough I would achieve my goal. So it’s not as if I haven’t achieved things in the past.

So how do I move on in the future?

Leave it

There ‘s a cool breeze blowing throughout my house as I sit at my computer near to the front window. Something I know that would be very welcome to a lot of people who are stuck in offices with windows that open less than a cm due to health and safety rules. The irony being that it’s not okay to fall out of the window but practically a given that you should slowly cook confined in the space behind them.

What we desire, want and permissible are not usually things that we think about when we are content in life. To some it is money. To others it could be the happiness in seeing your children and grandchildren grow up safely in a world of worry and hazards that are all too familiar once you look at the news each day.

I have had a privileged life in the fact that I have been able to get a decent education and afford to live in my own home. Now that both my parents have gone I feel I should be sensible and grown up in making life choices. After some thought and careful consideration it is time to move on.

This decision I made was twenty years ago and not today or yesterday. I made it through hindsight and experiences I had in the years before. I gave up religion for good. I wasn’t a backslider any more. Someone that may go back to church after a few weeks of absenteeism. I hadn’t had the spiritual flu or suffered a minor problem with my faith. It wasn’t there at all.

Each day I am reminded that the decision was the right one. Reading the updates about how a bakery in Northern Ireland has appealed a decision handed down by the courts in the fact that they discriminated against someone on the basis of their sexuality makes me realise I am better away from such organisations. I want nothing of them anymore. I have met my closest friends through church youth groups and I have some fantastic friends who would call themselves christians. But your religion ends where my non-belief begins.

I have no problem with teaching religion. I did it for years in crappy school. But I taught it knowing that I would be talking about someone else’s religion someone else’s belief. If only there was more teaching of decent religious education would we have a more tolerant society. Less gullible in believing that if a handful of crazed idiots were to represent and entire religion then it would seem that everyone in that religion held the same views. I know and have met many muslims who don’t think that ISIS is right just in the same way that the Christians in Northern Ireland don’t hold the same views as my christian friends. I can distinguish between the two.

The faith that once I held has died. This mean it cannot be revived by any means. I believe that once something is dead it’s dead. No amount of prayer, drugs or electronic stimulation will it allow it to live again. The story of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to me is a story. Others might choose to believe it as a literal story. Others will see it as work of fiction.

I respect others and their faith. I have no problem in the talking about Islam or Taoism. I don’t see any problem in talking about it. I wouldn’t mind writing about or making a living discussing them it doesn’t break any rules. Even when I did have a faith I know that talking about others beliefs didn’t make a bad person.

Thank goodness I have left it behind. The petty arguments the church is having over two people of the same sex getting married is ridiculous. I do like talking and discussing religious and non-religious belief I have always been fascinated with belief systems. But to me they are stories. We will see more and more of these cases that I am sure. Where once the Church of England was a great moral bastion above reproach we will see more fundamentalist groups appear fighting their cause. The Church of England will become nothing more than a meeting group for the lonely. Something to wheel people into once a week and then wheel out again.

Britain First and first London Muslim Mayor

I think it’s fantastic that London didn’t take notice of the bullshit racists of Britain First and they elected their first Muslim mayor. What will happen now? Will all the church’s and temples morph into mosques? Will we be forced to eat halal food and chant sharia law till our lips bleed? No. We know that the people who voted for Sadiq Khan know that. But that doesn’t stop the delightful Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the group who has all the social graces of a soggy pastie, bleating on about how it’s awful to see Muslims in London.

(I uploaded the video from BF Facebook page so you didn’t have to see the revolting comments that people have written today)

The fact that Muslims, Hindus, Jews and Sikhs have been in the UK for centuries. According the British First and other cranks of the far-right there is no such thing as racism. So I cannot discriminate according to race because ‘Islam isn’t a race’. It’s one of the worst arguments I have ever heard. So a group of people cannot be treated unfairly. According to their own argument then the grooming gangs that have plagued the northern towns of England aren’t from a particular race because Islam isn’t a race.

The fact the racists and loons cannot accept that Islam and other religions in the UK are here to stay. We have a wonderful democratic multicultural land. It was predominately Christian for centuries but this isn’t the case now. After the Second World War there was a marked decline in church attendance and those calling themselves Christian. It’s a fact that cannot and shouldn’t be denied. Trying to say one thing and trying promote your cause based on lies will not stand.

I am proud to stand with the Muslim mayor. I am not overly proud of the party that he represents I have never been a fan but I am happy that someone who isn’t Boris will sit in the mayoral seat.

Trees

There are two things that I adore. Trees and Chester-le-Street. I love them both but if you were to make me choose between them trees would always win. There is something mystical and transfixing about trees that I really love. They are massive. They are sensible enough to cut back on energy use in the winter and then when the warmer weather starts up they will then burst back into life.

I have two trees in my garden the first is a cherry tree that was planted in the year that I moved to my current house. It faithfully blossoms each year and provides rest and space for some of the visiting birds within the garden.

IMG_2874.jpg

The other tree is a Victoria plum. I bought it years ago from a garden centre who were selling them off cheaply as the poor thing looked like it was on its last legs. It has thrived in my garden and each year displays the most beautiful of blossom. It provides me with satisfaction knowing that I could grow a plum tree well despite my parents telling me years ago that the north east climate was too cold to sustain a fruit baring tree.

IMG_1635.jpg

It was this in mind I was intrigued to read in the Chester-le-Street Advertiser that land that once held the local voluntary bureau and other charitable organisations was being sold off and that a construction company was going to build houses. My concern is that the beautiful trees that grow there will be cut down or mauled as they have been previously in other areas that Durham County council have sold.

You can see here the trees that stand on this plot and some of them have been clearly marked by spray paint.

IMG_2134.jpg

Here you can also see the outcome of the council decimating the trees that once stood on land that occupied a council run nursing home. I hope that the council will think clearly about the impact that this causes on the aesthetics and most importantly the environment in Chester-le-Street.

IMG_2145.jpg

IMG_2148.jpg

These trees could survive this mauling but I believe there future has already been earmarked. I would like my town to look like the trees that stand opposite the closed nursing home rather that a post-apocalyptic war zone.

IMG_2151.jpg

Open letter to Christian Institute

Dear Simon Calvert,

I write to you today with sadness after reading your article titled “3-year olds referred to transsexual clinic”.

You refer to the Victoria Derbyshire programme on the BBC that discusses the issues that young people have when they know that they are born into the incorrect body. Throughout the programme it is highlighted that this isn’t a phase and something that young people are going through as matter of teenage rebellion or something that they will do to wile away long summer holidays.

“Simon Calvert, Deputy Director for Public Affairs at The Christian Institute said the fact that children as young as three are being told they can ‘transition’ gender “proves this is to do with adult political ambitions and not with what is best for the children.”

I find this statement to be wholly inaccurate. You are suggesting that giving young people the support they need to cope with the fact that they are transgendered as some sort of underlining conspiracy to promote a cause or someones life long ambition.

You go on to say in your article that in years to come the person will somehow realise that it was a silly mistake and they have transitioned knowing that it is something they didn’t want in the first place. The level of ignorance and ungracious manner in the way that you discuss trans issues is astounding.

I am appalled that you could make the claim that someone life is used for political gain in the guise of ambition. What are the ends of this claim? How does the person you say use the transgendered as a political pawn?

I believe it is yourself that needs to look at the damage that you are causing not only to the trans community as a whole but to those who might seek solace and peace within Christianity only to find judgment and condemnation.

Your sincerely,

Philip Evans