I\’m not sure I understand this

A group of women are holding a protest tomorrow morning in London against what they call an abuse of women by police spies.

Really, I don\’t.

Women in the UK should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen. It is as simple as that.

In response, we call for women to come together for a blockade of Scotland Yard, in protest at political policing and in solidarity with all women who have been exploited by men they thought they could trust.

What happened to \”I am Woman, hear me roar\”?

I thought that half the point of the last 50 years was to free female sexuality from the patriarchal constraints that had been traditionally put on it?

Now that consenting adult women find out they\’ve been lied into bed they want someone to be jailed?

Don\’t you get this freedom and liberty thing? While it allows you to do all sorts of lovely things it\’s also the freedom and liberty to quite literally fuck up as well.

And no, you don\’t get to choose to allow only one side of the bargain: that\’s what sexual freedom and liberty actually mean, that you get to deploy your gonads as you wish but then so does everyone else as well.

34 thoughts on “I\’m not sure I understand this”

  1. Just imagine being paid £50000 a year with expenses to sit on your arse and chat up scabby liberal women who have problems with their Fathers.

    He should be given an MC.

  2. I would be against letting women retroactively decide that they’d been assaulted just because the’d been lied to.

    PeterB
    Chief Executive
    Bigtime Hollywood Casting Inc.

  3. t. And it is a completely different thing for a someone to feed you line to get you into bed, than it is for institutionalised abuse through lying for the purposes of illiciting information from you. It’s not even good police work, as the cases against these activists collapsed when the undercover police officers involvement was found out.

  4. Your comments box didn’t allow me to scroll back on my iPhone through my argument and edit that, but you still haven’t answered the argument, Tim. Is that because you haven’t got an answer?

    Tim adds: I have answered over there:

    @ 11: sorry, which point? This one?

    “And it is a completely different thing for a someone to feed you line to get you into bed, than it is for institutionalised abuse through lying for the purposes of illiciting information from you.”

    But going undercover does mean going undercover. If you’re undercover in a mileu where unmarried people do indeed have consensual sex then having consensual sex would be part of going undercover.

    Offering to shag the local maidens wouldn’t work if you were undercover among the Amish. Going undercover in a hippy commune and not having failry liberal standards about sex similarly wouldn’t work.

    I’m just fine (although I would disagree) with you arguing that the undercover stuf should never have happened. But the idea that grown up women have been raped because an undercover cop had a bit of nookie stretches credulity way too far.

    For a start it grossly demeans those who really have been raped by not undercover cops and torturers in the more vile regimes around the world.

    Hands up everyone who wants to say that the rape before execution of virgins in Iran (for virgins may not be executed) is the same as a 6 month casual affair with someone deceiving you by being an undercover cop?

    Yes, I know Douglas Adams said that the one thing a human cannot have is a real sense of proportion about the universe but please, equating these two things is absurd.

  5. So what’s your point, Emily? The coppers in question screwed up (as well as just plain screwing) but that hardly makes it ‘institutionalised abuse’, whatever the bloody hell that means. The very fact that the cases collapsed, contrary to the goals set by the ‘institution’ means it wasn’t (or shouldn’t have been) sanctioned and therefore isn’t policy.

    I’m not even sure why the cases collapsed, either. Is pillow talk now deemed inadmissible? I thought the honey trap was a well-worn intelligence-gathering technique (although the sex roles were usually reversed.) The main objection seems to be that bonking hippie chicks for the purposes of eliciting information is just so frightfully caddish, don’tcherknow, which as Tim says seems rather antediluvian.

  6. Is sending people who con others out of money to jail an infringement of freedom and liberty?

    There might be excellent practical reasons for sending people who con money out of others to jail, but people who con sex out of others to jail, but it’s generally agreed even amongst libertarians that governments do have a role in protecting people from force and fraud.

    I don’t see that the women are saying that it’s rape, they’re saying that it’s sexual abuse, which covers a wider range of things.

    And as for claiming that having casual sex was an essential part of going undercover, well, I can just see undercover officers justifying it that way to themselves, but, I suspect that if any of them had really felt uncomfortable about getting nookie by lying, they could have avoided it pretty easily. Claimed that they were refraining from sex as part of their meditation process to align their chakra or something like that. Or claimed that they’d tested positive for genital warts.

  7. “It’s not even good police work, as the cases against these activists collapsed when the undercover police officers involvement was found out.”

    So, it’d be good police work if the involvement hadn’t been found out..? 😉

  8. Brian, follower of Deornoth

    Tsk tsk, Tim. You went THREE WHOLE MINUTES there without refuting Emily’s argument. Proves you are wrong, doesn’t it?

  9. David Gillies, IIRC the trial collapsed because (of a claim that) the police possessed exculpatory evidence that they withheld from the defence.

    The Neasden Central Police Station sketch in this week’s Private Eye has a run at it with the following undercover police log:

    1200 hrs … Suggest armed, peaceful invasion of Battersea Power Station in protest at climate change. A vote is taken:
    For: 1 (myself)
    Against: 7 (everyone else)

  10. Tracy, some people are claiming this is rape because, supposedly, you cannot consent if you have been misled in any way. I think that view trivialises rape, but their mileage may vary.

    You make a good point re fraud but if an adult lies to another adult in order to get them into bed, does it constitute criminality? I agree that it is unethical / immoral but is it criminal?

    That said, if the women who undercover officer Saunders had sex with feel used and exploited, I don’t blame them, and they should complain if they feel that is the right thing to do.

  11. ukliberty, the original women don’t seem to have been arguing that it was rape, instead saying that it was sexual abuse, which has a broader definition. I think it’s a shame that Akheloios used the word “rape”, it’s deferred attention from the actual situation.

    As for whether lying to another adult to get them into bed is criminal or not, I’m not a lawyer nor a judge. I’m quite capable of thinking something can be unethical and immoral but should still be legal.
    But I also think that just because something you’ve done is legal doesn’t mean that you should get off entirely scot-free. It may be legal to lie to a woman to get her into bed, but AFAIK it’s also legal for her to badmouth said man to everyone she can, including the national media (excluding libel or slander). And if her badmouthing is honest, I’m inclined to say “go for it”. Laws are not always the best way to constrain behaviour.

  12. Tracy, I agree with the whole of your comment @16, except “sexual abuse” seems to be stretching it, too.

    (My point about criminality was about considering the ‘seriousness’ of the act – does deceiving someone into bed constitute something criminal – not about whether there is a specific offence in law that covers this.)

  13. The clue lies here:

    @Emily Davis
    “Sometimes I wonder at the fact that this is a left-leaning / progressive comment section –”

    You’re not really welcome there. Private discussion. Only the right on should join in.

  14. And another thing: the Facebook group says,

    Women in the UK should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen.

    The vast, vast majority of women in the UK shouldn’t worry about such a thing, even if we accept the definition of “sexual abuse” there, because the chance of it occurring is infinitesimal.

  15. ukliberty – if women should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen, because the chance of it occurring is infinitesimal, then why should any of us worry about the police needing search warrants to search our property?
    The odds of a police officer randomly wanting to root through the average person’s underwear draw are probably about as low as the odds of them wanting to get said person into bed and being willing to lie about it (given the number of police officers who are male and the general interest of men in getting women into bed).

  16. So did the women have sex with him because that is what they fancied doing, or because what job they thought he was doing?

  17. Tracy,

    if women should not have to worry about being sexually abused by policemen, because the chance of it occurring is infinitesimal, then why should any of us worry about the police needing search warrants to search our property?

    Quite right, we shouldn’t worry about either of these activities. But that does not mean there is no cause for complaint about them.

    My issue is not with the complaint – quite understandable if the women involved feel exploited or used – but the unnecessary “worry”.

    And I also have in mind that this “worry” is based on a claim made by a self-confessed liar with a grudge (who may be telling the truth, we just don’t know).

  18. Ukliberty – I think you’re getting into Talmudic levels of interpretation here. And while I can understand the logic of applying Talmudic levels of interpretation to something you believe to have been written by God, I’m not that impressed by applying it to something written by a mere mortal. I’ve had people misinterpret technical instructions written by me, when I was trying my darnedest to write as clearly as possible. It strikes me as quite possible that if you went to the author of the statement in question and raised this issue of yours, she’d say something along the lines of “no, that’s not what I meant at all”. Perhaps not so politely of course.

  19. Tracy means, “to impute by excessive logic-chopping layers of meaning that were not intended by the original author.” It’s an allusion to the endless interpretation that Jewish scholars give to study of the Talmud.

  20. A group of men are holding a protest tomorrow morning in London against what they call an abuse of undercover coppers by women that claimed to be eco-warriors but turned out to be nothing more than bored wannabe champagne socialists/dirty slappers looking for a quick shag, a free meal and if all goes well, a husband, 3 kids and a weekly coloumn in the Guardian.

  21. So Much For Subtlety

    Tracy W – “but it’s generally agreed even amongst libertarians that governments do have a role in protecting people from force and fraud.”

    Perhaps not among libertarians. But I agree with you about fraud. It is a crime to have sex with a woman by lying to her – for some lies anyway. You cannot sneak into a girl’s bed room and pretend to be her boyfriend. But I don’t see where the crime is in pretending to be committed to The Cause even when you’re not. It is not fraud to claim a whole range of things. Nor can we hope to police boys and girls who tell each other all sorts of whoppers to get them in bed (from “Of course I will respect you in the morning” to “I will pull out, I promise”).

    “I don’t see that the women are saying that it’s rape, they’re saying that it’s sexual abuse, which covers a wider range of things.”

    Meaningless things. It is a leftist term of abuse like racism or fascist. It only means a man has had fun somewhere and they hate the idea.

  22. ukliberty: in re your response #14 to my comment #9 above: the collapse of the trial may have been due to a failure of correct juridical procedure, but the point remains: are confessions to committing — or intent to commit — criminal acts ruled ipso facto inadmissible simply because the two parties involved just got sweaty with each other? In the US, there’s no 5th Amendment caveat that I can see (IANAL) and in the UK that’s not even a consideration. I can see there is an arguable avenue of escape via the idea of entrapment, but unless the randy copper in question egged the bonked hippie-chick on to do something she otherwise would not have done I can’t see even that being sound.

  23. SmfS, I also don’t think it’s a crime to pretend to be committed to the Cause when you’re not (IANAL! This is not legal advice!). And on the whole, I’m inclined to think such fraud shouldn’t be a crime, for much the reasons that you list (I’m of course prepared to listen to arguments on the other side). But while we’re at it, I also don’t think it’s a crime to be bleeding furious with a man for lying to you about this, and to tell the news media about this, and go out to protest it, or for your friends to join in on your side. Social punishments have their place.

    It only means a man has had fun somewhere and they hate the idea.

    These men had fun by sleeping with some women by lying to them! If my husband pulled something like that I’d be frigging furious with him – having me protest outside his workplace would be the least of his worries.

  24. I found the way the Guardian handled these cases very telling.

    They got very excited when they could add the ‘sex scandal’ to the undercover ‘expose’. It became the main focus of their stories, and all the women were quoted as saying they’d been ‘violated’ and ‘abused’ and ‘betrayed’.

    I agree it is a wanting a cake and eating it situation. women want to have ‘equality’ with men but also retain victim status in all matters of sex and power.

    There was a woman police officer who also had liasons I think, with men, but her story was kept out of the headlines as it didnt fit the gender norm they were reinforcing.

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