Those familiar with the state of the UK left will be familiar with the Socialist Unity blog, the cesspit which has taken over from the UKLN email list as the place for old white men to put the world to rights. It must be the most misnamed blog in the blogsphere. There has never been any unity, and the socialism proposed is paperthin. Their defence of George Galloway and his creepy, creepy remarks on rape, together with a tonne of commentators piling in to defend the right of men to penetrate sleeping women make me despair of the English Left.
In Scotland, we had Sheridan. Left wing politics cannot ever be the same again. The English Left never really groked the Sheridan situation. There were pockets of support, but they were isolated. Mixed in with the vitriol that accompanied our decision to prioritise women over the left wing saviour and master of charisma was a seeming confusion that we could ever have considered doing anything else. The witches backed by the prudes had enabled the sluts to bring the Anti-Poll Tax hero down. And down Tommy fell, from winning an award from the Scottish Politican of the Year in 2001, to being lambasted at the Edinburgh Festival for the comedic figure from a sea-side postcard in 2012. And in that decade, Scottish radical politics changed. Where there are no gods, no masters and precious few heroes, a new type of organising must be found, one which respects the voices of all.
Which brings me back nicely to Socialist Unity.
I was warned not to venture in there. I was warned. But that warning only served as lefty feminist equivalent of “don’t go into the cellar” in horror movies. You know it is a really bad idea, but some evil force out there compels you to do it anyway. That big sign saying “here be monsters” gets ignored and on you charge into the deep dark ugliness.
It started off with this thread: In Defence of George Galloway, by John Wight – the one who usually trundles out to defend the indefensible. So far, so on form. But then there were the comments. Oh the comments! We had Galloway sychophants, rape apologism, rape minimisation, “genuine rape” arguments, “conviction or it didn’t happen” arguments in spades. And then one poor innocent poster piped up with “Are some of us blokes missing something”?
Erm….yeah. There are some pretty big elephants in the room here. Namely that Assange is a rapist, and Galloway thinks that he is not a rapist because Galloway thinks that rape is acceptable behaviour, if a little bad mannered. But it is easier for an elephant to pass under the eyes of socialist unity commentators than it is for old, straight, cissexual, white Western men to contemplate that other old straight cissexual white Western men might be slightly off on their gender politics. And so the enquirant was put straight.
A very large proportion of women have at one time or another found themselves in situations where they were having sex that they preferred not to have. It is something that lots of women, not surprisingly feel very strongly about. It is a very sensitive question that a male politician in the public eye needs to handle with the utmost delicacy.
And so on we go…now into the territory of accusations of imperialism and islamophobia attracting such “black propaganda” for Galloway. One poster went so far as to say that like Galloway, he did not see rape in what Assange was accused of. When pointed out that this was a creepy statement implying that it was behaviour in which he himself might indulge, responded with the classic rapist/bush/knife scenario, but described the rape of “brazen groupies” as less serious than fishing without a permit. When pointed out that this statement marked him out as a potential rapist – someone who thought that raping someone was acceptable behaviour, he responded with an even creepier statement of
You couldn’t possibly know this, and if you think that you can know that then you are dangerous.
At which point a mod stepped in. Good you might think. Probably about time, given that someone on their site is basically stating that rape is acceptable behaviour, and that when someone has called someone out on stating that rape is acceptable behaviour they are considered “dangerous”. Presumably the same kind of “dangerous” as the “brazen groupies” that got raped by Assange and didnt keep their mouths shut about it. But no – the mod’s primary concern was that readers might not have confidence in the poster who noted that someone’s views made them very vulnerable to being a rapist. Laying down the law
Right, listen…please tone it down. I don’t want this thread turned into a hunt for potential rapists. Please end that line of argument, thank you.
And on the discussion went, on and on. About Islamophobes, zionists and pro-imperialists, about the ins and outs of international law, about possible motivations for Yaquoob and Hutson withdrawing support from Galloway, cleverly dodging the rapidly growing elephant of his creepy rape apologism.
Over on the other channel, the hilariously titled Time for the Left to Stand Up for Galloway, things were no better. As rape apologism piled on rape apologism, with comments aimed at those challenging becoming more and more offensive. But eventually an elephant this big, and this well fed couldn’t just be ignored, it really couldn’t.
Eventually Andy Newman cracked, speaking publically about some dirty open secrets of the left. The editor of Socialist Worker who couldn’t be trusted around young female comrades, the forceful silencing of women sexually assaulted by senior comrades, and the unconsensual incest that a leading industrial militant indulged in. Stories told in small gatherings, or shared personally but publically swept under the carpet, just like the rapes committed by full timers in the Workers Revolutionary Party and the Socialist Workers Party.
So when I pointed out that the reasons that these things happened over, and over AND OVER again – because women who raised sexual assaults, and the narratives that sustained them were silenced, I was banned from the site. I was banned from the site because I stated that someone who thought that rape was acceptable behaviour was a potential rapist. I was shut off from the site because it “shut him down”. I wasn’t allowed to contribute because it made a potential rapist feel like he “couldn’t contribute”.
I don’t know how I feel about getting banned from the cesspit of the left. There is a bit of me that is quite happy to let them roll around in their own stinking shite, but on the other hand, I’m well aware of the pollution that it generates well beyond its boundaries. Pollution that generally ends up infecting the bodies of female comrades.
Just one last thing.
Marko, if you read this blogpost, please read this one too. Although 98.8% of rapists get away with it, you might one day find yourself in the unlucky 1.2% who don’t. Because with the crap that you spouted on that thread, if you are not already a rapist, there is a really high probability of you becoming one. You need to learn what is and what is not rape now and definately before you have any more sexual encounters. And that goes for quite a number of commentators on those posts. Galloway could do with reading this too.
For just like another commentator, one of the very few women who contributed stated.
I realise the reason you lot want to believe George Galloway isn’t a rape apologist is that you all believe the same ignorant shitty rape apology beliefs. I can’t help wonder how close many of you have come to that line and who has crossed over it because you think it isn’t there.