Sunday, January 10, 2016

Cuddles after Curfew

Meghan Murphy has been a subject of this blog for quite some time. Murphy is a committed radical feminist -- whether or not Murphy uses the term or not (it may be problematic this week) it does adequately describe her views enough to have a discussion about them.

Murphy is often right about many things, especially when writing about the dark side of "Twitter feminist" drama. However Murphy's endorsement of the Nordic model is laughably bad math, and her support of all things related to criminalization is very tired.

As Murphy would seem overdue to share some incredible absurdity, Murphy thought it time to chime in on the Cologne attacks.

In an article titled "It’s time to consider a curfew for men", Murphy writes:

You’ve had your chance, bepenised ones. And you’ve blown it. What you’ve proven, time and time again, is that you cannot be trusted to behave yourselves after dark. In Germany, about1000 men are reported to have arrived to the Cologne Cathedral area on New Years Eve, intending to sexually assault and mug as many women as possible. The CBC reports, “Some 121 women are reported to have been robbed, threatened, or sexually molested there by gangs of mostly drunk men between 18 and 35 years old while out celebrating.” Similar attacks took place in Hamburg and Stuttgart as well.
“What real impact would a curfew have?” you might ask. Certainly it would send the message that we are taking men’s behaviour seriously and that it is no longer acceptable. Certainly it would allow women to move about more safely at night — on campus, in their homes, at bars, at the bus stop. Certainly it would name the problem. It would say, unequivocally, “The problem is you, men. You are the problem, and therefore, it is you who must be stopped.”
While, in some ways, my argument here began facetiously, the more I consider the idea of a curfew for men, the more it makes sense.

Murphy dismisses any reports of the nationality and immigration status of the men, as apparently the arrival of an extra one million people in a single year is not an event that changes society in meaningful ways. To Murphy, men are men - and men behave badly. While this is oftentimes true, there are several obvious problems with the curfew idea. While Murphy is obviously trolling, ("let's spell out a few issues for fun.

  • Of all days, curfew advocacy based on New Year's Eve events is a completely ridiculous concept 
  • Every country is approximately 50% men, yet many manage to not have marauding gangs of men that sexually assault women 
  • Deportation is simply an all-day curfew, right? 
  • Curfew gives male acquaintances (i.e. those more likely to commit rape) another reason to spend the night 
  • If it's true that immigrants were a sizable portion of assailants, it's a problem for many of Murphy's theories 

To focus on the last point - if it's true that the assailants were immigrants from conservative, majority muslim countries, Murphy's rhetoric quickly implodes. For these would not be men that are steeped in the culture that Murphy is often found criticizing - the culture of omnipresent porn, violent videogames and glorified sex work.

Immigrants from muslim countries are often familiar with a culture that Murphy's co-conspirators want to build - one that sees strippers as prisoners to the male gaze if not outright gender traitors that bring dishonor to their families. The only difference between a patriarchal disaster and a radfem utopia is that the patriarchal disaster harbours the idea that men can be found not culpable for their behavior after being "provoked" into a sexual frenzy. Thus we have a problem in particular with the transition from this patriarchal culture to another.

The call for curfew is simply another ultraconservative sentiment that masquerades as being pro-women and "feminist". The reality is that it models women as children and ends up creating policy that ultimately undermines the stated goals of the movement.

One really must go.

But baby, it's curfew outside.



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