Who should the spotlight be on?

Charles Bronson’s “Deathwish” arose out of an era when mugging in New York was at its height. Advice given out at the time to people to deflect criminals attention was, be a grey person.   Don’t look like someone worth mugging.

Similar advice has customarily, until recently been given to women. Don’t flaunt yourself, especially if you are beautiful. Rapists and stalkers follow the social norms of preferring beauty over plainess There are criminals out there. Don’t go out of your way to attract their attention .

So there are two classes of people in society who wish to avoid attention. Criminals and their potential victims.

Being female, being born working class in the fifties I had the whole gamut of safety training drilled into me. This was reinforced by growing up in Northern Ireland where the peasant norms of harassing women occur.  If you looked like a woman, that guaranteed male harassment. You didn’t even have to dress up, just being identifiable as a woman was enough. And the view in peasant societies is if something goes wrong, if you are harassed, attacked or raped, it is your fault. You did something to provoke it. As a result the dress code of Northern Irish women is very androgynous.

So, I followed the social norms of my society and the advice of my parents completely. Being country raised I did not set much store by dressing up anyway. As dressing up was immediately punished by every berk in the vicinity homing in on you, dressing androgynously was comfortable, normal, and trouble free.

But there are other peasant norms that are antagonistic to women. Northern Ireland was a very sexually  segregated repressive  society. Women are watched by everybody in case they do anything sexual. They are watched in case they might do anything sexual. Evidence that they have done something sexual can be concluded by the fact they were witnessed having a conversation with a man. The men, sexually frustrated, directed their hostility onto women as a class. And do what men do everywhere. Elevate their own status at the expense of women by boasting of sleeping with them when they hadn’t. All a woman had to do to get the reputation of a slut was to talk to a man. That man and society would do the rest. Once defined as a slut the woman would become fair game for all the sexual predators around. Now if she was attacked, she was asking for it.

Perhaps you think I am exaggerating? Take a look at the film “The Magdalene Sisters”, which tells the story of Southern Irish women confined to the Magdelene laundries. It was not only “fallen” women who were confined. Some girls were imprisoned for nothing more than being pretty and talking to boys.

The other problem with men naive women might not be aware of is the male practice of gossiping among themselves, sharing information about which women are likely to be sexually available. This is where the innocent woman just having a conversation with a man can run into trouble. She did not do anything ” wrong”. All she did was engage in conversation. But that man has boasted to all and sundry, on the basis of that conversation that he had slept with her. Now all the men who have heard that story view her as a suitable target for their sexual attention. And some of those men will be perverts and rapists. But why should men care if their behaviour and attitudes endanger women? It is not their problem.

In such circumstances a woman who is not very careful IS asking for trouble, regardless of the rights or wrongs of the situation.

In addition my mother had given a priceless piece of advice. She had told me “It is not enough for a woman to avoid doing anything wrong. She must avoid ever being in a situation where a bystander putting an unfavourable interpretation on the situation  could make out she had done anything done”. In other words, steer clear of ambiguous situations.

By the time I was 20, this was all second nature. I dressed down, avoided venues that men used to pick up women, never told anyone I was single, never gave out my address. Common sense, safety sense for women. But all this doesn’t make you safe. The dangers remain. All you can do with your behaviour is reduce the risks by avoiding drawing attention to yourself. And why should anyone be interested in me anyway? I was poor, I was plain and at that stage of my life I was so shy I could hardly manage a conversation with anyone.

When gang stalkers enter the situation what little protective action you can take to protect yourself from the dangers of being a woman are reversed. What you have done, they systematically undo. You avoid drawing attention to yourself to avoid predators, they publicise your situation in the worst possible way to bring trouble to your door. You live alone. They tell everyone about it, not only that they give out your address. Not only that they spread the lie you are a prostitute so that sexual predators will home in on you. You are set up for attack and rape. Because your appearance and behaviour does not support their lies, they take secret footage of you in your own home and use that as “evidence”. They obstruct you getting work so that you remain poor so that you cannot live in a safe area and are put at risk. To ensure the community you live in hates you and denies you social support they spread despicable lies that you are a drug dealer and a paedophile. You live in an ocean of lies of the gang stalkers manufacture.

Where does all this garbage come from? Seventy percent of gang stalking targets are women. We live in a society, where despite feminist challenges society still blames women when their lives come unstuck. If a woman goes out with a man and gets raped, she was asking for it. If a woman was raped by a stranger she was flaunting herself or otherwise was acting unwisely and brought it on herself. If a woman finds herself in an abusive marriage – well she married him. Why didn’t she choose someone else. If a woman is a prostitute she is a slut and a gold-digger exploiting men.

But – the real cause for the situation is exposed where women “do everything right” and these things happen anyway.

I did not break any laws, but am treated like a criminal anyway. I did nothing to attract men, in fact I did everything humanly possible to avoid attracting men, yet men were set on me like dogs to a rabbit.

Everything I did to live carefully and avoid trouble were systematically undone to ensure that I would have trouble.

So what can I conclude from this? That society contains a deep well of hatred against women. That men in order to justify their abuse and exploitation manipulate situations to make women take the blame for their actions. That there are men in society who are not acting as opportunist individuals but are organised in groups, actively seeking out women, who because of their low socio-economic status are easy targets. Their objective is to keep their victims poor, by denying them access to education and decent work and prevent them finding a safe place to live. They manufacture social situations which increase the likelihood that the woman will be attacked and raped and will be able to get no help anywhere because she has been socially isolated and vilified. These men hate venomously any group or ideology which gets between them and their prey. Religious groups, women’s shelters, lesbianism, feminism, protector men. In the woman’s life they will act to estrange her from her family and attempt to destroy any supportive relationships. Anything which provides and strengthens women’s protection. Their objective is to get her under their control. But why?

I don’t know the answer, not definitely, but the behaviour of the gang stalkers looks to me like that of sex traffickers, and that would make perfect sense of all the gangstalkers activities. The active grooming and recruitment of socially vulnerable women into prostitution, which is a major staple of international crime.

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