The world as it really is is far distant from the world that I was brought up to believe.
I was raised to the belief that I was living in a civilised Western democracy, where everyone lived under Rule of Law and those in charge were the custodians and guardians of the values that I and everyone I knew, held dear.
That feudalism only existed in history books and disgusting 3rd world anarchic-fascist dictatorships.
I thought we, by “we” meaning our leaders, were different.
It seems I, and my parents, and their parents, who handed their values on to me and which I totally agreed with, were wrong.
The values my parents passed on to me and which I accepted as true, were simple . It was taken for granted that you lived a law-abiding, moral life. You minded your own business, supported yourself with your work and avoided being a source of complaint to others. Avoiding crime was easy. You did not commit any and you made a point of avoiding crime venues and disreputable people.
However this perspective on life is only correct providing those in charge are NOT criminals. When they are, everything you do, they simply undo, tarring you with the blame for the crimes that THEY commit.
It works like this. Say you are a normal, working class woman as I am. When you are young you start out expecting to socialise normally with other people. You do not discriminate against men, you have no opinion about them either way. You go to a normal social venue, such as a pub, with or without friends and some men there either try to pick you up or subject you to some other kind of harassment – verbal harassment or being over familiar.
This causes you to think and you hear stories of girls and women being raped going to such venues, so you change your social style.
You select other venues which by definition should not be an invitation for harassment. Lectures on subjects of interest, night classes. The same thing happens. On the one hand the men either act as if you do not exist, socially excluding you or they pay attention to you and again, it is either to try and pick you up or subject you to unprovoked verbal abuse.
As you are not a masochist and see no entertainment value in being subjected to arbitrary abuse from total strangers, you back off again.
But you still have to work to support yourself. You have to live somewhere.
You go to work and you like your job, and then you get sexual harassment at work. A married supervisor manipulates the situation so as to make sure only you and he are in the office and then comes onto you very strong, combined with verbal insults. So you have to leave a job you liked and were good at because of somebody else’s behaviour. What’s more, you now have to lie about why you left that job when seeking another job. You become very cautious about future work environments, assessing them for the potential risk of something similar happening.
Meanwhile you have found a reasonably decent, affordable, safe place to live with good neighbours. The next thing weirdos are hanging around the house and it appears someone has evidently intentionally spread the false rumour that you are a prostitute, when you are not and a criminal when you are not. Naturally, this has the effect that decent people avoid you and every pervert in the vicinity makes a bee-line to your door. Someone has thoughtfully provided them with your address.
Meanwhile the decent people move out of the place you are living – harassed out by noise and the behaviour of anti-social neighbours, so that you end up living with, or appearing to live with, the very people you have put a lot of effort in avoiding having anything to do with. – Criminals, nutters, rapists , wife batterers – people who are a danger to you.
Do you see what is happening here? First you are harassed out of ordinary social venues on the basis of sexual threat and abuse. Then safer venues. You virtually give up ALL social venues, and trouble makers are channelled to your door, and if you are living at a multiple occupancy address, into the same address.
You move away they come after you.
And the same thing happens at work. When I lived in London I worked in a Royal Mail Sorting and Delivery Office. A separate office employed the staff and allocated them to us. Over time the proportion of migrants employed in the office grew, including a large group from Middle Eastern countries. At one point one of them with reference to my Irish accent took me aside and enquired what I thought about the English. Many Irish do not like the English. I told him I liked the English. End of conversation.
I believe it is likely that some of those men had Muslim terrorist connections. When I discussed this possibility with a friend years later he said “It looks as if you were being used as bait”.