Rod Dreher

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Gutless Liberal Watch

An image from ‘A Suicide Sits In A Library,’ withdrawn by Abrams amid protest

Sammy Woodhouse of Rotherham, England, was just 14 when she met Arshid “Mad Ash” Hussain. More:

He was one of three brothers behind the grooming and sexual abuse of more than 50 girls including Ms Woodhouse.

According to the 2014 Jay report, more than 1,400 children were victims of child sexual exploitation in the town between 1997 and 2013.

More:

“I missed about nine months of my education. There were times when I was found in his bed, half-naked. No-one wanted to do anything, except my parents.”

Ms Woodhouse became pregnant at 15, when she was in foster care. “My mum and dad placed me into care thinking they would keep me safe, and that backfired dramatically,” she said.

Although Arshid was married with children, she still managed to see him, meeting up in B&Bs, hotels, or at his family home.

“It was very open what was going on between us. It wasn’t this dirty little secret that nobody knew about,” she said.

In 2017, Arshid Hussain was found guilty of rape, indecent assault, abduction, actual bodily harm and forcing his victims to have sex with others. He received a 35-year prison sentence.

He’s back in the news now for a shocking reason. From the Times of London:

A [city] council invited a jailed sex offender to play a part in the future of the child of a woman he raped, The Times has learnt.

The rapist, who was part of a grooming gang, had no parental responsibility for his son but the local authority contacted him in jail and gave him a chance to seek visits from the boy.

Campaigners said that the “perverse” decision amounted to an offer to “retraumatise” his victim. The Ministry of Justice said that it was investigating whether it was the result of a social worker’s error or systemic failings.

The newspaper did not name the rapist or his victim. Sammy Woodhouse came forward today to say it was her:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

These social workers are berserk. “Political correctness” doesn’t remotely describe the perversity here.

Meanwhile, in New York, the publisher Abrams has pulled a graphic novel titled A Suicide Bomber Sits In A Library after protests that it is “Islamophobic.” From The Guardian:

The graphic novel, written by the Newbery medal-winning author Jack Gantos and illustrated by Sandman artist Dave McKean, follows a young, brown-skinned would-be terrorist. It was due to be released in May 2019.

“When a young boy enters a library wearing an explosive vest hidden underneath his lovely new red jacket, he has only one plan on his mind. But as he observes those around him becoming captivated by the books they are reading, the boy can’t help but question his reason for being there,” reads a description from its publisher, Abrams.

Comics publisher Zainab Akhtar described the comic on Twitter last week as dealing with “an illiterate brown Muslim boy who goes into a library with a suicide bomb only to start having second thoughts because people seem so into the world of books and if only he could read”.

“Because reading will help the ignorant brown Muslim boy question/renounce his beliefs, you see, in addition to being some vague kumbaya about how a specific interpretation of culture will save the barbarian,” she wrote.

An open letter to Abrams from the Asian Author Alliance, signed by more than 1,000 writers, teachers and readers, called the book “steeped in Islamophobia and profound ignorance”.

The letter continued: “The simple fact is that today, the biggest terrorist threat in the US is white supremacy. In publishing A Suicide Bomber Sits in the Library, Abrams is wilfully fear-mongering and spreading harmful stereotypes in a failed attempt to show the power of story.”

More:

As criticism of the comic spread online, McKean, one of the UK’s most acclaimed comics illustrators, responded, saying that the book was “firmly on the side of literacy, empathy and non-violence”.

“The premise of the book is that a boy uses his mind and faith to decide for himself that violence is not the right course,” he tweeted. Responding to a reader who had said the story was about “a brown boy basically learning all this from a white space”, McKean said that he had “had just this anxiety when the script came to me. I just hoped we’d moved beyond each of us only being able to talk to and from our own little cultural bubble. My responsibility was to research, talk to consultants.”

Read the whole thing. 

Those gutless liberals at Abrams won’t even stand up for liberal values! Here’s a story about a young Muslim radical who wants to kill people, but who, through an encounter with books, and with the people who love them, turns away from violence. What on earth is the problem with this? Are we not supposed to notice that some young Muslim men become radicalized, and want to lash out at the world with violence? Are we not supposed to believe that culture, and the life of the mind, can turn them away from destructive malice?

Yes, a culture that values books and the life of the mind is superior to one that believes in blowing up oneself and murdering others to make a religious point. Why is that so hard for so many liberals to say?

Do liberals today even believe in their own creed? Or is it all quavering before the terrifying god of progressive identity politics? Do they really think they are making life easier for Muslims who espouse liberal values? And, in the Woodhouse case, for women who are the victims of rapists who happen to be ethnic and religious minorities?

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39 Responses to Gutless Liberal Watch

  1. Kent says:

    “And, in the Woodhouse case, for women who are the victims of rapists who happen to be ethnic and religious minorities?”

    But how can it be classified as rape if the rapist isn’t a part of the white, male patriarchy? It’s not rape. It is two of the oppressed, one female, one male with a funny name, finding love and romance amid the oppressive destitution of their lives. /sarc

  2. Collin says:

    Do liberals today even believe in their own creed? Or is it all quavering before the terrifying god of progressive identity politics? Do they really think they are making life easier for Muslims who espouse liberal values?

    I can’t answer what is happening for Great Britian and it is wrong any of this is allowed. And yes, I don’t like the fact the book is not being published in the US. Although I am not sure endlessly describing ‘ignorant brown Muslim boy’ even by a Muslim writer is really hitting the right target here. (Kinda sounds parallel to a conservative African-american talking about the Democratic Party Plantation.) For the most part in the US Muslims are treated fairly by most people and they are even elected to Congress!

    [NFR: The Muslim writer was sarcastically characterizing the graphic novel’s theme, I believe. — RD]

  3. Vulcanic says:

    Rod,

    Both of these stories stood out to me as well. I firmly believe a big narrative reason Clinton lost was the inability to take a strong stand against this kind of silliness.

    And I am a liberal Democrat who voted for her.

  4. JohnE_o says:

    And, in the Woodhouse case, for women who are the victims of rapists who happen to be ethnic and religious minorities?

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/michigan-judge-gives-convicted-rapist-parental-rights-victim-s-son-n809196

    Similar problems in Michigan…

  5. Ted says:

    Collin says: “Do liberals today even believe in their own creed?”

    They don’t have a creed. They have a series of programmed responses.

    We got our own problems, but the U.K. is in real danger of becoming an Islamic Republic, say in 20 years or so.

  6. MrsCole says:

    Um, that’s hardly a problem limited to the UK, or to minorities. It happens in the US, and is one of the remaining compelling arguments for abortion in the case of rape: so you don’t end up sharing custody of the kid with your rapist for 18 years. That’s still a thing in at least 7 US states, and it needs to end:

    https://www.cnn.com/2016/11/17/health/parental-rights-rapists-explainer/index.html

  7. J says:

    I’ll be the one to say it. 1000 kids abused over 70 years in PA. 1400 abused in 5 years recently in the UK. One leads to huge indignation, even from the Left, and massive scandal. The other, silence from the Left and coddling of criminals, and if you dare mention Islam you get prosecuted for a hate crime.

    Horrifying figures and certainly the greater the blame is on the clergy who should have known better.

    But the responses are very different. Why? Don’t these UK kids count as much? How many more are there? Why is there not a huge investigation throughout the UK? I suspect I know the answer, some kids and religions are more equal then others.

  8. YankeeTransplant says:

    While the rapist situation is horrible, I’m not sure what compelling need there was for the graphic novel. His point seems to be – we should all reach out to educate young Muslim men so they don’t become suicide bombers? Only a tiny minority of young Muslim men become suicide bombers. Imagine a graphic novel about a young prolifer who walked into Planned Parenthood with a shotgun but decided not to kill the abortion doctor after all. Wouldn’t most readers of this blog find that book offensive? Would it lessen the prolife community’s perception of being disdained by popular culture? Wouldn’t we presume the worst about the author’s motives? I don’t think not publishing that book represents a loss to the world.

    [NFR: First of all, even if I found the graphic novel offensive, I would not try to have it withdrawn. More importantly, the radicalization of young Islamic males is a HUGE phenomenon. It’s one of the things that drives ISIS. It’s simply absurd to compare this to abortion clinic attackers. ISIS and other violent extremist groups have all kinds of online initiatives to radicalize young Muslim men. Anyway, a graphic novel could, in principle, provoke all kinds of questions about the value of liberal learning, questions that are useful for all people. Why should Muslims or anyone else be protected from reading about this stuff if they want to, by forcing the publisher not to publish? I cannot believe I have to explain this to a liberal. — RD]

  9. PeterK says:

    ““The simple fact is that today, the biggest terrorist threat in the US is white supremacy. ”

    i’ll have to dig for it but I read a piece today that took apart this canard that “white supremacy” is our biggest terrorist threat.

  10. Furor says:

    Liberals claim to be for fairness, moderation, respect, tolerance but let’s be honest – in their concrete, detailed and practical actions they’re simply antichristian and don’t apply the same standards to Muslims.

    That will of course change in the future because ideas have consequences. And there will finally arise a generation of younger Leftists who will be shocked to see the strength of Islam which contradicts their views and the war between the Left and Islam will be very likely

  11. KevinS says:

    “Those gutless liberals at Abrams won’t even stand up for liberal values!”

    Ummmm….then they are not liberals!

    To borrow a label, they are LINOs.

  12. Seoulite says:

    These social workers are berserk. “Political correctness” doesn’t remotely describe the perversity here.

    We have to remember that social justice is a religion. To these social workers, this rapist, a POC, is akin to a leper or a kind of benighted saint. By their actions they are ministering to him. The white girl, well she’s a Roman, so render unto Caesar and all that.

    It seems mad to us, just as Jesus ministering to lepers would’ve seemed mad back then. The difference is that Jesus saw divinity in all souls, but the progressives see divinity in being non-white.

  13. Nate says:

    The further a person is from Christ, the higher that person is in the hierarchy of the Left and they will happily sacrifice their own if it further reduces the role of Christianity in society.

  14. aaron says:

    I remember lurking on a couple of feminist message boards in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. A very frequent topic of conversation was the mistreatment of women in Muslim countries, and calling attention to problems like female circumcision and honor killings. You’d hardly hear a peep on those topics on similar boards today, as Islam has acquired the status of an oppressed minority in the mind of the Left and calling attention to such issues is now off message, if not branded entirely “Islamophobic”.

  15. Khalid mir says:

    McKean and Gantos: “While the intention of the book was to help broaden a discussion about the power of literature to change lives for the better, we recognise the harm and offence felt by many at a time when stereotypes breed division, rather than discourse.”

    I think I can see the point being made here. If a community/ group believes ( and perhaps correctly believes) that it faces a lot of negative stereotypes then more of the same ( if that’s what the comic is,,haven’t seen it, so can’t comment) doesn’t really “ provoke” discussion.

    Having said that, the reaction is at best petulant and at worst a shutting down of important freedoms. It would have been much more interesting to have noted the role books and learning have played in the scholastic tradition ( and how, in fact, that in part helped spur a medieval Christian one ). But in this day and age I suppose everyone must “ react” or be “ provoked” into saying something.

    I found your juxtaposing of the two stories quite odd. But that’s a matter for your own conscience.

  16. TR says:

    All the fulminating aside, I suspect a stupid interpretation of a law designed to encourage paternal involvement got mis-interpreted. Civil servants, including social workers, are generally humorless.

    And I for one expect a huge feminist backlash.

  17. Khalid mir says:

    On the actual concept, I do think it’s a fascinating one: the relation between the moral imagination and books ( Nussbaum). I’d love to believe, for example, that poetry plays that kind of civilising role. But then I’m reminded that the Nazis were, in some limited sense of the term, well- read. America’s superb universities have not been able to stop her from being so violent. Hearts and minds, I suppose Walker, the great natural philosopher, would say.

    Just wanted to share some wonderful passages by Illich:

    ‘In the train of my thoughts, I am aware of the parentheses, the italics, the paragraphs, the need for a footnote here, an idea out of the bibliography there. In the plans I have for this next semester, some periods are blocked out, others underlined. On my memory’s note pad with the agenda for lunch with Professor Marzhan, two new translations of Winnie the Pooh into African languages stand, right after the title of a new journal, Symposion, dedicated to “con-bibiality.” When I tell you my thoughts, it’s as if I were reading them off from inside me. To an alarming degree, the structure of the page is the outline of my thoughts, plans and memories. My experience is biblionomic; I have become a biblionome.

    Even in the liveliest and most intimate conversations, I am reminded of books next to the faces of people. I know where a certain book stands, I remember its size and type face exactly. I know I got an idea I’m discussing in a paragraph on a right-hand page, somewhere in the lower third. As with a colleague whose mustache I remember before I can hit on his name, so with the color of a book’s binding before I can bring up its title.
    Again and again, a page will serve to orient me. I continually turn to a page, and am turned on by a page. All this make me a bibliotrope.‘

  18. Xenie says:

    On a related note, the big tech company WordPress has now taken to furtively editing posts on their platform that mention a certain sue-happy trans person you have covered on your blog. Terrifying what this precedent could lead to:

    https://4thwavenow.com/2018/11/27/breaking-wordpress-furtively-sanitizes-gendertrender-statement-without-informing-4thwavenow/

  19. Yankee Transplant says:

    Rod – can we talk about this a bit more?

    Anyway, a graphic novel could, in principle, provoke all kinds of questions about the value of liberal learning, questions that are useful for all people.

    I don’t agree with the Asian Author’s Alliance that the biggest problem in the US is white supremacy, and I grant you that young Muslim men being radicalized is a much bigger problem than my hypothetical example. But, what effect is this book going to have on them? If these young men are spending the majority of their free time absorbing a message of violence as the answer, what chance does one graphic novel espousing the opposite have? Especially one whose authors have no connection whatever to Islamic culture. If this book had been written by someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it would be different. In this case, though, no matter the authors’ intent, there’s no way to avoid the perception that it’s an outsider preaching to another culture about its faults. That’s not a recipe for converting hearts and minds. Perhaps some might be intrigued enough by the controversy to pick it up and consider it, but the converts to nonviolence will probably be far fewer than those inflamed to greater radicalism by the perceived offense.

    Why should Muslims or anyone else be protected from reading about this stuff if they want to, by forcing the publisher not to publish?

    No one forced Abrams not to publish this book. In a free society, people can complain and make demands. All the Asian Author’s Alliance did was make an argument, not threaten violence. Individuals and businesses get to decide for themselves how far they’re willing to go to try to effect change in the world. Publishing is a business, after all, and it doesn’t make good business sense to publish a book perceived by the main character’s cultural group as offensive. Some companies believe in publishing challenging books to broaden minds, but others don’t see that as their mission. If Abrams decides this isn’t their fight, isn’t that their right?

  20. EngineerScotty says:

    I’ll come right out and say that rape by Muslims, or any other religious minority, is no more acceptable than rape by anyone else; I’m not aware of any American “liberals” that think that Muslims, or anyone else, are entitled to engage in this sort of conduct.

    I’ll admit to not being familiar with the Rotherham scandal and similar things in the UK–but it actually does appear shockingly similar to the Catholic church scandal (as well as other domestic sex abuse scandals, such as Penn State) in more than a few ways–including authority figures who ought to be guarding against this sort of abuse not wanting to rock the boat. While “liberals” may be at fault in this case (specifically Labour Party officials not wanting to offend a key constituency), this isn’t a “liberal” problem any more than Penn State was, or the Catholic scandal is. (The latter, after all, seems to be equal opportunity; for every McCarrick there is a Maciel).

  21. anon_the_second says:

    I’m disgusted that the publishers pulled the comic book. However I can see why the Muslim lady and her signatories got upset, and it isn’t for the reasons they’ve given.

    The book would appear to be a conversion story. The boy is converted away from his noble Islamic aims by experiencing …

    … something like THIS in all probability!
    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=lgbt+library+display&atb=v101-7_g&iar=images&iax=images&ia=images

    Yes in fact that is a highly plausible a conversion narrative, as noted by Rod in his most recent post about the drowning of conservatism.

    To draw a parallel, I’d be annoyed (but not to the point of writing angry letters) by a comic about a Christian boy who came into the library to pray hs rosary and then started to wonder if he might not be better off marinating in secular fairy tales of equality instead.

    What a lame-ass storyline, though! The book’s de-publication sounds like no particular loss from the artistic point of view.

  22. Jonah R. says:

    “The letter continued: ‘The simple fact is that today, the biggest terrorist threat in the US is white supremacy.'”

    I’m not sure this is true, but even if I stipulate it’s true solely for the sake of argument, it’s still not reason enough to tell these writers and artists what they can write, say, or draw. They and their publisher are under no obligation to use their work to address the priorities of total strangers.

    According to the disappeared (but cached) Amazon listing for this book, it wasn’t due to come out until May 2019, which I take to mean that NONE of those 1,000 people who signed that letter ever even read it.

    I would have liked to have read it and judged for myself, which is what liberals rightly used to suggest we all do. Guess that can’t happen now.

  23. John says:

    “Do liberals today even believe in their own creed?”

    Well that would depend upon the liberals you ask. Those supporting the censorship of this fairly liberal book (at least as it is depicted) obviously are too stupid or too blinded by identity politics to answer in the affirmative or the negative because they don’t even know what it means.

    Then again there are liberals and civil libertarians, some of whom read your blog who would support the writer even if it came from a right-leaning perspective on free speech grounds.

    I’m still not sure why anyone would think it unjust to deny a rapist visiting rights over the child son/daughter he or she victimized. It seems like denying the rapist that visiting right is a no-brainer.

  24. Jonah R. says:

    Yankee Transplant wrote: “No one forced Abrams not to publish this book. In a free society, people can complain and make demands . . . If Abrams decides this isn’t their fight, isn’t that their right?”

    I don’t necessarily disagree, but I have to point out that you’re proposing changing the rules that artists, writers, and other cultural types expected us all to live by for my entire lifetime.

    When it was rural Christian conservative housewives who were putting the pressure on publishers, filmmakers, TV networks, writers, and artists, the people who complained never got the benefit of the doubt. The responses were always:

    “If you don’t like it, don’t read/buy it.”
    “If you don’t like what that controversial radio host has to say, change the channel.”
    “Don’t tell me what I can read/see/hear/watch.”
    “Stop imposing your religion or values on the rest of us.”
    “Censorship!”
    “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Back then, the complainers wrote letters, put pressure on advertisers, argued that certain things were immoral or taught the wrong lessons—all the things these complainers are now doing. But back in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, those conservative housewives were considered humorless scolds for trying to stand between the public and things the public wanted to read or see.

    So I’m sticking with the same rules. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, read it, listen to it, or see it. If I, as a Catholic, had to be patient with the existence of Andres Serrano, Madonna, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” museum exhibits with pictures of the Virgin Mary smeared with dung, and comedians’ anti-Christian tirades, then Muslims can deal with art and entertainment that craps all over their culture and their public image. I don’t take any pleasure in that, but we dealt with it, they can deal with it too. To treat them with kid gloves would be to imply that they’re not ready for our rough-and-tumble diverse, liberal society.

  25. Although Arshid was married with children, she still managed to see him, meeting up in B&Bs, hotels, or at his family home.

    The operative phrase is “she still managed to see him.” What he did was a crime, but when the “groomed” young woman is actively managing to see him, this is something different from the hazy picture cast in political diatribes about innocent girls being forcibly abducted and kept prisoner. There is some mutuality to the delinquency, or she wouldn’t have “managed” to see him.

    She’s obviously over him now, and there is a good case to be made that he should not have visits with his children via these overbearing extra-marital liaisons. But the picture is obviously more complex than what’s been projected.

    Incidentally, it seems a lot of the responsible men are in prison for rape — which is a good step, and belies the constant drumbeat that authorities are freely allowing a culture of Muslim men raping Anglo-Saxon girls.

    I’m familiar with some detailed published accounts of the North American sex trade, which in large part is black men with names like Pimpin’ Paul hauling underage black women around. There is a lot of coercion, deception, psychological domination, as well as battery, a period of being charming to get them in the clutches of the trade, but nobody whose come out of that world or testified against the perpetrators has talked about how they “managed to see him.”

    Do liberals today even believe in their own creed?

    Liberals believe in a free market, free trade, now globally, and subordinating human flesh to the needs of the market. All else is persiflage or affordable luxury.

    The further a person is from Christ, the higher that person is in the hierarchy of the Left

    Anyone who says that is a spawn of Satan. Jesus told me that he is a socialist. (No, I don’t take that seriously — I’m just getting down to your level.)

    “The simple fact is that today, the biggest terrorist threat in the US is white supremacy. ”

    White supremacy doesn’t exist today. Various forms of racism do, but white supremacy is a rather complex philosophical, legal and cultural pattern that is entirely out of power. Terrorist threats don’t really come in neat ideological boxes either. The biggest terrorist threat is people armed with weapons committing murder and mayhem against innocent mass targets for various psychopathic reasons.

    We have to remember that social justice is a religion.

    We don’t have to remember anything, particular when the truth of the proffered memory hasn’t even been established. No deity, no comprehensive teleology of the universe, no religion.

  26. Khalid mir says:

    @Jonah R,

    very interesting comment. I’m slightly sceptical of the belief that “we dealt with it”. Do you think it was dealt with in an adequate way? I think Rieff was closer to the mark when he said that the third culture’s transgression would/has lead to a ‘dissolution of all restrictive shapings’.

    Not really about kid gloves (imo). In any case, this comic novel appears not to be aimed at religious figures but at extremism.

  27. EngineerScotty says:

    When it was rural Christian conservative housewives who were putting the pressure on publishers, filmmakers, TV networks, writers, and artists, the people who complained never got the benefit of the doubt. The responses were always:

    “If you don’t like it, don’t read/buy it.”
    “If you don’t like what that controversial radio host has to say, change the channel.”
    “Don’t tell me what I can read/see/hear/watch.”
    “Stop imposing your religion or values on the rest of us.”
    “Censorship!”
    “I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Fair enough, but in many cases these “conservative housewives”, not to mention the James Dobsons and such of the world, weren’t merely engaging in commercial pressure (threatening to boycott publishers, etc); but were actively calling for state censorship of certain things. There’s a fairly bright line there when the State gets involved–private publishers, however, have a right to editorial discretion, and their customers have a right to complain. I don’t really care that much if this book gets published or not.

    And there’s one big difference between now and then–self-publishing, especially digital publishing, is shockingly easy. Back in the 1980s, someone had to spend a lot of money to do a print run if they wanted even a semi-professional job. Then came laser printers and desktop publishing. Now we’ve got eBooks; and plenty of places that will market and sell them. If one publisher won’t publish it, take it to another–I’m sure there are plenty of right-wing publishing houses that will happily print this, and are largely immune to the cultural and commercial objections of liberals.

  28. Mandeline says:

    I remember a campaign push for rapists and convicted child sex offenders to have access to their children in Texas so the liberal moniker is dubious, this is very anti feminist.

  29. March Hare says:

    OK, Rod, you win this one hands down, with a simple substitution:

    Make the protagonist a young kid whose parents are white supremacists, with at least a veneer of evangelicalism, and make the planned suicide bomb into two pistols with high capacity magazines. Something the woke left really fears.

    Anybody here think that story would be quashed before publication? Anybody?

    If the story revolves around

    [NFR: Of course it would not have been quashed, nor should it have been. — RD]

  30. JeffK says:

    @Nate says:
    November 27, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    “The further a person is from Christ, the higher that person is in the hierarchy of the Left and they will happily sacrifice their own if it further reduces the role of Christianity in society.”

    Idiotic trolling. Nothing more.

  31. MikeCLT says:

    For liberals, Diversity is their religion or at least their idol. To do anything that might cause people to question or criticize it is blasphemy.

    The parallels between the way the Catholic clergy, particularly the hierarchy, handled the sexual abuse crisis and how UK government authorities handled the Muslim rape gangs is striking. The rapes by the grooming gangs are not limited to Rotherham. It happened in at least 8 UK cities and it went on for decades.

    What clericalism is the the Catholic church, Diversity worship is to liberals. It’s almost as if the British are governed by Rome again. Henry VIII is probably rolling in his grave.

    Be careful what you make an idol of. It can destry you.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/839509/Britain-towns-cities-asian-grooming-gangs-Newcastle-Rochdale-Rotherham

  32. ginger says:

    “Um, that’s hardly a problem limited to the UK, or to minorities. It happens in the US, and is one of the remaining compelling arguments for abortion in the case of rape: so you don’t end up sharing custody of the kid with your rapist for 18 years. That’s still a thing in at least 7 US states, and it needs to end”

    I remain as horrified now as I was when I first read about these laws years ago. Thank you for bringing awareness to the issue. This should have been stopped eons ago.

  33. DRK says:

    Rod, I posted a comment here that I don’t think had any objectionable content. Did it go in the spam folder?

    [NFR: I just looked. No, it didn’t. — RD]

  34. snapper says:

    “Um, that’s hardly a problem limited to the UK, or to minorities. It happens in the US, and is one of the remaining compelling arguments for abortion in the case of rape: so you don’t end up sharing custody of the kid with your rapist for 18 years. That’s still a thing in at least 7 US states, and it needs to end:”

    Why execute the innocent child?

    Execute the rapist. Problem solved.

  35. Jonah R. says:

    EngineerScotty wrote: “Fair enough, but in many cases these ‘conservative housewives’, not to mention the James Dobsons and such of the world, weren’t merely engaging in commercial pressure (threatening to boycott publishers, etc); but were actively calling for state censorship of certain things.”

    And the current crop of would-be censors on the left are not? People are on the left are now quick to run to authorities to enforce their feelings; for example, think of Yalies demanding that professors and administrators take action against “offensive” Halloween costumes. Like university administrators, corporations like Twitter are in place to do their dirty work for them. I do take your point, and we’re not yet in a place where Bernie Sanders’ wife participates in a congressional hearing about “immoral” material, but we’re not very far from it. Given the ways the would-be censors on the left have almost perfectly imitated the tendencies of the would-be censors of their predecessors on the right, I have little doubt that something similar is coming.

  36. William Murphy says:

    Rod,

    Re this passage in your article:

    “Ms Woodhouse became pregnant at 15, when she was in foster care. “My mum and dad placed me into care thinking they would keep me safe, and that backfired dramatically,” she said.”

    This delusion is rapidly evaporating as people in the UK realise that “foster care” is one of the most dangerous options for troubled teenagers. This abuse of vulnerable youngsters has been going on since at least 1990. In my home town, forty miles west of London, a friend worked at such a foster home on the west side of town. If the troubled youngsters were not having sex with one another, they were being mercilessly exploited by local taxi drivers (one guess as to the religion of the drivers). The home manager was a formidable cigar-smoking German lady who was no one’s fool and tried to impose some sort of restraint on the moral chaos. But her powers were very limited. And who was going to back her up or arrest the taxi drivers?

  37. amhixson says:

    Rod: Do liberals today even believe in their own creed?

    Liberals, progressives/SJWs, or centrist corporate types concerned primarily with making a buck and, in the interests of that, carefully managing their image?

    Liberals do believe in their creed, but they’re politically disorganized and unmotivated due to decades of complacency. Fire-breathing progressives/SJWs obviously believe in their creed even if that creed isn’t really what they claim it is. The centrist corporate types don’t have a creed as such. Rather, they’re largely anti-political neoliberals and soft libertarians who only truly care about their immediate financial self-interest. Any paeans they make to political positions are really just public relations kayfabe.

    Beyond that, factor in that among humans cowardice is the norm, not the exception. Most people, when it comes down to it, aren’t really willing to make significant sacrifices for their purported beliefs.

  38. I posted a comment here that I don’t think had any objectionable content.

    You’d be amazed at the number of words the Gods of Word Press will suppress an entire comment for. Rod won’t even see it. I’ve established some recognition by trial and error. “N*****r” I understand, although I prefer to use it spelled out in full, in quotation marks, when it is relevant. “W***e” surprised me, but it has been the cause of a couple of comments being suppressed until I went back and inserted the requisite asterisks. There are probably others. Identify possible offending words, and try resubmitting with modifications.

    Whether a child who is the result of rape or abuse should be visited by, or be subject to joint custody of, the offending parent, is a matter to be determined by legislation. In the absence of any statute, judges have broad discretion, and there are all kinds of plausible reasons a judge might so order. I would support legislation denying that categorically, but I recognize there would be abuses: men falsely accused of rape by an angry ex for example. Or men who have truly and sincerely repented and reformed… but you know, crime does have consequences.

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