The Case of Sarah Everard and the Politicisation of Sex Dynamics | Frederick
The tragic news of the disappearance and subsequent death of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard, as well as the authoritative abuse from primary suspect and Met Police officer Wayne Couzens, has been a domineering story over the past month. Whilst obvious and noble sentiments of grief and condolences have been most prominent, there has simultaneously been a particularly shameless and instantaneous political exploitation of these events by feminist activists, even in the very early stages of the case before finer details of the ongoing investigation were properly known. On Thursday March 11th, just one day after Everard’s body had been discovered but not officially identified, Baroness Jones of the Green Party suggested to the House of Lords a 6pm curfew for men which was apparently motivated by her specific reactions to the news of Everard’s case as opposed to just a comment as part of a parliamentary debate on domestic violence that happened to be taking place that day. On Friday 12th, the day that the identity of Everard’s body was officially confirmed by the Metropolitan Police, domestic violence charity Women’s Aid released the statement:
“Sarah Everard was simply walking home. She followed all the societal ‘rules’ that are unequally placed on women in order for them to ensure their own safety. Yet, Sarah was still unsafe. She didn’t make it home. #notallmenbutallwomen.”
On the same day, London Mayor Sadiq Khan released the statement:
“These crimes against women and girls are committed by men, and it’s because of men that women feel so unsafe on a daily basis. It’s not women who should have to change the way they live their lives, it’s men who need to change.”
Sam Bowman, Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute, in a strangely and ironically illiberal (and somewhat fascistic) fit of rage against the extent of public-sphere abuse experienced by women, took to social media to advocate for “Total CCTV coverage of public places, higher taxes to pay for more police and prisons, more long and indefinite prison sentences, corporal punishment, even the death penalty;” his frustrations mostly at how these kinds of crimes are being “treated as something to manage, not to try to eliminate.” For some further irony and ludicrously shoddy journalism, far too tempted by indulgence in premature sensationalism and a suspected White Knight complex, he seems to have come to these conclusions about the excessive powers of the state to stop abuse against women by men before it was revealed that a male police officer was the primary suspect in Everard’s case.
The wider discussions on social media (particularly those under “#SheWasJustWalkingHome”) were quick to denounce those who might state that it is “not all men” who are committing these crimes (though I would personally bet money on it being the case that these denunciations are happening more frequently than the actual utterances of “not all men” themselves) and how men who have no criminal intent should still nonetheless be active in making sure women feel safe.
There has also been very little tolerance for those who are suggesting ways to assess the situation in a more level-headed manner, particularly women. Television personality Davina McCall took to social media to make the case that “fear-mongering isn’t healthy” and that it is counterproductive to talk about the entire collective of the male sex in a negative light. Needless to say, many were not happy with that interpretation.
Even before the case of Sarah Everard had made it into the public conscious, on International Women’s Day, Labour MP Jess Phillips felt justified to stand up in parliament and proclaim such slanderous and dishonest nonsense as this:
“In this place we count what we care about. We count the vaccines done, we count the number of people on benefits, we rule or oppose based on a count and we obsessively track that data. We love to count data about our own popularity. However we don’t currently count dead women … Dead women is just a thing we have all just accepted as part of our daily lives. Dead women is just one of those things. Killed women are not vanishingly rare. Killed women are common.”
Human civilisations have tried, to the best of their disciplined abilities, to prevent whimsical and primitive human feelings and emotions from being a primary determining factor in assessing true knowledge of the world, as difficult as it may be for all of us on an individual basis. This has been particularly important in forensic science and the detection of crime when attempting to administer fair and truthful justice. And assessing the facts about crime, particularly trends in crime specific to London, throw up a few inconvenient revelations.
According to the Metropolitan Police’s own data sources, there have been 2,369 recorded murders in Greater London from January 2003 to present. 576 (24.3%) of those murders had female victims. When breaking the data down even further to differentiate between “Domestic” and “Not Domestic” murders, it is true that 73.1% of domestic murders have female victims. However, domestic murders make up 17.6% of all the murders in Greater London. Amongst the much more frequent non-domestic murders in London (which is a particularly likely category that Everard’s case falls into) 13.9% of the victims were female. On top of that, given that a police officer has been the primary suspect, who will most likely have taken advantage of his authoritative position which the average malevolently-motivated man does not possess, it is hard to make so immediately relevant inferences about this case to the actions of the average member of the male sex.
But of course, when one points out that men are greater victims of violence and murder than women, the goalposts are then shifted in order to change the issue as not about victimised women but about violent and criminal men as a whole. It is claimed that it clearly isn’t women who are committing a majority of these violent crimes. And that is correct. However, there is absolutely nothing special or extraordinary about a particular place and time in which men commit a majority of the violent crime; in essentially all human civilisations and cultures in all of recorded human history.
According to an interesting 2000 study by Satoshi Kanazawa of I.U.P. and Mary C. Still of Cornell entitled “Why Men Commit Crimes (and Why They Desist),” the authors come to the conclusion that
“Men are responsible for an overwhelming majority of all serious crimes in every single society in the world for which data are available. Worldwide, women account for 6.51% of murderers, 1.31% of rapists, 12.80% of those charged with serious assault and 7.26% of robbers. No cultural or social factors can explain this overwhelming male criminality worldwide. Cultural and social factors (whatever they are) by definition vary across cultures and societies, and, once again, a variable cannot explain a constant”
This is an unambiguous observation about a particular immutable tenet of human civilisations that does not need a great deal of empirical interrogation to clarify.
However, decades of feminist theory and its subsequent influence on literary institutions and wider popular culture has rendered a lot of people, particularly women, as susceptible to the idea that the disparity between the sexes in violent crime perpetration is a pure or predominant product of a given culture. On top of that, it is a product of a culture that has itself been so voluntarily and deliberately cultivated by Eurocentric patriarchal institutions to produce the outcomes of violent behaviour in men.
As pioneering feminist foremother Simone de Beauvoir wrote in her influential 1949 book “The Second Sex” which ignited the ‘second wave’ of feminism after the efforts of the suffrage movements had been completed (and hence made somewhat redundant) in Europe and America:
- “One is not born, but becomes, a woman”
- “No biological, psychic or economic destiny defines the figure that the human female has in the bosom of society; it is the whole of civilization that produces this intermediate product between the male and the castrated one that is described as feminine”
- “We must view the facts of biology in the light of an ontological, economic, social, and psychological context. The enslavement of the female to the species and the limitations of her various powers are extremely important facts”
- “Men have presumed to create a feminine domain — the kingdom of life, of immanence — only in order to lock up women therein”
It therefore makes sense that they are so particularly rabid and hysterical in their activism; if you saw all malignant examples of human behaviour as a product of a deliberately and voluntarily cultivated culture by oppressive human social institutions, which causes men to be the predominant perpetrators of violent crime, you too would be very enraged at the world around you; all the time, all day and every day. That is, after women’s “consciousness” has been sufficiently “raised” to realise the oppressive world around them.
Because feminism seeks to cultivate this collective political class consciousness for the female sex, it is difficult for them to entertain the notion of isolated incidents of abuse against women. It ultimately explains how easy it is for feminists to use the death of Sarah Everard in such a way without restraint for sensibilities of those involved in the actual individual incidents of abuse. The progress of the feminist revolution does not wait for such trivialities! Hence, of course, in light of recent events, the feminists have not actually taken a single moment to consider whether Sarah Everard’s immediate friends and family (and hence maybe she herself) would have wanted her death to be used in the way that it was. A personal friend of hers, Helena Edwards, wrote a very touching as courageous opinion piece in Spiked explicitly and clearly titled “This is not what Sarah would have wanted.” She states that she was put off attending the vigil for Sarah in Clapham Common – as were “many of her friends” – and personal reasons for this were that “my friend’s tragic death has been hijacked. It is not a tribute to her anymore, it’s about something else – and I don’t like what it has become.” She denounces those who are wanting to exploit Sarah’s death in calling it “a symptom of a sexist, dangerous society” and she specifically calls out the aforementioned call by Baroness Jones for a curfew for men as “one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard.”
It is ultimately impossible and counterproductive to truly isolate all incidences of criminal activity – particularly violence and murder – and assess them in a complete vacuum, disassociated from a local culture and environment. But the feminist approach is ultimately about the deliberate disregard for in-depth empirical investigation into causation, and hence possible future prevention, of individual incidents. All violence and abuse against women by men is ultimately an instrument of political oppression by the political collective of men against the political collective of women. “Rape is about power, not about sexual desire.” This is not only complete nonsense but an actively deliberate disingenuous lie about the true nature of the causes of crime. The evidence of how wrong they are about these issues is too overwhelming for them to be treated as merely mistaken and hence – on top of how they have a supposedly noble cause of preventing abuse against women – they should be given the benefit of the doubt. But we shouldn’t give them that.
We should instead be actively looking for the most helpfully depoliticised interpretation of both crime, sex and the intersections of crime and sex if we are to move forward in the most constructive way. On top of that, we must find ways of assessing crime from both an a-priori (prevention) and a-posteriori (justice) perspective in equal measure.
Despite all that’s been said about a natural and immutable disposition in the collective of the male sex to be more likely to commit violent crime, this certainly does not rule out the possibility that the overall magnitude of crime can be reduced. Contrary to Bowman’s neoliberal assertion that it requires an optimally repressive and excessively outcome-conscious state and that there are no ultimate a-priori social causations of crime and only a-posteriori managements by the state (or lack thereof), the criminological evidence shows a more mixed narrative. In the aforementioned study from Kanazawa and Still, they see a link between societies with a higher degree of customarily conditioned monogamy and lower rates of violent crime and property crime. It is asserted that “sexual competition increases men’s tendency to commit violent and property crimes in every society” and that “Monogamy, by prohibiting even the richest and highest-status men from acquiring more than one wife legally, greatly reduces the extent of sexual competition among the rest of the men. Thus, we expect the monogamous institution of marriage to reduce crimes; conversely, we expect the polygynous institution of marriage to increase crimes. The extent of polygyny in society indeed predicts the incidence of murder, rape and robbery across all societies.” These theories might be supported by the extraordinary U-turn in the negative trajectory of criminal behaviour across the Western world (particularly in the United States) in the 1960s, a time well known for its denunciation and undoing of pre-existing social norms governing sexual behaviour. On top of these, a 1989 study entitled “Community Structure and Crime: Testing Social-Disorganization Theory” from The American Journal of Sociology assessed a sample of 11,030 residents of 300 British localities in 1984 to assess community-level “social organization” and its possible effects on crime rates. It came to the conclusion that “communities characterized by sparse friendship networks, unsupervised teenage peer groups, and low organizational participation had disproportionately high rates of crime and delinquency.” On top of that, there were also detrimental effects on crime observed from other tenets of “social disorganization” such as “low socioeconomic status, residential mobility, ethnic heterogeneity, and family disruption.” Implying that crime levels can be worsened in the sorts of places where there are high levels of rented housing in which people come and go quite frequently and don’t feel a need to lay down many roots when temporarily living there. This is something that seems particularly prevalent in present-day London.
If it is assumed that these things are indeed significant factors in crime rates, it does not definitely imply an integral and active role of the state in trying to improve them. But in this particular late-stage secular liberal democracy we find ourselves in the midst of, the state has long since asserted itself as utterly integral to assessing the issues of the day, very much immune even when election time comes around. I, and many other conservative people (or anyone at all, really), would find it particularly patronising if the Government were to implement “The Monogamy Act of 2022.” On top of that, it was not a modernistic, secular, sterile, outcome-conscious public policy that caused the development of the phenomena of the family unit and localised friendship networks and suchlike in the first place. They developed from the bottom up by an organic, voluntary and immediate need and desire for them (on top of an accordance with divine inspiration, such as that which comes from Christianity) and I believe it is ultimately through that that they ought to re-emerge.
The hyperpoliticisation of interpersonal human relationships is ultimately what has quickly stepped in to inhabit that vacuum left behind by the removal of all traditional moral and spiritual understandings of sex dynamics over the course of the twentieth century. Just like a physical vacuum, it does not maintain itself on its own for very long at all, due to the innate yearning of the human psyche for structure and some base-level axiomatic framework to adhere to and fall back on, for whichever realm or topic of human understanding is concerned. Let us make sure that those who are currently searching for more meaningful – and less hysterical – interpretations of human social dynamics are given as many opportunities as possible to find one that does not lead them down a path of perpetual fear, resentment, egoism and, above all, demonstrative falsehood that the contemporary post-suffrage intellectual Western feminist movements have always been and were always destined to be