What happened in England?

If you are pretty and have brown hair, England is not the place for you.

Most people think that the nations of the United Kingdom are similar to other European countries in culture and custom. Many people also think, that all Western countries in general, share more similarities than differences. But that’s not the case at all. That is not the case, but you would have to actually have lived there to see the differences. I moved there and now know, that England is not the country, it presents itself to be.

At first glance, the British society apart from its local quirks and sayings seems just like any other globalized, European society. They’ve got the same shops, basic rules and people dress more or less the same as anywhere else in Europe. You can check into your favorite hotel, get a coffee at any popular coffee chain, then go to nightclub or concert and feel like you’ve never left home. It’s only after you’ve actually moved there, rented a flat in a medieval cottage, sent your child to school, given up your taser and pepper spray (both illegal in the UK) and then got harassed several times on the street, you suddenly realize, that the British culture and customs are very unique, and differ from customs in other European countries. I’m going to talk about British traditions, which relate to how women are treated in the United Kingdom. These are the doctrine of provocation, the aristocracy and the class system and the school uniform policy.

PROVOCATION

The doctrine of provocation in criminal law, has been heavily misused, both of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This has caused men who abuse women, to receive extremely low sentences for rape and murder. It’s not uncommon in the UK for a man who murdered his wife to get a very low sentence, or no jail time at all, because the murder has been ruled as manslaughter. The original provocation plea has been now changed to “loss of control” but has retained its original meaning. In the ten year femicide report for England and Wales 2009–2018, in all the femicides included in the report, only sixty two percent of perpetrators were found guilty of murder, while seventeen percent of cases were ruled as manslaughter or culpable homicide. And from those, who were found guilty of murder only sixteen perpetrators were given a whole life sentence. All other murderers were given life with a minimum tariff, meaning that they can theoretically walk free after that tariff is over.

The idea of provocation simply means, that if the murdered person acted in such a way that the perpetrator was so overcome with emotions, that he couldn’t control himself, the murder can be ruled as manslaughter. Well, isn’t that just a perfect example of male logic fallacy hiding in plain sight. To illustrate the extreme impact this has on criminal justice, it’s worth to mention, that just this year, a man found guilty of strangling his sixty seven year old wife, was sentenced to only five years in prison. He said “I choked the living daylights out of her” and was still cleared of murder.

source: The Guardian

And then there is the famous 2018 rape case in Ireland, where the defense presented the victim’s underwear in court — the underwear, that the victim wore on the night of the assault — and argued that the she provoked the rape, by wearing cute underwear. It’s not without importance, that the jury at that trial was made up of six men and four women. So, of course, the rapist was acquitted.

source: bbc.com

This may be a good time to mention that the United Kingdom’s conviction rate for rape is under 6 percent. Meaning, on average, six percent of reported rapes are taken to court and then only three percent end with a conviction.

England and Wales has the highest rate of reported rape offences in the EU according to the last figures from Eurostat: “In absolute terms, police in England & Wales* recorded the highest number of violent sexual offences (64 500, of which 35 800 rapes — 55%), followed at a distance by Germany (34 300, of which 7 000 rapes — 20%), France (32 900, of which 13 000 rapes — 40%) and Sweden (17 300, of which 5 500 rapes — 33%)”

Last year, the number of rape offences in England and Wales, skyrocketed to 62,000 cases, according to the latest reports.

source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/283100/recorded-rape-offences-in-england-and-wales/

And to make things even worse, in 2018, it has been reported, that police officers actively dissuade victims from reporting sexual assault — probably knowing, that there will be no conviction, if the victim was pretty or was wearing a cute top. So, what kind of message does all of this send to women? That “It’s all your fault!” While human rights activists, all over the world, are fighting to stop victim blaming and stop coddling and excusing aggressive men, the United Kingdom is going in the exactly opposite direction. And you may probably gather from the general air of sexism and gender inequality presented so far, that women are not as readily granted the excuse of being provoked. When a man kills his wife, because “he lost it” it’s manslaughter but if a woman kills her husband in self defense, it’s murder.

This is more serious than you may think, because it affects all male-female interactions, on an everyday level. What kind of message do these convictions send? Imagine what kind of a mindset a British man has. “Well, if I rape her, nothing will happen, if I kill her, maybe I’ll get five years and if she defends herself, she will be punished.” There is no empathy for women in the UK, because even when many people express genuine compassion for murdered women and their families, there are always a bunch of goofballs who will blame and shame the victim and claim that “she brought it on herself.”

So, imagine you live in a place, where men are routinely acquitted, whenever they harm a woman. As a woman, how would you feel? You would probably feel, like most British women feel everyday. Terrified. Afraid to make a wrong move, or to wear the wrong thing. And that’s just the beginning of the story.

THE ARISTOCRACY

In Europe, anti-aristocratic sentiments were rooted in hundreds of years of oppression, exploitation and forced labor. Before all the various peasant uprisings and revolutions in France, Spain and Eastern Europe, societies were firmly divided into classes. This is ancient history but many people don’t know this history. The peasant revolutions and uprisings, created the democracy we have today. This came about mainly because of the land reforms, where peasants were given their own land and were freed from feudal ties to their lords. In Great Britain, the aristocracy still owns about eighty percent of all the land. In Europe, peasants had to work their lord’s land, before they could go to work on their own land to make enough food to survive. If they only worked on their designated piece of land (which was still the property of their lord) they had to either pay, or give away a part of their crop. The aristocrats then sold or exchanged the crops for gold and precious stones and that’s how that aristocratic wealth was accumulated. European peasants had no rights. If they disobeyed their lord they’d be whipped, beaten or even killed. They were bought and sold with the land in Eastern Europe and weren’t allowed to move anywhere else. A record of this process can be found in literature, for example in the work of Nikolai Gogol “The Dead Souls”. The aristocrats sexually assaulted peasant women, and the women were not allowed to reject them.

European peasants were disrespected, discriminated and considered subhuman. Because of their misery, they would often commit suicide or starve to death, when their lord took too much of their harvest. During the growing season, peasants would work in the fields from sunrise till sunset. Their faces were sunburned, hands chaffed and reddened. This made them look different from the lords and ladies, who spent most of their day indoors and never did much manual labor. Consequently, peasants differed in their posture, their body shape and their skin tone from aristocrats.

for hundreds of years, peasants harvested wheat manually, spending all day in the fields

This gave rise to a tradition of judging people based on their skin tone, face and body type, which then inspired the pseudo-science of physiognomy, very popular in the 19th century. According to physiognomy, a person’s lineage, character, personality and even their sexual temperament could be discovered by “reading” the features of their face. The shape of the face, the body and all its features, were judged, marked and assessed. The size and shape of your nose, the size of your lips, your cheekbones, your chin, the length of your neck. And when it came to the body, a person’s weight, height, the shape of the limbs, and their general appearance. This wasn’t just an isolated case here in Europe. Aristocrats all over the world, in the far east, in China, Japan and Korea, considered aristocracy-related traits as “better” and made sure to enhance the physical qualities, which made them different from the short, stout and brown peasants. They’d put on heels to seem taller, powder their skin to make it seem lighter and so on.

examples of Physiognomy

Judging people by their face and their physical characteristics is just one of many toxic and backward beliefs, popular among the aristocrats. Another example relates to marital relationships. For hundreds of years, aristocrats considered marital fidelity as a sign of naivety and weakness. That’s because aristocrats rarely married for love. Instead, they had to choose a spouse, to secure financial and political benefits for themselves and their family. Love was often ridiculed and considered “good for the peasants”. So, a marriage was a contract made to add to one’s wealth and create offspring. The unofficial rule stated, that obviously, it was then alright to have love affairs and mistresses on the side, since the marriage was a business agreement and not a loving relationship.

Now imagine, that there is a group of people, who still believe in those stereotypes and still adhere to those outdated rules. Of course, they don’t admit it openly, but the traditions described above, are very much alive in the United Kingdom. the British people, with their unbroken aristocratic tradition, still believe that all people are divided into classes, not just in Great Britain but everywhere else in the world. They also believe, that the aristocratic class is better than the other classes and that you can judge what class a person belongs to, not only by their lineage, but also by their physical appearance. They still believe that love is a whimsy and that marital fidelity shows lack of sophistication. And they still believe that a brown woman has no right to reject a posh, white man, who’s stuck in a sexless “contract marriage”.

source: express.co.uk

You might say, “So what?” what does it all matter? Well, all of those things that aristocrats believe, has a significant impact on the values and behaviors of the entire British society. Even people, who openly admit, that they are not at all interested in the Royal Family, still secretly mimic and admire them. They can’t avoid reading about them in the press, and regardless of what anyone thinks, the British aristocrats are the ones with all the land and wealth, and consequently power. Common people, without even knowing it, aspire to be like them and usually give them a free pass, even when they behave in a way that’s silly, vain, biased, vicious or otherwise unethical.

“Huntswoman, 57, who was at centre of storm for whipping saboteurs and calling them ‘uneducated peasants’ was crushed to death by her own horse at hunt while facing jail over attack” The Daily Mail reports. The British “posh class” are just too much of everything, with their lethal hobbies, silly clothes and their lordly outrage. It looks amusing at first, until you are politely informed, that you too are a peasant to them.

SCHOOL UNIFORMS

In most schools in the UK socks, shoes, coats and bags are regulated by the school’s policy.

So, let’s talk about uniforms. Now before we delve into the collective psychology of Britons, you need to know that this information rarely gets out. It’s only known to the insiders, like some friends of mine who moved to England with their children and saw firsthand how a British mind is shaped, from the moment a child is sent to school. When a girl is five years old, she is sent to school, dressed in her first school uniform and before she has any concept of sexuality or male-female attraction, she is made to understand that there is something about her physicality, that can be distracting. And is that distraction positive or negative? are we trying to make more or less of that distraction? Of course, we are trying to make less of it, so it must be bad. But it’s not bad that men get distracted, it’s what she does and how she dresses. By putting this tremendous tension on how girls dress, they are taught, without verbally stating it, that they are sexual and that it’s inherently bad. So, what is this communicating to women and the British society in general? That whatever happens, “it’s all your fault.”

Imagine, one day you are walking down the street and you see a young girl in school uniform crying uncontrollably, as she walks home on the first day of school. She looks otherwise well-groomed, dressed in her school uniform. As you wonder what could have happened to her and if you should do something, she disappears behind the corner. The next day, the local newspaper discloses, that on the first day of school, an entire group of schoolgirls was punished, by sitting in the classroom for an hour without being allowed to say anything or move. One hour of sitting in a chair without moving or being allowed to go to the bathroom. Like a communist torture, but for kids.

You see, one of the teachers decided, that their skirts, designed and approved by the school, sold by one shop in the village, turned out to be a little too short and therefore violated school policy, and so the girls were punished. Now, the uniform for each school is tailored to the school’s uniform policy and usually can be bought from one provider only. Typically, there is one shop in the village which sells school uniforms, for all schools in the area, and every uniform for every school is slightly different. So, one shop sells uniforms, and each piece of clothing is manufactured specifically for each school. Some schools just say to wear a black or gray skirt, while others require a specific design, produced just for that one school. In addition, they sell jackets with the school’s name on it, and sports gear. The only one thing which is usually universal is a white shirt. Other than that, everything is strictly regulated and made to fit every school’s policy. So, what happened? Did that one shop, which has been selling uniforms for decades, sell the wrong type of skirt? Did the manufacturer make a mistake?

The answer to that is simple. Every girl grows at a different rate so the same skirt will be a slightly different length depending on how tall she is. So, a tall girl will have a regular skirt reach to the middle of her thighs, while a short to her knees.

But that, of course doesn’t matter. Why? Look at the doctrine of provocation. Because “It’s all their fault”. Because girls’ clothing must be strictly controlled and they need to be punished for that one inch of skin, which in some man’s head, made them sexual. Teachers when explaining, why uniforms to look the way they do, usually always give the same argument. They say that if the skirt is too short, if the socks are white, if girls wear any hair ornaments or earrings and if their hair is too long, then the boys might be distracted. And not only the boys! The male teachers might get distracted. What is that distracted supposed to mean? As adults, we know what they are trying to say. They don’t mean literal distraction, what they really mean is “sexual attention” but they’re never going to admit that. That’s because the British have equated politeness with deception. And because of a residual, misogynistic mentality, which has been fermenting in their collective mindset since the middle ages, men and boys are completely absolved of all responsibility for their actions. It’s the girls who must control themselves and control everybody else with their clothing.

It seems like the British people have ascribed some magical qualities to the clothing, that people wear — and by people, I mean especially girls. Instead of telling boys and men, to behave themselves and to keep it in their pants — nooo, what are we going to do? Punish the girls! It’s their fault. They must cover up. And how does this relate to the issue of abusing women in the UK? It’s the girls, who are treated more harshly and who are punished more often for violating the uniform policy. Teaching kids this line of reasoning from the very start, this line of reasoning, that women and the way they dress is the root of all evil, while men are kind of let off the hook, creates a strong double standard. And it introduces an entire set of false beliefs, that hurt women, no matter what their age is. Like the idea of erasing free will and attributing causality to clothing, of all things. By using school uniforms, as a method of masking female sexuality, paradoxically girls are sexualized. That’s because society implies, that THERE IS a sexuality, that must be masked, and so girls from a very young age, are burdened with the responsibility of controlling something, that they really have no concept of, something which is completely beyond their real control, namely the sexual impulses, thoughts and behaviors, of every man they meet.

Looking from the outside in, it seems like there is something brewing in England and it’s hard to figure out what it is. The truth is, that the British pleasantness is just a front, beneath which lies a bermuda triangle of toxicity, made up of outdated beliefs, sexist double standards and a laissez-faire approach to violence, in a society which may not be inherently racist but is certainly, openly classist and firm in the belief, that being deceptive and vague makes one classy. This toxic bermuda triangle for women, consists of the following:

The residual belief in the pseudoscience of physiognomy, means that some people will judge you by the features of your face, and they may assume, that you’re not very smart if you are too short, too brown and your face is too round. The same residual belief means you will be discriminated against, if you have curvy shapes that appeal to the male sexual appetite. On grounds of “you are what you look like” men might attribute sexual willingness to you, and you will be harassed on the street, grabbed or even heckled, and it will be considered your fault on grounds of provocation.

Different cultures have different standards of expression. The British approach to female clothing restricts women who are “too expressive” and brands it as a sexual behavior.

If you talk too loud, are too expressive or if you wear too much color, you will be judged as a person who is trying to get male sexual attention, because of the doctrine of distraction. Even when you’re not interested in men at all and it’s just part of your culture and personality. And it certainly doesn’t help, that the country has been subjected to conservative brainwash and programming for over a decade, since it’s the conservatives who are strong supporters of class divisions and believing in all this hogwash.

So, when you read about women who are taking to the streets after Sarah Everard’s murder, be aware, that it’s not just about that one murder. It’s about being harassed on daily basis. It’s about people telling you all the time, that men are not to blame, but it’s you and your clothing, and it’s all your fault. It’s about the male privilege of claiming to have been provoked, while women are not allowed that anger or that excuse, and are also not allowed to aggressively defend themselves. And all of this boils down to a limiting lie, that men are brainless amoebas, who just float towards things, which feel fuzzy and warm, and can’t make their own decisions, because it’s the women who hold all the power, magically. Magically. Which of course is not true, as we know that both men and women are equipped with free will, self-control and basic common sense. In conclusion, there is very little headroom for women in Britain, with all the restrictions, stereotypes and fear, and it’s a cultural shock for anyone who decides to come here and make it their new home.

I hope this cleared things up for my European and American friends. Be warned, is all I can say, and don’t take British pleasantness too personally, because it can backfire on you, in a way, that is not at all pleasant.

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