We’ve no idea as to the activities and merits of a lot of the names on the BBC 100 Women, but one name did stick out amongst all the rest, that of radical feminist Liz Kelly. In addition to regarding Kelly as “inspirational”, the BBC describes her as “one of the world’s leading sociologists on violence against women”. In fact the BBC loves Kelly so much that its BBC 100 Women press release features her as the 17 names highlighted out of the 100, so in other words they regard as being not simply one of the 100 most “inspirational” women in the world, but even in their top 17!
The reason we knew of Kelly’s name is primary due to some famous quotes she’s known for. In her publication “The Hidden Gender of Law”, Kelly argues
“there is no clear distinction between consensual sex and rape, but a continuum of pressure, threat, coercion and force”…
This line of thinking is worryingly close to the most extremist line of feminist “thought” in that they believe all heterosexual sex is rape albit ot quite all the way there. However, Kelly reinforces such an idea on the following page of the same book, suggesting that all women experience sexual violence at some points in their lives. So, for Kelly, her views are so extreme that even manufactured and exaggerated statistics on rape and abuse are insufficiently alarmist, and the true figure is 100% of women, or 1 in 1. Furthermore, though not stated explicitly, the clear inference to be taken from her arguments that all women experience sexual violence, is of course that all, or at least the overwhelming majority, of men are rapists or sexual abusers. And yes, we’re supposed to be celebrating this kind of hateful thinking!
Kelly’s further works include equally disturbing and harmful ideas. Her publication “Surviving Sexual Violence” defines sexual violence as including:
“any physical, visual, verbal or sexual act that is experienced by the woman or girl, at the time or later,as a threat, invasion or assault, that has the effect of hurting her or degrading her and/or takes away her ability to control“
So, firstly Kelly is so sexist that she thinks only women and girls can be a victim of sexual violence, thus throwing all male victims under the bus. Secondly, she thinks these women and girls should be able to withdraw consent retrospectively. Wendy McElroy also criticised Kelly’s definition, describing it as “disastrously subjective” noting “regret is not a benchmark of consent”
So what are the real world consequences of Kelly’s lines of thoughts?:
- Kelly’s demonisation of men is obviously unpleasant, but the bigger thrust of her definitions is to infantilise women as helpless victims, which has consequences for how young or impressionable women might view themselves and how those who subscribe to Kelly’s nonsense view women too.
- The deliberate marginalisation/elimination of the huge number of male victims makes it incredibly difficult for even male victims raped by other men to be recognised. As for the even greater number of men raped by women, they’re eliminated twice over firstly in her definition, but also via the implied men as rapists / women as victims line of thought. In denying their existence she further discourages them from coming forward, a group already incredibly reluctant to do so.
- Kelly can’t even bring herself to define sexual abuse as something that happens to males, and thus the idea of a female perpetrator is even more alien still. Thus her rhetoric makes the already very difficult task of bringing female perpetrators to justice even harder still.
- Perhaps above all else. Kelly seeks to create confusion around issues of consent, and her dangerous idea that regret is rape can only lead to false allegations and innocent men being put on trial and ultimately inprison or having their lives ruined.
You may well be thinking that Kelly’s theories are just that, and her wider work is separate to any writing and thus perhaps worth “celebrating”. Alternatively, seeing as the quotes in question are from the late 1980s, perhaps there’s a chance Kelly has turned over a new leaf or at least become less misandrist as she as aged? Well, regular readers may well remember one of our most high-profile campaigns which was to try to gain recognition for male victims of domestic violence from Northumbria Police in a campaign against their misleading and sexist posters which only mentioned female victims and male abusers.
Vera Baird’s office and other taxpayer-funded radical feminists organised to try to support sexism, and in particular sought to rig a newspaper poll in order to give the misleading impression that the public thought it was ok to discriminate against male victims of domestic violence. Our campaigning helped to secure a huge victory with the posters withdrawn due to the outcry, and of course the final poll result noted the poster were sexist too.
So how does Kelly fit in here? Well, consistent with her previous writing and discrimination against male victims of sexual abuse, she wanted to see the discrimination against male victims of domestic violence continue too and we caught her campaigning on Twitter for people to vote in favour of marginalising male victims. So in other words, Kelly is someone who has directly opposed own very own pro-equality work and thus is just as sexist as ever and works to marginalise male victims.