Rosemary McLeod’s double standards

Rosemary McLeod

When Mcleod wrote about the Nassar scandal which involved a Michigan sports doctor who was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting gymnasts and other young women and girls she made the following comments about sexual assault:

[…]The scandal that has struck American gymnastics shows what happens when people in authority fail to listen to, let alone act on, young people’s complaints.

[…] Nassar has been sentenced to 40-175 years in jail, which is gratifying, but the adults who ignored the girls’ complaints – there were many – were his enablers.

In hindsight, it was surely astounding that nobody in USA Gymnastics thought it wise to have young girls chaperoned during all necessary physical examinations, let alone have a staff member responsible for the children’s wellbeing. […]

Better to tell someone, but people don’t for many reasons. A doctor sexually assaulted me when I was 13, and I was so shocked, and so feared being disbelieved, that I said nothing.[…]

These unpleasant experiences were nothing compared to the hell so many children live in, but I can report that the after-effects of even such small incidents never leave you. A benign assumption that nothing bad will happen doesn’t cut it […]

Having read that you would expect her response to the Labour party summer camp scandal to make the exact same points.

  • People in authority failed to act
  • The complaints were ignored
  • The young people were not chaperoned by  a responsible adult
  • The victims were encouraged to say nothing
  • The victims will be affected long-term by the sexual assault

Instead, McLeod minimises and makes light of the alleged sexual assaults and the supply of alcohol to minors on unlicensed premises as well as the lack of supervision to keep them safe. Apparently, it was no big deal because everyone at some time has gotten drunk and made an idiot of themselves. How she wonders can we possibly point the finger when we all have been young and intoxicated ourselves at some point.

Was nobody commenting on the unfortunate Young Labour event ever young and stupid, or ever been drunk, least of all been drunk and made an ass of themselves?

[…] They are as pure as tap water.

And along came a boy from God knows where, a few years older than four young people, who, after too many drinks, or so we gather, shoved his hand down some of their pants.[…]

It would have been annoying and a shock to be so pawed by a youth. It would have been equally infuriating to be pawed with finesse. But what seems evident is that the young male was as gauche and foolish as any anxious mother could wish. The series of unfortunate events were unlikely to lead to further, voluntary intimacy, because they were laughable. They were a child’s idea of sexual activity. He should be deeply embarrassed. He may cringe at the memory for the rest of his life.

She is saying that a 20-year-old man shoving his hand down the pants of 4 minors who had not consented to sexual activity (of both sexes) is ‘ annoying and a shock.’ In her earlier article, a doctor doing the same to a 13-year-old girl during a physical exam is described as sexual assault and something that would make the victim scared of speaking out and an incident that will never leave her.

Should police have been involved? Do they have nothing more urgent to do than monitor the inept exploratory behaviour of the young while hapless dairy owners are harassed and beaten by louts looking to steal fags? Or should the series of events have been dealt with quietly, so as not to inflate their seriousness and magnify any possible harm?

Translation: We don’t want to make the four sexual assaults seem any more serious than they were and it wasn’t that serious because in this case, it was an ‘inept’ exploratory feel by a drunk 20-year-old of minors who are unlikely to suffer any harm from the ‘sexual activity.’

I’m with Crusher Collins on this. She has criticised Labour for not advising the parents of all the young people involved. That would have led to a curtailing of freedom for all of them, probably, a wise move since they should be protected from groping, which, remember, was never known to happen among young people until that youth camp.

Translation: The minors were responsible for what happened to them because groping is common on summer camps.

[…] The young male should be pilloried, charged with criminal offences, targeted by every interfering agency we can throw at him. He should be publicly named and shamed. Jail wouldn’t be out of the question. Meanwhile, the young women should be counselled for trauma, which they may have come to believe they have experienced. You can’t make too big a thing of this.

Translation: (She is being sarcastic here) Everyone is overreacting to a typical bit of summer camp slap and tickle. Get over yourself, you prudes!

The camp could have been better run. Eagle-eyed adults could have watched the young people in shifts, 24 hours a day. There could (should) have been no alcohol at all. Males and females could have been kept apart at all times, for decorum’s sake, other than to play healthy, supervised games of noughts and crosses.[…]

Translation: Young people get drunk and do stupid things. It is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect rules like keeping minors away from alcohol and randy young adults away from minors to be enforced. Chaperones are old school. Sexual experimentation ie groping is to be expected.


– The Dominion Post

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