Over the past 16 years more than 1,400 young girls between the ages of 12 and 16 living in Rotherham, England have been groomed for sexual exploitation on an “industrial scale.” This according to social workers, police officers, residents, and the victims themselves whom the Daily Express recently interviewed. These 1,400 young girls have been the victims of rape, torture, abduction, and forced prostitution—but that’s not even the worst of the news. The worst? British authorities have been knowingly letting it happen now for years.
The reason, while appalling, is unfortunately not surprising: An independent inquiry into who was running these child sex rings found that an overwhelming majority of the perpetrators were Pakistani men, and that, because of this, authorities feared accusations of racism if they pursued prosecution. Their fears aren’t entirely without foundation. The British Muslim Youth (BMY) organization has openly encouraged British Muslims to “cut ties” with authorities over what they perceive as an “unprecedented level” of Islamophobia.
While an update of the independent inquiry suggests authorities have slightly improved their response to these child sex abuse allegations in Rotherham, social workers who have been working with victims since the original report was released are openly questioning whether much has changed. In addition to British authorities taking little action regarding this shocking level of criminal activity within their communities, the media coverage in the British and international press has been relatively sparse.
Hm, Victime Blame Much?
Large-scale sex attacks by migrants from the Middle East are not only happening in Britain. At a train station in Cologne, Germany on New Year’s Eve as people gathered to celebrate the arrival of 2016, gangs of North African and Middle Eastern men raped, beat, and groped more than a thousand women. Unlike Rotherham, this occurrence did garner the world’s attention, but not in the way you would expect.
The mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, suggested a “code of conduct” for German women to help prevent future attacks by immigrant men from Third World countries, which included: “dressing more conservatively,” “keeping an arm’s length distance from strangers,” and “going out in groups.” New Statesman ran an article titled “After Cologne, We Can’t Let The Bigots Steal Feminism,” about how voicing feminist outrage over the attacks could wind up helping “Islamophobes” spread hate, and the popular feminist website Feministing called the media “unabashedly racist” for reporting the ethnicities of the attackers.
Was I really reading the coverage right? Were these allegedly liberal, feminist writers and politicians more concerned, in the aftermath of this attack, with the feelings of the communities of the attackers over the safety and dignity of the women who were harmed? Were they really willing to do the thing they are so quick to chastise others for doing: victim blame?
Let’s Try a Comparison Here
Keeping these two terrible situations of sexual assault happening in Europe in mind, let’s shift focus now to a rape case that occurred in the United States and grabbed our attention a few months ago. It rocked even the most diehard believers in the justice system. I’m speaking of course, about the Stanford rape case.
When Brock Turner, a white college freshman, brutally raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and only received a sentence of six months in jail, the entire country—including me—was outraged. How could there be such a gross miscarriage of justice? How could such a clear-cut case of deliberate barbarism meet what was basically the judicial equivalent of a “time out”?
The Internet reacted with anger and disbelief. A Change.org petition that demanded the judge who presided over the trial be recalled for his ruling garnered more than a million signatures (one of which was mine). More than just the petition, the Internet did what it normally does best when appalled: it preached.
This “preaching” took on the forms it normally takes— Facebook statuses, tweets, hashtags, and think-pieces by celebrities and non-celebrities alike. We needed to understand what had just happened. We needed to fathom the unfathomable. Most importantly, we needed to make a diagnosis. A week after the Stanford rape case became famous, a common consensus among cyberdom had at last emerged: The West is a rape culture.
One Incident a Rape Culture Makes; Yet Not 1,400?
The Stanford case was not simply a horrible fluke or a standalone instance of injustice, feminists cried. It indicated a “systemic” problem where Westerners blame victims of sexual assault and normalize male sexual violence (particularly straight white male sexual violence). Open letters to American fathers criticizing the way they raised their sons were featured on sites like Mashable and CNN; popular mommy bloggers wrote several-paragraph-long statuses about how “we need to talk about rape culture” and “we should teach men not to rape instead of victim-blaming by teaching our daughters how to ‘avoid’ being raped.”
I saw athlete culture get criticized; white people—as a group—got criticized, too. But the main lesson we were supposed to take away from Stanford was that there’s a problem, particularly with the straight white Western man, that needs fixing. There is something about straight white male culture that is causing sexual assault, and we have an obligation to step up and stop it—whatever “it” is.
While I was happy to see that people were outraged over a young woman not receiving justice, I was also a little confused. I wondered then why the reactions to the Cologne attacks had been so radically different from the reactions to the Stanford case. Was the disparity just a fluke? With the latest news coming out of Rotherham, I can’t say that it is.
While cries of “rape culture” were everywhere during Stanford, they are nowhere to be heard in the discourse surrounding the scant coverage of Rotherham, nor was it anywhere to be heard after the Cologne attack— despite the fact that the men these gangs were comprised of did come from cultures that routinely and systemically abuse women and treat them as inferior.
We’re Apologizing for Rape, People
This is a clear instance of what has gone wrong with modern liberalism in the West. Cultural relativism has taken priority over the rights of women, and only when white Western men (the pet favorite oppressor) strike is there a “brave” call to action. Western feminism— and it seems social justice warriors in general— are more concerned about “mansplaining” and “manspreading” than they are about the ever-increasing threat of Islamism and the glaringly obvious problem that arises when countries emphasize multiculturalism but don’t equally emphasize assimilation.
The message seems clear: If a white guy in his home country assaults a woman, it suggests an entire “rape culture” that needs to be addressed. But when Muslim migrant men from Third world countries assault a woman, it demonstrates our “lack of cultural sensitivity,” and to even remotely suggest that elements in their culture and religion are a contributing factor to their abuse of women is xenophobic and bigoted.
To conclude, the amount of “Western guilt” Birkenstock liberals are peddling isn’t just astoundingly stupid, it’s also incredibly dangerous. Liberalism needs to locate its balls, and start defending the values of the Enlightenment (including women’s rights) rather than shrivel like cowards in the face of a clash between barbarism and modernity.