This edition of Newsnight was brought to you by the actions splutter and the words “what the…?”
Louise Livesey // 21 February 2008
Anyone else just seen it? The programme was covering the sentencing of Steve Wright for the murder of five women in Ipswich. Now other than their continued and insistence that these weren’t women but “prostitutes” (as if engaging in sex work meant one forfeited one’s female gender) the story was quite straightforward. In the discussion after their inset video Fiona McTaggart was making one of the few truly interesting statements of government policy on protecting women who engage in prostitution from violence. Up against her was Steve Moxon*.
A Who I hear you ask?
B Well he was an Immigration Officer turned whistleblower.
A And that obviously makes him an expert on male violence against women.
B Well no but his second book is all about how men are the “genetic filter” for the species and most men are therefore hard done to.
B I kid you not, it’s all laid out for us on his blog.
A So he’s spent his time studying and getting recognised qualifications to be able to work through complex arguments and present this alleged stunning new finding…?
B Er, no, he’s just some bloke who became a whistleblower, got a book deal and now thinks he is some kind of divine oracle. But apparently he studied psychology at University at some point, so that’s OK then.
A Isn’t that a bit harsh?
B Not if you saw the way he didn’t have the decency to let either Kirsty Wark or Fiona McTaggart speak, no. You’d think that “genetic filter” was a euphemism for arrogant gobby bloke with a complex to be honest. BUt seriously folks, the idea of reasoned discussion did seem to have passed him by – I can only assume his publicist told him to hog the air time so make the most of this rare opportunity. Sadly for Moxon I doubt declaring the Fiona McTaggart had “sex hatred” was the way to do it. I think he meant “gender hatred” by the way.
A So backlash then?
B Yes seemingly the Backlash isn’t dead, Steve Moxon is claimed as a member of various “men’s” groups like Dad’s UK and Men’s Aid. Rights of Men call him a well known male rights activist and describe the book as “highly recommended and is a vital weapon in the fight for male equality. Let the battle commence.” :
“we now know that there is no ‘dominance’ interaction of any kind between the sexes, so the notion of men having ‘power’ over and ‘oppressing’ women is a non-starter,”
Of course he offers no evidence for these claims on his many identical publicity postings for the book. I guess that’s so people might buy it to discover whether there is any. It seems to be a fairly standard mixture of supposition and evolutionary biology arguments, not dissimilar to the ones used by writers like Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer to prove rape was just an evolutionary by-product. He claims the work was “previewed” in the Independent (see here for just one of the sites on which he claims this) but all I can find is this short paragraph in the Pandora column which is, if anything, rather ambiguous but bemused by the idea. The Pandora column is akin to a gossip column and the paragraph is followed by speculation on Emily Mortimers no-nudity clause, Kieron Fallons’ alleged drug use, promotions at News International and Ed Balls dressing up as Santa for the Downing St Christmas bash. Not the most erudite of sections I’m afraid.
On the Men’s Aids website he has posted this:
Re: The Woman Racket, new book on science re sexes. Steve Moxon
Postby Steve Moxon on Mon 18 Feb, 2008 8:02 pm
As you say, there is no debate on Woman Sour, and I have not bothered reading let alone trying to rejoin their hopeless website. There is no discussion of any value to have incorporated in my book.
The Woman Sour editor, Jill Burridge, actually brought in the BBC lawyers when I sent her copies of what I sent to BBC Complaints. This lawyer rang me up and threatened a legal action for harassment. I replied that I would gladly turn up to the hearing with my cameras to his, and we would see what a bunch of tossers the BBC looked after such a debacle. They backed down.
Any idea that the BBC and Woman Sour are in any way reasonable should have long since evaporated. In the end there will need to be direct action.
Lets just review that sentence there…. I’m just hoping he doesn’t mean direct action like Steve Wright took.
* I know I should heed my own advice about denying them the oxygen of publicity….