Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Welcome to Patriarchy

Carole Malone is a journalist and has been for many, many years.

Carole has moved from reporting facts to opinion – her own. This is very much celebrity culture in action. We no longer want to know what has actually happened. We want events to be sensationalised and spun. We want to hear the juicy, gory, snarky sound bites from those with a platform. News is being replaced with ‘tabloidism’.

Carole and her employers know this. So Carole is paid to do just that: voice her own particular take on current events. So far, so blah.

Except today, I noticed. Today, I’m angry. @EVB_Now shared a news article by Carole regarding the conviction of sex offender Dave Lee Travis. The overarching theme of her opinion is that the police wasted time in pursuing sex offender Dave Lee Travis. Why? Here are a few of the quotes from Carole:

“But DLT isnt Jimmy Savile. Nor is he Rolf Harris or Max Clifford. He’s a bloke who groped a woman 19 years ago.”

“And do I think that grope would have scarred the TV researcher whose breasts he grabbed? Do I think the experience would have left her in need psychiatric counselling? No I don’t.”

“But those two years police spent trying to nail Travis would have been better spent trying to catch paedophiles, rapists and real sexual predators.”

(the “TV researcher” that Carole refers to is Camilla Long, who has written an excellent post on this experience (please note, it is behind a paywall)).

This is just the first section of the article. I could go on and on and on but you get the gist.

This is nothing new for Carole: she has form. So much form, in fact, that I would need to write a separate post for each piece of ignorant, harmful and damaging victim blaming comment that she has ever shared in public. Should you ever wish to check her celebrity “brand”, I have included some of her past victim blaming work in the links above. Or put “Carole Malone victim blaming” into your search engine. It’s an incredible body of work.

I find it interesting that Carole’s anger is directed at the police for prosecuting sex offender Dave Lee Travis, and at Camilla Long for the abuse that sex offender Dave Lee Travis subjected her to. Carole’s opinion – like all opinions – is based upon her own frame of reference – her lived experiences. I am sure that a part of her knows that in the UK, the best way to get your article read is to sensationalise your views and to be “controversial” – it’s tabloid 101. But this goes deeper, of course it does. The ideology of a person with this much form for victim blaming, often focussed upon women, has been constructed by many layered levels of experiences. These experiences are blame culture, rape culture, victimisation and misogyny. I feel angry with Carole’s views on worthiness when it comes to survivors of male violence. It is this anger that led me to write this post. But as I looked into Carole’s previous pieces, I felt deeply sad and concerned. Despite her expression of harmful and silencing views, I can empathise, if not sympathise. Carole is a woman living in a culture of sexism, misogyny, rape, violence and the annihilation of women. We all do. And for most of us, it is almost inevitable that we will perpetuate this culture. But she needs to take responsibility, like we all do. By blaming, shaming and minimising the experiences of women harassed, stalked, “groped”, assaulted, raped, abused and murdered by men, we are perpetuating a culture of erasure. And it is women we are erasing. Women are harmed by men every day. Women are blamed for that harm every day. Dave Lee Travis is one of many male celebrities, one of many men accused of male violence against women. Dave Lee Travis is a sex offender who was charged with multiple sexual assaults against multiple women. He was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman. That Carole Malone, or anyone whom he did not assault can think to speak of the impact of his sexual abuse is beyond me. No one knows how male violence affects any woman except for the woman herself. I believe that Carole gets this. She also knows what sells papers. I suppose at some point, we have to stop, and reflect, and consider the damage that we may be perpetuating. I wonder if Carole ever will. Views and opinions are not just words. They have impact, they resonate, they construct the fabric of our social worlds. Such views serve to silence women who have experienced male violence. This needs to stop.

I realise I am not angry with Carole, but at her views, her dismissive silencing, and her victim blaming, misogynistic beliefs. Carole’s opinions reflect a culture, a world, that places women in subordination. A space where women should be seen and not heard; harmed and not supported; discarded and never acknowledged. Welcome to everyday victim blaming. Welcome to Patriarchy.

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One thought on “Welcome to Patriarchy

  • Anonymous says:

    i like your article about Patriarchy. I do agree that other women cause more pain and victim blaming in are society of childhood abuse and rape and domestic violence. In my own situation a psychiatrist told other organisations in the area i was living in that i was lying about abuse and violence from my ex-partner that organisations pulled out and i then suffered from more abuse. I was lucky that a nurse saw the bruises on my body and documented it down. This doctor who i discharged my care from her then decided to tell social services in a core assessment report that it was all in my head and i thought i was iller than i was and i didn’t need any help from organisation’s as i got people to do it for myself. This psychiatrist was another women beggars to belief really considering i took her through the complaints procedure and was bullied by not only my new psychiatrist and the time and two other doctors trying to make me stop my complaint but i preserved thinking i could stand up to this. I had to go through the parliamentary ombudsman who agreed with me the doctor in question didn’t document the phone call to the social worker about me and my family didn’t asked for my conform consent even though she wasn’t my doctor at all she broke confidentiality and basically put me down in a negative way me off about my mental health condition. The ombudsman report acknowledge that i suffered with abuse. You think that the recommendations the trust were asked to do they would action they had numerous meetings with me but never kept to deadlines and i suffered from more abuse from staff and to date the action plans have not been undertaking. I had a meeting with the chief executive quoting the gmc headlines and the hypercritic oath that doctors undertake around my complaint and the suffering i have suffered from the trust. She also a women called me a whistle-blower about her service considering didn’t care that I’d been raped and abused or the feelings and emotions that these doctor’s in her employ that the bullying and victimising that i have suffered from her staff and the lies that this doctor has done. The parliamentary ombudsman said in the report poor service care and maladministration you think they would change how they treat women men and children who suffer with mental distress to listen believe and not abuse but your wrong they don’t like to be found out. The insult to me was when i had a meeting with the chief executive of the trust a women who agreed dates and deadlines but never happen they sent me a wrong report that the doctor was supposed to change on what she said to social services only she sent the wrong report and the doctor then not on put me more down but the slagged my daughter of of eleven years old in a negative way. The local council new this was a wrong report because i kept a copy of the paperwork then then said they couldn’t find the copy of the report at the council on paper or computer after i had a meeting with the local council complaints department. Then five days later they said that they found it. Again the chief executive of social services another women sometimes wondering do they care or have a heart both of these people feel if they were raped or abused or a member of there own family heaven abid that this would happen to anyone. The fear that i experience on a daily basis and i am trying to move my life forward as well as talking about my life experiences. Are these women a moved far from life to listen about a women experience in their services am i such a threat to these people to have justice honesty and transparency from these people and not more abuse added onto me standing up for my human rights as a person for me and my children. Women should be standing arm in arm against this sort of violence and crime and stand for strength and for equality with men in every walk of life. I guess these two women and many in the psychiatry ,social work profession just saw my label of my mental health and my learning disability but didn’t see me as a women, a mother , a student and most important a human being. They made sure to make the feelings know that i am not there equal but i see that i am not above them nor below them i am there equal in everyway. All i wanted was honest answers and an apology from the doctor which i have never got but also to stand up to those four doctors who bullied me but she wouldn’t do that for me. It has shown me that these women in power are just like my ex but in a different way they use their power to control and abuse their status to refuse help and support and control a situation to victimise a vulnerable women and her children anyway they can. But i and women with a label it doesn’t define me as a women it makes me strong it makes me fight for the voiceless the ones who have a voice but haven’t found it yet they matter as much as the ones who have learnt to use their voice. The are not alone i was once alone in my torment of abuse violence and i was educated and help by woman who know what i have suffered and they gave me a voice i thank them form the bottom of my heart they gave me my life back to fight for myself and my children and for others don’t give up not all women are like these women from Carole the journalist to these two women in power there are women like the ones who gave me a voice to speak the unspeakable and help me make positive choices of getting out of a abusive relationship and their is hope for everyone i know so you to can.