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More Police interested in harassment as hate

September 11, 2016, 08:48:56 AM by kat

[image courtesy of Nottinghamshire Police]

According to a number of new reports (here, here etc.), it appears other Police forces around the UK are showing interest in Nottinghamshire Police's "misogyny" initiative after they reported some 20 or so incidents in the two months since launch in June 2016 (source does not appear to be available online at time of writing to confirm these numbers).

It's still unclear what the change actually entails as headlines and reporting make the initiative appear as if individuals (men and/or boys) are being singled out and specifically arrested for "misogynist" offenses/hate crimes/abuse, rather than their being arrested and charged for an hate/abuse act that's then simply statistically categorised as "misogynist" due to the victims being women/girls. The difference matters.

As discussed in the original post above the UK already has a dozen primary and ancillary laws on the books protecting individuals (subject to certain "protected characteristics") from the kinds of harassment, abuse, etc., they may encounter on a day-to-day basis (see links above) as voiced by the NWC in the reportage. From an 'offense' point of view there doesn't seem to be a need for something specifically tailored towards women and girls when the aforementioned laws are supposed to/already cover, such transgressive behaviours. This then begs the question; if such offenses/crimes are already covered, why is this initiative needed to "encourage" women/girls to come forward and/or for the system to "take such crimes/behaviours more seriously". In other words, if the laws are already there, what's preventing people from using them to prosecute offenses/crimes appropriately. What does this initiative do the laws and policies weren't already doing.

With that said, is this policy redefining current legislation/law absent proper Parliamentary/Judicial process/debate/change, are the Police granting themselves authority to arrest men/boys specifically for "misogynistic" offenses or crimes - are the Police are creating a new category of arrest-able offenses. Are men and women arrested for serious offenses like "sexual assault" or relatively minor ones like "online offensive/hate speech" being treated prejudicially as different crimes as a consequence of offender/victim sex/gender relationships - are men treated more harshly for example if the offense is perpetrated against a women or girl. Or is this simply a re-categorisation initiative, an attempt by Authorities to readjust (fudge) Crime Data already captured so they appear more pro-actively supportive of openly Feminist mandates from organisations like the Nottingham Women's Centre, the Register Charity behind the scheme[1] - are boys/men essentially 'counted' multiple times for the same offense/crime, once for the act itself, another if such act are perpetrated women or girls. For sake of equality and fairness, are MRA[2] organisations going to lobby women be subject to 'misandry' for committing sex/gender-specific offense/crimes against men/boys.

[1] The line between what a Charity can or cannot do in terms of lobbying for change/s to law, policy, regulation etc., is fuzzy and subject to interpretation; under current guidelines so long as any such activity is supplementary to the Charities main cause (it isn't the Charities primary mandate), they are permitted to engage in 'lobbying'. Having said that the guidelines do make it clear that prejudicial or biased campaigning is not permitted, i.e., activities that specifically target, or result in the targeting of others - an openly Feminist Women's organisation lobbying for change that specially targets men and boys, rather than protecting women, can be argued to be misandrist because its prejudicial against the former group, using the latter as leverage to goal achievement.
- Speaking Out: guidance on campaigning and political activity by charities.
- Charities and Campaigning.

[2] MRA = Mens Rights Activist. Groups, organisations or individuals lobbying a "men's/boys rights" platform.

Tips for dealing with online harassment or abuse

August 28, 2016, 07:20:16 PM by kat

Finding yourself subject to online bullying, harassment or abuse can be as confusing as it might be traumatic, but Don't Panic!(Amz), there are things you can do. It doesn't matter if you don't know the person or people involved, or it happens playing games, on social media, forums, or other public communities, there are steps you can take to stop it. Although not 100% foolproof, most social network services - Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Imgr, Skype, et al - provide tools and resources for Users to report upsetting content or conduct. Elsewhere this same process might instead be facilitated by contacting a website owner or community Administrator or Moderator with a complaint.

IMPORTANT: be very clear in your mind that what you are looking to report is in fact unwarranted/unwanted attention or abuse and not simply the consequence of a heated or emotional argument or discussion between you and the person, or people, you allege are being abusive - whilst all such behaviour should be reported, Service Providers can only act upon reports within the confines of their respective Terms of Service (ToS) agreements, content, conduct or Users should never be reported expecting otherwise (Providers acting beyond the scope of their respective Terms or Service) - content or behaviour reports are treated as violations of Service, not the individual or their presumed 'rights'. In other words, whilst you might find something personally upsetting, the conduct, content or User may not actually be in violation of their Terms of Service, and/or may not be engaged in any 'criminal' or 'illegal' activity in the conventional sense. Understanding this distinction will better enable you to help yourself in dealing with harassment and the general abuse you may encounter online.

What to actually do
Although the process differs from service to service, when looking to report or flag upsetting, harassing or abusive content or conduct, keep the following in mind as it may help expedite the process;
  • Do not engage.
  • Collect the evidence.
  • Screen-capture everything else.
  • Block, report, flag.
  • Call non-emergency number.
  • Call emergency number.
  • Seek legal advice.
In detail...
  • First: DO NOT ENGAGE. Avoid engaging with the person or people sending harassing messages or content, especially if they are unknown to you, doing so only makes a bad situation worse, potentially undermines the credibility and/or veracity of claims made, as well as giving the abuser the opportunity to report you for abuse. DON'T use other people or third-party groups or Organisations as 'tanks'[1] to absorb abuse or run 'interference' between you and the harassing individuals, people or groups either, as this too will make the situation worse.
  • Second: collect the evidence. Do this yourself, or have someone you trust do it for you by taking screenshots and saving them to your device or computer – do NOT upload these to an online service or cloud storage as, depending on the content, the messages could be used to trigger an abuse report against you.
  • Third: screen-capture everything else. Wherever possible, screen-cap any communication with 'support' or whomever administrates the abuse or notification system. This creates a clear procedural history and makes clear the steps taken to solve the problem - your own efforts in this regard will help your case as no-one can report abuse for you (typically reports have to be made by the person receiving it).
  • Fourth: block, report, flag. Once the material has been collected and saved, keep copy(ies) for your records and then block, report or otherwise flag the messages or Users using whatever tools may be provided for such purposes by the Service Provider - Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Imgr, Skype, et al, provide tools to flag, remove or report abusive messages and or behaviour/Users.
If material is significantly abusive there may be cause to involve the Authorities - whilst individual messages might be considered harmless on their own, Criminal Harassment could potentially be invoked if the abusers actions are persistent and/or are expressed through multiple channels of communication with intent to cause the recipient distress, especially where doing so bypasses service blocks, bans, or suspensions that might already been in place against the person(s), if this includes threats of harm against you or someone you know, call the Authorities;
IMPORTANT: Do note that going down this path and calling the Police to report a potential crime/criminal act, obligates you to provide information to the dispatcher handling the call, details that might include personal information such as your name and address, and/or recounting the experience (upsetting as that may or may not be). There isn't a way to avoid this if a record of the incident is to be made which can later be relied upon, or a Police presence is wanted.
  • Fifth: call a non-emergency number. If threats are made, but nothing specifically indicates an immediate intent to cause harm, call your local Police Dept. using a non-emergency number or communication channel.
  • Sixth: call emergency number. If threats are made and they do appear to indicate an imminent intent to cause harm, call the Police emergency number.
IMPORTANT: it's critical to note here the Police are more likely to respond with personnel if they determine a credible, imminent, or immediate threat to a persons safety or well-being. It's vital this fact be understood to obtain a satisfactory result within the system as it stands when dealing with online harassment or abuse, because the realities of Policing and the Internet, regardless of internal policies on responding to harassment and abuse generally, means they are unlikely to dispatch personnel only if they cannot determine a credible threat[2]. This does not mean they don't believe you, that they are not “listening and believing”, it simply means they cannot determine the severity of the threat, or where they can, deem it to be non-credible with respect to there being an imminent or immediate threat to someone's safety or well-being.

This being the case, when making a call to the Police, never embellish the severity of the threat and/or activities being directed at you in an attempt to coerce a response from the Police. Do not make claims that cannot be later backed up with facts and information, as this only undermines your cause if you later need to correspond again with emergency services and/or the situation escalates to include prosecutory services. In other words, when involving the authorities the goal should not be to specifically elicit a physical response from the Police (absent actual threats of personal injury/violence), rather the generation an official record of the incident (an “Incident Report”), evidence that combined with further inevitable reports, creates a clear history of online harassment by a person or from an abuser/s that bolsters the case against them, making it more likely prosecutory action can be taken[3].
  • Seventh: seek legal advice. Once reports have been made and/or the Authorities involved where necessary, the final step is to seek advice from a suitable qualified legal professional to see what action can be taken - although reports may be made to the Police, unless a Criminal Offense (for example a specific incitement to violence against you or someone you know) has been committed they are unlikely to actually be able to do anything. Under such circumstances Civil litigation is the only viable option remaining. Talk to a lawyer specialising in online abuse/harassment etc.
The effectiveness of step seven will depend entirely upon steps 1 through 6; the more information there is to back-up a claim, the better chances are of litigation being possible and a faviourable outcome being had, i.e., the person going to jail (note that litigation is usually against individuals rather than groups, for that a slightly different approach needs to be take depending upon whether the group is just a collection of disassociated individuals, or an actual group like a Charitable, Non-Profit  Organisation or Advocacy Group, these can be reported to various governing Agencies - the Charities Commission in the UK, IRS in the USA for example.

Additional ResourcesFurther Reading

[1] a 'tank' is a person or group that acts as a damage control - when they see, or are asked to get involved, in a situation where an individual is being harassed, they will often attack or otherwise interfere with the attackers efforts, redirecting the abuse away from the original target onto themselves. Whilst this works to a degree in the short-term, it imbues greater animosity mid to long terms once the 'ruse' is discovered, or as a direct consequence of such groups employing questionable tactics themselves to counter the abuse (being abusive in return) - two 'wrongs' don't make a 'right' in this situation.

[2] although online harassment does not typically carry the same degree of concern over a victims physical safety as perhaps domestic abuse/harassment (unless the abuser is known to the person), a majority, if not all, Police forces/depts. have policies in place that obligate the dispatch of an Officers to investigate the situation and advise the victim of their options - "All forces told HMIC that force policy is that an officer will always attend a domestic abuse incident and will be dispatched immediately or within a non-emergency response time (typically one hour)." {cf. pp. 42, para 1 - "Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse"}.

[3] it's critically important to always report abuse and/or harassment that crosses the line at the time it happens to establish a record; regardless as to what some Advocacy Groups may advise, the Authorities take harassment and abuse very seriously, and are more likely to respond the more data they have available to them, not reporting incidents because you read the Police don't take things seriously, is counter-productive, and results in exactly that, lack of Police action.

Dumb things pop-culture critics say: video games cause violence

August 13, 2016, 07:28:03 PM by kat

[original image courtesy Wikipedia]

Summary: to "culture critics", the social and political sciences, psychology, sociology et al, video games cause violence because of an innate aggression pathology, a linear and highly scalable framework that accounts for otherwise innocuous to more acute expressions of aggression. In other words a gamer aggressively throwing off their headset post-match is simply a matter of degrees below acute or lethal expressions of violence; the leap from one to the other having never been manifestly shown, does not matter, it only matters that the framework allows for the possibility. It's in the possibility, combined with the individuals infinitely flexible response to stimuli, researchers are afforded the latitude required to advocate and popularise what then becomes the unfalsifiable premise that violent video games cause violence or violent behaviour[0].

• • •

To date there are in excess of 10,000 published papers on "video game violence"[1], some dated prior to what has now become the go-to incident frequently used to evidence the violent games cause real violence[2] argument, Columbine. That's a good 30 to 40 years of video game specific research all told. So much data in fact the American Psychological Association (APA) has long held the position, at least since the mid-2000's, the " [between violent video game exposure and aggressive behaviour] continues to be a reliable finding..."[3] even though "...literature [on the subject] uses a variety of terms and definitions ... sometimes ... interchangeably"[4], an equivocacy the APA dismisses as being in any way detrimental to the disciplines collected findings on the matter by in fact suggesting such interpretive flexibility speaks to the "breadth of interest" in the subject, one in which language and meaning is used contextually by the layman, the politician, policy maker, to law enforcement and the Courts. This stance on the effects of exposure to violent video games is considered settled science, enough for the APA Council and general members to advocate the games industry address a number of issues research highlights as published in the "Resolution on Violent Video Games" policy report (last updated in 2015).

This contextually sensitive reading of "aggression" and "violence" as behavioural patterns is increasingly difficult to reconcile with the realities of understanding passive (potential) versus active (kinetic) aggression and violence, the difference between acts expressed in, and as responses to, video games and other media, versus those of real people in the real-world committing real, harmful acts of aggression and/or violence against others. As the above Resolution states "[t]his distinction is important for understanding this research literature, which has not focused on lethal violence as an outcome. Insufficient research has examined whether violent video game use causes lethal violence.[5]".

This intrinsic subjectivity essentially makes it relatively straightforward to find both correlation and causation links between violent games and behavioural violence because an underlying and defining characteristic is an easily evidenced aggression metric[6], a matrix of expressive probabilities to stimuli, motivators designed to elicit a theoretical likelihood of an aggressive behavioural or emotional response that can then be scaled towards more extreme outcomes. In other words, the correlation/causation links proposed position individuals on an aggression scale[6b] that trends towards more predictable possibilities of harm, rather than an accounting of actual harm[7].

This makes findings in support of a positive assertion[7a], that perhaps stimuli event = (+/-) response = aggression + frequency|intensity = violence[7b], a highly probable, even likely, outcome of such research regardless as to its merits, significance, or veracity, results more-often-than-not difficult to disprove or challenge precisely because of such scalable association/s[7c]; once aggression is evidenced, violence being an outcome is considered an all but foregone conclusion because each expression simply manifests at a different location on the same linear aggression scale, e.g., [less aggression] passive > insignificant > minor > heightened > overt > severe > acute > lethal [more aggression].

Such predetermined conditions, when considered in relation to the question "do violent games cause violent behaviour", mean it is neigh impossible to answer in the negative, that violent video games do not cause people to become violent in a way that matters in the real world, because "violence" as noted above, is simply a unique response node on the same theoretical aggression continuum - the more suggestively 'aggressive' the individual responds to stimuli associated with the emotion/action, the more likely they are considered to be "aggressive" in the sense of being potentially violent, even though they may never outwardly express any such sentiment(s)[8].

And this leaves the larger discussion at an odd, never-to-be-resolved place, because that simple question does not hold the same meaning to a behavioural or social scientist as it does to a lawyer or jury, or even the layman, their interests are fundamentally different, the former deals ostensibly with speculative 'cause', the latter with actual 'effect', which requires objective, tangible evidence of an occurrence, a legal test the former can never adequately satisfy[9].

[0] the claim that violent video game cause violent behaviour is ostensibly unfalsifiable using the same principles, processes and tools as those employed in establishing the argument.

[1] Using the explicit search term "video game violence" to search a number of academic and research 'clearing houses', the following results were returned, for which there may be a degree of overlap/cross-over/duplication where the same material is published to multiple networks. Furthermore there may also be significant issues with content miscategorisation due to materials dealing with video game violence being mentioned in passing support of a papers thesis, rather than specifically as a primary subject of research or study (especially with regards to Google Scholar);
 - 289,
 - PubMedCentral: 1,006,
 - American Psychological Association: 211,
 - Sage Journals: 4,824,
 - Wiley Open Access: 99,
 - Open Science Framework: 721,
 - Science Direct: 3,238,
 - Google Scholar: 166,000 (search lists any mention of the terms),
 - Microsoft Academic: 324 (search modified to "video gameS violence" else 2 listings reported).

[2] Klebold and Harriswere found to have had significant interest in Doom and other 'violent', often 'mature' rated, games.

[3] Resolution on Violent Video Games, para. 5 - "The link between violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior is one of the most studied and best established. Since the earlier meta-analyses, this link continues to be a reliable finding and shows good multi-method consistency across various representations of both violent video game exposure and aggressive behavior (e.g., Moller & Krahe, 2009; Saleem, Anderson, & Gentile, 2012).".

[4] Resolution on Violent Video Games, para. 7 - "The violent video game literature uses a variety of terms and definitions in considering aggression and aggressive outcomes, sometimes using "violence" and "aggression" interchangeably, or using "aggression" to represent the full range of aggressive outcomes studied, including multiple types and severity levels of associated behavior, cognitions, emotions, and neural processes.".

[5] Resolution on Violent Video Games, para. 7 & 8 - "Violence can be defined as an extreme form of aggression (see Encyclopedia of Psychology, 2000) or the intentional use of physical force or power, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in harm (Krug, Dahlberg, Mercy, Zwi, & Lozano,2002 ). Thus, all violence, including lethal violence, is aggression, but not all aggression is violence.".

[6] an "aggression metric" can be considered the collation of various factors that might result in an individual expressing aggression; for example from simple emotional responses to subjectively upsetting materials, to factors such as socioeconomic affects on upbringing, work/life stressors, down to the individuals physiology.

[6b] an "aggression scale" is simply any means through which subject response to stimuli can be comparatively measured and/or assessed - scale of 1 to 10, less likely/more likely, negative to positive scale and so on.

[7] theoretical aggression responses are not necessarily manifest instances of aggression, i.e., physical acts, actions or outward expressions of aggression, a subject punching a wall for example. They are instead typically non-kinetic emotional 'beacons' researchers can tag as "aggressive" responses to appropriately designed stimuli, often cue-cards or questionnaires, but can be anything that is likely to elicit a response. With that said there is a body of research showing apparent causal links where minors have shown increased tendencies towards "aggressive" behaviours after exposure to stimuli. However, such research often fails to sufficiently clarify whether the individual is responding to the nature of the material they were exposed to, or because they were subsequently 'ginnied up' (colloquialism for "ginned up") as a consequence of the mechanisms used to test their exposure, i.e., is watching video footage of a fight making the person fight/want to, vs. their role-playing or otherwise physically acting out a fight or conflict. Furthermore in this regard, rarely is the context of aggression distinguished; the aggression expressed during competitive activities (sports) seem simply a different node on the 'aggression scale' as responses to passive media consumption might be (action/thriller movie), or that attributed to physical/kinetic conflict (bar/street fight). As the APA notes, "all violence is aggression, but not all aggression is violence" (cf. note 5).

[7a] "positive assertion" is the recognition a response was had, not that such was 'positive' ('good') or 'negative' ('bad').

[7b] "stimuli event = (+/-) response = aggression + frequency|intensity = violence" this faux equation helps visualise how the process by which simple emotional responses tagged as "aggressive" can be scaled infinitely to include overt, acute and lethal aggression (lethal violence). In essence the individual is prompted through stimuli and gives a response, one that is not necessarily required to be outward or obvious. The frequency or intensity of the response then indicates whether there is a possibility of more severe or lethal expressions, violence, without there being the need to induce such behaviours. In other words the equation is calculating a theoretical potentiate, not an actual one (the rules, regulations and policies in place protecting all research participants from direct and indirect harm prevents, or restricts what can and cannot be done for research purposes, even with informed consent).

[7c] in other words,,because violence is simply an extreme form of aggression, finding cause for the latter (aggression) instantly means there's a potential for the former (violence) regardless of there being any direct indication of such, i.e., the subject actually expressing violence towards others.

[8] e.g., requiring an individual go through anger management therapy despite there never being any indications they were angry, thus causing them to become angry by denying of them the fact they were not originally angry, which in turn justifies their being in therapy because they now are  angry.

[9] SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES - Brown, Governor of California, et al. v. Entertainment Merchants Association et al. (Argued November 2, 2010—Decided June 27, 2011): "Psychological studies purporting to show a connection between exposure to violent video games and harmful effects on children do not prove that such exposure causes minors to act aggressively. Any demonstrated effects are both small and indistinguishable from effects produced by other media." (pg. 2) [emphasis added] and "...have been rejected by every court to consider them" (fn. 6, p14) pp. 14-15. [Justice Breyer's dissenting opinion in this case, which addresses Anderson et al's research specifically, was predicated on his own ignorance of the materials referenced in the case so his dissenting conclusion was drawn through an "appeal to authority"; it wasn't that he found the research to be true, rather that he assumed it must be true because the researcher(s) are experts in their fields, whereas he is not, and their conclusions, say they are].

Dumb things pop-culture critics say: boys don't like female soldiers

July 30, 2016, 07:43:53 PM by kat
Boys wouldn't find female soldiers "believable".

The believability or not of female soldiers in Battlefield 1 is not predicated upon an accusatory interpretation of implied intent on the developers behalf. It depends solely on how the presence of women on the battle-field is framed and presented to the player. In other words, what story is the player given to explain female combat soldiers in the World they inhabit. What's the story behind it, because yes, based entirely upon trench warfare and front-line combat as it is historically documented to have happened, and as the player might already know it, coming across female soldiers is incongruous enough to potentially break immersion if a supporting rationale for their being there is not provided.

In other words, historically contextualised to the First World War as it stands, of atrocious bloody front-line combat, it is indeed unexpected, nay "[not] believable", to find female soldiers prancing about the battlefield poking peoples eyes out with bayonets, because the cold, hard, and costly truth and reality of the World War One, is that there were no female soldiers engaged in Front-line combat. This may be a distasteful reality for 'politics', but it is a reality nonetheless.

With that said this is, of course (it goes without saying), not to say female soldiers in a First World War setting cannot or should not happen. Quite the opposite in fact, especially should their presence is made clear by the story presented to the player.

For example female front-line troops in a First World War setting might be explained as a direct consequence of being granted enfranchisement before the Great War thus obligating them to fight and die for King and Country just as men and boys had been doing historically for centuries up and to that point without[1].

Alternatively women could have volunteered and fought in the trenches alongside their male counterparts knowing that at War's end they would be rewarded with the same Entitlement, obligating their being subject to the same historical responsibilities toward eligibility as men[2], a condition Government perhaps placed on all adults (over 21) for enfranchisement - "Join the Effort. Get the Reward. A Right to Vote![3]".

Or women fighting in the trenches being there as a result of pretending to be men, with breasts bound and mustachios penciled, all in the name of subversive 'suffering' for enfranchisement.

Or using equally suspicious but well intentioned fakery to volunteer because their brothers, fathers, husbands, sons had been killed leaving no-one left to fight but themselves.

But this is not the game Battlefield 1 looks to be. And this should not be taken to mean anything beyond face value, certainly nothing 'political' unless the developer specifically speaks upon that point (they haven't especially). Whilst a person can muse the possibilities and what-if's, denying the realities of the conflict and the desires of the developer to pay homage to it, projecting motives and agendas where they don't exist, naming and shaming those not in agreement, helps no-one. Then again that's never the point of such disingenuous faux outrage or criticism.

Incidentally, considering some 250,000 "boys" lied about their age to volunteer, enlist, fight and subsequently die in the early months of the War because they thought it was their Duty to King and Country, it's an interesting choice of words to use to make a point - "boys wouldn't find..." instead of "male gamers...." or perhaps just "gamers....".

[1] at the outbreak of the First World War, and contrary to a particularly politicised but popular point of view, few soldiers fighting and dying in the trenches were qualified to vote, they were either too young (under 21), or had other disqualifying impediments[cf. 1b]. It was not until AFTER the war and the passing of the "Representation of the People Act, 1918" that a majority of males aged 21 and over, and females age 30 and above (and/or married), were entitled to vote in both local and national elections (with some of the same conditions of eligibility applicable to both, whilst women were subject to additional caveats). This meant that prior to the 1918 Act a majority of men and boys were fighting ostensibly as a Responsibility of Citizenship, an Obligated Duty to Crown and Country, not the eligibility to vote.

[1b] as of the "Reform Act, 1884" Entitlement was an extension of Property rights; ownership of land, property, rental, tenancy etc., determined eligibility. Electing a Member of Parliament or Local Government Representative was not considered a 'personal right' in the sense it is understood today until the "Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928" granted equal eligibility status to both men and women aged 21 and above.

[2] when looking at the political rhetoric surrounding franchise Entitlement it was considered a reward of soldiers ostensibly to assuage the possibility of outcry at the monumental changes to Eligibility requirements for voting and offset the fact women were to be granted the same privileges without having been subject to the same historic Duties, Obligations or Responsibilities. Even after the Great Wars end and the "Representation of the People Act, 1918" came into being, men were still enlisting or being conscripted as a continuance of prior historic obligations and duties to Crown and Country only they had been subject to, not because they now had the vote, or as a consequence of it. In other words, Parliament could not grant women wholesale franchise access whilst much of the male population, especially those whom had fought and died in the trenches, were still not eligible.

- "The most sweeping change which the Act introduces is the admission of women to the Parliamentary franchise, whilst the difficult question of the enfranchisement of soldiers, sailors, and others serving in connection with the War, is solved by giving them the franchise for the Constituency in which but for their service in connection with the War they would have been entitled to vote, or, as an alternative, for the constituency (if any) in which they happen to have an actual qualification."
("The Representation of the People Act, 1918" by Sir Hugh Fraser LL.D. (Pub. 1918) - Introduction (pdf pg.27-33)

[3] certainly with the "Reform Act 1884", and even with the "Representation of the People Act 1918", voting was not yet considered a Right as is understood today, it was a privilege granted by Government as a direct consequence of State controlled conditions of eligibility; a person had to earn it rather than it being inherently inalienable to the individual.

Harassment of women now a "hate crime"

July 13, 2016, 04:18:22 PM by kat

[image courtesy of Nottinghamshire Police]

Nottinghamshire Police are the first municipal Police Force in the UK to specifically recognise the harassment of women as a hate crime.
Nottinghamshire Police has been working hard to understand exactly what hate crime means to the people of Nottinghamshire and has a clear definition in place. A hate crime is simply any incident, which may or may not be deemed as a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hatred.

Misogyny hate crime, in addition to the general hate crime definition, may be understood as incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman.

Examples of this may include unwanted or uninvited sexual advances; physical or verbal assault; unwanted or uninvited physical or verbal contact or engagement; use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission.[emphasis added]

Based on the language used it's not clear if policy implementation is limited to the Real World (TM) or not, it's sufficiently vague and subjectively interpretive enough to imply a response is obliged from the Authorities if the recipient is upset over others conduct regardless, online or offline; the defining characteristic being the offence being perceived by the victim as prejudiced or hatred.

What's particularly perplexing however is the sentiment behind the move, it implies that Criminal Harassment (cf. footnote [6]) is not already a thing[3], which leads groups like the Nottinghamshire Women's Centre, the organisation behind the policy, to perpetuate the myth that broader society doesn't take the abuse of women seriously;

Melanie Jeffs, Centre Manager at Nottingham Women’s Centre said: "We’re pleased to see Nottinghamshire Police recognise the breadth of violence and intimidation that women experience on a daily basis in our communities. Understanding this as a hate crime will help people to see the seriousness of these incidents and hopefully encourage more women to come forward and report offences."

The UK does in fact take abuse and discrimination very seriously[1], explicitly including behaviours deemed "hateful" and "harassing" (cf. footnote [6], Criminal Harassment). The implied lack of reports mentioned in the quote above is not/should not be taken as evidence or indicative of this - there are many reasons why victims of abuse do not file reports, the police not taking them seriously is actually low on the list[2]. For example the UK already has a number of effective laws on the books covering conduct deemed prejudicial or hate, which include forms of criminal harassment;

- Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (specific protections against harassment)
- Defamation Act 2013 (reputation)
- Public Order Act 1986 (racial/religious harassment)
- Equal Pay Act 1970 (employment/pay/work)
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (& 1986) (sex/gender/marital/parental status)
- Employment Act 1989 (equal opportunities in the workplace)
- Race Relations Act 1976 (racial hatred)
- Equality Act 2010 (poverty/disability).

And additionally for online conduct;

- Data Protection Act 1998 (abuses of information).
- Computer Misuse Act 1990 (electronic access abuses).
- Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media[4].

Why Nottinghamshire Police would, in conjunction with the Nottingham Women's Centre, deem it necessary to say they are going to police the above 'offences' when they should already be doing that as part of their Duties as defined by current law is anyones guess, but failures to act by Police, and failures to report by individuals, are issues requiring different solutions and remedies that have little to do with defining the crime or offence itselt.

What's interesting about this appearing now is that it goes against increasing amounts of data that suggest women are equally as abuse to others as men are said to be. This isn't cutting edge information only available to those in the know. Its easily accessible and available to the public such that one might be forgiven for thinking it odd that two organisations at the forefront of defending and protecting women appear ignorant of it, or that no-one within their respective ranks or advocacy circles had raised the issue or discussed these latest findings and what they might mean for their activism and advocacy, and the problems they present to such heavily gynocentic and gendered policies. Is such misandry simply the unintentional consequence of focusing on one gender at the expense of others given the plethora of information and resources available.

In other words, just what are Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham Women's Centre going to do about female abuse directed at other females, female abuse directed at males[5], or female abuse directed at other non-binary genders, except to perhaps ignore it, or count it as misogyny anyway thereby perpetuating a misrepresentation of the problem based on what would then be artificially inflated statistics and data relative to actual crime occurrence.

Additional Resources
- Victims' Information Service (UK Gov service).
- Report domestic abuse (
- Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary).
- Taking action about harassment (Citizens Advice).
- Reporting to Law Enforcement (US).

Further Reading
The below topics cover different aspects of the core issue presented by the above, how to deal with harassment and abuse. The fact of the matter is UK law makes a distinction between "unwanted" or "nuisance" behaviours, and criminal conduct where the individuals person is being threatened with harm. What the above does is blur the line in such a way that both can be captured under the remit of the policy, the lesser being treated as equal to the greater in much the same way as the argument conflating online violence with physical violence - activists and advocates want both seen as 'violence' regardless.

- 50% of women are misogynists.
- The dark side of diversity: "positive discrimination" (reverse discrimination).
- Illegal Hate Speech, the EU and Tech.
- "Freedom of speech ends where threats abound".
- Violence against males in games doesn't count... another study that 'proves' it.
- Online  Harassment: The  Australian Woman’s Experience.
- Consultation on Interim Revised CPS Guidelines on Prosecuting Social Media Cases.
- Convention on the Elimination of All Forms or Discrimination against Women.
- Free Speech & Expectations of Privacy on Social Media.
- Draft Investigatory  Powers Bill.
- Privacy in the aftermath of Paris (2015).
- Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls - A World-Wide Wake-Up Call.

[1] Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse: "HMIC found that staff answering 999 calls usually understand the definition of domestic abuse and mark cases accordingly on their information systems. They make sure that in the vast majority of cases an officer responds either immediately or within the hour. [...] If forces are unable to identify repeat victims, and convey the history of the abuse they have suffered to the responding officer, then valuable opportunities to identify and safeguard the victim on arrival are likely to be missed.". [pp. 10 & 11]

[2] Everyone’s business: Improving the police response to domestic abuse: "We conducted an on-line survey of over 500 victims of domestic abuse. Seventy-nine percent of the victims who had reported the incident to the police were satisfied with the initial police response, which is positive. When asked the main reasons for their satisfaction, one of the most common reasons was the speed of the policing response (14 percent). Another common reason (14 percent) said it was because officers were helpful. Although a high number of victims felt satisfied, a third felt no safer or less safe after the initial response."

[3] Association of Chief Police Officers - Bullying and Harassment: "Harassment is any unwelcome comments (written or spoken) or conduct which:

- violates an individual's dignity; and/or
- creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Harassment can take many forms including violence, threats, abuse, and damage to property. It can involve verbal abuse and name calling, offensive graffiti or post and can be received via text message, emails or social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace. It may cause physical injury, mental stress, anxiety, or insecurity. It can also occur for a variety of reasons, including race, religious belief, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

[4] Crown Prosecution Services Guidelines on prosecuting cases involving communications sent via social media ... "set out four categories of criminal offence:

- Credible threats (to a person’s life or safety or property)
- Communications targeting specific individuals (including persistent harassment and ongoing abuse)
- Breach of court orders (for example identifying people protected by law)
- Communications which are grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false

The guidance makes the distinction between the first three categories, which will be robustly prosecuted, and the last category to which a high threshold for prosecution applies. Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer QC explains: “These are cases that can give rise to complex issues, but to avoid the potential chilling effect that might arise from high numbers of prosecutions in cases in which a communication might be considered grossly offensive, we must recognise the fundamental right to freedom of expression and only proceed with prosecution when a communication is more than offensive, shocking or disturbing, even if distasteful or painful to those subjected to it.” In all cases, prosecutors will consider the full context of the communication and the public interest test

[5] Male Victims of Domestic Abuse: "For the 12-month period preceding the survey, and excluding stalking, 5.7% of women and 4.0% of men reported having suffered non-sexual partner abuse (any abuse, threat or force from a partner or ex-partner), a proportion of male victims of about 41%.  Of these, 3.0% of women and 1.8% of men reported suffering actual force, a proportion of male victims of 37.5%, which was designated as ‘severe’ in the case of 1.8% of women and 1.3% of men, a proportion of male victims of about 42%. This male proportion was slightly lower than the 2004/05 figure of 47%. "

- REFERENCES EXAMINING ASSAULTS BY WOMEN ON THEIR SPOUSES OR MALE PARTNERS: "This bibliography examines 286 scholarly investigations: 221 empirical studies and 65 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.  The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 371,600."

- Thirty Years of Denying the Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence: Implications for Prevention and Treatment: "The controversy over gender symmetry in PV was fueled by the 1975 National Family Violence Survey, which found a perpetration rate of assault by men partners of 12% and by women partners 11.6% (Gelles & Straus, 1988; Straus & Gelles, 1986; Straus, Gelles, & Steinmetz, 2006). The rate of severe assaults such as kicking, punching, choking, and attacks with objects was also about the same for men and women (3.8% by men and 4.6% by women). Neither of these gender differences was statistically significant."
[minor edits for clarity]
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