“Just the women”
Posted on November 19, 2012
Former Newsnight editor Peter Rippon’s casual dismissal of Jimmy Savile’s victims as “just the women” in his now notorious email to producer Meirion Jones, pretty much encapsulates the attitudes that have persisted towards the survivors of Savile’s abuse ever since.
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Yes that’s right, the survivors, remember them?
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Just in case anyone’s forgotten, what’s prompted the current crisis at the BBC is the revelation that for decades Jimmy Savile raped and abused countless young women and girls. In fact it’s now believed that Savile could well turn out to have been one of the country’s most prolific paedophiles; a man who created and starred in TV shows and charity events not out of any sense of wanting to entertain or because he was particularly altruistic, but for the express purpose of ensuring he had unfettered access to vulnerable young people he could then go on to abuse.
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Yet sadly, as is all so often the case when survivors of sexual violence find the strength to break their silence, the people who have so far come forward to speak out about the abuse Savile and others subjected them to have already been forgotten, their voices and their testimonies brushed aside in the rush to blame someone, anyone, everyone at the BBC except the perpetrators themselves.
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Yes Newsnight fucked up, and yes of course the executives and others who were responsible for pulling the report on Savile last year, and for giving the go ahead to the more recent and now discredited Bureau of Investigative Journalism piece, need to be held accountable for their mistakes. But the story of Jimmy Savile is not the story of Newsnight and what went wrong at the BBC in the months after his death. The story of Jimmy Savile, the story that should be uppermost in any coverage that has his name attached, is the story of the hundreds of young people he raped and abused: the victims and the survivors of his crimes.
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That’s not to say that the implosion of the BBC isn’t an important story in itself, because of course it is, but it’s a separate, albeit related, issue. The problem is that it’s this issue that is now being given centre stage; the problem is that as always, survivors of rape and sexual violence are being ignored, the impact of what happened to them minimised and discounted in favour of a seemingly bigger, juicier story. Who cares about the survivors after all, those who are at the end of the day “just the women“, when the very future of one of our great British institutions is at stake? Who wants to think about the atrocities Savile committed, when we can instead revel in the spectacle of the BBC eating itself alive?
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On Wednesday evening, 21st November, ITV will be screening Exposure Update, reporting on the progress of the police investigation into Savile and the sexual abuse claims made against him. Let’s hope that this programme helps to refocus attention back onto the real issues in this case, and helps ensure that the survivors of rape and sexual violence are front and centre of the story, instead of being relegated to the sidelines of some BBC sideshow as they have been over the past few months.
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The Rape Crisis National Freephone Helpline is open from 12-2.30pm & 7-9.30pm every day of the year: you can call them on 0808 802 9999
Let’s face it, the easiest thing for the BBC to report on is the BBC, because they know it without having to research it. And the press and the other broadcasters are happy to bash their competition, so they join in. Same thing happened with the Andrew Gilligan thing – weeks of BBC navel gazing and relatively few questions about what happened to Dr David Kelly.
Besides, if the press start looking into the issues of child abuse, they will probably get sued by the perpetrators (unproven in court) or the non-perpetrators (wrongly accused).
The Male Supremacist System always denies male sexual violence against women and girls is endemic because it is essential male sexual predators must either be viewed as isolated incidents and/or one or two scapegoats are ‘found’ to ensure the focus is never on men’s collective accountability. Our Male Supremacist System must never be subjected to rigorous scrutiny because if this were to happen, then we would see the system was created to justify and maintain men’s pseudo right of sexual access/sexual exploitation of females of all ages.
This is why men and their Male Supremacist System engage in scapegoating because it ensures focus is always diverted from the real issue which is our Male Supremacist System condones/justifies/excuses male pseudo right of sexual access to females of all ages. Scapegoating the BBC is all about men attempting to wrest power away from other males they view as more powerful than themselves. So the issue becomes one of male on male struggle for power and female survivors become invisible again.
Notice too how male supremacist system reacted when Lord McAlpine’s lawyers commenced legal action against certain factions of malestream media and individuals who twitted false allegations claiming Lord McAlpine had sexually preyed on girls.
Female survivors of male sexual violence do not commonly have access to power legal institutions in order to hold malestream media accountable for falsely accusing them of ‘being innate liars.’ Men continue to be the ones accorded socio-economic power and that is why malestream media swiftly apologised to Lord McAlpine and accepted they were accountable.
This demonstrates for the umpteenth time that what happens to men is real and maligning a male’s public character must not be allowed to happen. Women’s and girls’ systemic dehumanisation by men is not a violation of women’s and girls’ fundamental human rights because women and girls are not human but merely exist to be men’s disposable masturbatory objects. In other words men cannot malign women and girls because men claim only ‘man’ (sic) is default human being.
The use of term paedophile is another male created euphemism because it serves to separate ‘normal men’ from supposedly deviant (male) monsters. Men who sexually prey on girls and boys are, according to Male Supremacist System, paedophiles rather than normal males who are enacting their male pseudo right of sexual access to females of any age and/or boys. In other words men such as deceased sexual predator Saville are normal, respectable males enacting their pseudo male sex right to females.
Peter Rippon’s casual dismissal of Jimmy Savile’s victims as “just the women” is a common male view because men collectively continue to maintain ‘man’ (sic) is default human and men’s views/men’s rights/mens’ expectations/men’s demands are central whereas women are what? “Just women” according to misogynist Peter Rippon because they are not that default human – aka male!
Thanks for the re-focus for justice for the victims. The issue is three-fold, the sexual predator themselves, those individuals/institutions that aid and abet in covering up the crimes, and the victims not being believed (by individuals and institutions). Unless these issues are addressed and victims believed, it will happen again and again.
Defend the BBC
You’ve written the exact post I have wanted to write for weeks. When I eventually did write it, I did so in haste and it was only a brief one saying that I thought Phillip Schofield did the right thing, in trying to get the PM to stick to his promise of leaving no stone unturned. As it was largely viewed as a stunt, I got lambasted for saying that so have said no more, but you have said all I would have liked to have said.
People have been getting away with it for decades – Savile was one of MANY (a ring) and THAT needs to be the focus, and not the BBC.
I had lunch in a cafe yesterday and the only newspaper at my disposal to read was The Sun of all things, but I was delighted to see that they devoted pages 32-33 (a double page spread) into bringing it back to talk about the victims, and they gave the example of yet another case where there were coverups.
Most of what I read seems to be in this online article which I will share with you here:
I hope the truth comes out but it will expose a lot of people, hence the hesitancy. Jimmy has only been uncovered as he is dead.
Some files have been put away for 100 years….