COLUMN

The tyranny of modern-day feminism

Men have been convicted in cases that would have been laughed out of court when common sense still prevailed

BARBARA AMIEL July 11 1994
COLUMN

The tyranny of modern-day feminism

Men have been convicted in cases that would have been laughed out of court when common sense still prevailed

BARBARA AMIEL July 11 1994

The tyranny of modern-day feminism

COLUMN

BARBARA AMIEL

Men have been convicted in cases that would have been laughed out of court when common sense still prevailed

In the early 1960s, I lived in a women’s residence on the University of Toronto campus. Men were not allowed inside, and at night the sidewalk would be filled with couples desperately embracing. Today, most residences are coed. Human nature being what it is, some of the sidewalk passions are now transferred to more comfortable surroundings inside.

So it was that recently in one such residence somewhere in Canada, a man and a woman sat doing yoga exercises together in the common room until matters evolved into a more intimate situation in his room upstairs. Having mutually excited each other just short of full intercourse, the woman left the man’s room and then asked herself how she could possibly have let this happen—a feeling many of us have had after going out with someone we later decide wasn’t worth the candle. Her response was imaginative: she decided the man had used hypnosis to force her to participate in sexual acts.

The police arrested the male student and charged him with sexual assault. During the preliminary inquiry—which is still under way—the woman admitted that any observer would have thought she was voluntarily participating in the sexual activity. The male PhD student, who had no criminal record, had never read a book about hypnosis or taken a course on it, might now be forgiven for being in something of a trance himself. One of his bail conditions is that he cannot enter any university residence or building after 6 p.m. This stops him from entering his own bedroom and also prevents him from evening work in the university libraries.

Ever since George du Maurier’s novel Trilby about a young woman under the mesmeric influence of Svengali, there has been a body of popular fiction in which evil people hypnotize their victims and make them perform antisocial acts. Perhaps Canadian police forces only read pop fiction, but one might have expected the Crown attorneys in this

case to be familiar with the vast body of expert evidence that human beings under hypnosis cannot be made to perform acts contrary to their will. The female undergraduate could then have been told to push on with her life-enhancing chore of getting a BA.

There are dozens of cases like this in Canada. Each one is a basis for a novel on the complexity of human psychology. One could, for example, speculate sympathetically on the muddled feelings of the young woman above, who perhaps went too far with a chap her friends thought little of and then worried that she might be the butt of jokes in her residence. But the man is facing prison, and others have actually been convicted, in circumstances that would have been laughed out of court when common sense still prevailed in Canada.

A telling case is that of a young Canadian couple who lived together for two years until the woman’s bizarre behavior became too much for the boyfriend. Last year, she charged him with 17 counts of sexual misconduct. During the preliminary examination, the complainant explained that she was really a European aristocrat and not the person they believed her to be. When she falsely accused

the parents of her ex-boyfriend of deliberately injuring a friend of hers in a motor accident, the Crown attorney finally realized there was a problem. But instead of instantly charging her with perjury, they tried to force the accused male to sign a bond of peace to stay away from her. It was four months before the Crown dropped the charges.

More revealing is this: during that preliminary hearing, the woman made charges of misconduct against virtually everyone including the Crown attorney and the police. One policeman she accused of sexual misconduct had a hearing under the Police Act (and was acquitted). Clearly, this was a highly disturbed woman. But the authorities were paralysed: the feminist reign of terror in Canada is such that it is better to proceed with charges of sexual assault that are patently false than risk feminist wrath if support is withdrawn from a so-called victim. How did we arrive at this state?

During the mid-1970s, the feminists told us that Western culture was an oppressive system designed to keep women in serfdom. The feminists attacked patterns of courtship and the family. Male culture was denounced as inherently violent. In response, Canada’s Criminal Code was changed. Rape was replaced by the charge of sexual assault. This meant that any overture to a woman that she did not like (whether at the time or later) could be lumped in with the very specific and serious act of rape. Men making passes were in trouble. Up until then, a pass did not exist as an assault unless it continued after being firmly rebuffed. But these changes laid the groundwork for women to decide next morning whether they had liked the pass of the night before.

The whole Zeitgeist changed. Most women remained sensible, but some took advantage of their new and terrible power. These days, female complainants come to court with two sets of lawyers—their own from such “victims’ rights” organizations as the radical-feminist Barbara Schlifer Commemorative Clinic and the Crown attorney’s office. The fear of feminists is such that most decisions in Ontario not to proceed with sexual assault charges are now made by committee rather than the responsible Crown attorney. As evidentiary procedure changes to create kangaroo courts for accused males, our female judges, female Crown attorneys and female elites remain mostly silent. Actually, some are worse than silent. This reign of terror is their agenda. Some of them are the same women (and men) who spurred such authoritarian measures as pay and employment equity and now are on the bandwagon of the authoritarian matriarchal state.

Meanwhile, good Canadians who found the silence of ordinary people shocking while the horrors of McCarthyism or Nazism were going on do nothing. “What did you do, Mother,” Canadian children will ask in a decade or two, “when men were imprisoned and reputations shredded in Canada’s Feminist Salem?” I know what I will answer, but what, dear reader, will you say?