The Wrong Victims, the Wrong Perpetrators

Telford and the Hypocrisy of #MeToo

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After the revelations of sexual harassment and assault by Harvey Weinstein came to light in October of 2017, a hashtag grew with viral force: first used by Tarana Burke, and popularized by Alyssa Milano, the hashtag “#MeToo” became a constant flow of stories by women describing their experiences of sexual harassment and sexual abuse. For six months now, the hashtag has endured, along with the sociopolitical movement that surrounds it; so when the UK’s Sunday Mirror this week revealed the terrifying reality in Telford, where more than 1000 victims had been abused by grooming gangs across the last 40 years, I had expected to hear again from this movement, and the mainstream media outlets which have given it such a long-lasting boost.

Instead, we’ve heard almost nothing from the likes of those who promoted #MeToo.

Newspapers and magazines have covered, for even days at a time, the stories of knees or arms being touched and unwanted kisses, the stories of women feeling uncomfortable in the presence of men, and yet, the sheer outrage they’ve shown for Hollywood is lost amidst the absolute atrocities committed against girls, as young as 11, in Telford. Even the perpetrators are given a pass with the euphemistic language in what few articles have covered the story, calling these Muslim gangs, “Asian” — a term immediately in conflict with the mugshot images attached to these articles.

We are told by the campaigners, both in the mainstream and social medias, time and time again, that they are not speaking up for personal gain or in political motivation, but rather to help women less fortunate than them. And yet, there has not been a resurgence in the #MeToo hashtag, or any other, expressing their sympathy, empathy, or desire to help these girls in Telford. There are no finely-dressed London or Hollywood darlings walking through Telford, nor any grand protests on its streets, nor journalists or reporters scouring Telford to bring further to light the suffering of young girls and women far less fortunate — worse, suffering for years as the victims of these Muslim grooming and rape gangs. But why?

Is it because these young girls are the wrong kind of victim? The media has tended to focus on beautiful, of-age women when showcasing asserted victims who came forward within the #MeToo movement. The women on the cover of Time’s Man of the Year issue, the so-called Silence Breakers, came from wealthy and socially- or politically-influential lives and positions, even wearing dresses which no one in Telford, or most of the UK for that matter, could afford with even a year’s salary saved. Christina Garcia, who gained her fame from first the #MeToo movement and her place on that “Silence Breakers” cover of Time, and again more recently in the allegations of sexual assault against her employees, was a well-positioned Assemblywoman in California with political power behind her.

Is it because the Muslim men and women who perpetrated these heinous acts are the wrong kind of perpetrator? Despite the utterly dishonest use of the label “Asian” to describe them, these men were accused of far worse than anything of which even Harvey Weinstein was accused, having forced drugs upon, groomed, raped, and murdered girls ages 11 to 14, and yet, their skin colour is all wrong: unlike Weinstein, or Kevin Spacey, or Eric Salvail, or any of the other high-profile individuals accused under the banner of #MeToo, these were Muslims. Dark-skinned and therethrough protected by the fears of being deemed a racist. For decades, the problem grew worse, and for reasons of equity and multiculturalism, these religious paedophiles were allowed to continue their acts, despite it being known by authorities and social workers in Telford since the 1990’s that such horrific abuse was occurring. But it upsets the carefully-constructed intersectional narrative which the media intends to push — there is no means for journalists and reporters and the police to describe this without exposing themselves to accusations of Islamophobia and racism. And it is fears of being considered a racist, an Islamophobic, which they care about more than actual rape, of children no less.

Instead, their efforts have been focused on destroying evidence of these atrocities and firing whistleblowers from their positions in social service, for having the audacity to provide evidence to newspapers about the abuses taking place in Telford — just as they had in Rotherham and Rochdale. When one of the paedophile rapists would impregnate a girl, she would be forced to get an abortion, only to be impregnated again — and if she spoke up, she and her family would be murdered by the burning of their home as was the case with Lucy Lowe at the hands of her attacker, Azhar Ali Mehmood — but charges of sex with a minor would go unpressed even as he was imprisoned for murder. Police had even told one victim they had destroyed evidence of her rape claim, afther the Sunday Mirror had contacted her.

And it only gets worse. Many of these girls were ignored entirely, being described as “prostitutes” by the local authorities, despite money not being a factor and drug addiction being forced upon them, and even treated as criminals themselves for reporting the crimes committed against them. Their attackers, their rapists, even if charges were brought against them, would time and time again go without trial or jail time, returning to the community to choose another victim.

The politicians, journalists, reporters, and celebrities which took #MeToo from a hashtag to a worldwide viral phenomenon speak as though we should believe the victim implicitly, and help less-fortunate women have their voice, but this does not extend to the working-class young girls who have grown to be young women in Telford, and other towns in England. Much to the contrary; far from addressing the matter in Parliament, MPs would rather debate on whether wolf-whistling and cat-calling should be classified as a hate-crime in the UK, and newspapers would rather publish conspiracy theories regarding Russia poisoning individuals within their country, while genuine acts of horrific violence and abuse take place the town down the road from theirs. The sheer hypocrisy is absolutely disgusting. These are not “Asian rape gangs”, they are Muslim grooming and rape gangs, and they will not stop until they are stopped, by the people of the United Kingdom, their police and their Councils. Otherwise, they will focus on what is painless and easy to address, instead of the terrifying reality that faces them.