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Agenda | Opinion


Heard the one about the cannibal who tried online dating? He bit off more than he could chew… Uh-oh, the wokesters have a new target, and they’re absolute bounders… or, as the ‘victims’ of Marilyn Manson, Julian Assange, Shia Laboeuf and Armie Hammer position it: rapists, groomers and abusers. Apparently, in today’s cancel culture having dubious sexual tastes and/or lapsing into the least savoury grey areas of relationship boundaries is a perfect storm for career ruin, public humiliation and spending seven years in a marginal embassy styled as Father Christmas.

Now, I may be missing something, but Marilyn Manson doesn’t strike me as the type of chap who’d be first in line for a night of macrame and kombucha. Prior to these ‘victims’ falling prey to the scoundrel he’d gone on record with such gems as, “the crack inside your f***ing heart is me” and “I’ve assumed the role of antichrist”. The guy is self-named after one of the most depraved mass murderers who ever breathed. Maybe no one gave these girls (or their friends and families – where were they for that matter?) the memo, but I’d take that as a DEFINITE red flag. I once dated a guy who admitted he was into incest. I said it was a shame as I hated my family and it wasn’t going to work. I’d recommend the same for anyone sexting a cannibal without mutual inclinations. Isn’t that what ghosting’s for?

Which I think is what is so deeply offensive to genuine victims on so many levels. Recently, FKA Twigs, was asked by Gayle King why she didn’t just walk away from Shia Laboeuf. To which she answered, “We just need to stop asking that question…” Well yes, we do of women who are being threatened with their families being butchered, who may lose their shelter or livelihoods should they not acquiesce, who live in societies where the woman is always accountable, but when you have nothing at all to lose from leaving a situation you assert gave you PTSD, when you were old enough to make informed decisions, rich enough to call your security detail or a private jet and smart and successful enough to not be dependent on anyone at all, really, that question does, imperatively, need to be answered.

Because perhaps those starlets who didn’t put out for Weinstein and had their entire careers ruined, the teenagers trapped on Epstein’s island who weren’t physically able to leave, the 12-year-old Rochdale girls who were young, vulnerable and optionless enough to be brainwashed and those women who survived R Kelly are thinking about how these women of privilege had a choice and a voice and were free to leave with no risk to themselves.

Where was their power to speak up before speaking out, pride in deciding not to walk away and honesty in admitting, not least to themselves, that they consented to the situation at the most fundamental level by staying? What example are they setting to lesser worldly girls in not having taken any form of control or accountability in that situation? At which point do you decide not to be with this incredibly rich, famous person? To stop waiting for that intro to the producer that was promised, and see if you can make it on your own or even accept that you might not and be happy with that because you kept your integrity rather than pretended you were a cannibal/held ethics over hygiene/fancied Marilyn Manson, etc…

Have we reached the stage of cancel culture where every person with dubious sexual tastes or relationship issues gets erased? Elvis Presley? William Shakespeare? Henry VIII? On that note why is Snoop Dogg advertising Just Eat and should we be replacing the JF with AO before the K? Chris Brown, anyone?

To claim to be a victim of abuse because you had a relationship with a guy who had extreme or unsavoury sexual tastes not only threatens freedom of expression and identity but sexuality itself. It’s not only a low blow to blow apart an ex partner’s professional world which is in no way related to their consensual sexual life but the genuine choicelessness and subjugation of millions of victims who did not have another or better choice.

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