Posted by Roger Mallett Posted on 11 May 2024

How Gender Ideology Breeds Toxic Law

In Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons, which was a textbook back in my high school in India, the following exchange occurs between Sir Thomas More and his future son-in-law William Roper. When More says he would grant the protection of the law even to the devil, Roper counters that he’d ‘cut down every law’ in order ‘to get after the Devil.’ More responds:

Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

I grew up in India being taught and believing that the United States was a nation of laws. The inaptly-named ‘progressive’ pursuit of social justice (think putting convicted rapists into women’s prisons) has been white-anting Western societies, including the US, for some years now. The rise of identity politics, in particular around the faddish notions of critical race theory and gender ideology, has occurred alongside the erosion of social cohesion and political stability.

These were preceded by increasingly radicalised and unhinged attacks on toxic masculinity – attacks on male privilege came long before attacks on white privilege. This culminated in the #MeToo moment when women had to be believed and men vilified, defenestrated, and perhaps even incarcerated, no matter how thin the evidence and how absurd the alleged victimisation and grievance narrative (including a date who did not meet expectations by failing to read ‘non-verbal’ cues about the woman’s preferences between red and white wine!).

In the process longstanding pillars of Western jurisprudence and criminal justice systems have come under sustained assault to the point of breaking down entirely. Thus in Canada courts have begun to use minority racial identity as a mitigating factor to be taken into account when sentencing people who have been convicted of crimes. And we are unlikely ever to know the number of male victims of miscarriages of justice in sexual assault cases – victims of illiberal liberalism – with the weakened commitment to the key principles of equal protection of the law, due process, and innocent until proven guilty.

This is at its most dangerous at the confluence, in the name of social justice, identity-based victimhood narratives, and bitterly partisan politics when allegations of misdeeds are weaponised in efforts to destroy political opponents in order to gain or hold on to power. This happened in the United States during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings. It remains an unfinished story in Australia in the case of Brittany Higgins.

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