January 17, 2023 Abdul Haqq

Police & Thieves: When Privilege and Abuse become Synonymous

Yet another revelation of statutory abuses of power by a member of the Metropolitan Police has lead to yet more handwringing apologies; however the resounding question to be asked is, how is it possible to have overlooked PC David Carrick for so long, particularly after the raft of recommended legislative changes following the horrific murder of Sarah Everard by PC Wayne Couzens in March 2021?

“Met Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said the force had “failed” and Carrick “should not have been a police officer”. The force has apologised after it emerged Carrick came to the attention of officers over nine previous incidents, including claims of rape and domestic violence – but faced no criminal sanctions or misconduct findings over those allegations.” [1]

The answer to the above question is as simple as it is alarming: Despite the undoubted rise in misogyny and other hate crimes towards women, little to nothing has been done by way of introducing and implementing changes to improve their safety or indeed, tackle the toxic and dangerous culture being cultivated in various public spaces:

“In the year since Everard’s death, at least 125 women have been killed, an increase on the previous two years…Although it felt like Everard’s death was a watershed moment, has anything actually changed? On the surface, it doesn’t seem like it. Last week [March 2022], MPs voted against making misogyny a hate crime…” [2]

Unsurprisingly but disturbingly, a significant minority within society not only oppose misogyny being outlawed, they increasingly advocate for it becoming more mainstream – and its impact among youth is disconcerting.[3] It is important at this stage to (re)emphasise what misogyny actually is: “hatred of, aversion to, or prejudice against women.” [4] Most are aware of the Incel[5] movement, its ideology and some of the heinous crimes committed by advocates on account of their revulsion towards women. However, while highlighting this, it is also necessary to refer to additional characteristics that define and go some way to explaining the behaviour of these corrupt police officers; namely, those of disregard and contempt for the female body, and that women are available solely for their sexual gratification and frighteningly, entertainment:

“In the group chat, which had seven new Met Police officers as members, including Couzens, Cobban joked about sexually abusing domestic violence survivors who he said “love it… that’s why they are repeat victims more often than not”.” [6]

Tate Modern vs. Tate Ancient

“Tate Modern is an art gallery located in London. It houses the United Kingdom’s national collection of international modern and contemporary art, and forms part of the Tate group…the Tate was third in the list of most-visited art museums in the world in 2020, and the most visited in Britain.” [7]

One would be forgiven for believing the social media influencer and former kickboxing champion, Andrew Tate, owned the group of renowned museums mentioned above. His wealth and popularity are such that he was the most searched for (googled) personality in 2022, far more than his namesake museums.[8] His reputation for toxic masculinity, coupled with misogynistic declarations has lead to social media bans across most platforms. However, this has only further elevated his notoriety and status among young people:

“Last month [August 2022], controversial influencer Andrew Tate was banned on several social media platforms for violating their policies.

But nearly two weeks into these bans, platforms are still inundated with clips of Tate making derogatory comments about women — highlighting what some media experts suggest is part of a dangerous system whose algorithm can be manipulated to radicalize young men to adopt harmful views against women…  And as Tate’s case shows, banning controversial figures can actually make the problem worse.” [9]

The majority of Tate’s perspectives regarding women are abhorrent, misogynist and dangerous. Following his recent conversion to Islam, discussion has ensued across some platforms regarding a potential synergy – a coming together – of his beliefs with Islam’s position on women. At this juncture it is essential to distinguish misogyny from patriarchy; the two are not the same, and most of Tate’s (former?) beliefs regarding women are antithetical to Islam. Patriarchy is defined as: “a system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is reckoned through the male line,”[10] and while some may decry the existence of such an age old system across particular societies, they simply cannot equate it as being mutually inclusive with misogyny, in the same way any claim that matriarchal societies – of which few still exist[11] – can be associated with misandry (the hatred and contempt for men.)

“If you look far enough back into history, you’ll find that women were revered and honored for their ability to bear children. Even if you just crack open a Greek epic, the pages are teeming with goddesses and female warriors, elevated to a position of worship and respect. 

But over the course of history, societies across the globe started to bend towards a more patriarchal structure, which is pervasive in most communities in modern times. However, there are still surviving matriarchal societies to be found where women, literally, are the dominant steering factor in all matters, social, political, and economical.” [12]

Islam’s position regarding women is unequivocal, with the Quran and Prophetic traditions articulating their esteemed societal and familial status. Scholars have also further elucidated upon this over the centuries:

“In his commentary on Chapter 2 verse 228 [of the Quran], Ibn ‘Ashur addresses the influence of social norms on societal perceptions of morality and ethics. According to the verse, men and women share equal rights based on “honorable norms…” [13]

 Societal Perceptions, Morality & Ethics

The continuing saga of Andrew Tate’s arrest and detention should not obfuscate the murky pools from where his views have emanated – among them, British society – and institutions, such as the Metropolitan Police, which have failed to introduce adequate legislation to effectively serve and protect its citizens. Leadership at all levels is often a reflection of the populace – of which Tate happens to be a member. If, on a macrocosmic level, our institutions are failing to root out and address endemic problems that result in the sexual violence, abuse and killing of innocent civilians – women in this instance – is it any wonder that this is subsequently mirrored societally on microcosmic levels by various individuals (the Tates of this world) and communities (Incels), culminating in perspectives increasingly accepted as social norms by some – particularly boys and young men? Aisha Ali-Khan is correct when referring to the historical existence of misogyny and Tate not being the cause celebre for its current focus:

“Tate is not the cause of toxic masculinity or misogyny. Double standards for men and women have existed for centuries, well before Tate set up his webcam business in Romania or his $49-a-month Hustler’s University to give tips to young men on becoming rich.” [14]

Police & Thieves in the Streets

Tate’s scams and racketeering appear to be catching up with him but, referring once more to a wider societal context, the perception regarding elements of the police must also be that they, simultaneously, are also thieves; They have robbed some victims of their innocence, dignity and in the most severe cases, their lives; However, insofar as it extends to society as a whole, they have stolen our trust:

“Police and thieves in the street, ooh yeah

Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition

Police and thieves in the street, ooh yeah

Scaring the nation with their guns and ammunition…

All the crimes committed day by day

No one [tries] to stop it, in any way

All the peacemakers turn war officers

Hear what I say

Police and thieves in the street…”[15]

 

 

 

[1] Mercer, D: Metropolitan Police officer David Carrick pleads guilty to string of sex offences including 24 rape charges,’ Sky News, 16th January 2023: https://news.sky.com/story/metropolitan-police-officer-david-carrick-pleads-guilty-to-string-of-sex-offences-including-24-rapes-12787890

[2] Smith, S: ‘One year on from Sarah Everard’s death, has anything actually changed?’ Dazed, 4th March 2022: https://www.dazeddigital.com/politics/article/55597/1/one-year-on-from-sarah-everards-death-has-anything-actually-changed

[3] Mathers, M: ‘School holds Andrew Tate assemblies over fears of ‘toxic misogynist’s’ influence over children,’ The Independent, 12th January 2023: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/andrew-tate-social-media-gateway-drug-b2260309.html

[4] Merriam Webster Dictionary: ‘Misogyny’, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misogyny [accessed, 17th January 2023].

[5] BBC Trending: ‘Incels: Inside a dark world of online hate,’ BBC News, 13th August 2021: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-44053828

[6] Davies, G: ‘Wayne Couzens’ police colleagues who joked about raping female officer and tasering children jailed,’ The Telegraph, 2nd November 2022: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/11/02/wayne-couzens-met-police-colleagues-jailed-messages-whatsapp/

[7] Wikipedia: ‘Tate Modern,’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tate_Modern [accessed 17th January 2023]

[8] Tinoco, F: ‘Andrew Tate topped Google’s 2022 ‘Who is’ search list closely followed by Alex Jones,’ We Got This Covered, 14th December 2022: https://wegotthiscovered.com/celebrities/andrew-tate-topped-googles-2022-who-is-search-list-closely-followed-by-alex-jones/

[9] Wilson, B: ‘Andrew Tate’s been banned from social media. But his harmful content still reaches young men,’ CBC News, 7th September 2022: https://www.cbc.ca/news/entertainment/andrew-tate-social-media-bans-1.6573978

[10] Patriarchy: https://www.google.com/search?q=patriarchy&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-sa&client=safari [accessed 17th January 2023]

[11] Madaus, S: ‘6 Matriarchal Societies That Have Been Thriving With Women at the Helm for Centuries,’ Town & Country, 5th August 2019: https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/g28565280/matriarchal-societies-list/

[12] Ibid

[13] Mubarak, H: ‘Rebellious Wives, Neglectful Husbands: Controversies in Modern Quranic Commentaries,’ Oxford University Press, 2022, p. 65

[14] Ali-Khan, A: ‘Muslim women know Andrew Tate has no place in Islam,’ New Statesman, 28th October 2022: https://www.newstatesman.com/quickfire/2022/10/muslim-women-andrew-tate-islam

[15] Murvin, J: ‘Police and Thieves,’ 1977: https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=4dZky936vtU [accessed 17th January 2023]

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