The police did not believe Joanne Mjadzelic, ex-girlfriend of Ian Watkins, when she told them he might be abusing children. Instead, the police enabled Watkins to continue his paedophilic behaviour until a drug bust revealed more than narcotics. The Watkins Case tells an unpalatable truth. The police and society as a whole don’t believe women or girls. Just look at when females brings incest to light. The family often greets it with disbelief and incredulity. So, no matter how serious the issue, from abuse to pain, we just don’t believe them.
‘It’s not about celebrity it’s about us’
Ms Mjadzelic told officers that Watkins had sent her a text message about his desire to abuse children. However, the police decided that Ms Mjadzelic was not a reliable or credible witness. Their prejudice was so deep that they did not even bother with a cursory check of the text. By discrediting Ms Mjadzelic, all the following allegations were tainted. The police investigated none. Not even a pornographic photograph of a five-year-old girl. They failed to act, like in so many cases because of prejudice (conscious or not) that leads to the police discriminating against females.
The Watkin’s case follows society’s pattern of reluctance to accept a female’s word. In the Jimmy Saville scandal, early complainants were dismissed. So were 36 women with allegations of sexual assault concerning Bill Cosby. Not one woman, though that should not matter, but 36! Ditto Trump. Trump faces allegations of tying and raping a 13-year-old girl. Yet the people elected him President. But it is not about celebrity. It is about us.
‘Women are not believed’
The Independent Police Complaints Commission report is clear. The police failure to act was not because Watkins is a celebrity. And many cases bear this out. So, in the Rochdale Child Abuse ring, female officers had their concerns dismissed. And the police also ignored the girls who were the victims of the abuse.
The story of Helen Pearson follows the same pattern. She made 125 complaints to the police about Joseph Willis stalking her. The police took no action. Until Willis attacked Ms Pearson with a pair of scissors intending to murder her.
Women are treated with scepticism on issues from abuse to pain.
Doctors do not believe women when they say they are in pain. Females “are more likely to have their pain reports discounted as ‘emotional’ or ‘psychogenic’ and, therefore, ‘not real’.” Accordingly, doctors dispense pain relief to more men than they do women. And that has a major impact on women’s health. So, doctors have been ignoring women complaining of pain from vaginal mesh implants. Some women are in permanent pain and are unable to walk or have sex. So, doctors have been recommending anal sex instead! And Essure, the sterilisation implant leaves women in ‘suicidal’ pain and even requiring hysterectomies.
And despite the new cases, denying women are in pain is a historical problem. So why do we deny women the help they seek?
The Book Of Genesis
Judeo-Christian beliefs are part of the fabric of our society. The book of Genesis says that men ‘give in’ to their animal nature against their will because women are temptresses. In other words, females are to blame for a man’s lack of will power and sexual attacks. And Genesis 3:16 makes much of females suffering great pain and men ruling. Genesis’s portrayal of women is rather unattractive: liars, exaggerators who are to feel pain. And are for men to control.
I think that Society still holds these religious ideas on some level and we need to review them. They are part and parcel of patriarchy. So, it is a sad truth that, only in 1994 did females become part of medical trials. And women are still waiting for inclusion. At the same time, money is moving away from services that benefit women’s health.
Religious ideas may not be the only reason why women are not believed. But I do think they are central to how females are seen and their needs addressed. So, it is time to stop failing 50% of the population, tackle sexism in society and at the very least investigate when women speak.
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