(This column was published in the North Shore News on Sept. 12, 2001)


Politically correct men as predators

By Leo Knight

Judging from the E-mail response to last week's column on Jamie Nelson being falsely convicted of sexual assault, it would appear a chord has been struck, at least with the male contingent of the population.


Every man, regardless of his position in life, has become vulnerable to the possibility of a woman in his life - a secretary, ex-girlfriend, co-worker, casual acquaintance - who could suddenly decide to make his life hell and file a complaint with the police alleging some sort of sexual assault, stalking or physical abuse. And, as the Nelson case so aptly demonstrates, even if you're innocent, you're guilty.


The fact that Jamie Nelson served over a thousand days in jail for a crime he did not commit and without supporting evidence, all on the word of a vicious, vindictive woman is tragic enough. But the case and its resulting publicity has shown there are a great many more Jamie Nelsons in this country.


Unfortunately, this is just one more example of political correctness run amok in our society. No one in their right mind would ever suggest that women do not make up the majority of sexual assault victims or the receiving end of domestic abuse. But no sane look at the issue can possibly suggest it is to the exclusion of all else.


A couple of years ago in this space, I told you of the case of a friend of mine, who had been stalked, not once but twice, by women. Both were ultimately charged with criminal harassment and convicted. In both cases the evidence was overwhelming, hence the convictions.


But the system was ill-prepared to accept the results of the investigation. After all, he was a man and men are the stalkers. Aren't they?


Last Christmas, another friend of mine, called me up and asked to meet. He'd just left his home and family after his wife, who suffers from some emotional ailments, called the police saying he had physically abused her. Even though she hadn't taken her medication prescribed to control her emotional instability and there was no evidence of any abuse, the police suggested he leave the house because she would be believed in court if the matter went further.


Where's the fairness in this?


My friend, who has shown the patience of Job with his wife's illness and has gone the extra mile to show understanding and compassion, had to leave his house, leaving his kids at Christmas simply because his wife took a notion to call police and attest to something which had never occurred.


On Saturday, The National Post's talented and irascible columnist, Christie Blatchford, examined the issue. She travelled a similar path as I did in last week's column, citing statistics and interviews with police investigators which showed the opinion proffered was more than justified.


The system, as it has evolved, has spawned an industry making women key players of the victim class. There is no shortage of women's rights groups, dominated by the feminists types and funded by governments at all levels, paranoid about appearing politically incorrect.


In June of this year, Justice Minister Anne McLellan, herself no stranger to making decisions driven by political correctness, announced proposed legislative changes coupled with $1.2 million in new funding initiatives. The groups who received her largesse were all women's groups.


Chief among them was The Canadian Women's Foundation to develop a "National Philanthropic Strategy on Violence against Women and Girls."


None of this is to say these aren't worthwhile organizations. The problem comes when all the energy, all the thinking, all the studies and all the money goes towards reinforcing the theory that women are always the victims and men are always the predators. That's just plain wrong.


Women like Cathie Fordham, Jamie Nelson's accuser, have done considerable damage to the "Women as victims" cause. But perhaps what she has really accomplished with her lies is to expose the politically correct logic applied by these groups for the sham it has always been.


Men are far from perfect in their interactions with women. But, they are not always wrong either.






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