Peter Hitchens Compares Sexual Harassment To Militant Islam In ‘Insane’ Column

Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens has prompted a social media storm after likening those “squawking” about the Westminster sexual harassment scandal to “Militant Islamists”. The veteran writer’s column appeared in Sunday’s newspaper and online as British politics is engulfed in accusations in the fall-out from the Harvey Weinstein allegations. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has quit and the Conservative Party, Labour and SNP are all probing claims made against their representatives, including an accusation that Jeremy Corbyn’s party ignored a rape allegation. It was the provocative headline on Hitchens’ piece - “What will women gain from all this squawking about sex pests? A niqab” - that fuelled disbelief on Twitter. “Women! If we can’t dictate your place and treatment in society then the creeping sharias will!” pic.twitter.com/6rIyC59ERm The headline drew comparisons to a widely-shared and similarly-derided Charles Moore column in the Telegraph a day earlier. “This scandal shows that women are now on top. I pray they share power with men, not crush us,” the headline of his piece ran.  Thought Charles was spellbinding yesterday, but it turns out he's just the Salieri to Peter's Mozart pic.twitter.com/0TC3rSuOXE Charles Moore: I’ve got a mad, irrational and creepy response to the current scandal. Peter Hitchens: Tush, you naive amateur. pic.twitter.com/kItJ1wDIlf Peter Hitchens skilfully managing to seamlessly weave misogyny, islamophobia & hyperbole into one ridiculous statement. ?????? pic.twitter.com/JBVvJEfOls November 5, 2017 Dear Peter Hitchens and Charles Moore: the alternative to molestation isn't the niqab. It's men caring about consent. Peter Hitchens here, asking insanity itself to hold his beer. pic.twitter.com/iXFHdhEUOs If Hitchens, Moore et al weren't reacting to the sexual harassment scandal with obvious panic, I'd be worried. To me it's very encouraging. One of Hitchens’ defences was that most commentators on Twitter had not read the article, and he suggested they were basing their outrage on the headline alone and deliberate misinterpretation. But many people had read the piece, and objected to various aspects of his argument. That included his argument that men and women objecting to harassment have “lots in common” with “Militant Islamists”. Some simply couldn’t comprehend the comparison. Peter Hitchens: Calling out & opposing sexual harassers & assaulters makes you as bad as... militant islamists. pic.twitter.com/GdxEG6ZCGU Hitchens also argued feminists have a wider agenda. While he says he welcomes the “wonderful new equality between men and women, which is one of the great changes for the better in our age”, Hitchens fears for the “militant destruction of marriage and the traditional family”. He writes: “Many of those who claim to seek female equality have another, much fiercer objective. They actually see men as the enemy, the ‘patriarchy’, to be overthrown by all means necessary, and replaced by a feminised society. They also see marriage as a machine for oppressing women. Their objectives moved a lot closer last week.” Some pointed out this, again, was overblown and men were just being asked to be “less awful”. Peter Hitchens thinks the logical conclusion of women asking men to be less awful is "women should wear burqas then" https://t.co/jkO4PST8fM Hitchens goes on that those calling for equality also “sneered at restraint and manners” and now want those customs to return. He argues the values once enshrined in marriage separated “us” from the “Islamic world”, and the niqab alluded to in the headline. One Twitter user countered that this assumed there was no harassment before society was “liberated”. It’s so revealing, this stuff: Hitchens believes there was a happy time when there was no sexual harassment, rather than no recourse. pic.twitter.com/HF13vSRORw November 5, 2017 Hitchens then imagines the lengths men in Westminster will have to go to ensure they do not face accusations of harassment. Again, it is dismissed as a “laughable” way to act.  This is laughable for grownup men who know how to act normally at lunch. If you feel like this stay home no one wants your weird company https://t.co/tVAuadwtA9 November 5, 2017 But aspects of the column did garner praise, notably his argument that Britain faces bigger problems than the allegations that have rocked Westminster.  Hitchens in turn confronted his critics, arguing many were “twisting” his words and that people were failing to explain their counter arguments - even though many had.  I wish you a happy and successful career in the Thought Police, where this sort of twisting and misrepresentation are valued skills. https://t.co/hmRLrrhxbd November 5, 2017 Explain your disagreements, if you can. Or do you just run with the Twitter mob, mouth wise open, mind tightly shut? https://t.co/vgjTFAwy3V should have felt angry when I saw this but then ‘the past was yours, but the future’s mine’ came into my head instantly and it was ok pic.twitter.com/arbayzh4Ym November 5, 2017