How do you transform a perpetrator or simply a lowlife into a victim? Semantics, that’s how. Second wave feminism honed this technique to an art. Instead of a woman who sold sex being called a prostitute, she became a prostituted woman. Someone, almost always a man, was responsible for her lifestyle, and if she didn’t have a pimp, she was sold for sex. Thus was Cyntoia Brown transformed from a juvenile delinquent turned murderess into a victim of child sex trafficking.
The recent case of Emma-Jayne Magson is another example of deceptive semantics, instead of being a female psychopath with a track record of violence against both sexes who stabbed her lover through the heart, lied about it, then sat and watched him die, she became the victim of an abusive relationship, a battered woman. Fortunately, two juries took a different view, and the judge who presided over her retrial for the murder of James Knight said if he were able, he would have increased her seventeen year tariff.
Shamima Begum is neither a prostitute nor a murderess, but in some people’s eyes she is even worse. Born in Britain of Bangladeshi parents, she married a jihadi and moved to Syria as a member of Islamic State. She quickly became a mother, three times in succession, and lost all three of her young ones, the last by March 2019; it was born in a refugee camp.
Now, Begum wants to come “home”. And there are tens of thousands of dupes who support her, including on Change Dot Org, although many more people have signed petitions against. The Supreme Court has ruled she can’t come “home”, and Bangladesh doesn’t want her either.
Most alarmingly, a group of MPs is campaigning to allow her to return because, get this, she was trafficked to Syria. Not only that, she was groomed. In other words, she has no agency for her bad acts. Begum was only fifteen when she left Britain, and there is a well worn argument that a 15 year old should not be treated like a 30 year old, especially one who has been groomed and trafficked.
Again, leaving aside the dishonest semantics, this argument isn’t entirely without merit, but there are limits. Philip Chism was just 14 when he murdered his teacher Colleen Ritzer and sexually violated her corpse in a most gruesome fashion. Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier were only 12 when they lured another 12 year old into the woods and stabbed her 19 times, including in the heart. Miraculously, she survived. Like Chism, Geyser and Weier are now serving heavy sentences. These are both American cases; clearly in this respect, American justice is superior to ours.
As for Begum being groomed, again there are limits; Rosemary Letts was likewise only 15 when she met her future husband Fred West. She was certainly groomed by him, and went on to exceed him in depravity. Does her initial grooming excuse or even mitigate her crimes? Of course not, but the MPs don’t simply want Begum to be allowed back in Britain, they want all women who followed the same path to be allowed back also.
Human trafficking and indeed child sex trafficking is a real thing, including at the American Southern border at present, but to compare Begum and others like her with people exploited by Mexico’s criminal cartels is an insult to genuine victims.
Begum and women like her were trafficked, groomed, coerced, we are told, none of them are responsible for their own misdeeds, they have agency for everything else, but never for their bad acts. Thankfully, the Government disagrees, and will not now or ever bow to such pathetic emotional blackmail.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.