This is a long post, for which I apologize. But it's... bad. --tfl
Barge around one of those "men's rights" websites long enough and you're bound to find some asswipe so incensed by the very idea that he might have been "cuckolded" that he'll assert with callous passion that he'd abandon a dependent child if he felt he wasn't the "real" father. Because the most mature, "manly" thing you can possibly do when your fee-fees are hurt by an adult partner is to crush the emotional life out of little children who, like all children, make the only father they know the center of their universe.
I previously believed these men to be the biggest monsters in civilization and that anyone who even advocated doing such a thing, let alone committed something such a heinous crime against humanity should have DNR tattooed on his face so that paramedics and emergency room staff wouldn't bother resuscitating him should he ever come under their care.
Now I've heard of something even worse.
For nearly 30 years the London police routinely "deployed" undercover cops to infiltrate non-violent protest groups like Greenpeace and routinely supervised sexual relationships with female activists as part of their "infiltration."
These "infiltrations" lasted sometimes for years. One married officer, involved with a targeted non-violent activist for six years, attended couples therapy with his own real-life wife while simultaneously going to another couples therapist with his victim. Another, over the course of a decade, had serial multi-year romantic and/or sexual relationships with three members of a non-violent animal-rights or environmental group.
Another officer is alleged to have not only formed a relationship with a member of a (non-violent, remember) anti-war group but fathered a child with her!
That doesn't necessarily make him the worst kind of monster.
What does make it very bad is that when the police chose to terminate their investigations the undercover cops were obliged to abandon the intimate, often sexual, sometimes parental relationships they'd formed with their victims, again, over many years.
But you know what? That they did abandon their victims and the children they fathered and presumably helped raise, also possibly for years, was plenty bad enough, and certainly qualified them as... well... unqualified monsters. But even that didn't make them the worst kind of monsters.
Because rather than admit "oh, by the way, I don't love you. I've never loved you. I don't care about our friends -- in fact I only took up with you to betray them. I don't care about your parents, whom I've met and spent holidays together with you with. And I don't even care about the son or daughter I've fathered with you" the fucking miserable cowards were coached to, get this, being pretending to have deep depression and then to disappear with stories about needing to "find themselves." Perhaps by taking jobs overseas." And then erasing all traces of their non-existent former lives. Leaving their erestwhile partners humanly worried about them, concerned for them, sometimes spending years searching for them. And, of course, no doubt trying to explain to their children what's happened to Daddy.
It's that part. Nominally responsible police supervisors coaching agents to behave like the worst stereotypes of Peter-fucking-Pan "can't find yourself" male irresponsibility as the way to "extract" themselves from these undercover long-term relationships. That's what takes them across the threshold from everyday callous asshole monsters and into over the top unbeatable monsters.
SWEET mother of pearl!
Check out this YouTube transcript of the officers and members of Parliament left trying to sort it all out. The conversation between the blithe cops and incredulous MPs is just surreal!
Here's a quick and dirty transcript.
Q: What happens if a child is born as... has been alleged? What happens? Where's the responsibility for that?
A: Well, those individual cases are clearly going to be explored by the court.
Q: No... [back talk] What obligations are there for the men if a child were [pause] from a preapproved liason?
A: You're taking my words in a slightly different way. I did say, absolutely, that preauthorization, we don't do that today about relationships. Not ordinarily.
Q: What do you mean by "not ordinarily?"
A: If people become involved in a relationship it has to come back to the supervisor.
Q: The thing is, if a supervising officer knows about a sexual relationship, and a child is born from that relationship, then the Met has some... responsibility [garbled] that child, because that police officer will be using a false name that child has some sort of right to know the correct legal name of their father.
A: Our expectation is people will not engage in long-term relationships. [back chatter] They will not get involved in long term relationships and get involved in the sort of things you're describing... and are well documented in terms of those sorts of things.
Elsewhere another legislator asks "What advice does the supervisor give in those circumstances, to the officer, one to protect the employee as well as the other party involved, who very well may be a suspect but more likely might not be a suspect, because the relationship is there.
And check this out via RAW Story:
Mark Jenner lived with a woman under a fake name. Now she has testified to MPs about the ‘betrayal and humiliation’ she felt
He was a burly, funny scouser called Mark Cassidy. His girlfriend – a secondary school teacher he shared a flat with for four years – believed they were almost “man and wife”. Then, in 2000, as the couple were discussing plans for the future, Cassidy suddenly vanished, never to be seen again.
An investigation by the Guardian has established that his real name is Mark Jenner. He was an undercover police officer in the Metropolitan police’s special demonstration squad (SDS), one of two units that specialised in infiltrating protest groups.
His girlfriend, whose story can be told for the first time as her evidence to a parliamentary inquiry is made public, said living with a police spy has had an “enormous impact” on her life.
“It has impacted seriously on my ability to trust, and that has impacted on my current relationship and other subsequent relationships,” she said, adopting the pseudonym Alison. “It has also distorted my perceptions of love and my perceptions of sex.”
Alison is one of four women to testify to the House of Commons home affairs select committee last month.
Another woman said she had been psychologically traumatised after discovering that the father of her child, who she thought had disappeared, was Bob Lambert, a police spy who vanished from her life in the late 1980s.
According to another article an alleged police officer named Mark Kennedy...
... was at her grandmother's 90th birthday where he seemed very "comfortable".
Lily's mother said: "He seemed absolutely devoted to my daughter. He used to stay here, slob around, watching TV with us, all that stuff that you do in a relaxed way with people in the family".
"These shadowy figures were presumably making decisions about my dinner dates and whether or not I was going to spend the night with my boyfriend, reading emails, listening to phone calls - deeply personal stuff."
Source: The Guardian
It's not clear whether all agents involved in these sexual relationships with members of target groups were men, but at best they were the clear majority. As yet another Guardian article says "Ten women and one man have launched a legal action claiming they were tricked into forming deeply personal relationships with the police spies. The women say they were duped into forming long-term, sexual relationships lasting years with undercover officers."
There's just... everything wrong with this story!
For those of us into consent, the false pretenses, reports of sex back to supervisors, coaching and training by supervisors, and on and on amount to absolutely clear cut violations of consent. In the U.S. anyway, they'd be actionable crimes of assault and/or criminal seduction.
For those of us opposed to that pesky social construction of gender, it's appalling that police would have calculatedly manufactured -- literally constructed! -- egregiously gendered male lassitude, depression, flight, and abandonment as their routine means of removing agents from their surveillance roles.
And if, as has been alleged publicly and seems to be documented in closed hearings, some agents actually fathered and then abandoned children in the course of their "duties" then virtually no social, legal, economic, or even corporal punishment would be adequate to the monstrosity of such behavior either by the "agents" themselves or, perhaps worse, by their knowing supervisors. Such behavior is beyond intolerable.
One last point, and it's an important one in terms of the history of feminism and men in feminism: These alleged events took place in England in the early 1980s, by men (policing back then was still mostly men) who came of age in or before modern laws about sexual assault, seduction, or male responsibility were much more than the theories of "cranky women's libbers." That today even the police themselves are uncomfortable with the allegations (See "More squirming from police chiefs today when the question of the long-term or sexual relationships between undercover officers and activists arose in public.") and are equally quick to point out that such egregious, criminal-in-any-other-circumstances behavior would no longer be condoned. That at one point it was condoned -- not just the romantic and sexual relations, and not only actual fathering of children, but coordinated abandonment of those relationships and those children -- shows how genuinely awful pre-feminist men could be. And helps explain why, in turn, those nominally infamous "angry feminists" of the era in turn might have had actual reason to be.
But more to the point, in terms of gender equality and men, can you imagine the kind of twisted horror men were raised in back then that they could blithly abandon not only social, romantic, sexual, or even familial relationships but actual parental ones? When you hear anti-feminists talking about "the good old days when men could be men," that's the kind of men they were talking about: men so amputated of humanity that they amounted to sociopaths! Thanks but no thanks!