Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Reply To Jeremy Duns's Smears....

This blog is attracting a growing following, for which I am grateful. Lots of people are disturbed by the influence of the right-wing, public school writer Jeremy Duns, and are looking for a forum in which he can be exposed.

Duns is clearly getting worried about the impact on his reputation, and has smeared me on his own blog, as well as threatening legal action. You can read the attack here...

The nub of his complaint is this -

"The allegations include that I am a bully; a misogynist; a ‘rape-denier’; an ‘abuse-denier’; a plagiarist; use sockpuppet identities (!); and have lied about my professional credentials. Every single one of their claims is completely and utterly untrue."

My response is as follows.

First, Duns seems very concerned that I am someone else. He keeps accusing various different people of being me - and so do some of his associates (see this strange blog, for example).

Actually, I have stated my name quite clearly. It is Maria Emily James. What more does Duns want? That I should post my full address and ID details? I have been threatened with physical violence and legal action for setting up this blog.  Does Duns really believe a woman has to post her address online before she is allowed to raise a feminist issue, and so lay herself open to physical attack.Women get raped for being feminists - the fact that Duns does not understand this tells you what kind of man he is.

But anyway, why does it matter? I have set out a number of issues I have with Duns's work, clearly and reasonably. Why not just answer the issues - rather than attack me personally? Surely an argument is either valid or invalid - it does not matter who is making it?

Secondly, why the legal threats? I have looked at Dun's work, and I find his right-wing, sexist views horrifying. I use this blog to disagree with them, and to build a case against them. But he is of course perfectly free to express them. And he is perfectly free to attack me as well. It is called free speech.

In fact, Duns seems to think that any disagreement with his world view is libellous. It isn't. I have laid out my views and the supporting evidence for them.

For example, I believe that Duns's work is sexist. My evidence is his lavish praise for the James Bond books, some of the most sexist ever written ('the sweet tang of rape' is a line from one of his favourites). You can read the blog post here... Now it is perfectly acceptable for Duns to disagree with me - and to maintain that you can be a feminist, as he claims to be, and also lavish praise on a horrifyingly sexist book. But in what sense my claim libellous? Is there any disagreement with his views that Duns would not threaten with a libel action?

He needs to answer these questions. They are important.

Thirdly, what are the inaccuracies? I accept that Duns does not agree with my views. That's called a debate. But where have I made a factual error? If I have done so, I will correct it. But I haven't. In the example above, I laid out Duns's praise for Casino Royale, and then the lines from the book that are objectionable. I concluded that Duns was/is a misogynist. Again, I understand that he does not accept that conclusion. But are the quotes of his not correct? Are the quotes from Casino Royale inaccurate? No. So why am I not allowed to analyse them without threats of legal action?

The same thing happened with my post on David Hewson. I quoted text from his book of violence against women, and explained why I found it objectionable. Hewson replied by calling me a 'liar'. But the quotes were completely accurate, and anyone can look them up online. So what were the lies?

Duns and his gang use the same tactics all the time. Anyone who questions them is accused of lying. But the truth is that they simply cannot accept that a mere women dares to challenge a group of important right wing men - because women belong in the bedroom or the kitchen.

In my view men like Duns with their smug, right-wing public school views represent all that is wrong with our society. I started  this blog because of his sinister bullying of a writer called Steve Roach, but since then his work has disturbed me even more - and many others as well. Now he has resorted to smears and legal threats....because he can't answer the case against him.


  1. But I can answer them, and have repeatedly. You haven't quoted lines from Casino Royale - you've quoted one line, out of context. And yes, it's a disturbing line, and Bond is being horribly sexist there. There are several disturbing aspects to the novel, and some people found it disturbing even in 1953, as I have already written about here:

    But context is also key. Bond is sexist in the early part of the novel - but then changes. He falls in love with Vesper Lynd, and proposes to her. There's a sea-change in the character.

    Are there sexist aspects to Ian Fleming's work? Yes. Undoubtedly. Fleming also seems to have had some very odd attitudes towards woman in his own life, both for our current way of thinking but also for the time he lived in. But then there are also some rather enlightened moments in his work, regarding sexuality and women's rights. There are some deeply unpleasant lines in his novel The Spy Who Loved Me, as well, which I don't think work at all - but the novel is also quite an extraordinary narrative from a woman's point of view, and I personally find much of it very well-written, astute and even touching. It's easy to take a few lines here and there and say this is the most outrageously sexist literature ever, but if you read Fleming's work extensively I think a different picture emerges.

    But even if you disagree with me on this, I think what you fail to realise is that you have made a huge leap. It's one thing to say 'Hmm, Jeremy Duns likes Fleming's novels and they're a bit sexist.' It's rather different - and wrong - to insist on that basis that I am a misogynist, let alone a 'rape denier' and an 'abuse denier'. There is no evidence for either of these, and yes, they're libellous, and deeply unpleasant things to claim on the basis that I happen to like some old thrillers.

    I haven't threatened you with violence, as you have previously alleged, so that is also a lie. You point to a blog and say this was written by one of my 'associates'. I've no idea who it was written by. Your claims that I am right-wing, have threatened you, and so on, stem from comments *other people have made*. Not me.

    I'm happy to answer any reasonable questions. But I'm not going to stand for being smeared as a misogynist, a rape denier or an abuse denier.

    1. There are so many smears here from Duns it will take a while to detail them.

      But to take just one, Duns maintains that Bond evolves during Casino Royale and becomes less sexist. For the record, the last line of that book is 'The bitch was dead.'. So in Duns view, referring to women as 'bitches' is an evolved view. Hate to think what he might regard as sexist then....

      I never said Duns threatened me with violence. But his supporters have quite regularly done so. I can see no evidence of Duns disowning them.

      And Duns has repeatedly threaten me with legal action for calling him out on his sexism.

    2. Yes, that's the last line of the novel, but the context is, again, important: Bond is speaking to his boss, who he never shows his feelings to, and is in the midst of both grief and rage. The woman he loved has just killed himself, having revealed she betrayed him - which led to his being tortured horrifically. His initial instinct on meeting Vesper was to want to possess her, to control her - a sexist response. He then fell in love with her, and his essential human tenderness was revealed. He is now forcefully replacing that side of himself in a box, and pretending that he never loved her, resorting to the rough language and attitudes he had before to protect himself. It's a shield.

      But regardless, I've never thought James Bond had evolved attitudes towards women. Even by the standards of the early 50s, when this novel was written, his attitudes are primitive. I'm not disputing that he has a sexist side to him. I'm disputing your claim that *I* am a sexist and, worse, an 'abuse denier'. Liking a novel doesn't mean I endorse everything the protagonist thinks! In that case, everyone who enjoyed Ocean's Eleven condones robbery. And I'm even worse than you think, because I also enjoyed The Talented Mister Ripley, so presumably I'm a psyhopathic killer. Indeed, Bond assassinates people, too. James Bond is a fictional character, and I've never seen him as a straightforward hero - he's not quite an anti-hero, but he is seriously flawed as a character. This makes him more interesting to me than, say, Biggles or Tintin.

      If someone has threatened with you violence, I absolutely disown such comments.

      I haven't threatened you with legal action for 'calling me out' on sexism. You set up a website called 'Jeremy Duns Watch' over a year ago, and since then, in a series of posts, have accused me of being a misogynist, a 'rape denier' and an 'abuse denier'. With no evidence other than an interview in which I said I enjoyed a novel from 1953. I find those accusations deeply unpleasant, and defamatory.

      I've also said I'll take legal action against whoever has set up any of the six other websites defaming me, claiming I'm a plagiarist, that I've lied about my professional credentials, that I use sock-puppet identities to promote my work, and so on. I notice you've ignored all of that bit, so here's a simple yes or no question: Did you set up any of those websites, too?

    3. This is typical of a Jeremy Duns smear. No, I have not set up any of the other websites you mention. You have no evidence at all for that allegation, and it does not make any sense - why would I set up another website when I have already gone to the trouble of creating this one? It is typical of a right-wing, public school bully that you make this allegation without a shred of evidence to back it up.

    4. But I didn't allege that, let alone smear you for it! I simple *asked you* whether or not you had set up the websites. Thank you for the response. I believe you. But you clearly have a problem telling the difference between a question and a smear. I asked you a simple yes or no question. You've repeatedly smeared me as a misogynist, a 'rape denier' and an 'abuse denier' in an online vendetta you've pursued against me on this site and Twitter for over a year.

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