“I know we’re not allowed to say anything suggestive in front of women now, let alone grope them or even touch their knees, but I thought I was still entitled to be a male chauvinist pig in the privacy of my own head,” complains veteran Tory MP Henry Kripke, who has recently been accused of sexually molesting a young female research assistant. “But apparently, even that isn’t allowed any more! Oh no! Even a man’s lewd and immoral thoughts are no longer private it seems! I mean, I never laid a finger on that research assistant or said anything remotely untoward to her, but I won’t deny that, as she was bending down to pick up some files, I was mentally undressing her and pondering over just how spankable her arse might be. Next thing I knew, this bunch of bloody ‘Feminazis’ were storming into my office accusing me of mentally raping the girl!” Whilst the so called ‘Feminazis’ – actually an all-party group of female MPs – claimed that they were responding to complaints about Kripke’s behaviour toward female staff stretching back several years, the Tory MP is convinced that they had somehow read his salacious thoughts. “It really is a gross invasion of privacy – surely a man’s sexual fantasies about his female colleagues, no matter how perverted they are, are entirely his own business?” he says. “What they’ve done really is outrageous. That poor girl is now extremely traumatised by the idea that I was planning to tear her clothes off, bend her over my desk and take her roughly from behind, despite the fact that it never happened and she would never known about it if they hadn’t told her what I was thinking! They’re the ones who traumatised her, not me!”

Kripke believes that the balance of power between the sexes has now taken a dangerous lurch in favour of women. “I don’t know whether they are using psychics, crystal balls or some kind of mind reading machine, but this invasion of private male sexual fantasies is positively Orwellian,” he contends. “Not only will we have to behave outwardly in a respectful manner toward women, but we’ll have to think about them in a respectful manner. I mean, it’s just not natural, is it? Fantasising about every attractive woman you see, imagining them naked and panting, well, it’s just what men do, isn’t it? It isn’t as if we’re actually going to do any of those things – we’d never have the nerve.” Indeed, Kripke believes that the loss of private sexual fantasies could lead to an increase in actual sexual misconduct. “Without the safety valve such idle fantasies provide, I’m certain that we’ll see more and more men actually trying to act them out,” he opines. “Yet here we are facing possible prosecution for justthinking about women in a sexualised manner.”

Many commentators, however, have moved to dismiss Kripke’s concerns, pointing out that women hardly need to read the minds of men to know whether or not they are misogynists and sex offenders. “They’re usually bloody obvious – using their positions of privilege to proposition and harass women,” says Martin Jitz, senior lecturer in Sexual Politics at St Albans College of Bricklaying. “It’s amazing how they get away with it for so long. Just look at Harvey Weinstein – he allegedly used to call up casting agencies to get them to send young actresses to his hotel room or office on the pretext that they’d be auditioning for a film about a horrible, middle aged, over weight, unshaven and ugly, but wealthy sexual predator. He’d even tell the agency that in the course of the audition the actresses would probably have their breasts groped or even worse in the course of reading for the part. How obvious can you get?” Jitze claims to have personal experience of the blatantness of celebrity sexual predators. “I used to be a big fan of Kevin Spacey and met him once, outside the Old Vic,” he recalls. “Naturally, I asked him for an autograph and he seemed perfectly happy to sign my theatre programme, but started patting his pockets as if looking for something to sign it with, so I asked if he needed a pen and he responded by whipping out his penis. When he saw how shocked I was, he apologised, saying that he’d misheard me. Then he zipped up his flies and just sauntered off as if nothing had happened!”

While Jitze is concerned that the likes of Kripke are using the current wave of sexual misconduct allegations against male celebrities and politicians to demonise feminists as fundamentalist sexual terrorists, at least one leading feminist writer is advocating that women seize the opportunity to smash male dominance once and for all. “We’re at a tipping point – thanks to scientific and medical advances men are obsolete,” declares Susie Quantocks, author of The Female Bastard. “Modern science has created a situation where we don’t even need men for reproduction – we just need their jism, and that shouldn’t be too difficult to get as they spend all their time wanking off over internet pornography.” In her book, she envisages a world where men are kept like cattle, or battery hens, living in cubicles and being mechanically ‘milked’ for their semen as they watch a constant stream of porn on giant screen TVs, while being fed through tubes. “Of course, that’s state of affairs which will only last until we can grow testicles from stem cells artificially in the lab and get the semen that way,” she explains. “In the meantime, our battery farmed men will be perfectly happy -they aren’t interested in real sex with real women (who terrify them, anyway), just masturbatory fantasies which debase women.”

Quantocks has made clear her support for any kind of female mind reading of male sexual fantasies. “Thinking about sex is where the abuse starts,” she asserts. “Men have got to learn to be responsible in the way they fantasise about women. Masturbatory fantasies are simply another way of asserting male dominance – most of them involve sexually oppressing the objects of their desire, forcing them to participate in sexual acts they wouldn’t consent to in reality. It’s simply degrading and has to stop!” Unsurprisingly, Kripke is deeply disturbed by Quantocks’ opposition to the male masturbatory fantasy. “It’s the most satisfying sexual experience we ever get,” he says. “Is it our fault that women are so bad in bed that we have to devise elaborate fantasies when we knock one out? Believe me, there’s nothing degrading about masturbatory fantasies – if I was a woman I’d be flattered that some bloke was thinking about ravishing me as he whipped his top!”