Sunday 11 August 2013

Week 101- bad behaviour, amazing women and The Everyday Sexism Project...

Britain seems to be a pretty unpleasant place to be a woman at the moment.
And it scares me and makes my blood boil in equal measures.
The recent news is peppered with stories of men who, at best, don’t know how to behave themselves, and worst, are a danger and threat to ourselves, our children and our civilised world.

Eddy Shah, former newspaper boss, in a radio 5 live interview, described charges of rape relating to girls under 16 who "threw themselves" at celebrities as "a technical thing". He said - "If we're talking about girls who just go out and have a good time, then they are to blame.

If we talk about people who go out and actually get 'raped' raped, then I feel no - and everything should be done against that."

He has recently been cleared of raping a minor in the 90’s and now obviously considers himself in a position of authority to make such sweeping, damaging remarks.

No apology has been made as of yet.

Writer, Caroline Criado-Perez, triumphed after months of campaigning for the Bank of England to continue to have female representation on the bank note (Jane Austin will be on the next ten pound note.)  Her thanks? An onslaught of rape threats on Twitter. Graphic, terrifying threats, which, at points, were coming in as frequently as one-per-minute.

A 13 year old girl has recently been described in court by the judge and prosecution as being a ‘sexual predator’, as a 41 year old man walks free having admitted having sex with her. His defence? She ‘looked older’ than her 13 years.

What the fuck is going on?
And how has it come to this that people are not only being given a platform to spew such vile opinions, but some of them have positions of authority, power and influence.
When my daughter was born, I didn’t, for one second, consider that she would have to fight for her right to have an equal place in the country, just because she has a vagina.

Are we regressing as a country?
Is consent not longer a right, but an option?

I don’t want to have to tell Nancy what she should and shouldn’t wear, for fear that a man who doesn’t know when to keep his penis in his pants, will think of it as an open invitation.

I don’t want her to feel she can’t campaign for things she feels passionately about, in case she gets attacked, on-line or otherwise.

I don’t want to have to warn her that just because a person is in a profession of trust, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can be trusted.
The Everyday Sexism Project catalogues women’s encounters of sexism, with recent examples including, ‘today my brother told me that being called a bitch is a compliment.

Another- 'I'm 16, I was stood waiting for a friend to get a lift home, I was wearing my school uniform and a hoodie- an old man poked my bum and said 'BEEP BEEP' and then continued to walk away, constantly turning around to check my reaction.'.
You don’t have to have a child to be hugely concerned about the world all our children will be growing up in.

I’m not suggesting we all start burning our bras

But I do think we need to be vigilant and proactive.

Not accept this kind of attitude or behaviour.

Because my fear is one day I won’t be reading about a stranger in the paper.

It will be closer to home.

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