This is about a society that still tolerates the mass objectification of women (and now to a much smaller extent, some Men) — a society that collectively pays tabloid newspapers millions of pounds a year to peddle mind-bending filth, that ogles almost naked idols on “reality TV” that could not be further from reality if it tried and then wonders why there’s an insatiable lust everywhere. The cynical overuse of sexual attractiveness to sell products at the same time debases the value of humans to that of lust-meat.
Oh yeah, of course this is an isolated case I hear echoing around. Nonsense. This has been growing for years. I’m old enough to remember how things were before “Lad-Mags” and TV that depicted lewd male behaviour as normal. Such items are known as psychological primers — put out to normalise what was previously considered unacceptable.
Women have the right to walk on the street without harassment. That cheeky wolf-whistle or lewd comment is only a couple of steps removed from what happened in South London a couple of days ago. Sarah Everard had the right to think that she would be safe on the streets walking home — why was it that she wasn’t? As always there are a combination of factors and guilty parties — usually those shrieking the loudest carry the most guilt: Tabloid newspapers and opinion-led TV we’re looking at you. Alongside the media are Theresa May who in her infinite wisdom cut policing numbers in the UK by 20,000 — Boris has pledged to catch up, but he hasn’t. It’s clear to any Black person that the Met Police are ineffective and institutionally racist, now this becomes clear to women too.
What can be done about this? It’s all about education and choices. We have to educate out boys about consent, that no definitely means no and if you’re not sure — assume it’s no. Many lives are ruined each year by rape and also by allegations of rape. Better to steer well clear of any blurred lines. It’s an uncomfortable conversation but it belongs right next to the other one about contraception and STDs. In terms of choices it’s all about the companies we choose to support with our pounds. If you scroll the Daily Mail sidebar you are ensuring the quite disgraceful Allied Newspapers receives income from advertisers for your views. Just stop. Other more reputable sources of information are available.
MPs are there to hold Government to account, it’s perfectly acceptable to request that they provide up to date Policing statistics and on the basis of these fight for more funding to put more officers on the beat to ensure public safety for all members of society
Freedom if information requests are also a useful tool to learn about policing numbers in your area — you can make these out to your local constabulary — here’s how: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/official-information/
Most essentially Men, we need to police other Men, if inappropriate comments or behaviour are made towards women then we should contradict these in a polite and firm manner, the more of us who do this the faster those with malfunctioning morals will understand that such behaviour is no longer socially acceptable. For too long we’ve been prepared to look the other way and in doing so we’ve been selling out our female colleagues and friends for the sake of our own comfort — it’s not good enough and we have the power to stop this continuing, just the same as we white people are the only ones who can meaningfully do anything about racism.
Start to look at the world through the lens of having a young teenage daughter, say 13 or 14 years old — what kind of society do you want her to be in, should she be able to walk the streets free of fear? We know the answer is yes, which means we need to start acting that way now.