Reclaim the Night tomorrow!
Jess McCabe // 23 November 2007
Another reminder for London readers that tomorrow is Reclaim the Night! Meet at 6pm in Trafalgar Square. Many F Word regulars will be in attendence, including yours truely. So do come and say hi!
Edit: Anyone wondering why it’s necessary to march tomorrow could do no better than read this piece on Comment is Free by Julie Bindel. Although the subject of the column is the necessity of RTN, making good points like this:
Before you start having a go, telling me you have not been raped, or beaten by your partner, or sexually abused, or flashed, let me ask you (women) something. Can you honestly say, hand on heart, that you have never feared rape? Have you never modified your behaviour, even just a little, for fear of being attacked? Remember that time you took a minicab home, alone and drunk? Did you feel relieved the next day that nothing bad happened to you? Or when you walked through a park late at night alone? All women know that if we have not been raped, we are lucky. We are so accustomed to living with the constant, nagging fear of sexual violence that we rarely notice it is there half the time.
I am actually referring to the deeply troubling comments left by readers, most of whom seem to be in collective denial.
There’s the patronising:
I’m a man and I’ve feared rape. Does this count ? Nope, thought not. Bless.
Over-identification (as in – “this is about male violence against women! I am a man! It is therefore suggesting I personally rape and beat women! I haven’t done that! Therefore it’s stooopid.”):
As a man, I’m not quite sure what’s the appropriate response?
And rape denial (delivered in a patronising manner, of course!):
And will someone explain to her that the drop in rape concvictions is solely due to the jump in the number of complaints, not a rise in the number of actual rapes?
God knows what was in the several comments that were just marked “Deleted by moderator.”
A clear demonstration, if ever there was one, that people need reminding that there is a serious problem of violence against women in this country.