“In a misogynist world, women just can’t win.”

// 27 February 2008

Kira Cochrane has written an interesting article in the light of Levi Bellfield’s conviction for the murder and attempted murder of three women. But she starts with, what appears to me, to be a redundant question – “how could it happen again?”.

The answer is easy (and Cochrane does get round to it) – because men’s routine violence against women isn’t taken seriously. Men’s routine use of violence and the fear of violence is everyday in women’s lives. Misogynists are not chastised but vaunted (if you don’t believe me look how many professional sportsmen and music stars have beaten, raped women or sexually humiliated women and continue to be praised). Look at the way in which quasi-pornographic representations of girls bleeds into pornographic representations of women as girls (the whole Lolita/schoolgirl thing). Look at the way in which verbal or physical harrassment of women on the streets is a chance to tell women not to “take themselves so seriously” and to “lighten up” because “it’s only a joke”.

Writing of the three convictions (Levi Bellfield, Mark Dixie and Stephen Wright) in the last week Cochrane points out that:

In each case, what comes through most strongly is just how open, violent and persistent the killer’s misogyny was, and how they were allowed to indulge it, and even boast of it, for years. The reports paint a picture of a society in which misogyny is taken as a given, in which someone can crow to his friends, without fear of redress or chastisement

From The Guardian

If you’re not angry already – read the article, it’s time to demand change.

Comments From You

chem_fem // Posted 27 February 2008 at 2:37 pm

Compare the lack of reaction to a male celebrity who has beaten, raped or humiliated women, to the outrage and death threats received by women who have divorced rich ex-Beatles or had cosmetic surgery to their lips go wrong.

The reaction received is completely disproportionate.

Alex Corwin // Posted 27 February 2008 at 2:55 pm

“because men’s routine violence against women isn’t taken seriously. Men’s routine use of violence and the fear of violence is everyday in women’s lives. Misogynists are not chastised but vaunted (if you don’t believe me look how many professional sportsmen and music stars have beaten, raped women or sexually humiliated women and continue to be praised). Look at the way in which quasi-pornographic representations of girls bleeds into pornographic representations of women as girls (the whole Lolita/schoolgirl thing). Look at the way in which verbal or physical harrassment of women on the streets is a chance to tell women not to “take themselves so seriously” and to “lighten up” because “it’s only a joke”.”

This is why I’ll be at the Reclaim the Night March in Manchester on Saturday night. Because all of that has GOT TO STOP.

Danielle // Posted 27 February 2008 at 5:38 pm

Chem_fem, that is a fine articulation of my feelings on the subject.

Louise // Posted 27 February 2008 at 5:55 pm

Great article. I’m surprised no other paper seems to have picked up the issue. I think we should all write to the Guardian to congratulate them for raising the issue. These are 3 deeply mysoginist crimes, and still they are regarded by the press as the deed of 3 madmen rather than acts of mysoginy.

Fubeca // Posted 27 February 2008 at 6:50 pm

This is such an important topic! I’m glad to see that people raising awareness about this issue. Here is what I just wrote on the topic… http://fube.ca/2008/02/violence_against_women_in_war.html Let me know what you think!

Traykool // Posted 28 February 2008 at 1:32 pm

Chem_Fem your comment really really got to me. I’m am amazed at how my additude has changed so much from reading from such websites as this. I would have been that girl who went along with the hatred of these women. Thankfully that has changed! Oh I wish I lived in Britain (I’m Irish) so I could be there on Saturday. I think every major city should follow suite.

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