Sarah Everard, 33, vanished as she walked home in Clapham on 3rd March 2021. Her body was found a week later, in woodland in Kent. No cause of death has yet been reported but PC Wayne Couzens has been charged with her kidnap and murder. According to the latest Office for National Statistics briefing, there are 506 men murdered annually, each of which is more or less tragic, all of which together receive but a fraction of the attention that this one woman victim has. This is not only a sex empathy gap in evidence, of course. The fact that the suspect is an officer of the law makes this case particularly disturbing. We all raise our children to seek out police if they’re in trouble. We internalise the message that they will protect us. This case turns our faith in them on its head. And our imaginations are running wild – did he use his position to lull her into a false sense of security? Was she led to follow him because of his badge? Would we? Would our children?
And now, feminists are doing what feminists do best and capitalising on the tragedy. Sarah Everard has become something other than a human being, brutally taken from her family and friends by a vile predator. Sarah Everard is now an avatar for all womens’ suffering at the hands of men. Regardless of the fact that at the last ONS count, the rate of women murdered was falling significantly, our mainstream news is filled with anguish over the scourge of femicide, Jess Phillips MP makes an annual display (11th March, this year) during the House of Commons’ International Women’s Day debate of reading a list of women murdered (were a man has been charged or convicted) and a widespread “debate” about how intolerable life is for women in our society – because they must share it with men – rages through a gynonormative country.
I’m not going to argue that women in Britain always feel safe – or should – I am yet to meet a man who can tell me that he always feels safe, or should. People are at risk of victimisation. People take precautions, sometimes even the best precautions are rendered not good enough. This is a sad fact – and I do believe that there are ways to mitigate the rates at which people harm other people – but stoking a Sex War is no way to mitigate harm!
Naturally, feminists are aware however that if they concentrate on the most heinous crimes perpetrated by men against women, at some point people will cotton on that this is a problem in steady decline and that it’s exceptionally difficult to convince people that women are disproportionately victims of crimes that they’re actually disproportionately less likely to be victims of! So, feminists lean on an invented spectrum of male aggression towards women – from ‘microagressions’ to rape and murder.
Usefully, for feminists, on 8th March YouGov released a survey showing the incidence of sexual harassment experienced by women in Europe. Of the sample, 19% of British women said they’d been sexually harassed in the last year, 52% over the course of their lives so far. There is no distinction made that the perpetrators of these actions were men, although all coverage since has assumed so. There is no comparative investigation into the experiences of men. Regardless, neither 19% nor 52% has been the soundbite from this survey – but rather “almost all” British women have been sexually harassed according to the rhetoric. A ‘figure’ arrived at by adding together all the positive answers to a question asking whether women had experienced a list of forms of ‘sexual harassment’. A list that includes, someone:
- Commented on your attractiveness directly to you
- Wolf whistled at you
- Looked at your breasts
- Winked at you
- Directed a sexual joke at you
- Asked you out for a drink
Women are strong, women are amazing, women can cope with the hurly burly of public life as well as any man – or perhaps, if they can’t, they really should retire back to the kitchen… In truth, the ever-broadening sweep of behaviours that are being classified as sexual harassment constitute friendly displays of human warmth and interest to many women. What feminists are pushing for is for our Nanny State to coddle women in-order-to protect the weakest, most fragile and easily offended of us from the merest slight; even if that means that the majority must suffer inhibited interactions day to day that steal colour from our lives.
And what feminists are pushing for is on its way, with ‘hate crimes’ believed to have been motivated by misogyny to be recorded by police as such from this Autumn. An experiment crucial to understanding hate crime and how to tackle it, according to Baroness Williams of Trafford. The concept of hate crimes is an affront to justice in a free, pluralistic liberal society. The contents of people’s souls is not practically knowable to police or courts. Nor is it morally any of their business. The implementation is absurdly dystopian, with the only ‘evidence’ required being the perception of the victim – or a witness – and police are warned that if they are perceived to not take the complaint seriously enough, this may well count as secondary victimisation for which there will be consequences. So forget it, if you’re hoping for sensible responses by sensible officers! And feminists will continue to conflate criticism of their ideology with misogyny et voila, the social protection from criticism that feminists enjoy will be backed by the law. I wonder if this is what Sarah would have wanted, censorship and misery?