I saw a post on Facebook, Alfie Meadows had told a protest that it was time to challenge sexist politics in terms of the ‘right to protest’, and I nearly choked. The abusive radical fringes of our misogynist political cultures have no clue that their misogny prevented women fighting the most brutal three years of austerity imaginable, they had no sense that they had never had any right to impose themselves as a sorting hat deciding who could protest and who could not or decide the parameters of what was acceptable protest.
I think it’s time to acknowledge the war on women that is happening without comment. Not just in terms of Oxbridge women who are slightly resentful of people mean to them on the internet, but the brutality of the war on women being waged everywhere outside their eyeline. I think it’s time to acknowledge that the intersection of gender, race and class is not a topic to be idly discussed by those with the privilege of Oxbridge educations, in terms of whether they need to ‘check their privilege’, but the brutality of the abuse women are sustaining. From the girls in Rochdale, Oxford and Keighley, who are the same as girls all over the country. The girls in Blackpool whose murders go undiscussed, the 2 women a week who die at the hands of their abusers and the numbers who take their own lives as a result of that abuse. And the wide scale state sanctioned economic abuse and violence raining down on women of all ages outside the very selective eyeline of our elitist political press. The women behind deliberately closed doors at Yarls Wood so they could be raped and sexually abused along with their children to please imaginary Daily Mail readers who drive the policies we need to keep immigrant labour exploitable and wages low.
The economic warfare a male dominated politics, finance and media culture are waging on the women they pretend they can’t see while they slutshame with poverty. And the collusion of the women within our political media culture as they jockey for position and approval of the men waging this war. Women the only group where it could be decided they can walk into closed courts with no legal representation as the threat of losing their children is held over their heads while men cry ‘what about me’.
The war we are raised to expect as normal, and trained from birth to submit to.
While protection, access to justice and political representation has been systematically removed, there is a war being waged using psychological abuse, emotional abuse, coercion, control, rape, violence, economic warfare and the use of children as weapons. A war we are supposed to internalise responsibility for. Systematic subordination using every means available, behind the shield and with the sanction of a faux feminist media wall as they discuss who should be allowed to join their shitty club to escape it.