STATISTICS suggest that women are far safer on the streets than men. But after a tragic event such as the Sarah Everard case, a heightened sense of fear is understandable.
Most of us instinctively recoil at the horror of it, feeling the vulnerability of aloneness, while the suffering of her family is beyond comprehension.
A healthy society recognises the meaning of tragic loss. It offers due respect and dignity to those affected, and understands why many young women were moved to silent demonstration.
But it’s harder to believe that those demanding their right to hold the Clapham Common ‘vigil’ against police advice on Saturday evening were driven by respect for the victim or her family.
When the Green Party peer Baroness Jones called for a 6pm curfew on men, she exploited this awful death to promote the bigoted claim that violence against women is caused by the collective misogyny of men, not by malignant individuals.
Touting the imposition of Saudi-style gender curfews suggested a feminist rationale that is more about revenge than justice.
Likewise, the Liberal Democrats – known for their ‘selective’ principles of democracy – demanded the resignation of Cressida Dick, their party leader Ed Davey asserting that ‘officers should have been standing in solidarity with those on Clapham Common’. Who knew there was now an opt-out clause to Covid regulations?
The ‘Covidiots’ defending liberal democracy in protest against government tyranny were afforded no such sympathy by Left-leaning politicians.
But of course, this isn’t about police brutality. It’s not about respect for a lost life and a grieving family. It’s about middle-class feminist entitlement.
Clapham is gentrified and hipster, a strongly Remain part of London, a place for graduates. Most will never be able to afford to own property there.
It’s a classic New Labour constituency remote from its party’s Northern working-class base, representing an urban liberal middle class who claim a social and political power entitlement through the collective virtues of identity politics.
Last year, whilst families were being kept behind glass from loved ones in care homes, Black Lives Matter were given a free pass to run riot as the police and Keir Starmer knelt, and the BBC became the spokesman for BLM’s agenda.
The liberal middle classes who run and staff everything from media and cultural institutions through to civic society and the educational establishment swing from one moral crusade to the next, often inconsistent and nearly always at odds with common sense.
With families still subjected to and separated by the law that attempted to quash this ‘vigil’, such inconsistency of protest needs calling out. Why is man-blaming a justifiable exceptional case?
It’s always amazed me that feminists expend so much of their efforts on trying to control men, rather than encouraging women to be strong and independent-minded, which in my experience, most commonsense working-class women already are. Which leads to the question of where, anyway, is the interest in feminist ideology outside of educated liberal circles?
Feminist cries for equality, a battle won years ago, have degenerated into howls for increased state protection from men. They have morphed into the complaint that institutionalised misogyny poses an existential threat to women, that specific legislation is needed to deal with it, and that we must #‘educate our sons’.
Feminists have spent several decades pulling men down. They ‘challenged’ and undermined those structures and institutions that protected them and acted as social controls on men.
Masculinity has been demeaned and deemed unacceptable in Western society and respect for men and male attributes has been all but destroyed on the altar of gender equality.
The uncomfortable scenes in Clapham show that although the ‘data’ says women are safe – or at least safer than men on the streets – they don’t feel it.
But the proffering of curfew-style solutions by a cynical or misguided political class to allay women’s fears will only exacerbate their existential malaise and exaggerated sense of threat.
Rather than blame ‘men’ and create a media storm in the shadow of a family’s suffering, the simplest act for Sarah would have been a prayer.
Perhaps that’s an idea too radical for most ideologues in the current age. But it certainly would have lent due respect and dignity to the Everard family and left them in peace to endure their suffering.
It might too have taken these angry women a step closer to something inside themselves which is seemingly unable to find peace.