I was glad to see Philip Davies, the blunt-speaking Conservative Yorkshire MP, standing up in Parliament yesterday, neither bowed nor beaten and seemingly not one jot worse for the feminist savaging and the trial by (trolling) ordeal he suffered this summer.
Water off a duck’s back for the doughty Mr Davies, so thank goodness for one MP who refuses to be cowed by the feminist furies and their orthodoxies.
For those readers who were enjoying the sun elsewhere this August and don’t know what I am on about – well you missed the fun of Mr Davies’s full frontal attack on feminist zealotry and feminist shibboleths.
He hit the headlines with a speech he’d had the temerity to make on the ‘justice gender gap’ to an International Conference on Men’s Issues in the summer.
He’d pointed out the unthinkable: that feminist zealots – these were the words he used at one point – want women to have their cake and eat it, that they support equality when it’s convenient for them – but not when it’s not. The example he selected was prison sentencing. It turns out that far from being the victims of a patriarchal criminal justice system, women are the beneficiaries of it. The preferential sentencing they receive is rather inconvenient evidence (given all those feminist calls for equal treatment) that the British legal system discriminates against men whilst favouring women.
Red rag to a bull doesn’t describe it. There was an explosion of online outrage.
When it comes to punishment, Davies effectively said feminists are happy to let equality fly out of the window.
What he did, that no man in a public position normally dares do, was to take the feminists on their own ground and challenge them directly on the facts and on their inconsistencies if not hypocrisies. He didn’t just scoff at their victim mythology, he attacked their evidence that women are always the victims of men:
“Sixty one per cent of men who are convicted of robbery are sent to prison, only 37 per cent of women who are convicted of robbery are sent to prison. Thirty three per cent of men who are convicted of child cruelty are sent to prison but only 15 per cent of women are sent to prison.
“For every single category of offence, men are more likely to be sent to prison than a woman, they are going to spend longer in prison.
“I believe in equality and for me to say I think the courts should be gender blind and a man should be treated the same in a court as a woman – I don’t really see why that’s controversial.
“They want to be treated differently before the courts when it suits them, but they want to have equality on everything else.”
I dare say some of these statistics are debatable – statistics always are – but Mr Davies has gone to pains to get the dispassionate House of Commons Library to draw them up and they deserve examination. They certainly suggest an assumption of a weaker sex, which should be anathema to those feminists who push for promotion to the army frontline.
But he couldn’t, having dared put this into the public domain, expect mercy. It was the stocks for Philip and a public shaming to ensure he’d never raise such awkward facts again. And that meant a campaign to make him stand down from Parliament of course. To take away his platform.
Some backlash to a speech – and to his freedom of speech.
The petition calling for his resignation was frankly funny and on the risible grounds: ‘that his history of misogynistic comments and actions make him unable to represent the women in his constituency’.
Did it stop there? No.
Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, Angela Rayner, got herself all hot under the collar too. She said Mr Davies should be suspended from the Tory party pending an investigation and called on Theresa May to take action.
And The Guardian helpfully reported that pressure was mounting on the PM to do something. Jeremy Corbyn then added his two penny worth. The “deeply sexist” comments revealed Davies had “utter contempt for women”, he said, before calling on Theresa May to withdraw the Conservative whip.
Not to be left out, self-confessed feminist, the Lib Dem’s leader Tim Farron, un-astonishingly, found Philip Davies comments astonishing: “The need for feminism is self-evident”, he opined, before going on to encourage feminists to publicly mock (troll) Davies. How civilised.
Yes, to be fair to poor frightened Mr Farron, Mr Davies has had a go at those politically correct males who pander to the feminists, like our Mr Farron?
Well whether Mr Davies needs it or not, his admirers have taken up cudgels on his behalf with their own petition in support of him as ‘a true warrior for equality and justice’. Whether that is quite how he sees himself, I don’t know. But if you would like to see this fearless maverick be promoted to high office then here is your chance to say so.
I fear it is will be in your dreams – but Philip Davies certainly deserves a solid gesture of support for so bravely and boldy going where angels normally fear to tread and telling the feminists some home truths.
(Image: Mark Hakansson)