I shouldn’t ever have to remind anyone of this, nobody should, but putting your hands around your wife’s throat is not a ‘playful tiff’…it’s assault, it’s domestic violence. It seeks to intimidate and silence. What’s so ‘playful’ about that?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Nigella Lawson; photos were recently released showing her husband, Charles Saatchi, putting his hands around her throat and on her face during an argument outside of a restaurant. According to him it was okay because there was ‘no grip’. Pictures of Nigella looking upset and in tears followed. It’s fine though because apparently, in Saatchi’s words, she was only upset because of the argument and ‘not because she was hurt’. Apparently he only touched her in such a way to ‘get [his] point across’. I’m sorry, but if you need to strangle your wife in order to get your point across you should really go and crawl into a hole away from human society, right now. I’ve read a few different articles about it; some balanced and some just plain ridiculous. I read one where they, for whatever reason, thought it was appropriate to describe what she was wearing (!). Nick Clegg then called it a ‘fleeting thing’. A fleeting thing. A FLEETING THING. When a man who is the deputy prime minister calls an act of domestic violence towards a woman a ‘fleeting thing’ you know we’re all in trouble; because, you know what, it’s not a fleeting thing. It’s enabled by a culture which is so deeply embedded with misogyny, we’re all told we should laugh at jokes about domestic violence and rape, where we’re constantly seeing women being objectified and sexualised in lad’s mags, Page Three, advertising and pretty much every other aspect of the media to the point where women aren’t seen as human beings.
Just because Saatchi handed himself in and then spoke out about it doesn’t make him any less of a cretin. We shouldn’t be awarding him a gold star for ‘doing the right thing’, he should have known that was the wrong thing to do in the first place. Giving him a platform to ‘defend himself’, in my view, is also the wrong thing to do.
While I’m on the subject, why did the photographer not intervene? She was being assaulted. Call the police, shout, anything.
Here’s a link to an article about it: (Trigger warning: it shows one picture of his hand on her face)
I’ve never experienced such overt abuse and hatred as I’ve received over the past eighteen months. For what? For simply setting up a feminist site on Facebook. I know other feminist page admins (and any kind of progressive human rights group) will understand. The constant barrage of mindless abuse, the threats, the harassment, the hate speech…I could go on. Everyday I wake up and in my inbox there is a new message (usually from some dude) telling me something along the lines of how much of a cunt I am. I’m a cunt apparently. A man hating cunt. I’m a cunt because I want to provide a safe space for feminist discussion and mobilisation. I’m a cunt because, above all, I want equality.
By now I’m used to this. My skin is so thick you wouldn’t believe it. They’ve become almost amusing. One of my favourite things to do is to every so often send some kind of sarcastic reply and post it up for all to see. We get a few chuckles out of it. Better than nothing, I guess. But one thing that still gets me confused and angry is the sheer determination some people (still mainly dudes) have, to take us down, to shut us up. Why? Again, because we simply want equality. These people are so deluded, so brainwashed to think that women gaining equality means that they lose their precious privilege. Whether they want to admit it or not, they deeply hate women. I will always agree with the statement that anti-feminism is the direct expression of misogyny because I’ve found it to be so true. So miserably true.
Here are just a few examples of how vicious these people get about feminism. I found recently that one of the god awful pages we’ve tried to get removed posted about us (and about Women Action and the Media). These are some of the comments on that thread:
Here is a sample of our general hate mail:
Let’s play anti-feminist bingo-
[random gendered slut] Check
[Equate us to Nazis] Check
[Mention false rape accusations] Check
[Homophobic slur] Check
[Something that sounds like a death threat] Check
These people are so predictable. The reason I wanted to write this post is because I wanted to convey that although I receive a lot of abuse for what I do, I’m never going to stop. I co-founded a community on Facebook which I am extremely proud of. I love it. I love the people who join. I love the feminists I have encountered. I love the discussion. I love how much I’ve learnt about the world, feminism and myself. I love that I’m still learning. I love the feeling that I’m contributing to such an important movement. These idiots who send us abuse only prove that we need feminism. They prove that what we are doing is important and much needed. They’re being counter-productive to their own fucked up cause. We’ve successfully pissed off the cretins that hide behind the internet, which means we’re doing something right.