This is the week a male cricketer got an 18 month suspended sentence for beating his wife with his cricket bat. On top of other abuses, he forced her to take pills and drink bleach because he said she had to ‘commit suicide’ for spending too much time on the phone with her friends. The judge said that a prison sentence could harm his career and anyway, his wife wasn’t ‘vulnerable’ because she had an education and friends.
This is the week we found out that the promise to use the proceeds from the controversial (i.e. utterly fucking indefensible) tampon tax for women’s charities like Refuge (which the government has pulled funding from so there are now cities in the UK with no refuge for victims of domestic violence) is actually being used to fund pro-life charities, that actively campaign to take reproductive choice away from women.
This is the week where the Daily Heil ran with a front cover asking their readers to compare whether Sturgeon or May had the best legs. Thus conveniently ignoring that they are leaders of their respective countries and were meeting to discuss a move which could change the history of the UK forever.
This is the week when Signing Article Fifty means that it will be much easier for the government to now sign away many women’s rights because they came from our attachment with the EU and we face the very real possibility that we will watch everything we fought for fall away.
This is not being too dramatic, given that already this month, a law which forces women who have been raped to prove they have been raped if they have two children already and wish to claim tax credits for a third, has been pushed through parliament without any debate.
This is the week where at least two men I have spoken to have told me that they are pro women’s rights, but what I have to understand is that there are other, more important things to do right now, and women will just have to wait their turn.
This is the week I read that the world’s women make up forty percent of the work force but earn only one percent of the world’s wealth between them.
This morning I watched a film clip of teenagers cling filming their thighs so that they can get an acceptable ‘thigh gap’.
I read that 33% of five year old girls want to be thinner than they are.
I watched young girls crying on screen because their bodies were already a failure to them.
I read that 24 million women in the UK are sexually harassed in the work place.
I saw young women going under the knife to measure up to an impossible body image that no amount of surgery or starvation will deliver them.
I read that not a single employer in the UK has ever been successfully prosecuted for the gender pay gap despite women earning 81p to every £1 a man earns.
I saw teenage boys raping and filming unconscious girls at parties and shouting ‘she got raped so good,’ while they laughed.
I read that last year a 21 year old woman in Northern Ireland was jailed for 3 months for taking abortion pills.
I read that in Iowa, a law is being passed to force women whose babies die in the womb to carry those babies to term.
I read that a fifth of women over 16 in the UK are subject to some kind of sexual assault.
I read that one woman every three days in the UK is killed by a male partner or relative.
I read that eight million women in the UK will experience domestic assault of some kind in their life time.
I read that two hundred million women in the world (one in twenty) are subject to female genital mutilation. Five thousand seven hundred new cases were reported last year in the UK alone.
If you want to check out some of the more personal anecdotes for these facts, try searching for #NotanAprilFool on Twitter. It’s a real eye opener, particularly those people who still persist in saying they are ‘tired’ of women going on like this and asking when will women stop ‘whinging’ about this stuff?
But hey, we’re getting a statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square so it’s not all bad news, right?