Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Don't Get Mad, Get Even

Caroline Criado-Perez  is the sort of woman I would hope we would all want our daughters to grow up like. She believed enough in her principles to suggest that Jane Austen be the face of the new £10 note, she won widespread praise for her campaign but unfortunately she also attracted the attention of the type of people that nobody should have to encounter either online or 'in real world'.

The level of abuse this young woman had to suffer was truly shocking and, as she has said herself tonight in a radio interview, there is always something very sad about a woman threatening another woman whether it is with physical or verbal abuse. We've all seen online abuse, the name calling, the personal insults but they tend to be petty and only once have I seen somebody actually wish another person harm.

Unfortunately this isn't an isolated case, although it is certainly the most high profile thus far, and the people who run social network sites clearly don't have either a clue or an interest in policing the sites they are happy to boast about.

 The Everyday Sexism Project does what it says on the tin,  it "catalogues instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest".   It's a very depressing read and despite the subject matter there's no titillation in there it's a very sad indictment of the age we live in. Some of the things that men say to women, and there are a few which are the other way round, will leave you opened mouthed chin on your chest. The site isn't a celebration of sexism but a reflection of some people's attitudes to the opposite sex.

Back to Caroline Criado-Perez and I really hope that she eventually gets over this sad episode in her life, she comes across as somebody who has been left scarred by the whole sorry episode, as I'm sure we all would whether male or female, and you hope that friends and family will form a support group for her.

As for the two perpetrators  I would like to think that a prison sentence will deter others - although unfortunately I doubt it. I'm also at a loss to understand why the person responsible for threats against Stella Creasy wasn't prosecuted, the 'not in the public interest' argument seems to be the dfault position for lazy law enforcement too often these days. 

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