A friend of mine wasn’t at work today because a relative had died. Her relative was a young woman who died of renal failure after her boyfriend threw her out of the window of their third floor flat. This, after a history of domestic abuse so well conducted that she couldn’t be persuaded to leave him, let alone press charges. He apparently is on the continent and the police “know where he is”. In the past they have told the family that they may not be able to press cahrges as theya re not sure if her injuries were directly caused by his actions. Though you’d think that since her kidneys were in full working order before he threw her out of the window that it would be easy to make the link.
The newspapers today have been berating Harriet Harman for her comments about how every government should ensure that women are equally represented in positions of power. However badly phrased this was, she does have a point: until men everywhere realise how behaviour like this affects all women, until they know how we are all affected by the knowledge that a woman can be so abused and so powerless to act against someone who kills her gets away scot free then they will always mock statements like Harman’s. Because they have no idea the fury and the fear that builds when you hear about this, when you know that the woman involved was intelligent but ground down, had a supportive family but couldn’t turn to them, when you realise that it might be you. Because of this we will never be equal.
For all the representaions of empowered women in the media, for the “you’re worth it” bullshit advertising campaigns, for all those who say we don’t need feminism any more and it scares men – we have come nowhere.
I am so angry I could spit.