The absolute, stinking lack of sincerity

MP Caroline Lucas tweeted.

You’ll never guess what the replies said.

Are you going to table a question about Telford grooming gangs?

Is she heck!

Still out of touch

The prophet Muhammad had a nine year old wife called Ayesha who he was having sex with when he was fifty two years old and if that isn’t peadophilier then I don’t know what is

Its not all about you, look outside the ivory towers of parliament and start doing things in communities. Its why your voted in!!!!!!

Typical mp making it about themselves and ignoring whats actually important

Those are the ones at the top; the rest are nearly all the same. It’s Dear Muslima all the way down.

Glosswitch considers this “it could always be worse” riposte:

A woman – in this instance, Green party co-leader Caroline Lucas – has raised the topic of bullying and harassment in the House of Commons, only to be reminded that worse things happen in less privileged environments.

This is something certain women tend to forget. Thankfully there’s usually a male journalist on hand to remind us of our “not experiencing as much sexism as we could be experiencing” privilege.

Or a male pundit or “thought leader” or sage or Voice of Wisdom or Hero of ScienceAndReason. They’re very dedicated about springing into action whenever a woman objects to local bullying and harassment.

In this case it was Andrew Neil, who managed not only to draw comparisons between middle-class MPs and abused young women in Telford, but to then inform Lucas there was “no comparison […] None. Don’t make it”.

Neil is not the first man to advise women on how best to redirect their feminist efforts. Whether it’s Piers Morgan lecturing Women’s Marchers on the plight of their Saudi sisters, or Fox News’ John Moody reminding #metoo campaigners that FGM is worse than groping, perhaps we should salute the courage of those who have been brave enough to say “look! Over there!” whenever critiques of male power have got a little too close to home.

They would have a point, Glosswitch goes on, if they were the ones actually doing anything about Telford and Rotherham, but they’re not.

When working-class victims and carers in cases such as Rotherham and Telford have spoken for themselves, men in positions of power have disbelieved them. What use is one woman’s testimony if it can’t be used to discredit that of another?

The absolute, stinking lack of sincerity of men who exploit one example of men’s abuse of women to trivialise another would be bad enough if abuse were some free-floating, unavoidable problem that women just had to face. It isn’t, though.

Misogyny is so deeply embedded in society it feels normal, like the weather. Nonetheless, while it would be self-indulgent to complain of the rain when others are facing a tsunami, it is not self-indulgent to tell the man who is harassing you to desist. The fact that other men elsewhere might be doing worse is neither here nor there. Respect for women is not some scarce resource which must be distributed only to those who need it most. There is enough for everyone.

That is, there is potentially enough for everyone. It’s not something that is naturally scarce, like strawberries or diamonds; it’s something that could be infinite, if people simply decided to have it and exercise it.

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