It’s Sunday, which means it’s time for the second edition of ‘Interesting Links’ (read the first edition here). It’s been a busy week in terms of news, and there are a couple of big topics I want to address. First, I want to talk about a horrific crime that happened here in the UK.
Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who lived in London, was kidnapped and murdered on 3 March. Her body was found in woodland in Ashford, Kent on Friday. A serving Met Police officer has been charged with her kidnap and murder. Any kidnap and murder are obviously horrific, but the fact that a police officer has been charged for it makes it a million times worse when these are the people who are supposed to protect us.
We should all be able to feel safe when we’re walking down the street, but how many cases do we hear about where women have been attacked, raped, murdered and more by men? Plenty. Making the statement that I’ve heard a lot recently that women shouldn’t be walking down the street alone at night is like blaming a woman for daring to step foot outside of her house. It isn’t helpful.
The blame should never be on the victim. The blame should be on those men who have grown up with a despicable attitude towards women. It’s shocking to hear that 97% of women aged 18-24 in the UK have experienced sexual harassment, 80% of whom have experienced it a public place. There’s something very obviously broken in society when so many women do not feel safe.
This article from Refinery29 just sums up how women feel:
Headphones in, no music on. Not drinking too much. Putting a skirt on, taking it off before you leave the house in favour of trousers. Calling someone so you aren’t ‘alone’. Walking the long way home because it’s better lit. Wondering if the ‘keys between fingers thing’ really works. Wondering if the taxi you’re clambering into is safe. Having fun but keeping one eye, always, on your drink. Exhausting.She Just Wanted To Walk Home – Refinery29
As this article from Elle states, it shouldn’t be on women to protect themselves. The focus should be on cutting the rate of male violence against women. Plus, it should be on a society as a whole to stop victim blaming.
But don’t take it from me, as I’m a man. Listen to women. Listen to their experiences. Talk to the women in your life about their experiences. Question misogynistic views whenever you come across them (it’s not just ‘banter’, it’s wrong). Educate your kids about respect for everyone. It’s not very helpful to shout stuff like ‘not all men’ because it’s not about making men feel better about ourselves. It’s about women feeling safer in society and to have the same right to that safety as everyone else.
To make matters worse, a vigil that took place for Sarah yesterday ended in violence when police brutally broke-up the crowd, shoving and dragging off women who seemed to be doing nothing more than simply standing on a bandstand in silent respect. The Met has defended their actions as ‘necessary’, but it’s quite obvious to see that their heavy presence has done nothing but make a vigil into a cooking-pot of tension and anger towards the police. By the way, I don’t believe in that ‘ACAB’ shite. There are plenty of good cops out there, just like there’s plenty of bad cops. But we can’t go blaming the police for the actions of an evil man who happened to be a police officer, although the fact that he’d already been caught for indecent exposure raises a lot of questions about why he was still serving as a PC.
Surely the right thing to do would have been to stand back and let the vigil play-out? People would have gone home eventually. Let them exercise their right to the vigil and their right to protest.
You’re going to tell me that we’re in the midst of a pandemic and that people shouldn’t be gathering together in huge numbers like this, aren’t you? If they were all packed indoors then I’d be somewhat inclined to agree. But there’s far less risk outdoors, and it does look like plenty of people were wearing masks. Take a look at this Twitter thread, which quotes the Government Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance, with Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty backing him up, as saying that there is little evidence to suggest that outdoor protest events cause a spread of the virus.
Even though the official vigil had been cancelled admist concerns about spreading coronavirus, can you really say that this and this are appropriate responses by police?
I don’t want to move on from that onto a clearly misogynistic man but given the news this week I’d be a bit ignorant to not mention it.
Prime cockwomble Piers Morgan resigned from Good Morning Britain (he’s been weirdly obsessed with Meghan for years) after saying that he didn’t believe Meghan was telling the truth when she said she had been suicidal during the Oprah Winfrey interview. He also ended up storming out of the studio when called out on it, which is hilarious for someone who says that people are too easily offended these days.
Understandably, Meghan filed a complaint against Morgan as she was concerned how people struggling with mental health issues may be affected by his comments.
I’m sick and tired of mental health issues being brushed aside in our society. Someone recently said to me that they don’t believe mental health ‘exists’. What the actual fuck?
I guess my anxiety is totally made up in my head then. I guess people committing suicide are doing it for no reason. I guess people who are depressed are just ‘a bit sad’ and should ‘man up’. It’s attitudes like these which is why there’s still a massive stigma against mental health.
People should never be accused of ‘attention-seeking’ when it comes to mental health. As Cosmopolitan points out, it’s downright dangerous.
Going back to the Royal Family, Meghan was allegedly told that she wasn’t allowed to go and get help for her mental health issues because ‘it wouldn’t be good for the institution’. But this is the Royal Family we’re talking about, who have barely changed and don’t seem to want to embrace modern times in the name of ‘tradition’.
It has always had its problems with racism too, including the apparent questioning of what skin colour Harry and Meghan’s baby would be. Even Harry said he ‘had no understanding of unconscious racial bias’ but is now aware of it.
Let’s not forget the gutter parts of the British press, which has always treated Meghan in a vastly different light when compared to Kate. But why, in the 21st century, is it still be treated by the press and Royal Family as being ‘abnormal’ and ‘surprising’ that Harry chose to marry a black woman? It’s pathetic that we still have this issue as a species.
Speaking of mental health, here’s a quick guide from Metro about how you can look after your mental health amid triggering news stories.
Here’s a list of 10 books to read when your mental health needs a boost.
In other news this week, an entirely digital artwork sold for a record $69 million. It’s all part of the new craze around NFT’s, which you can read a primer on here.
I don’t pretend to understand why someone would want to spend that amount of money on something that they can only look at on a screen. But what I have come to understand is that NFT’s are terrible for the environment.
Oh, and there’s also the problem that they may make art theft even worse.
Finally, The Atlantic says that there’s no real reason to eat 3 meals a day and that your weird pandemic eating habits are probably fine. Although you should probably tell my now bigger stomach that my pandemic eating habits have probably been a bit too heavy on the junk food side!
That’s it for this week. As always, if you have any interesting articles that you think I’d like to read then feel free to leave a comment or send me an email via my contact page.