The abusive language that normalises unacceptable behaviour towards women


I’ve intentionally made the headline soft because if you click on the video link below, you’ll hear some very hard words indeed.

On International Women’s Day, this issue is highly topical; on today’s (March 8) Daily Politics there was a debate about whether it is beyond the pale for men to wolf-whistle at women as they pass in the street, or to call out to them, even though they are strangers.

This Writer has never done either of those things. If I don’t know a person, shouting or whistling at them seems a highly disrespectful way of trying to get their attention; if I do, I can just go and address them normally.

But, of course, verbal abuse of women goes much further than that. Here’s the SNP’s Mhairi Black detailing some of the abuse she receives on a daily basis:

It may seem shocking that this happens in the UK, an allegedly advanced society, in the 21st century.

Personally, I would say that the Tory government should take some responsibility (but I would say that, wouldn’t I?) as its willingness to allow the mass media to spread the idea that it’s okay to abuse the sick and disabled has encouraged a certain element in society to believe they can add other groups – including religious or ethnic minorities and women – to their list of victims.

The answer is education, of course – demonstrating to people who are likely to behave in this manner, or to be led into doing so, that it is wrong.

But I think first there has to be an understanding on the part of some politicians (naming no names) that it is wrong.


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3 thoughts on “The abusive language that normalises unacceptable behaviour towards women

  1. Maria Adlam-Apps

    When you have a Prime Minister who has to resort to verbal insults during PMQs because she can’t provide an answer to questions from the Opposition there is no chance of this being addressed!

  2. rollo57

    Of course it’s wrong, we appear to have come full circle.

    Back in my day, we were taught [to stop us fighting among ourselves] “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”. I think this came about because of the ‘Religious Tensions and the name calling that came with it, at the time!

    But since 1985, the introduction of PC, we’ve been called all manner of names, in order to keep us under the thumb and suppress truth. It started with ‘antisemitism’ and progressed to; racist, bigot, xenophobe, homophobe, islamophobe.

    All this to maintain their agenda and stop truth coming out, more so today as more and more wake to what is happening around them and in the wider world.

    I would suggest this woman is being attacked, in the only way they know, not because of her gender, but because of her position and how she uses it to attack the agenda.

    Weekly, she stands and berates one of the current policies and points out, with clarity, the inhumane pieces of their polices.

    The more truth this Politician exposes, the more, I afraid, she’ll be ridiculed, defiled.
    She and many like her are being used as a conduit, to bring in legislation that will take away our free speech. We already have laws to combat this, we don’t need more, we only need to find out who is making sending the abuse!

  3. N J Linden

    I want to hear the responses from other ministers! We women know all about the abuse. I hope we find out what kind of sad, pathetic replies the Tories, and our PM made. Not holding my breath for them to have any concern that ever translates to action. It benefits their agenda to set people at each other’s throats and to use the patriarchy in all its ugliness to accomplish their twisted plans for society.

Comments are closed.