I'm sick of the amount of brainspace "Don't get raped and murdered!" takes up in my head. I'm sick of thinking it at 8.30pm, wondering if that's too late to take the cut-through to my house. I'm sick of knowing that it's not actually within my power to not get raped and murdered.
Here's the thing about stranger murders, like the ones which took the lives of Sabina Nessa and Sarah Everard. They're incredibly rare - but we, as women, think about them all the time. We adjust our behaviour and movement to mitigate against them all the time.
And these adjustments are both rational and irrational. They're rational because who *wouldn't* do everything they could to feel safer in public space? And they're irrational because we're not actually the ones making the decision about whether or not something bad happens to us.
Both the real threat of sexual violence *and the anticipated fear* of sexual violence curtail women's freedom to live our lives. To go where we choose, when we choose, wearing what we choose.
Sexual violence - particularly when it's of the most common kind, committed by somebody we know - is seen as proof that we've done something wrong. That we failed in our duty to keep ourselves safe. That somewhere along the line, we made a bad decision.
And if I'm honest, I've internalised that logic. I look at things that have happened to other women, and I think about what I would have done differently.

I think about my own assault when I was 17, and rake over all the decisions I took that put me in that space, with that man.
Throughout history, we've tried to deal with sexual violence by changing the behaviour of women - where we go, who we're with, what we wear and when we're there.

We seem to think we can deal with the minority of violent men by curtailing the freedom of the majority of women.
But in doing this we a) haven't been able to stop sexual violence, and
b) we continue to duck the central question of how our culture creates and sustains violent men, and
c) we make women more vulnerable by assigning culpability in their victimhood.
Imagine if men thought about male violence as often as women did. If they read news stories about rape and felt as angry as women do. If they thought about how they're socialised into their gender, about how violence is coded into masculinity, and wanted to change it.
Because if we're honest, men have the luxury of not thinking about rape most of the time. They certainly don't think about it every time they're walking home, or going on a date, or choosing an outfit. The work of rape prevention - or rather, the delusion of it - is women's work.

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More from @AyoCaesar

1 Oct
But Wayne Couzens had a warrant card that would have identified him as a legitimate police officer, and arrested Sarah Everard under the guise of coronavirus powers.

There's nothing new in here which could have stopped him abusing his powers as a cop.
He wasn't in disguise as a police officer, he *was* a police officer. Which gives him a very unique set of coercive powers that other citizens don't have.

The question for the police is how to stop those powers being abused, not how to stop someone claiming to be police.
This is the problem of framing police abuse of power as something that happens *only* to the innocent and blameless. Sarah Everard did nothing criminal. But what if a woman is a sex worker, or has drugs on them, or has mental health issues?
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep
I say this a lot, but we've got 97% of women saying they've experienced harassment and 100% of men saying "it wasn't me."

Something doesn't add up.
There are more legal protections for women against male violence now than there have been at any other point in history. But it keeps happening - both in the home, and on the streets. We've got to ask what we're doing as a society to pass the problem on down the generations.
There's a social consensus that violence against women is wrong - again, probably a stronger one than at any other point in our history. But that consensus is limited in its ability to change people's behaviour, to prevent violence by addressing the source of it.
Read 6 tweets
10 Sep
Yes, I do. Firstly (on an individual level) my race means that racists (often, incidentally, transphobic women) refuse to even acknowledge that I'm a woman. I get called he and it on literally a daily basis.

Then there's the ways race, gender, and class interact with each other.
It's not like for women of colour there's a neat box marked 'gender oppression'. It interacts with all the other stuff too. An indigenous woman in the US, for instance, doesn't go "here's violence against woman in my community, completely unrelated to centuries of dispossession".
Talking about the 'burden' of motherhood in a context where Black mothers in the United States are leading the fight against the police murder of their children again shows the danger of applying one experience of gendered oppression and applying it everywhere without nuance.
Read 7 tweets
9 Sep
There's a lot in liberal id pol that makes me nauseous, but one of the worst is how 'lived experience' (important, but not the only kind of knowledge) gets turned into a stamp of moral authority, in which no one can contest the facts of what's happening.
This isn't a subtweet, and nothing in particular has kicked this off, but it's just a growing sense that treating people as fonts of wisdom *solely* on the basis of their minority status is not only dehumanising, but also opens up the space for bad faith actors and grifters...
... who cynically wield the moral authority conferred by being a woman, or a person of colour, or whatever, in order to deny the existence of oppression or discrimination along identity lines.

You know, the people who make a living by being every racist's brown best friend.
Read 4 tweets
31 Aug
That Spectator piece by Lionel Shriver is one of the most intellectually dishonest pieces I've ever had the misfortune of reading.

The sleight-of-hand from talking about nationality to race, proposing that the nation is a container for racial homogeneity, is the logic of Nazism.
What are we talking about when we're talking about the parts of London where 80% of babies are born to foreign born mothers?

We're talking about people meeting, falling in love and having children together in a global society. It's not a threat, or a war. It's life happening.
But, of course, nationality - being 'foreign born' - isn't a racial status. But very quickly that's where Lionel Shriver goes, proposing that the UK (which is 81% white) is being swamped by black and brown people (who, she doesn't name as such, but then again doesn't have to).
Read 8 tweets
14 Aug
One of the things about incel culture that I find so weird is that it;s predicated on an idea of how women think which is just totally unrealistic and outlandish.

For instance, this idea that women rank men into some kind of imagined hierarchy of high status, or below average...
as if we've got an Excel spreadsheet in our heads and we're categorising every man we meet by comparing them with everyone else.

It just smacks of having learned everything you know about women from men who want you to feel shit about yourself.
The fact is that we all know women (and many of us have been women!) in relationships with guys who don't bring much to the table in terms of personality, kindness, looks, or money, and it's totally baffling to people on the outside why they're putting up with a load of crap.
Read 6 tweets

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