I care (deeply) because I am fucking exhausted. I’ve fought for the rights of women since I realised what those rights were at the age of 13. I am now 49 and I am still watching women being told that we do not ‘deserve’ safe spaces, equality, freedom… and still by men.
That I may have to watch this happen to my daughter too makes me feel levels of rage that cannot be described. These men may be wearing lipstick and too much nylon but they are still men and I’ve had enough.
I’ve been active on social media albeit with a pseudonym and while using a VPN because I personally know too many women who have been threatened. I also run my own business which is rooted in feminism so I routinely raise the issue there too with my customers but that is a delicate balacing act which I know could shut me down. I have to chose carefully what I say and when but I’m not stopping. I also talk about this a lot on my personal social media channels which are only accessed by friends and family. Every time I say something, wherever I say it, I have to sum up the consequences.
Have I had any consequences? God, yes.
I’ve seen plenty of threats of assault but I know that’s the last resort of a desperate ideologue so don’t take a lot of notice.
I have lost friends though, amazingly friends who until this point were committed feminists. We only diverged on feminist issues when it came to this issue and it was always my friends who decided they could not be friends with me because their support of men in skirts meant more to them than any defence of women. I have not mourned their moving on in any way but I remain staggered that they think any of this was necessary.