Today the 83rd TUC Women's Conference opens in London and it is my great honour to be this year's Conference Chair. The following article was published in Sisters, the journal of the National Assembly of Women.
Male chauvinism in any of its guises can range from being an annoyance to having fatal consequences.
Last week a young woman close to me described behaviour on London streets that left her feeling angry and afraid. A group of men believed they had the right to shout sexist and intimidating comments to a lone woman travelling home from an evening spent with friends.
I finally got around to looking at my Saturday Guardian on Sunday. I was struck by the various images of women including those who are notorious, harmed and poor; others who are strong, triumphant and achievers.
On the front page is Rebekah Brooks, certainly notorious. Yet when I heard a clip of her evidence to the Leveson inquiry the detail of text messages sounded so banal, especially the bit where she explained how she clarified for PM David Cameron that LOL is in fact not ‘lots of love’.
‘Scream Quietly or the Neighbours Will Hear’ was the title of a book published by Pelican in 1983. The cover, which was truly shocking, showed photographs of women’s injuries inflicted by their partners.
Injuries such as those inflicted on Tina Nash, whose ex-partner tried to strangle her last year in an attack that lasted 12 hours and broke her nose and jaw. He gouged out her eyes, leaving her completely blind.
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