I’m angry. No sorry, I’m seething.
Not only do we have to contend with a woman violently killed by her partner being disrespected and dehumanised in her death by Paddy Power and their little “Oscar” betting jokes, but now we have an organisation willing to come to the aid of the women raising awareness, erasing them in preference for the voice of….wait for it….a MAN.
A dear friend of mine set up a petition (please sign it, you can find it here
This petition was single handily created by a woman. It was promoted by this woman, to other women who whole heartily supported and promoted it too. You see, male violence against women, and this is about a bet on that, is a feminist issue. It is about how easily women can be reduced to being inconsequential. We live in a patriarchal society as did Reeva Steenkamp, as did every woman killed every 8 hours in South Africa. These are societies which as yet, do not quite seem to see the violence against, and murder of women by men as being as horrific as other kinds of violence or murder. In fact, it is apparently okay to instead focus on the accused and have a bit of a laugh, bet, game on whether he’ll walk away or not.
I repeat, this campaign has been created by a woman, and successfully so.
So successful in fact that it has been picked up by The Independent and Radio 5 Live. All great news. Except…Radio 5 Live don’t seem to be able to grasp the full issue. They wouldn’t be just seeking a bit of juicy news would they? We didn’t really expect them to care, did we?
Radio 5 Live have decided to ignore the fact that Jean Hatchet and her fellow women have in the space of a few hours, drawn such attention from Paddy Power and media outlets and declared instead that we couldn’t possibly have the political sway or authority to talk on the subject eloquently and powerfully. Yes…power…I’ll come back to that one. What Radio 5 Live must have, is a politician, a MALE politician. A male politician to talk on an issue affecting women and raised by a woman. Good one.
But what Radio 5 Live have failed to ask themselves is why there wasn’t a powerful woman they could invite on their show. There are a number of possible answers. It is not because they weren’t available, women were suggested to them but clearly they did not have the “power” they sought. Now either this has to be because they have a predominately male audience and felt a male voice would be needed to for the matter to be taken seriously, or, that there are not enough female voices in positions of power. What do these two have in common? Patriarchy.
They could have utilised a brilliant opportunity to address this imbalance and show what excellent work women have done and how well they address such situations. But no. Obviously it is far better just to continue conforming to that blasted patriarchal society norms.
Rather than raising the issue of why in today’s society we can mock a woman’s death by placing bets on the outcome of a trial of the person who killed her, Radio 5 Live instead perpetuate that society, doing great women like Jean Hatchet a real disservice.
Shame on you Radio 5 Live. So hungry for a story you forgot to understand it.