North Yorkshire Police Commissioner Philip Allott’s comment that Sarah Everard “never should have submitted” to the false arrest by her Police Officer killer is both profoundly disturbing, yet also deeply revealing. However clumsy his words, this attempt to lay even a grain of blame on Ms Everard, the victim of a heinous crime, should be seen for what it is – an indication we still have a serious problem with how we talk about, understand and deal with violence against women and girls. 

How such violence manifests varies significantly and ranges from misogyny, sexual harassment, coercive control, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation, ‘honour’ crimes and even political violence.

Yet at its heart violence is an expression of power, control, and objectification, which can result in significant psychological trauma and physical harm. Whilst Allott’swords are a tasteless reframing of the age-old victim blaming question of “Why didn’t she just leave?, as a society we have a shared responsibility to understand the reasons why Ms Everard and victims of such violence find just leaving nigh on impossible.

The Istanbul Convention defines psychological violence as ‘seriously impairing a person’s psychological integrity through coercion or threats’ and whilst coercion and threats can also be physical, psychological violence does not produce any bruises or scars to ‘evidence’ a pattern of violence. 

This can be disorientating and plays into the tactics used by perpetrators to instil a belief that the violence only exists in the mind of the victim. In a 2019 report on Psychological Violence by Safe Lives they set out a glossary of such violence including ‘grooming’‘gaslighting’ ‘crazy making’and ‘stonewalling’ or more colloquially – the silent treatment. In that report one victim talks about their difficulty accepting such acts as violence.

“You didn’t feel like it was violent because the… for me, I didn’t have hands on me – I had no bruises, or whatever” 

But the violence is all too real. It becomes the victim’s normality, a world of shame, guilt and self-blaming where the victim can lose all sense of themselves becomingprogressively dehumanised and believe their own needs to be invalid. They exist in a world of subjugation to the perpetratorand as a person, they no longer matter.  

Deliberately making anyone feel less than human, that their happiness, their hopes, dreams and safety does not matter is an inexcusable act of violence. 

Thankfully organisations exist to help women, girls and alsomen, traumatised by such violence to seek help and rebuild their lives. I have long been a supporter of the work of such organisations and no more so than Fife based Saje Scotland and their Freedom Programme. 

Allott’s ill-chosen words indicate that as a society we have much work to do to address violence against women. We must collectively resolve to never tolerate the blaming of victims or denigrate anyone’s concerns as invalid. When we witness such acts of violence, at home, in the workplace or in public life we have a shared responsibility to name it and challenge it.


I am increasingly impressed by Neale, who I did not know well until recently. He displays a very caring nature and has a deep understanding of complex personal experiences which allow him to comment intelligently on many difficult issues lesser men might struggle with.

I am , as always



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    1. My ex-partner subjected me to psychological violence in the 80’s and early 90’s but, of course, it wasn’t known as such back then, and I somehow got the strength to eventually get out of the relationship. Reading Neale’s words brings it all back and makes me feel sick even after all this time, even although I’ve been happily married for 25 years.

      Liked by 11 people

  1. An absolutely accurate assessment by Neale Hanvey.

    That any senior policeman could even attempt to suggest that some blame should attach Sarah Everard is a chilling insight into the mindset of our police force.

    But North Yorkshire police however are no different from other UK police forces including our very own corrupt Police Scotland who know how to rough up a girl.

    Not in the same league I know but vicious, maevolent Police Scotland certainly knew how to rough up Marion Millar when they threatened to have her children taken into care when they asked her to come for interview.

    All part of the brutal macho instinct cooked in to our police.

    But we know that, Scottish police can be absolutely brutal and vicious.

    But back to the point Neale Hanvey covers, Sarah Everard’s parents will just have to accept the police view that their daughters, murder was somehow in part her fault.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Oh and I saw that our very own ex chief constable Stephen House had to resign from the Met.

    Concerns up here about his management and then concerns and resignation in the Met thereafter.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. There recently has been a survey doing the rounds (in community activist circles) about the public’s view of the police. Whether the results are taken seriously, published and then action is taken is unlikely. However, it does allow those of us who have had negative experiences of some police officers a chance to express our views.

      Just over two years ago I was stopped outside my house by a male and a female traffic officer over a minor traffic infringement. The male officer in particular was extremely aggressive and provocative from the outset of what was otherwise a warm, relaxing summer’s day with a calm atmosphere. His questioning made me feel anxious and alarmed: I felt as if I, a mid-sixties male with no convictions, had been charged with being a violent criminal who was a threat to the public.

      After what seemed like an hour of abuse, shouting and threats I fled to the safety of my house, or so I thought. The officer in question followed me, kicked in the door and then threatened me with getting me sacked from my career. How could he have the power to do that, I wondered? I quickly realized that his behaviour was illegal and had no legal basis. I also figured out quite quickly that the officers’ actions and words were not being witnessed by anyone and that the words of two serving police cops in court would have been believed before one individual. I could have ended up being charged with serious assault or something worse.

      In the event they eventually departed the scene and left me, a family man with no criminal record, being extremely upset at having good character threatened over nothing. Their motives? Maybe it was because I, and a number of others, have fought for many years against the endemic corruption within certain government organizations and certain individuals involved with them. I probably will never know. Was I now paying the price for demanding an end to such practices? I was, understandably, extremely angry for months later at being singled-out.

      Therefore, I completely agree with Neale’s article and the sentiments expressed within it. I can only imagine what all those women have had to put up with. Good luck to them in their struggle for justice.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I too Gonzalo had an unfortunate and totally outrageous interface with Police Scotland.

        I stopped to look at a lorry that had overturned on a section of road that many suspect has a safety issue and spoke to one of the cops standing by police van parked to deflect traffic onto the middle lane whilst traffic cops took accident details.

        However, some minutes later when I started to take pictures of the vehicle the same cop then came running across to me screaming what the f**k are you doing taking pictures….i’ll f**king lift you for breach of the peace.

        Quite what prompted this response I do not know. The area was a well know accident black spot and for whatever reason, taking pictures for technical reasons was grounds enough for this man to threaten wholly unjustified police action. He also screamed do you want me to lose my job, whatever that was about.

        As someone who some years ago received a commendation for going to the aid of an officer in distress I am now an individual who takes an entirely different view of the police. This was a thug of a man, vested with power to abuse on a hair trigger. Good thing he didn’t have the gun, the side arm, that over fifty percent of police said they recently felt they should be entitled to carry.

        A colleague standing nearby who witnessed the incident said I should make a complaint, but I didn’t. Out of control thuggery is baked in to our Police. Good thing it was daylight, in a public place and I wasn’t an eighteen year old lad or this Officer could have been kicking the living daylights out of me – for nothing else than taking a public interest.

        For the good cops, officers like this, destroy their reputation. But the culture of abuse comes from the top. They let it happen, encourage it, and of course we have all seen how vicious police can be when they set out to destroy political targets, aside of threatening ordinary individuals.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. “Thankfully organisations exist to help women, girls”

    RCS and RCS Edinburgh have done themselves no favours in this department, I wonder if women still trust this Scottish government funded body after recent events.

    Liked by 13 people

      1. Spot on, Gonzalo1. Rape Crisis Scotland is a disgrace. That Brindley woman should scrub her own doorstep before having the gall to comment on threats to women’s safety. The woman is an out-and-out hypocrite, letting a cheating male, who lied in his CV, into a women’s safe space, then to take charge of it. You can bet that it will be all trans women that he hires in future. That is how they operate: get a foot in the door and lay out the welcome mat for trans only. Just as women said they would behave. However, let’s not blame all men because there are plenty of goggle-eyed females, salivating over con men, who would sell their birthright (and yours and mine) in order to appear ‘cool’ and virtuous. Nah, they are daft besoms, the kind who write to serial killers of other females and tell them they love them when these men are sociopaths and psychopaths who have no capacity for love whatsoever.

        Every government and every public office and every private office should withhold monies from Stonewall unless it can guarantee, in black-and-white accounts (the trans women, most driven by sex, will scream blue murder) that is using the money to fund provisions for trans people – shelters, centres, third spaces. If not, remove it completely. It is tax-payers money, not the private income of governments to push an ideology that is at best, fabricated and, at worst, a downright lie on behalf of autogynephiles and fetishists, who, if they get self-ID, will enable the real predators in on their coat-tails. Sarah Everard’s killer was a ‘flasher’. Harmless, eh? Women having been saying for years and years that these ‘low-level sex crimes’ against women and children can escalate. What does the Scottish government want to do? Let them into our spaces and rights, into female prisons (most of them are serious sex offenders and killers). You really couldn’t make this up. They are handing away OUR human rights. OURS – to men in pretty frocks and male pattern baldness, who already have all their human rights.

        Liked by 9 people

  4. Thank you Neale. Your clear understanding of this issue is in direct contrast to the First Minister, who dismisses women’s concern at losing our single SEX spaces and services as “not valid”.

    Liked by 13 people

  5. Allott’s ill-chosen words … highlight that he is not fit for his current role.

    The power of arrest granted to Police…. in LAW rests with the office of Constable. Hence the reason why we have Chief Constables. At present, (even though the tories would like to change it) the only route to promotion within the Police is to have served as a Probationary Constable and then Constable, then Sergeant, then Inspector, etc…. all the way up.

    The only time a Police Officer can – with authority – refuse to carry out an order, is if the order is unlawful. It is a disciplined service.

    Police Officers – no matter what rank – do not have the right to re- write the laws. This power lies with High Court Judges, and with Parliaments.

    Chief Constable Allott cannot advise members of the public to ignore a Police Arrest – this is simply not his gift to give.

    Chief Constable Allott’s advice to a dead victim of abduction by a serving Police Officer, that she should ‘not have submitted’, and the senior officers of the Met, advising women, to ‘run away’ or ‘flag down a bus’ when being arrested… simply beggar belief.

    Let us be clear, the vast majority of Police Officers are lawful, hard working, decent and dedicated.

    Comments such as the above will not be utilsed by law abiding women about to be unlawfully arrested.

    They will however be utilsed by the drug addict, with a string of convictions, used to the system, and fully intent on evading arrest.

    A huge chunk of training to new officers concerns teaching them about the lawful powers they have to arrest a person, when, where, why …. and how. This includes verbal commands, body language, use of restraints, use of force. It is that fundamental to their role, and it is that important.

    Allott’s badly chosen words – not only insult and victim blame, they display a basic lack of knowledge and respect of the law as it currently stands (something which as a CONSTABLE he cannot possibly defend, or plead ignorance of), and they (in conjunction with the words used by the MET to ‘run away’ etc) fundamentally undermine serving officers on the front line carrying out their duties in a lawful manner.

    To be clear, if you decide to resist arrest and attempt to use Allott’s advice in court as a defence… you’re going to find a Judge heartily disinclined to agree with him.

    Sarah’s murderer, will have been a shagger and as such will have associated with the other ‘macho’ shaggers in the Police… the ones playing away from home. As such, and with such knowledge, he will have become a protected member of the group.

    Within Policing circles, the ‘gun bunnies’ are notorious for the following traits:

    Mostly blokes (women not welcome)

    Hugely vain and mostly into their body image / fitness. Carrying a gun is a huge turn on for them.

    Notoriously ‘shy’ at getting their notebooks out and therefore not much use on the beat, unless its a rammy (which they often start or encourage).

    For this reason, for the normal cops on the beat, it’s something of a blessing to get the lazy, useless big lumps off the shift and away to the gun bunnies, and out of harms way (there being so few firearms incidents for them to get involved in).

    For the bosses, they can comfort themselves with the thought, that they have been stringently vetted, and then comprehensively trained, and are less likely to ever have to deal with a real incident. Boxes, ticked.

    Sarah’s murderer did not accidentally get into the Authorised Firearms Sqaud because no-one knew he was a bad cop. He was put there deliberately because they thought it was the ‘safest’ place to put him without upsetting the applecart.

    And any person reaching the rank of Chief Constable will know this dynamic very, very well.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. That procedure, effectively passing the buck, seems to me to be very dangerous. If such a person is known by his (I stand by that prooun) superiors. they should not be passing him on to an armed unit but questioning him closely about his views and performance on the beat, possibly placing him under supervision and, if need be, ewmoving him from the force.

      Liked by 8 people

  6. An excellent and educating post Neale.

    Those who prey on others often hide in organisations that give them opportunity and cover. The church, the Police, the Armed Forces, prisons, Overseas Aid Charities etc etc. The organisations themselves may be unaware and oblivious…but often they not, unfortunately.

    This is why I fear this invasive cult that had infiltrated Stonewall and via that organisations network wider society. Women’s Rights are the current target but it is only the beginning. Who is behind this? Who is pouring millions into this Worldwide campaign? Why does the destruction of societal norms and family values form such an integral part of this global cult?

    This is scary! The way in which Governments, the Courts,, the Police, Political Parties are all supporting the cult message should alarm everyone.

    They took over the World while we slept.

    The Trans issue is the beginning not the end.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. That is why we must resist them. We should organize, bring together people of different beliefs, to fight against these perverts, through the courts or otherwise. We have right on our side and we know that the vast majority of the public will be on our side. I may be naive but it always amazed me how Savile got away with it for so long.

      I had always thought that those who were most aggrieved by his behaviour, and there must have been thousands in that boat, would have remembered that he often ran lonely roads and would have been exposed to otherwise uncharted events. Exposed and vulnerable. Enough said.


      1. Saville got away with it for so long Gonzalo because the police in essence authorised his behaviour. There was as is now widely believed, a pedophile ring at the heart of Westminster. Such rings whilst criminally and morally wrong, can be, and are used as a method of control.

        The establishment know that, the military intelligence know that, senior police know that, and it is a tool that works. The Russians call it komoromst.

        Did Mrs Thatcher use it. She was certainly close to Saville and of course how did she keep iron control of people like her Home Secretary Sir Leon Britain and other senior cabinet members.

        Or what about the Krays, their parties, and odious characters like a Lord Boothby of the rent boys and glass table defecation fame. Police knew all about that, and no doubt more so when it came to how Boothby voted in his allegiances.

        It’s all out there Gonzalo. Senior police are actively involved in Kompromat. About that there should be no doubt. And for a football fan, the lies and political protection afforded by Police after Hillsburgh shows how corrupt the establishment is.

        No wonder why then folks ask about the political behaviours of our current leader and whether in some way she or others near her have been kompromat..

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Women have always been the most important people to me from my idol my mum to my 3 sisters, my Nana and my Grannies, my aunties, my nieces and most important to me now, my wife. You have undying support from me in perpetuity. The day I allow them to intentionally take protective rights away from one protected group to give to another will be the day will give up that love which will be never. Ladies, I love you all. Real Trans people, love you too but secure your own rights as trans people and leave women and children alone.

    Liked by 9 people

  8. Have given this whole thing a lot of thought over the years, and have come to the conclusion that ALL female pupils should start self-defence lessons from around Primary Three as part of the PE curriculum, with special emphasis, as they grow, on how to overcome a stronger opponent. Later still, they should be taught how to use a comb, a hairbrush, a nail file, anything that can be utilized as a weapon.

    Before anyone jumps in and says: “… yes, but that will just enrage the assailant… ” better to fight back than to wait passively to die painfully and horribly as so many women do. If I’m going to die, I’m going to at least scar the b*****d. I do understand that, in Sarah’s case, she was handcuffed before she really had time to think, and many women are taken out from behind or jumped out on. However, even just having the confidence to feel that you are fighting fit, will be a boost to most females’ self-esteem and alertness whilst out on the streets or in a park. As a young women, if I went out in the dark, I always carried a nail file in my hand, and it gave me courage, even if I was usually a bit like the lion in The Wizard of Oz. I really do believe that many men just have not even the slightest understanding of how a lone women feel out at night or in a large park. It is beyond their ken.

    A psychologist I listened to recently, said that many women and girls give off vibes of fear – just like prey – and predators all behave in the same way: they choose the prey they believe will be easier to overcome because – and this is crucial – they are both predator and coward. Teach our girls to stand tall, to bear themselves with confidence instead of telling them to make themselves as small as possible in the hop they won’t be noticed. Also, girls need to be taught to overcome fear and scream as loudly and as long as they can – which, I know, may not be possible if someone has his hand over your mouth, but it can be an early alarm system for making the predator run. Taking to your heels, too, and running as hard as you can, could also put an aggressor off.

    I am so sick of females being told to be passive that it makes me very angry because passive and fearful is just what a predator can scent from a hundred yards. Most men hunt in packs when they are predating other men, and that should tell us something. Fewer men are killed by a lone man; most women are. The metaphorical beatings that women are taking just now from the trans lobby activists should be met with equal aggression. It is time that we started to fight back and call them out. Any politician, male or female, who thinks it is smart to hand away women’s hard-won rights, should be met with a campaign to have him/her removed and deselected; same for the parties that support this removal of women’s human rights. Start fighting back. Campaign for, and vote for, only those politicians who guarantee to support their 50% female constituents. If they want to give away women’s rights, let them rely on the votes of the autogynephiles, fetishists and cross-dressers and would-be predators in their constituencies.

    Liked by 11 people

  9. I don’t know why this even needs explaining, clearly the North Yorkshire Police Commissioner Philip Allott’s should be sacked from his post for having such attitudes as this, and if this is the attitude of the Police Commissioner, then maybe the whole police service he has been put in charge of needs to have a rethink of what their attitudes are, is it systemic in the North Yorkshire Police Force????

    Liked by 11 people

  10. The SG has indicated a commitment to intersectional policy, yet are determined to re-imagine the legal identity of women to include biological males. Which undoes the legal protections enjoyed by those who poses a female biology. So the SG will need to re-frame their gender agenda if they want their government to be compatible with democracy, let alone intersectional theory and practice. Btw, women in Scotland experience both the structural violence against their sex-class and their nationality. So just how parochial and sexist does the SNP want to turn Scotland?

    Structural Violence on Women: An Impediment to Women Empowerment

    Liked by 3 people

  11. The concerns Neale Hanvey expresses in his article are indeed indicative of how the perceived norms of societal convention are being groomed to fit a narrative implicit in the opinions of Police Commissioner Allot.

    lorncal in her comment highlights the greatest threat to women’s safety in Scotland, our elected politicians to Holyrood and who regardless of party have by their silence acquiesced to deny women and young girls the right to safe spaces by decree, should proposed legislation become law.

    It is quite frankly disturbing that not one of the SNP politicians at Holyrood has challenged this obscenity, choosing rather to validate denial of biological science and the the consequences of their prejudices.

    The greater general public must be brought on board and in this ALBA must take the lead in campaigning in whatever forum is presented. Scotland’s fate must never be entrusted to the purveyors of ‘Queer Theory’!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Queer theory isn’t all bad, and care ethics and post-colonial legal theory wouldn’t be what they are today without it. We probably wouldn’t have same-sex marriages either. The SNP have just bought into Stonewall’s particularly radical, unethical, and anti-democratic political campaign, and want to drag Scotland along with them.


  12. I mean, when the law starts supporting the material fantasy that human can change their biological sex, what’s next? And the reason Scots law is on the point of being broken beyond functionality, is Scots law has to stand under Westminster. So it lacks the legal autonomy needed to defend itself from further ideological colonisation and impairment.

    The Meaning of Gender Equality in Criminal Law


  13. It may have been phrased better, but the facts are that more men are killed than women, men are at greater risk of being victims of violence from the police, and people are responsible for their own safety.
    The policeman concerned used Covid19 laws to detain the woman, in normal times she could have told him to GTF, but the C19 fearporn brigade had their way and she paid the price.

    Does anyone know how many men have died in the last 6 months? Do the feminazis even care? Why am I responsible for the behaviour of a man in another country?

    Hard cases make bad laws and bleeding heart liberals should never be allowed anywhere near legislation.


  14. A couple of commenters have referred to Philip Allott as a policeman,

    He isn’t; he a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, to which office he was elected (as the Tory candidate for the post) this May. He’s a politician. (Previously in the TA, a law student, and author of a book about his father’s business breeding and racing donkeys, according to Wikipedia.)

    He should, of course, resign or be sacked.

    Liked by 5 people

  15. Well, you didn’t need to use the aggressive term ‘feminazi’ to confirm your obvious misogyny, as the rest of your inappropriate comment demonstrates that adequately. Tomorrow’s a school day isn’t it?

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Consider this for a moment. But if Sarah Everard had been armed would she have been murdered. There’s a very good chance maybe not. So does this support the US position where people can legally carry protection. Or what about the chief constable of North Yorkshire’s view that Sarah Everard should have resisted the police officer when he arrested her. It’s a good question to which there will be many very different answers.

    And then, in the light of Sarah’s horrendous murder by a policeman authorised to carry arms, ask as yourself of the sentiment of a recent survey of serving police officers in Scotland that revealed that over fifty percent of officers want police to carry side arm hand guns as a matter of course

    There is a big debate here, and it needs to be opened out.

    Should people be allowed to carry protection, should they be entitled to resist police arrest, should all police be armed as the majority of Police Scotland officers think.


  17. JGEDD – I have sympathy and empathy for all women who have been harassed or attacked and for those who are living in hellish situations. I think the Penguin should have been more careful and less demeaning in his comments. Yes, violence against men is also a problem because it happens more often. Their situations should also be given support and sympathy. (I lived as teenager during the 1970’s in the West of Scotland when it was much worse, yet seldom publicized)

    Suffice to say that rape is a terrible crime. I admit that I am a bit naive in that respect, in that I don’t understand why a man would rape in the first place. I could never, under any circumstances, attack and rape a women. Surely a rapist could find other ways to express his sexual aggression? Without insulting women, could he not just go to a brothel or whatever they call them nowadays (a Gentlemen’s Club or whatever)? Or just go away to his bedroom and do what most men and some women do (allegedly) and masturbate?

    Obviously, someone more qualified than me, would be able to answer these points.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly, Molly’s Mum. This excuse has been used as a cover for male sexual violence ever since it actually was defined as a crime. It is not only used as a defence ( the ‘male sexual sex-drive excuse’ which ignores the many men who do not commit rape or sexual assault) but in order to blame women for the assault by not guarding against the attack with sufficient care, or by being ‘provocative’ ( ‘she was asking for it.’ )

        In many countries, this is actually an acceptable defence for males so that women are obliged to venture out rarely, to cover themselves against the male gaze since they will receive the censure for the attack, not the male perpetrator, and sometimes even the punishment, as in so-called ‘honour killings’. ( This actually goes back to the ancient Assyrian Empire where women were obliged to go out heavily veiled, if at all, being mostly confined to harems: only harlots could go out unescorted and unveiled, all for the convenience of men. In each succeeding civilization of Ancient Mesopotamia the gradual degradation of women’s rights can be followed until the time of the Assyrians when women were so demeaned that they were not even defined as human beings. It is perhaps, significant, that the great monotheistic religions originated in Mesopotamia which all to a degree saw fit to codify the behaviour of women in religious laws.)

        Molly’s Mum is right, this is about control not sexual desire. Psychologists have long agreed that men rape not from uncontrollable sexual desire but from the desire to control and disempower. The very fact that the woman cannot consent is the trigger. Consensual sex is not what is desired by rapists.

        In Penguin’s odious post above we can see the obvious misogyny. His use of the hateful term ‘feminazi’ is indicative of that and the rest of his post follows the same objectionable attitude and lack of empathy. He is correct, of course, that more young men die each year due to violence but the point which he chooses to ignore is that they die due to MALE violence. I do not have daughters but when my sons were adolescents I naturally worried for them when they went for nights out to pubs and clubs but when I cautioned them to be careful I didn’t warn them to beware of women who might sneak rohypnol into their drinks. No, of course, it was the violence of other males that concerned me. In case, Penguin doesn’t know, it is also males who rape other males, too. Women can’t be guilty of rape although the present lunacy of the SNP in recording the crimes of transwomen is busily undermining that reality – perhaps to the approval of misogynists like Penguin.

        As for gonzalo’s suggestion that women should exist as prostitutes to indulge the dark urges and sexual violence of men – well again women are being objectified and commodified for the use of men. But that is the hypocritical way in which society has always dealt with male deviancy, safely behind closed doors while the bodies of poor women have to endure what is dished out to them as some kind of safety valve against the unnatural violence of men.

        As someone in another post has said, society needs to have a good long look at itself and have an actual serious conversation about this. Women hide from this at their peril.

        Liked by 2 people

  18. I’m more and more impressed with Neale. I believe he’s a great asset in politics and can see why he moved to Alba after the treatment meted out to him by certain members of the SNP. I’m glad some of Scotland’s politicians are willing to speak out about the increasingly obvious way women are being silenced and treated by misogynistic men, be they one of the many genders which are appearing nowadays (I can’t keep up). Women in Scotland are going to have a difficult road ahead if they can’t even be allowed to say they’re female, woman or girl.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Thanks Neil for your post, you do us proud, as does the quality of comment, argument and discussion in this excellent blog. I seek your indulgence in sharing some of my thoughts with you, especially as we are at somewhat of a cusp in the very basics of our society, under attack since the days when Thatcher implied, even said, that society did not exist. My experience throughout my working life has brought me into close contact with all stages of human development, from childminding babies through playgroup teaching, primary school teaching, secondary school teaching, and tertiary as vice principle of a college for 140 adults with severe learning or physical disability. It felt like a natural progression to train in psychotherapy, and I worked mostly in schools with pupils presenting problematic behaviour. In recent years I have been a volunteer listener with Samaritans, and have heard much. But background tells, and much of what I have heard has also become raw data. The exact effects of sociopolitical attitudes and actions can be heard in the thousands of calls that have come my way. Penguin tried to express something that I too have concerns about. Neil said, rightly:

    ‘Deliberately making anyone feel less than human, that their happiness, their hopes, dreams and safety does not matter is an inexcusable act of violence.’

    It is. And it is my firm belief that that sentence reveals much of what lies behind the violence coming even more openly into existence now. Women have been violated, bullied and disregarded for aeons, but so have men. We have all been brutalised by the ability of those with psychopathic tendencies, i.e. Mr. Johnson, possibly Ms.Sturgeon, to take whatever they want as their right, and men, being physically more powerful, have used women in all the ways so well described in the comments above. But (I confess here that my reading is no longer up-to-date) I have never in my professional life read any real research into what makes men tick. Men are at a terrible disadvantage biologically/emotionally because there is nothing real and open in the public eye about how men cope with their sexuality other than through the violence of the sub-stratas of society: it’s all stamped out under the expectation that men will take up violence to defend us, will do horrific jobs to feed us, will give support when their hearts, too are breaking, will suffer violence themselves on our behalf, will learn to deliver violence, will work themselves to the bone in awful jobs to provide for us, will pick up the things that need their superior physical strength, and all, all of this is taken for granted. One of the most valuable aspects of Billy Connolly’s career was his ability to bring the trials of masculinity to public notice because he spoke the outrageous truth about how a man has to deal with an errant penis, what excrutiating embarrassment men can suffer. We watch Sir David Attenborough’s programmes in which the injurious drives of sexual need are exposed in other species, and we watch what the arts turn up for us in drama by using the sexual urges and drives of humanities, but do we actually do anything about how to prepare boys to become men? Do we understand how the male sexuality works? It seems to me that most men are watchful. It seems to me that most men have another hidden agenda that is working all the time. Most men can control, even enjoy their responses, but isn’t it true that what the eye sees goes straight to the genitals and sometimes renders us helpless? How do we help boys develop into men? Men in groups do turn into predatory groups, sorry builders, but some of your macho ways are as dreadful to some of your own group as they are to the passing women you humiliate. OK so, enough. Women have one great asset, they talk to each other. Childbirth for example doesn’t do a lot for modesty and small children look at their world with innocent eyes and speak embarrassingly candidly sometimes of what they see (try taking a small child into a public toilet, if they still exist) So women become used to the downside of their sexuality it seems to me, and women throughout civilisation have become used to groups working cooperatively together while men seem more to work in competition with each other and at each other’s expense. This is all wildly generalised, I do know.

    I just think that we are spending a lot of time looking with horror at what our society is becoming and not looking analytically at what is at its root. A lot of what is at its root is our refusal to understand the role of masculinity from a species viewpoint. We are at the beginning of something, we hope independence sometime. As well as blaming men for having sexual urges that frighten them and make them feel ill, that embarrass them and make them feel all the emotions that Neal’s comment describes so well for women, isn’t there the point to consider that some men then turn those feeling so described against women, any women? Blame the female cause of it all? I recall that old, wry joke that came from the Navy years ago….’There’s plenty of c..t about, but the women have it all’.

    Can’t we begin to work out how we can support children as males, or trans, or females or homosexual or whatever the hell their individual biological genetic mix is and make room in our educational planning for them all to have a chance to understand each other’s vulnerabilities? It has to be done through education as that is the only time they are all together and away from the individual family influences. It is the only place I can think of where we could provide support for children through creativity and play, for when such advanced learning is in conflict with the traditions of family; where all children can be encouraged to communicate in their own way their own feelings without the bullying ridicule often brought about by the undercurrent emotional blackmail of marketing. Children allowed to develop at the pace of their own psychological need, through the medium of their natural learning strength, play and creativity, could have a human awareness greater than anything we have achieved so far with our determination to ensure that money and money-making is the first need of society. It’s what the still small voice of the indigenous peoples of the Americas has been saying for centuries, change your priorities, you can’t eat money, value your world and your people, we are all equal. I’ll shut up now. Thank you if you have worked through all this. Sorry if I seem to have said anything offensive, I didn’t mean to offend. But the things I hear, and have heard through a fifty year career of listening, through over 8000 individual therapy sessions with young people of all ages show me so clearly that so much unhappiness with so many different outlets bode no good for anyone, and we need to be thinking about it differently. Alba does not have a Convenor for Men. Everyone else, yes.

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    1. Very thoughtful and thought provoking roscurwoodbtinternetcom. I would refer back to the point you reference in my piece;

      ‘Deliberately making anyone feel less than human, that their happiness, their hopes, dreams and safety does not matter is an inexcusable act of violence.’

      This is fundamentally about how we feel about ourselves and how we project feelings of inadequacy, anger and self-disgust out into the world we inhabit.

      All the points you make about men are very important and underscore how we need to educate our children to accept and accommodate difference. But for that to be realised we need to raise our children to believe and know that they matter, their lives matter and they way they treat one another matters. Grinding poverty, lack of aspiration, hunger and hopelessness are at the very root of the problem. Tackling disadvantage and poverty is a must do and I consider policies that drive such social problems as an act of political violence against those who suffer the harm of such toxic policies.

      That belief is at the core of my politics and my personal experience of life. You can help folk lift their gaze and dream of a better life, but the greed of some is our greatest enemy.

      It’s not a simple path forward, but it’s vital we begin. Thank you so much for your reflections above. Plenty of food for thought. Neale

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I listened to a very erudite female psychologist a few weeks ago, Ros, and she proffered the suggestion that many men (certainly not all) are extremely incontinent in their sexual behaviour, risk-taking and devil-may-care, at the expense of family and women. She wasn’t recommending celibacy until marriage and after, but she did sketch out a form of living that would bring the greatest benefits to men themselves, women and children in a tight, but mutually respectful, family unit (and not necessarily a religious one) as the basis and building blocks of a decent and enlightened society.

      Possibly, she thought, this is how we all acted in the early days of human history, but, with progress and evolution, has come incontinence in all kinds of behaviours that is destructive to all. She believes that we are reaching crisis point in our evolution when either we all move away from each other and live more as self-destructive and generally destructive individuals or we learn the lesson that actions have consequences, sometimes extremely severe ones. The first step, she thought, to preventing our destruction would be for women to finally achieve parity with men – right across the board, as autonomous people.

      She felt that we will never save our planet or ourselves if men continue to hog the world’s resources, control all laws, etc., and she felt that a showdown is coming between men and women because we, as a species, refuse to acknowledge the female input to human development, waste it, deny it and denigrate it, and we are forever in a situation of conflict that helps no one, when what we really need is everyone’s participation in mutual support. In lion society, we hail the majestic male lion, the king of the jungle, but do not see his cub-killing brutality; and we do not recognize the enormous energy and time that female lions put into the survival of the pride.

      In chimpanzee and monkey society, we see the alpha male and his leadership of the group, but we don’t see the female whose action helped the group to survive (it is almost always females who discover new ways of finding food or whose behaviour changes to accommodate a new idea for the benefit of the group). In other words, we deny the female input to the survival and flourishing of all mammal species, including our own, by ignoring it. How many scientific discoveries have been made by female lab assistants and research fellows where the male top dogs get the Nobel Prize? Google it and find out. If we don’t start to treat females as the other half of the human race, essential for our species’ survival, something is going to give.

      Liked by 2 people

  20. Neale is one of the good guys.

    In related news, seen on twitter from Sky’s Andy Hughes

    “BREAKING: A Metropolitan Police officer who was in the same unit as PC Wayne Couzens has tonight been charged with the rape of a woman in September last year. PC David Carrick, 46, will appear in court tomorrow morning.”

    Not all men but some men…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ay, PP, a fairly sizeable minority of men hurt women physically in some way, at any given time, before the controlling behaviours and gaslighting even start. The Scottish government will get its a**e kicked over this denial of female rights. FEMALE human rights, which are completely and irrevocably incompatible with trans rights right across the board – on safety, on privacy on basic decency and respect, and what is the point of women’s rights, female human rights, if we are replaced across the board by men so that we end up being represented in all public spheres and private spheres by men and… well, men? They have been told this over and over and over. What is wrong with these politicians? Power addicted? Get a spine, SG, or women – the real ones – will no vote for you, be assured.

      Liked by 3 people

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