Why can’t I walk down the street
Free of suggestion?
Why can’t I walk down a street
Free of suggestion?
Is my body my only trait
In the eyes of men?
I’ve got some skin
You want to look in
Suffer your words, suffer your eyes, suffer your hands
Suffer your interpretation of what it is
To be a Man
We don’t want anyone to mind us
Play the roles that they assign us
She does nothing to conceal it
He touches her because he wants to feel it
We blame her
For being there
But we are all here
We are all

Fugazi, Suggestion (1989)

Serious Obstacles; Or, Why Is The UK Government Undermining International Protections Against Gendered Violence?

Today is the 100th International Women’s Day. The Government has been announcing its latest action plan on violence against women and girls (including some bold promises for increased funding for rape crisis centres) accordingly. But The Times reports that British officials have, in the same moment, been deliberately undermining a draft convention against violence against women at the Council of Europe. Specifically:

Britain objects to the words, “violence against women is understood as a violation of human rights”. Instead, it wants “violence against women constitutes a serious obstacle for women’s enjoyment of human rights”.

Even more damningly, our representatives apparently want the convention to apply only to gendered violence carried out in ‘peacetime’ and not to violations in war. Today’s Home Office announcements make reference to various avenues and promises of international ‘co-operation’, but say nothing about this specific charge. Media reports are similarly silent so far.

This is extraordinary. The timing is brutally ironic, although that is likely down to the Editors at The Times. But why would William Hague and co., newly championing freedoms elsewhere, suddenly seek to undermine international cooperation on this front?

Continue reading