Friday, 13 February 2015

Rape and a dog fight. The same thing?

I am in the middle of a lot of work right now and trying to focus on that, so trust me when I say I am really not looking to get into any twitter spats with anyone. I don't do this stuff for kicks. I would rather be doing my actual paid work.

I was still in bed this morning when I got a request from a student journalist for an interview.

I'm not that keen on interviews. I don't seek them out and do them very reluctantly. However, I think it is important to support young people trying to get on.

Last night I did an interview for another student journalist which was solely for her project and going nowhere else and gaining no real audience for myself or the feminist cause. I just wanted to help. She had asked politely. She treated me well. She stuck to times and she was well-prepared. She thanked me profusely and the whole thing felt very positive.

This morning, at his request,  I linked with the second "trainee" journalist. He was male. In my head I thought "Well now. He's a young, white, attractive, educated male and he already has all the breaks afforded by all that privilege in all those words. I had a word with myself though and thought it would be churlish not to engage and whilst I tend towards separatism because it just makes good bloody sense for women,  I sometimes think I need to be a bit fairer. So I opened his DM.

I have fairly recently been campaigning about a footballer who raped a woman and whether or not he should return to professional football. I can't remember his name. I know it's definitely not Keith Chegwin.... but.... anyway....

Adam, the Student, made me angry.

Adam, the Student, made me want to eat my own duvet.

Adam the Student told me that he found the case of Not-Keith-Chegwin "quite interesting" and then educated me about a similar case.

Let me show you how Adam did this.

Michael Vick, was an NFL player convicted of torturing dogs in 2007 as a result of dog-fights that he participated in. It's an horrific thing indeed. You can read about him here. I don't like what Michael Vick did. I don't like him. However, I think the two things are very, very different.

I briefly let Adam know what I thought.

I considered saying more but backed off, a bit angry, but thinking "He's young and clumsy and hasn't thought this through." I unfollowed him as I didn't want to get in an angry exchange by DM when I could still try and focus on having a positive day.

It didn't work. I got a bit angrier. After all, one day presumably,  Adam wants a real career in journalism. Adam may well be one of the men that feminists have to fight day after day to try to get them to understand how violence against women and girls should be treated in their reporting. It could be Adam that writes a report trivialising rape and discussing "grey areas" in the The Sun or neglecting to mention a male perpetrator in a report on a domestic violence incident, or a report where a child rape is referred to as "child sex". He is the future and this is what he thinks.......

Adam thinks the rape of a woman is similar to the exploitation of a dog and the men who rape women and the men who torture dogs are "quite interesting".

The word "quite" is quite a problem for me. For some of us we aren't "quite" interested in rape or violence against women. We live with it. We fight against it. We cry about it. We cry for our sisters and our daughters. We are "very" interested in it. You might go so far as to say we are "obsessed and consumed" by it! That is what should happen until it stops happening.

So yes Adam, I am pissed off with you. I see that before I wrote this you threw a little entitled, huffy puffy, privileged strop and unfollowed me in return and erased your request too. Well, here's news for you Adam. I don't owe you a damned thing. The world has already given you quite enough to start with and you will have quite enough white male hands reaching down to give you a hand up the ladder to the great iMacs in the sky of journalist heaven. I'll try to help the women who will probably be in your future office being objectified by guffawing male colleagues and sent off to cover the release of a skin-lightening product for half your pay by an editor who sends you to the House Of Commons.

Women student journalists - feel free to get in touch.

@AdamFJPhillips you should do some work on Women's Issues before approaching another feminist.