Distraction

A new study by researchers at Loughborough University has found that women’s issues have been largely ignored in this election campaign, with women rarely given a media platform to discuss women’s issues unless they’re demonising trans people.

There was an example of this just this week, when BBC News published a front-page story asking what each party had to say about women’s rights. It didn’t discuss women’s rights at all; just what the parties had to say about trans women.

And as ever, whether that’s malice or incompetence doesn’t really matter; by distracting people from the very real issues affecting women and girls, and the growing threat to their healthcare and rights from the political and religious right, it’s doing an excellent job of keeping women marginalised.

There’s a good letter in today’s Herald newspaper by Gemma Clark, a dedicated campaigner for women’s rights.

There are urgent women’s rights issues being completely ignored while the political discourse centres on the gutter politics of body parts and bathrooms. Neither the Labour nor Tory manifesto mentioned abortion, which is rather shocking given the uptick in women and girls being charged with so-called ‘illegal abortions’.

Rape conviction rates remain so low that it is effectively decriminalised. Labour will not commit to undoing the two-child benefit cap (also known as the rape clause). People wait years for a diagnosis of endometriosis. Maternity care is in crisis. Schools are in crisis, particularly in Glasgow, where school communities face teacher staff cuts on a scale we have never seen before. Only yesterday I watched a checkout operator struggling to remove the security cap from a container… it was a container of baby formula. We are living in a country where people are having to steal to feed their children.

And instead of talking about this, politicians and the press constantly distract from it with a completely manufactured panic over trans women. People are being silenced for sure, but they aren’t the highly privileged people cosplaying as victims on the front page of our national newspapers with the full support of the Prime Minister and Rupert Murdoch.


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