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MPR Friday Blog

Monday was international women’s day and Sunday is Mothering Sunday. There is an automatic danger as a trans women that I will get the usual grief from certain sections for talking about Mother’s Day so for now I will say whatever your role in your family unit, have a wonderful day.

What I do want to talk about are that the hashtags that are trending this Mothering Sunday weekend such as #ReclaimTheStreets and #NotAllMenButAllWomen

We have all watched with horror as the events of this week have unfolded, what has shocked the nation most is that a serving male police officer appears to be involved. Let me start by saying I know it is not all men, I am not saying that. The calls for men to be curfewed at 6pm made by Baroness Jones may have been made to prove a point, or to get her airtime, but the reality is that, while headline grabbing, it takes column space away from the real issues and front and centre of those issues should be that, if a section of our community is saying there is a problem, then we need to stop and listen.

And there is a problem, because a proportion of women are scared to go out after dark, whether you think their fears are justified or not is not important. What is important is that we start a national conversation, one where all sides speak, not out of fear or hysteria or with minds firmly made up (like most of the national conversations we’ve had the last 5 years or so), but from a place when we remember the words of the late Jo Cox who died violently 5 years ago this summer.

There is more that unites us than divides us’

We need to discuss better education in schools (two young women who have recently finished with the education system tell me there is no mention of consent in sex education). We need to look at how women are portrayed by society. We need to teach girls that the internet images are not real and close down the ever-growing supply of free uncensored porn. But most of all, we need the whole of society to get onboard with this conversation for the reality is we are not only letting young women down but young men as well

Medway Pride Radio will be turning over the “Is it just me?” slot next Thursday to women to start the conversation. The final part of our “Is it just me?” It’s a Sin special will be aired the week after.

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