Content note: this post discusses violence against women and police violence
There is a gang of mostly men who have a monopoly on perpetrating and enabling violence against women. They recruit just enough women to do their dirty work for them, to hide the fact that they are the biggest perpetrators of male violence. We can see them for what they are.
Just today, we have two stories of gross abuse of women coming from the police. It has taken almost thirty years for the police to finally be blamed for shooting Cherry Groce, causing her to live out the rest of her life paralysed from the waist down and eventually die from the injury. Almost thirty years, a woman’s life destroyed, from a senseless act of violence for which she didn’t get to see justice in her lifetime. Meanwhile, in the realm of inciting violence and abuse of women, we see a story where the Met encouraged their Twitter followers to pile on a woman for complaining about the noise their helicopters make.
I suppose for me, this is somewhat personal. Once again, I’ll give a tiny sample of stories, limited to within the last month, of the police acting as perpetrators and enablers of violence against women as there’s just too fucking many, even limited to people I know personally. There’s my friend Ellen, who was assaulted, wrongly arrested, held without her medication and then put through a malicious court case and left with PTSD from the experience. There’s my friend Sam, who believed the white liberal lies, called the police and was blamed for the abuse she was receiving, perhaps because she isn’t the nice white girl the police like.
It’s a fact that the police have the power to hit women. It’s a fact they have the power to lock women up. And it’s a fact that they and their apologists will blame their victims for what happened to them.
It’s a fact that police are positioned as the gatekeepers for getting justice for violence against women. It’s a fact that they fail survivors over and over again. And it’s a fact that due to the choices they make, they enable abuse of countless women.
If you’re a nice white middle class girl, it can be hard to see the police for what they are. To you, they’ll be that nice jolly bobby who helped you get the people who tweeted rude things to you sent to prison. It’ll be the organisation who you can work with because they’ll definitely improve at helping out all the abstract women who had trouble.
They are not. Ask sex workers. Ask Black women. Ask women of colour. Ask trans women. Ask any woman who is not a good girl. They are the aggressors, the perpetrators, the ones who attack already-marginalised women while the privileged cheer from the sidelines.
A coherent, inclusive and effective feminism can and must be deeply critical of the police, and begin from a position of utter abolition of this structural perpetrator of male violence. I don’t doubt such a proposal will be met with harrumphing, cries of NOT ALL PIGGIES and eventually tending towards the hope I get raped and then let’s see how anti-police I am (pre-empting that by saying already happened, didn’t report).
If you think the police are on your side, that is the utmost manifestation of privilege. For most women, they’re just abusers in a silly hat.