If Sarah’s killer is trans, will Sisters Uncut support him?
If the man – assuming it is a man – who murdered Sarah Everard identifies as a woman, will they mobilise in support of him…sorry, ‘her’ when ‘she’ stands trial?
Will they defame and abuse the real feminists, the ones who understand that the oppression of women by men is rooted in biological reality, the ones who support all female victims of male violence, regardless of what the perpetrators claim to be?
Will they accuse us of targeting, harassing and doxing the poor trans ‘woman’ whose behaviour, in spite of his having that mystical essence that entitles him to claim womanhood as his own, bears an uncanny resemblance to that of a vicious woman-hating thug?
These are the kinds of questions I’ve asked many times since the risibly misnamed Sisters Uncut group supported my violent assailant at his trial three years ago. What if this poor mistreated young, white, middle-class, six-foot-plus occasional cross-dresser – who wears his hatred of women like a flag – had raped a gender-critical feminist?
What if he’d stabbed her? What if he’d abused a child? Is there any line Tara Wolf (aka Tara Flik Wood) could have crossed that would have jolted these blinkered handmaids out of their servitude to a cause that – more than any other adopted by so-called ‘progressives’ – is about prioritising the desires of men over the feelings of women?
They never answer. They can’t answer because there is no answer that is coherent with a feminist analysis as long as we use ‘feminist’ with its original meaning of being concerned with female liberation.
Sisters Uncut is described as ‘a feminist direct action group made up of non-binary people and women’. Most members appear to be young women whose internalised misogyny leads them to believe that ‘women’ isn’t a word that refers to that half of the human population that evolved to produce large gametes but a mere costume to be donned by anyone who wants to – even if they are male.
As I understand it, the group emerged in opposition to government cuts to domestic violence services. Their manifesto – or ‘feministo’ as they call it – claims that they fight alongside all those who experience domestic, sexual, gendered and state violence.
So how the hell do they reconcile that claim with their support for Tara Wolf?
If they are going to portray a violent man – a man who thinks nothing of abusing, threatening and assaulting women who don’t go along with his sick fantasies – as a vulnerable victim from a marginalised community, then that portrayal must surely hold true for all purposes.
Given how they bask in the warmth of male approval do they, perchance, share the oft-expressed view that those they disdain as ‘TERFs’ don’t actually count as women?
Is that why they double down on the self-righteousness and refuse to engage with the women fighting back against the men who care nothing for our feelings in their entitlement to access our sex-segregated spaces?
According to the femicide census, of the more than 1,425 female victims of homicide in 2009-2018, only 8% were murdered by strangers and these include the female victims of terrorist attacks in London and Manchester. The murder of a woman walking alone is a comparatively rare occurrence but it happens. Yet rarely does it merit the attention afforded to the murder of Sarah.
In fact, I don’t remember anything quite like this since the murder of Rachel Nickell, who was stabbed more than 40 times by a stranger on Wimbledon Common in front of her toddler son, as they’d been walking their dog one summer’s day in 1992. In that case, it was – above all else – the presence of her child and the shocking, heart-wrenching reports that he’d been found clinging to her dead body soon afterwards, that kept it on the nation’s conscience for longer than most.
In Sarah’s case, I presume it is the occupation of the man who has been charged on suspicion of her kidnap and murder that has invoked such a massive response. The sense of betrayal is huge.
But for some of us, whose confidence in the police was already at rock bottom, the greater betrayal is by the women of Sisters Uncut and other groups who, for some reason they cannot explain, believe men who claim to be women need their support more than the women they assault. We, in turn, are spurned and defamed along with the women and men who care more about us than about our assailants.
I wasn’t at the vigil for Sarah on Saturday night, so my impressions of what happened at Clapham Common can only be based on what I saw on the live stream and what I’ve heard from women who were there. I mean women whose word I trust, so not anyone from Sisters Uncut.
From what I could see, it started off peacefully and seeing the hundreds of flames burning brightly was moving. I’m told the atmosphere was amazing.
Then, as the crowds grew in size, came the police. It looked to me as if there were far too many of them, their strong presence was understandably provocative and their tactics ham-fisted. Making people angry and manhandling women does nothing to stop the spread of infection. Other vigils around the country passed off peacefully as police kept a low profile.
On the live stream, I saw one WPC tell a woman not to step on the wreaths. The woman talked back angrily as if the WPC had personally killed Sarah. I heard that, later on, the police themselves trampled on the flowers as they were trying to clear a rowdy crowd off the bandstand.
The vigil was originally planned by a group called Reclaim These Streets who, according to this crowdfunding page, wanted to “hold a short gathering on Clapham Common, centred around a minute of silence to remember Sarah Everard and all women lost to violence.” The response from the Metropolitan police had initially been quite positive but later they reversed their position stating that they had to keep to the lockdown regulations, so the group had no choice but to cancel the vigil or risk arrest and heavy fines.
Inevitably, people turned up anyway – over a thousand of them.
The regulations currently in place give the police all the excuse they need to arrest people – even those who aren’t deliberately trying to provoke them, as some quite obviously were. I heard the abuse shouted at them, I saw the ‘ACAB’ signs and the vandalised police van. Why would anybody bring a can of spray paint to the vigil of a murdered woman?
Why didn’t these protesters from Sisters Uncut and other interest groups simply ignore the police presence and focus on remembering Sarah and other victims and showing respect to her family and loved ones instead of shifting the focus onto them and their political agenda? An agenda which, by the way, not only includes lauding men who perform womanhood while erasing women’s rights but also abolishing prisons.
What do they want to happen to Sarah’s killer once he (or…ahem…’she’) is convicted?
An illustration of Sisters Uncut’s politics was circulated on social media yesterday. Apparently, someone who dies in prison is “murdered by the state” regardless of the cause of death, which is usually suicide.
As they think prison should be abolished altogether, it goes without saying that they think trans-identifying men shouldn’t be in men’s prisons – even ones like Gordon aka Nicola Cope who was convicted for a catalogue of sex crimes against little girls.
I very much appreciate the fact that women have not forgotten – much less forgiven – the support expressed by Sisters Uncut for Tara Wolf. The repeated exposure and condemnation of them on social media over the past few days has been heart-warming. The group is despised as a bunch of hypocrites by many women and rightly so.
But the question remains as to why they don’t see a contradiction between protesting male violence but supporting a violent male because he identifies as female.
Perhaps one of them would care to explain?
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