Kira Cochrane has written an interesting article in the light of Levi Bellfield’s conviction for the murder and attempted murder of three women. But she starts with, what appears to me, to be a redundant question – “how could it happen again?”.

The answer is easy (and Cochrane does get round to it) – because men’s routine violence against women isn’t taken seriously. Men’s routine use of violence and the fear of violence is everyday in women’s lives. Misogynists are not chastised but vaunted (if you don’t believe me look how many professional sportsmen and music stars have beaten, raped women or sexually humiliated women and continue to be praised). Look at the way in which quasi-pornographic representations of girls bleeds into pornographic representations of women as girls (the whole Lolita/schoolgirl thing). Look at the way in which verbal or physical harrassment of women on the streets is a chance to tell women not to “take themselves so seriously” and to “lighten up” because “it’s only a joke”.

Writing of the three convictions (Levi Bellfield, Mark Dixie and Stephen Wright) in the last week Cochrane points out that:

In each case, what comes through most strongly is just how open, violent and persistent the killer’s misogyny was, and how they were allowed to indulge it, and even boast of it, for years. The reports paint a picture of a society in which misogyny is taken as a given, in which someone can crow to his friends, without fear of redress or chastisement

From The Guardian

If you’re not angry already – read the article, it’s time to demand change.