Despite the Covid ban, women across the country went ahead with their vigil for Sarah Everard.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said – Tonight Carrie and I will be lighting a candle for Sarah Everard and thinking of her family and friends.
Home secretary Priti Patel tweeted – I’ll be lighting a candle tonight in Sarah’s memory.
Lighting a candle? How’s that going to help?
You can keep your blinking candles. We want real action. This is not a women’s issue, it’s a men’s issue. Stop blaming women! (what was she wearing? why was she outside at 9 pm? She asked for it.) and shift the blame to where it belongs: on men. Good men need to speak out more in defence of women rather than keeping silent. Young boys and teenage boys need to be educated on the subject of harassment and violence towards women in schools. Where are the mentors? All proof that this is still a deeply patriarchal society in which men refuse to confront and acknowledge this issue. (I’m talking ALL societies, not just British society.)
Women are sick and tired of having candles lit for them. Today, in France, “une marche blanche” (a white march) is being organized to pay tribute to 14-year old Alisha, pushed into the river Seine by two classmates and drowned. As for the 41-year old woman found dead in the Seine after disappearing from jogging? Nothing. No one’s talking about it. Just another statistic. In France, murders are referred to as “faits divers” which means “trivia” or “various bits of information”.
“Men are rarely challenged to think about their dominance, power and privilege. Lacking introspection and the ability to be examined, they are rendered invisible in the discourse about issues that are primarily about them. Men have been erased from much of the conversation about a subject that is centrally about men.” Jackson Katz – Educator, filmmaker, and author who has created a gender violence prevention and education program entitled ‘Mentors in Violence Prevention’.