A short update

A short update while I struggle with a difficult article

I’ve been working on a difficult piece: about the way transactivist groups are increasingly inciting and suggest-selling body dysmorphia focused on young women’s breasts. It’s a hard write, and it’ll be another few days before it’s ready to share. So I thought in the meantime I’d share this article in UnHerd by my colleague Maya Forstater, about a police investigation she’s now been enduring for nearly a year. 

Obviously I’ve seen how this has impacted on Maya behind the scenes since she first received a request to come in for a police interview concerning allegations of having broken the law on “malicious communications”, about ten months ago. Having to find a solicitor. Trying to prepare for the interview despite the police officer refusing to tell her what she had tweeted that supposedly broke the law. The requests afterwards, every month or two, via her solicitor, for an update – mostly ignored. Until I did this work I had never heard the saying, “the process is the punishment”; now I, and other women I interact with, say it to each other all the time.

I hear a lot of these stories, and usually the woman involved (and it is almost always a woman) can rarely go public. Many women end up apologising and accepting a caution because they cannot afford to fight. And far more numerous than police investigations are those in workplaces, in which high-handed and unaccountable HR managers drag women through months of disciplinary processes, with the fear of being marked out as a troublemaker, never to be promoted, or even of job loss, hanging over them all the while. 

I’m afraid the piece on dysmorphia is equally depressing. Still, we rise.

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