Tag Archives: gender

Dark matters: on Jacqui Smith’s refusal to walk at night in London

Having previously assumed that our Home Secretary was a tough sort of creature — her no-nonsense school-teacher stare, proudly wonky teeth and assertive décolletage suggesting as they do reserves of self-confident robustness unavailable to a mere Willie Whitelaw or Michael Howard — she now reveals herself as a delicate soul, frightened to venture out onto the streets of smart Kensington, let alone Hackney, after dusk has fallen.

Who are we to question her judgement? Strictures of personal safety are, inevitably, intuitive in nature, predicated more on ‘what feels right’ than on reason, less on the rational stuff of facts and figures than the proliferation, locally, of those yellow signs that the police erect in the wake of rapes, assaults and murders. Such decision relate, more than anything, to issues of personal vulnerability, the chance that some really bad thing that almost never happens to anyone might, could, should in fact happen to you. Continue reading

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