I lost my temper yesterday. In London there is a designated area named Speakers Corner located within Hyde Park that is historically known for all walks of life to have their say? It is supposed to be an unoccupied platform to allow people to talk. Not limited to famous people, politicians, celebrities etc. A place where even I could go and speak with others. It is a place to learn. Potentially a place to debate. However, it seems it has become a place of hostility where women do not feel safe. We don’t have to agree with what we hear, to allow people to talk. It is wrong to use fear and intimidation to stop people from having a voice.
I used to do a lot for animal welfare on social media. Blackmail, poison pen messages and sheer nastiness eventually made me realise it was all a waste of time. Being a volunteer should not meet such hate. But on reflection it has given me my time back and has not stopped me from helping in the real world. It was a big burden to carry and I am glad it’s behind me. So much vicious rivalry with a small team of wanna be film stars using their vague connections to get some free press and halo scrubbing – most of which came from Hampstead (a right clicky bunch.) It is all in my new book. No detail spared. Sheer hate and bullying beyond all comprehension. Pure jealousy and resentment.
However, to stop people using their voice in an open space goes beyond all comprehension. Women are not meant to be treated with suggestions of violence and abuse. Women need to feel safe on and off line. I had jokes directed at me about burning me at Christmas – when I showed myself wearing an Aladdin’s hat at a theatre in Leeds. A photo like this somehow induced a frenzied and very back-handed launch of inadvertent threats, of which the party involved refuse to speak face to face with me regarding their jealousy and resentment of my voluntary work? “Light the torch paper,” they said!
I had been working with the homeless for much of that week. To then feel in fear of my life as a result of enjoying myself really did hit a nerve. Dismayed that jokes about women’s safety are not met with a prison sentence. Jokes about pets going missing and my dog dying. It was just online – I can shut the lid – but to know women are not able to speak in public places means we don’t have much left at all. It’s wrong. It is about listening to what we all have to say. To show empathy that we are not all the same. Patience and virtue from all parties. There are people out there paying to manipulate the shit we read in newspapers. We need free platforms to hear one another!