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Ceredigion Tory activist complains about ‘attack on masculinity’ in wake of Sarah Everard death

01 Apr 2021 4 minutes Read
Picture by Tim Dennell (CC BY 2.0).

A Tory Party activist has complained about an “attack on masculinity” in the wake of the death of Sarah Everard.

Sam Hall, a member of the Ceredigion branch of the party, claimed that the “discourse on this issue predictably blames all men”, on the website of the think tank Orthodox Conservatives, where he is Head Outreach Officer.

The 33-year-old went missing while walking home from a friend’s house on 3 March, and her body was later found in woodland in Kent.

Her death has sparked a public debate over women’s safety as well as a discussion about male on female violence.

However, Hall, who studies History and International Politics at Aberystwyth University, suggested that the reaction to her death offered a “telling insight into how some on the left preach misandry: feelings of hatred towards men.”

He said: “In the dozens of time I and female friends have visited London, a place where our families live and grew up, we have never once walked alone at night. We certainly never done so for 50 minutes.

“Blaming Sarah or all men for her murder is not the right answer. But it should not deter us from asking questions: what sensible precautions could she have taken? How could she have kept herself safe?

“We will never know why Sarah decided to walk instead of taking public transport. Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all is that she did not stay at a friends until morning.

“Nobody should have to live in fear and be afraid of getting home safely. But this is Sadiq Khan’s London. In the real world – so distinct from the virtual one – sticks and stones might not break your bones, but guns and knives will. Words might not hurt you, but strange and dangerous criminals will.

“What is interesting and so often under-reported I that this is not the first time young women have been caught out in dangerous areas.

“It simply doesn’t fit the narrative to suggest that some individuals put themselves at greater or lesser risk independent of anybody else. We are living in a time when individuals desire liberty without order.

“Such a demand has serious consequences and it often takes tragic moments in the life of our country for the national consciousness to be stirred.

“The present discourse on this issue predictably blames all men. Critics of this view will argue to the contrary; but the attack on masculinity and the very reality of being male has been underway for some time.”

‘Monsters’

He added: “On the one hand, we argue violently for men’s mental health and well-being and that we should be kind; but on the other, we give undue credence to the narrative that all men are monsters and should be unilaterally held with suspicion.

“Many men are not confident to walk home alone on a dark night through crime-ridden streets and areas of London, or other major cities.

“Therefore, you cannot blame all men for the crimes of a minority who not only exploit the risks women decide to take, but also the cosy world that has become our virtual reality during the pandemic.

“Like many others, Sarah Everard will have been lulled into a false sense of security, or paradoxically, one of terror: where simple activities like going to the pub; or taking a walk; or getting home safely descend into occasions of tremendous dread.

“We cannot blame all men for this predicament anymore than we could blame Sarah for what she was wearing.”

Orthodox Conservatives says it is a “grassroots movement of young social conservatives” that is “operating as a think-tank”.

It says that it strives to be the “natural home” for young social conservatives and a “safe space where they can discuss conservative ideas with other likeminded and principled individuals.”

It added: “Our aim is to normalise social conservatism and remove any stigma.”

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