Column: Bimbos, ‘bottom girls’ and the ugly reality of misogyny in our justice system
In September 2014, we asked you to nominate the top ten most influential stories covering women’s issues this month. This is the story that is going to make a real difference to the work we do.
When I was at an international conference on the future of women’s law and criminal justice in London, a man entered the hall. He was dressed in casual clothing and carrying a small bag. He stopped at the door of the meeting room and asked the organisers for an appointment. Over the next couple of hours, he sat quietly talking to a couple of women officers and a member of staff. He seemed to be interested in the progress of the agenda, and he was visibly surprised when our secretary handed him the envelope marked ‘The Most Influential Women’s Issues in 2014’.
In his research, he found an unexpected number of women’s issues issues to his surprise. One issue had made it onto the national media agenda despite coming out of a law enforcement agency. It was related to women going on strike, a practice which had been illegal at the time. He found that the number of women in the sector was still small at the time, but he was surprised at the number of women going on strike, and the number of women facing criminal charges if they chose to go on strike.
His research informed him that one of the top stories on women’s law in 2014 was that a police officer was ‘wrongly convicted’ despite the court making several mistakes, including a prosecutor who did not consider the evidence, a judge who failed to give the accused appropriate protection, and a defence lawyer who went on TV and declared that he would be exonerating the accused, despite not having any evidence to back up the statement.
In his research, he revealed that the police officer, who admitted his guilt and pleaded guilty, was the only police officer ever to be found guilty of assaulting a woman in a public place. The man’s name was released to the public and an article came out in the local newspaper which outlined how a woman was wrongly arrested by a police officer.
In other news, another officer lost his appeal to have a case against a woman dropped because she was not given adequate protection from a dangerous man who attacked her and then tried to cover up his crime by making the woman believe that he