An Apology.

I feel like an apology must be issued on behalf of all men. Although it would be ridiculous to assume that I, or any other man, can legislate for the behaviour or views of Philip Davies MP, I do feel a degree of responsibility as someone who shares his gender.

Today, Philip Davies, MP for Shipley just incase you want to campaign there at the next election, turned up in the House of Commons with the purpose to derail a bill designed to protect women against violence. Why? Because he felt it was sexist that the focus be on women and girls. ‘Nuff said, really.

In case you have been fortunate enough not to have come across Philip Davies, he is an MP who gets his kicks by filibustering bills most people find reasonable and necessary. If you have been fortunate enough not to have come across filibustering before, it is an archaic process where someone, usually an old, white dude, talks continuously for as long as possible in order to make sure the ‘debate’ runs out of time and prevent a vote taking place, thus effectively killing off the bill and stopping it becoming law. This latest attempt was 78 minutes long.

Just for clarification and for the avoidance of doubt, this is the wording of the ‘Ratification of the Istanbul Convention on violence against women’, the bill that Philip Davies was so passionate about that he talked for over an hour in an attempt to stop it passing;

It shall be the duty of Her Majesty’s Government to take all reasonable steps as soon as reasonably practicable to enable the United Kingdom to become compliant with the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, Treaty no. 210 (the “Istanbul Convention”).

Yup.

In the past, Philip Davies has also helped filibuster bills that aimed to;

  • provide free hospital carparking for carers;
  • make landlords provide homes “fit for human habitation”;
  • ban the use of wild animals in circuses.

Clearly a lovely chap.

Where he has really ‘made his name’, however, has been on the issues surrounding gender inequality. Gunning for a place on ‘Tool Academy‘, Phil further underlined his credentials as the ‘Ultimate Lad’ just this summer by speaking at an event organised by the anti-feminist Justice for Men and Boys group where he came up with this zinger;

I think the problem is being stirred up by those who could be described as militant feminists and the politically correct males who pander to this nonsense.

This has led to an equality but-only-when-it-suits agenda that applies to women. The drive for women to have so-called equality on all the things that suit the politically correct agenda but not other things that don’t is of increasing concern to me.

There seems to be a deafening silence on all the benefits women have compared to men. In this day and age the feminist zealots really do want women to have their cake and eat it.

Top. Bloke.

Just last week, as a reward for his longstanding ignorance, in a move that was rejected by Alanis Morissette for being too laden with irony, he was elected to the Commons Women and Equalities Committee, once again confirming that 2016 will be remembered as the year the world broke.

I have every faith that the intelligence and skills of those on the committee will mean he will have little effect, much like in the rest of his career.

Jess Phillips on Philip Davies’ appointment to the Commons Women and Equalities Committee.

Inevitably, in some sad and lonely quarters, he is becoming a poster boy for the men who believe that being pro-women is the same as being anti-men; who equate the idea of closing the inequality gap between genders as an attack on their quite considerable freedoms and opportunities. Yes, Philip Davies is our great hope, the torch bearer for the oppressed male, an oppression which is, of course, the unspoken tragedy of our time.

Look on Philip Davies’ Twitter and you will find a flurry of incoherent ‘tweets’ from men who clearly blame the ‘PC Brigade’ and ‘feminist zealots’ for their single and sexless lives, rather than their obnoxious personality and their possession of an underwhelming ‘package’.

By attempting to talk bills out of the room, he clearly doesn’t have much confidence in his ability to debate and convince which is surprising given the charisma that oozes from his every pore. Men want to be him and women want to…

Perhaps he has more self-awareness than I give him credit for. I mean this is the sort of bloke who looks and sounds like he has attended a finishing school run by Dementors; who recites the colours of the rainbow as ‘grey, grey, grey, grey, grey, grey and grey.’. A man whose words are as jarring as an AOL dial up tone from the ’90s, with views as unpalatable as the crab terrine I had at my work’s Christmas party last night.

Thankfully, unlike his previous filibuster attempts, Philip Davies, again, I reiterate, the Conservative MP for SHIPLEY, failed to kill the bill. In fact, it passed the first hurdle 135 to 2. Whilst there is still a relatively lengthy process to navigate, this bill has cross party support including an endorsement from the Government, even if their timetable was hazy.

In any case, I’m sorry for Philip Davies, I’m sorry for the 78 minutes you’ll never get back, I’m sorry for his outdated views which are still shared by too many, I’m sorry about the inevitable abuse female MPs will now receive over the coming days and about the endless stream of bile constantly thrown at you, I’m sorry that there is a need to have to even pass this bill into law at all; it’s a grim indictment of our society that progress in closing the chasm of inequality is painfully slow.

One day Philip Davies won’t be sat in the Commons at all. One day Shipley will be represented by a women who will possess more talent and passion in her little finger; who will light up the place rather than reducing it to grey; who will champion the women and people of Shipley and the UK, rather than patronise, demean and belittle them.

That day cannot come soon enough.

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