Truncheons and beer bottles

Posted on Aug 08th 2013

The internet explosion of verbal violence towards women (hello Twitter) that is currently demanding attention across the media makes me think of the violence with which the Suffragette protests were met: different century, same idea, the deployment of threatened or real assault on women who insist on making their voices heard, with the brutally simple objective of shutting them up. One of the challenges in writing about it is to try and enter that mindset. I wanted to explore the unpalatable reality that part of why people dish out that stuff is because it feels good to them, for x many reasons. It’s not a mental space I want to occupy for long, but given that the response to protesting women is essentially unchanged a hundred years on, it feels important to try.

From Constable 

thinking about your missus is not the same, it wouldn’t be the same even if you picked up the beer bottle in front of you on the kitchen table and brought it down on her head now as she stands at the stove, her back towards you, tired hair draped atop her tired neck, everything tired grey and grubby, where would be the pleasure, you know just by looking at her, her shoulders humped with donkey work, it would not be the same as the crush of a truncheon into the clean straw of a smart hat or into the soft muffle of felt cushioning clean hair then through into something harder making it give

they have everything, bloody women, rich women, bloody, have everything and still they want, shouting for more, you give them more…

…sometimes it takes several blows, get them in fast while that thing in you is unlocked, before it can be caught up again, fast with the blows it works you, really tasks your muscles but you only feel that later much later, as you lie in bed next to your nothing wife and again lift and drop your arm, in the darkness, swimming one-armed in the still covers, trying to pump yourself back into that moment

but it’s a limp motion, a ripple on the surface of you, barely marking the descent into something deeper you let yourself sink into and who would you tell, how could you

(The Invisible Riot 2013)

1 Comment


Jo McFarlane
Aug 08th 2013

A beautiful piece of prose. I really want to read this book.

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