by Poppy Coburn
Tuesday, 13
April 2021
Reaction
07:00

Abolishing the police won’t help women

A new wave of anti-law-enforcement feminism is detached from reality
by Poppy Coburn
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

How did defunding the police and abolishing prisons become the cause du jour of so many liberals? Take the proposed changes to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill a few weeks ago. They prompted a furious response across left media outlets and organising collectives. The UK-based Abolitionist Futures collective hosted several #KilltheBill solidarity events advocating “a future without prisons, police and punishment”. Sisters Uncut (previously in the news for bringing ACAB signs to the vigil of Sarah Everard) released a ‘Feministo’ calling for the end of having “more people in the policing and prison solution — including perpetrators”.

How do they intend to achieve this? Well, their solutions to state policing include ‘more mental health provision’, ‘community crisis teams’, and ‘trauma informed crisis intervention’. The idea that these radicals had essentially re-invented the police is tempting to laugh at, but in truth these provisions would indeed be different to policing as we know it today — it would be based on principles of mutual aid and support, without robust legal restrictions, and therefore perfect for exploitation by private security firms.

Enter ‘Carceral Feminism’, one of those horrendous phrases that have oozed into the public consciousness by way of pop-academia. Carceral feminism encompasses the behaviour of women who rely upon the power of the state to protect themselves. Feminism has become too “prosecutorial and punitive”, invoking the image of the ‘Karen’ — women who manipulate their perceived victimhood to punish others, usually men.

Carceral feminists take a pessimistic — or realistic, depending on your alignment — view of criminality, and tend to advocate for policy on the basis of observable trends rather than ideology. Of course, it is worth stressing that abolitionist feminists are not simply more future-facing than their carceral counterparts.  Humanity is either perfectible, or it is not. Biology either matters, or is irrelevant.

It is easy for a privileged few women to forget the brutal reality of sex entirely. The uncomfortable truth is that feminists are reliant on robust policing and imprisonment to protect women and girls. What is the alternative? A trauma-informed social worker will not be able to stop a man beating his wife. A fully-funded, comprehensive therapy programme made mandatory for all UK citizens will not stop a man who wishes to rape a woman.

If we weren’t uniquely vulnerable thanks to our biology, why exactly would we need feminism in the first place? Sexism is not accidental, it is deliberate. It takes only a cursory glance at the independently-run UK-based Femicide Census to see just how dangerous it can be to just exist as a woman today.

Sometimes there is no underlying problem. Sometimes people are just cruel, and violent, and like hurting those weaker than them. Sometimes there is no explanation for random, individual violence, and all the well-intentioned liberal solutions in the world will not stop it. It is totally unjust to expect women to just lay back and think of socialism. Either solution seems to be reliant on, in some form or the other, benevolent patriarchy.

If women are to be reliant on ‘community-based care’, it follows that we will require the aid of physically stronger males. Call me when the revolution is victorious. Until then, I’ll be relying, reluctantly, on the State.

Join the discussion


  • Abolition won’t help anyone, but helping isn’t the point. These people are about tearing down civil society and all of its institutions. The activists don’t care about women, nor do they care about minorities. If they did, they would engage in actual work instead of the rote activity of marches, slogans, and signs that are all about garnering individual attention so one’s friends might see them as good people.
    If we weren’t uniquely vulnerable thanks to our biology, why exactly would we need feminism in the first place? 
    What an ironic question, coming in a time when womanhood itself faces an existential threat from bio males pretending to be women and their supporters, some of whom are also females. Biology has been judged as heresy, haven’t you heard? To claim that only women can give birth or have periods is to be radical who must be un-personed.

  • There was a shocking programme on one of the terrestrial channels last night about a man murdered by his alcoholic female partner, following a series of violent attacks upon him by her. The closing sequence revealed that at her trial for murder the judge expressed an understanding of her difficult childhood and gave her 16 months. A man’s life worth sixteen months – probably less than a year if she behaves herself inside.

  • I don’t think left-liberalism as communism is exploitative.
    History shows it to often be homicidal. That’s so much better than a system of voluntary transactions between consenting participants.

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