Mhairi Black is known for speaking her mind. Last year, the 23-year-old SNP politician admitted she "hated" Parliament and might not run for a second term, and today she became the first MP to use the C-word from within that hallowed institution – but for a very worthwhile reason.
Black, who became the youngest MP for 350 years when she was elected in 2015, was talking during a Commons debate about misogyny in Britain and referring to the tirade of abuse she faces every day from online trolls.
Black revealed the horrifying extent of the vitriol, telling the Commons it ranges from regularly being called a "wee boy" and told she wears her dad's suits, to the more serious homophobic insults and variations on the C-word.
She admitted that while she was able to laugh with her pals about the less severe abuse, she "struggle[s] to see any joke in being systematically called a dyke, a rug muncher, a slut, a whore, a scruffy bint. I’ve been told you can’t put lipstick on a pig, let the dirty bitch each shit and die."
She continued: "I could soften some of this by talking about the C-word but the reality is there is no softening when you’re targeted with these words and I'm left reading them on my screen every day, day in, day out – she needs a kick in the c***, guttural c***, ugly c***, wee animal c*** – there is no softening just how sexualised and misogynistic the abuse is."
Trolls have also told her multiple times, she added, "that I don’t have to worry because I am so ugly that no one would want to rape me. All of these insults have been tailored to me because I am a woman."
She also had a theory as to why misogyny is so pervasive, referring to Donald Trump and the regularity with which she notices men bragging about "getting pussy" online. "Should we really actually be expecting any better, given the man sitting in the Oval Office thinks it’s OK to grab a woman by the pussy and face no consequences?" she asked.
Other female MPs also shared their scarring experiences during the debate. Labour MP Melanie Onn, who instigated the debate, called for the government to make misogyny and catcalling a hate crime.
‘Today’s society is awash with misogynistic acts such as groping, sexual comments, upskirting, revenge porn, sexual remarks, leering, stalking and as the nature of harassment changes so must the laws which govern it, because there are currently too many incidents not meeting the criteria for assault, discrimination or public order offences." Too right.
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