Anti-Feminist MP Tries – And Fails – To Block Domestic Violence Bill

Update December 16, 4.05 p.m: Philip Davies, the controversial anti-feminist MP who recently joined Parliament's Women and Equalities Committee, has tried to block a bill aimed at improving welfare services for women who experience domestic violence. According to The Independent, Davies spoke for an epic 78 minutes against the bill, which he branded "discriminatory" and “sexist against men." The Conservative MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire was presumably trying to waste time so MPs wouldn't be able to vote on the bill, but his delaying tactics proved unsuccessful. MPs eventually voted by 135 to two to ratify the Istanbul Convention, an international treaty on domestic and sexual violence which which would improve protection and welfare services for victims of domestic violence. The bill has been brought to Parliament by SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford, who branded Davies a "panto villain," and said after today's vote: "The Istanbul Convention lays the groundwork for us to do more to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence here in the UK and overseas. It is the best piece of violence against women legislation that has ever been written, anywhere. "Obviously today's vote is only the start of the parliamentary process, and I'm looking forward to working with MPs across the House for the subsequent stages."

This story was originally published at 1.45 p.m., December 13, 2016.

Controversial anti-feminist MP Philip Davies has been handed a place on Parliament's Women and Equalities Committee.

The Sun
's Westminster Correspondent Harry Cole tweeted today that Davies, the Conservative MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, has been elected to the committee unopposed. Davies has since retweeted Cole's tweet and several others congratulating him on his appointment, which will see him become the committee's 12th member. The committee's role is to "examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Government" with regard to a broad range of equality-related issues including sex, age, race, gender identity, disability and sexual orientation. Earlier this year, Davies gave a speech at a conference organised by the anti-feminist political party Justice For Men and Boys. The Guardian reports that he told those in attendance, "In this day and age the feminist zealots really do want women to have their cake and eat it." He also told the conference: "They fight for their version of equality on all the things that suit women – but are very quick to point out that women need special protections and treatment on other things." Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn later branded these comments "deeply sexist."
Davies also initiated parliament's International Men's Day last month as a horribly misguided response to International Women's Day. Gender equality isn't Davies's only Achilles' heel. In 2011, he argued that certain "vulnerable" groups including disabled people should be allowed to work for less than the minimum wage, according to the BBC . Two years earlier, The Guardian reported that he had "bombarded" the Equality and Human Rights Commission with a series of letters featuring ignorant (at best) questions relating to sexual and racial equality. One of Davies's questions asked: "Is it offensive to black up or not, particularly if you are impersonating a black person? PS I would be grateful if you could explain to me why it is so offensive to black up your face as I have never understood this." In fact, his election to a committee that purports to uphold equality and protect potentially vulnerable groups can only be explained by one thing: 2016.

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