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Those defending Mark Field make the world a terrifying place for women

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Here’s a bit of free advice for all the male MPs out there: if one of your mates grabs a woman by the neck, shoves her against a pillar and then aggressively pushes her out of a room, maybe don’t jump on Twitter and tell people it’s no big deal.

This is exactly what Johnny Mercer, Conservative MP for Plymouth, did this morning in response to the disturbing video of his fellow parliamentarian Mark Field assaulting a female protester. “Try being in our shoes… if you think this is ‘serious violence’, you may need to recalibrate your sensitivities,” he ordered, before telling people to “calm down and move on”.

Which begs an important question: if what we saw on the video isn’t “serious”, what exactly is? Does a woman need to have a visible black eye for the man who inflicted it to be condemned? Does she need to be stabbed? What about Raped? Murdered? Forgive me for thinking that violent behaviour is incredibly serious – regardless of the motivation or ultimate injury.

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Anyone who has been subject to physical assault, sexual harassment or psychological abuse will recognise........

© Independent