If you don't know the name Gina Miller by now you should do, especially after last weeks supreme court ruling.Last week the UK supreme court ruled that the government could ‘not trigger article 50 without an act of parliament’ . In other words, the UK cannot actually leave the EU without parliament voting on it first. The Brexit chronicles continue and what Brexit will look like ; whether soft or hard, slow or fast, smooth or rough remains a mystery.

Many argue that the leave campaign was driven by bigotry, racism and isolationist policy and no clearer have those same principles been embodied in the treatment of Gina Miller, the woman that challenged the details of the referendum in court.

Let me be clear. This article isn't a debate about the referendum; whether you wanted to leave or stay in the EU is a conversation for your evening conversations with your mum. This is a conversation about what happens to women, particularly women of colour when they dare to open their mouths and pose a challenge to the establishment.

Since, Guyanese born Gina Miller has been in the spotlight surrounding referendum negotiations she has received constant criticism and abuse. The typical white supremacist patriarchal cocktail of death threats and rape threats have been commonplace for her.

And for what reason?

This is a woman who has asked a fairly reasonable question about where parliament stand in terms of Brexit negotiations. As a result she has been slandered, had her integrity questioned and her life threatened. The Daily Mail felt the need to tell us she was an ‘ex model, turned businesswoman’ who wears sapphires and diamonds. They also saw it fit to mention that she has been married three times and her smile after the ruling told us everything we needed to know about her. Such publications continually emphasize her femininity through their patriarchal lense to misconstrue her as weak and unimportant. The attempt to bring up her time as a model plays into a simple narrative of the ‘unintelligent, pretty girl’ with nothing valuable to say.

These are realities for women in positions of power, particularly women of colour. I just find it interesting women within politics, most notably our female prime minister have had nothing to say about the sexist and racist abuse this woman has received. Party lines aside this is an issue of misogyny and bigotry within the public sphere and few politicians have spoken out in solidarity with Mrs Miller, indicative of what the world has to say when a brown woman dares to open her mouth.

© 2023 by safiyyahgabrielle.

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