Feminist, writer and journalist
Joan Smith is a feminist, journalist and author of Loretta Lawson crime novels and non-fiction books including Misogynies, The Public Woman and Home Grown: how domestic violence turns men into terrorists. She was co-chair of the Mayor of London’s Violence Against Women And Girls Board from 2013 to 2021; Chair of the English PEN Writers in Prison Committee; and Chair of Labour Humanists from 2016 to 2018. She is passionate about women’s rights, particularly the right to enjoy public space without fear of male violence against women and girls (MVAWG).
“Sex matters because so much of what happens to women happens… because we are women. We are facing an epidemic of male violence and we need accurate statistics, based on the sex of victim and perpetrator, if we are to understand and fight it. The criminal justice system is already failing women, and we can’t allow it to do even worse by failing to record the biological sex of the men who attack us. We are women – and we are entitled to name ourselves, especially when so many politicians are letting us down. The historical struggle for equality depends on being able to say we are adult human females.”