For the victims and survivors of male violence and the system that enables it.

CW: rape, sexual violence, police brutality, genocide, racism.

Raised by West Indian matriarchs
I was taught by Black women about whiteness and patriarchy
where women throughout history had resisted, some non-violently 

aside from Martin and Malcolm, there’s Claudette Colvin, 
Fanny Lou Hamer, Angela Davis, and Rosa Parks
also my mother, grandmothers, and aunties 
what school didn’t teach me 
was that before Rosa boycotted the buses 
by sitting down, she had already stood up as part of the NAACP 
in the 1940s she was a rape investigator 
specifically cases where white men had raped Black women
her biggest case and one of the biggest of that era
>was the 1944 Rape of Recy Taylor 
an afterthought of chattel enslavement where rape was industrialised
so to properly discuss colonial histories, we must analyse 
how this history is also gendered, as the lives of Black women, Indigenous women 
still find themselves the butt of epistemic violence and misremembered  

but cultures of gender discrimination 
started way before colonisation (and prior)
with Jack the Ripper, the Stewart kings, 
and the Tudors, like Henry VIII who had Anne Boleyn 
and Catherine Howard killed 
because they could not give him boys 
razor blades patriarchy planted 
in their hearts forcing women to ‘deal with it’
as teaching children that Henry was a sexist 
does not sound so profound as ‘King of England’
or as honest as serial misogynist 
where a woman’s worth is still written inside 
school history textbooks that stigmatise 
ladies of the court, where even queens 
were raped as children, as teens
when monarchs sold their daughters to kings overseas

for every Henry VIII 
there is a court of male advisors and friends 
urging little lords to carry on these trends
food scientists will tell you that “one bad apple” 
has the capability of spoiling the bunch,
with no accountability of the tree that bears strange fruit
Wayne Couzens abducted and kidnapped 
Sarah Everard under the precarity of the Coronavirus laws 
handcuffed her in broad daylight on a busy street 
this is how police can operate without accountability 
if they police the public, who polices them… 
where male violence is endemic to society 

the murders of Banaz Mahmood, Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, 
and other women and gender-diverse victims of male violence 
is backed by centuries of patriarchy and misogyny 
from violent policymaking to physical abuse,
gendered colonialism, and queens hanged in the noose 
why do we say Witch Trials rather than femicide 
asking for the 3.9 billion 
and when I listen to half the Earth weep 
patriarchy bleeds bouquets of winter roses
because as children, we are taught to fear witches 
but not the male executioners that sourced wood and oil 
nor the man-hands writing history, building pyres, setting fires 
where women were brutalised at a vigil 
and most women killed by men are at home
so it’s their partners or relatives 
repeating history like a scratched record 
where those that write the past also disappear
wrongdoings of the future, holding the hilt of the bloody axe

COVID lockdowns put men on curfew 
but women have been curfewed for centuries 
like state-sanctioned genocides of indigenous women
and as those who are Black and minoritised continue to be disrespected 
by the police, by their partners, by social harm 
it was the brutality at the Sarah Everard vigil that changed perspectives 
I wonder if there’s a difference between 
Black men marching for George Floyd, 
whilst also watching other Black men perpetuate misogynoir
I wonder if there’s a difference between police that kill, 
and the heroic officers watching their friends deploy justice
where women and gender-diverse victims
are buried like seeds, spirits left to sing in the dry earth

the saying goes “not all men” 
the saying goes “just a few bad apples”
the saying goes “text me … if you get home.” 




A proud Northamptonian: Tré Ventour is a freelance artist-educator, and thinker. His education work through lectures and workshops allows him to visit all types of institutions, including schools and universities in the subjects of Black history, anti-Black racisms, and whiteness.