NOBODY is going to disagree that what happened to Sarah Everard is horrifying and utterly tragic for her loved ones, but yet again we have this narrative that men are dangerous and women need protection from them, and what is the Government going to do about it?

These men do not fall from the sky. They are raised by, for the most part, women. We should be asking ourselves if we taught our boys to respect women, to be empathetic to women's needs and to support their partners.

As long as women call themselves and see themselves as victims, we'll be victims. Where is the accountability when women use their own free will to get involved with violent men, allow these men to be in their children's lives and then only once the damage has infiltrated the whole family decide it's time to leave? There is a small percentage of women who are in grave danger whilst trying to leave a violent relationship, but they are being let down by the constant dilution of what constitutes a relationship where one partner is completely powerless.

In summary, we want to get drunk but not be vulnerable (alcohol and/or recreational drugs makes us all vulnerable to opportunistic criminals), we want to cut through dark lanes and parks alone without the threat of attack (which is unrealistic), we don't want men treating us like sex objects yet we've not to be "haters" when young women constantly post sexually provocative pictures with the explicit intention of attracting attention. Yes, women should be able to wear what they want, go where they want but why would it be risk-free for women when it's not risk-free for men?

We, as women, are involved in this situation up to our armpits but it's more acceptable or even palatable to say we're all victims at the mercy of manly domination. I don't buy it.

I have lived and worked in Glasgow my whole life and have never experienced any harassment, unwanted attention or indeed been assaulted in any way. That includes being a barmaid for some 20 years.

In conclusion, what is still happening is woman is woman's worst enemy and until we accept this and properly empower women and not continue to allow them to be victims for no other reason than their own decision making, then nothing will change.

Louise Fitzsimmons, Clydebank.


I WONDER if I may participate in the reflections on the effects of the bombing which took place in Scotland during the Second World War (Letters, March 16 & 17). Paisley, my home town, was clearly not as badly affected as Clydebank. However, with its many sources of industrial production, it became a target for German bombers. Air raids occurred periodically during the early years of the war and in May 1941, the year I was born, a parachute bomb claimed more than 90 victims.

I was told on good authority – my late mother – that I contracted whooping cough as a baby from another child as we took refuge in an Anderson shelter. To have caught whooping cough, a respiratory infection, which can cause violent coughing and make it difficult to breathe, was concerning. This can be very serious, especially for babies and young children. However, as you can see, I lived to tell the tale.

We are living today in difficult and stressful times, sad for many, because of the pandemic. However, we should pause for a moment and reflect that we, unlike many of our parents and grandparents, do not have to live with the regular fear of being bombed, the continuous worry about relatives serving in the armed forces in a world war, shortage of food, clothing and many other things we take for granted today.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

* MY late father told me that he had been unlucky enough to be “bombed out” twice. On fire duty on the second occasion it was his foreman who passed on the bad news, telling him he had to go home. On returning to work the same foreman asked him what was to happen next, to which my father replied: "They're moving us to Rutherglen." "You’re no' going there," said the foreman. "I live there and it’s clear the Germans are efter you."

Alan Smith, Neilston.


ROGER Graham (Letters, March 17) bemoans the changes in rugby. I too miss when sport used to be entertaining.

Frankly. it is a miracle that rugby still exists at all. My state school put out up to 15 rugby teams on a Saturday. And probably as many hockey teams. Many was the school who feared the annual visitation from Ayr Academy’s 4th XV.

But not now. With competitive sport a stranger in schools, how long will many of our sports survive? I wonder what the mysteriously embargoed report on our education system will say about school sport, if anything?

John Dunlop, Ayr.


I WONDERED about my sanity on passing my wife's radio and apparently hearing a woman describe how she was allowed to set her own pay. On resorting to Google, I read of an organisation which has a "pay self-assessment process" whereby staff assess what they are worth; one employee had given herself a pay rise from £30,000 to £37,000.

Even in retirement, how do I join this parallel universe?

David Miller, Milngavie.


MORE good news. At last, things are looking up ("Curries by drone trialled in Scotland”, The Herald, March 17), like a balti from the blue.

R Russell Smith, Largs.