A Labour MP who received rape threats after objecting to a parliamentary "Men's Day" debate has said she will not quit social media despite the "deluge" of "vile" abuse she has received.
Jess Phillips told Sky News's Murnaghan programme that while she was "quite tough" and did not feel threatened, police and publishers should take extreme online comments to task as not everyone has a "big voice".
After Ms Phillips objected to Tory MP Philip Davies’ calls for an International Men’s Day Commons debate “in the spirit of gender equality,” the Birmingham Yardley MP was sent a slew of degrading comments on Twitter.
She revealed on Sky News that despite "blocking more people on Twitter than I follow", she was also getting abuse emailed directly to her.
"I absolutely love Twitter and I won't let this force me off there," she said. "I think it's a brilliant way you can have direct contact with people - the other side of the world, famous people or politicians. But you can't say anything now without a deluge of people saying vile things about you."
Today my son is 7. I'm glad he is not old enough to go on internet and find all the people threatening to rape me.— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) October 30, 2015
No internet today. Being told that "I asked for it" regarding threats to rape me is not fun. Its not 1st time in my life I've heard it.— Jess Phillips MP (@jessphillips) October 30, 2015
Ms Phillips, a mother of two sons, added: "If any of these people were faced with me they wouldn't dare say these things. I'm not sitting cowering in my home thinking anyone who is talking about raping me is actually going to do it.
"I'm not scared. They would never say this stuff to my face because I am quite tough. People know that. People are having a go at me specifically because some of the men's rights activist groups think I am a woman who is quite tough."
But she added when questioned about speaking out: "It's the people who don't have that big voice, that's the reason we have to do it (speak out)."
Mr Davies, who was last week criticised for speaking for 90 minutes in Parliament to block legislation to afford carers free parking in hospitals, called for a dedicated men's day at a committee that determines backbench MP debates.
But Ms Phillips, who pointed for the need for public services to be tailored to the needs of vulnerable men and said she has first-hand experience of male suicide, said: "I don't think anyone is going to think Philip Davies is the bastion of equality. He came to have a go at the fact we have an International Women's Day. Anyone who thinks he's a great carer of these men's issues should look at his voting record."
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