Nobody can have worked in the law in Clackmannanshire, Stirling, Falkirk, Fife, Lanarkshire, Perthshire, in Scotland in the 20th and 21st centuries without learning how horrible people can be.

You see dead bodies, broken bodies, know of shattered dreams and witness tortured minds.

You also discover that most victims of abuse, violence, sexual assault, bullying and unspeakable acts are women and children. The vast majority of perpetrators are men.

Some such men are wily, sleekit, clever and incredibly patient whilst they slowly unravel. They will stop at nothing to have their tortuous way.

Some will charm, others will poke and prod or caress and clap. Each will bear a sordid grin or a haughty glance, often tilted head, especially towards those women who can see inside their souls.

Women and children who have been or fear to become victims of such men need peace of mind, quiet spaces away from the sight, smell, scent, stench, suspicion and sheer terror of trigger and trauma. 

Time out from big man’s hands, broad shoulders, lantern jaws, clenched fists, low, thunderous voices and echoes through time of centuries of male dominance, aggression and unnecessary unwelcome pain.

Whether or not it seems sensitive to the feelings of men who consider that their feelings entitle them to the privileges of being female, women, born innocent, tarnished and eroded by time and life, women’s views, feelings, needs, comfort, safety, confidence, respect and peace of mind require a guarantee of quiet solitude, or comfortable cheer, the warm, loving, caring company of only mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces and midwives – out of sight of a male gaze, privacy, dignity and the confidence of knowing what security, bodily and emotionally, should comprise.

If we have a government and a First Minster worthy of the title of ‘feminist’ this week will bring a ground breaking announcement that Sex trumps Gender and that single sex spaces in Scotland will remain just that. If not, then all of Scotland’s women and girls will know that their sisters in power have become that which the rest of us in need in a time of want despise.