As a fully paid-up feminist, what with a wife and two daughters, I would not wish to be a woman.

Despite an apparent change in cultural attitudes in recent decades, I see daily just how rabid many men are when within the vicinity of a female, be they ‘real’ or virtual.

I have just been on Facebook when, in the comments section beneath a picture of Margot Robbie I read gems such as ‘Beautiful sexy baby xxx’, ‘I Love you and if you come to Stoke, I will take you out and give you a good time’ (I’m not sure that’s possible in Stoke).

Now, not only did Ms Robbie not post the picture, she will likely never read the comments, so I am left wondering why some men would risk their careers, homes and livelihoods to ‘come on’ to a virtual image of a woman they have never met, and likely never will, just to profess how horny the said image makes them feel?

It’s bizarre and yet is not exclusive to online pursuits.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis is a husband and father to two daughtersBrett Ellis is a husband and father to two daughters

It is a constant worry for us husbands and dads. My daughter recently, after a trip to London during the day with two of her friends, reported back that she was approached by a man ‘in his 30s’ who told her how ‘pretty’ she was and asked her if she fancied a date.

I am constantly on tenterhooks. If my wife goes out for the evening, I insist she is escorted home or gets a cab if I cannot pick her up. It’s a shame to have to admit that as we live in a relatively safe village with low crime levels, but the moment you let your guard down is the moment the predators among us strike.

Post a picture online and women are critiqued as if applying to become the front-page splash for Vogue. Hair's too short, legs are too long, there’s a bit of timber and the such like.

If the worse comes to the worse and they are attacked, then often they are blamed because they drank too much, or their skirt was too short as they ‘asked for it’. We see less than 2% of all reports of rape end up in conviction as those predators continue unabated in their quest to exert control over women who are doing little but trying to enjoy their lives.

No, I am glad I am not a woman, but just as alarmingly, the situation will not, despite our best efforts, change until attitudes do.

This behaviour is, in many societal subsets, ‘normal’ and it often makes me wonder how much less stressful it must be to be the father of only boys as we do all we can to protect our daughters from the onset of a supposedly civilised and progressive society.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher.