There’s nothing quite like a high profile* murder to break your heart just a little more. The news that Jill Meagher was found murdered and not alive and well as she should be just makes the world a little sadder. Not just for Jill or her family, although distressingly and unfairly so for them, but for all of us.
*or any murder, or rape, or assault, but only when it’s high profile do we hear about it and that truly needs to change.
Mothers it’s time to make sure our sons are raised to value our daughters, to really see them as equals and not objects. It’s not our job to make sure our daughters dress conservatively and are guarded whenever they set foot outside, it’s our job to make sure our sons would never see the alternatives as an opportunity for violence.
It is time to stop victim blaming and start perpetrator shaming. Small incidents and inappropriate behaviours that go ignored and unreported are the stepping stones for awful things happening. Women are constantly harassed and frequently dismissed when they are brave enough to speak up. Even if we are mocked, or if we annoy someone or supposedly waste their time, it’s time to bring these assholes out of the safe haven of ignorance and report them. Report until we are blue in the face and our voices are hoarse. If someone touches you up on the train, or is menacing take a photo, we all carry them in our phones now, and report them. If the person you report them to doesn’t take you seriously go to the next person up the chain. There is no more room for being a good girl and keeping quiet, it’s killing us and it’s doing these assholes a huge favour by keeping them invisible while they find their next target.
It’s time to stop the whispers of ‘well she should have accepted an escort home’ or ‘she shouldn’t have worn that’. It’s time to stop blaming victims and lay all the shame and animosity squarely where it belongs, on the perpetrator. No more being punished for having the audacity to not have a penis. No more being told to play nice with others who we should not even have to be in the same world as. We need a riot ladies and men, one where we tear apart these ridiculous ancient standards and truly start acting as equals. We are not property and we are not pets to be kept safe, we morally and legally have equal rights and it’s time we took them seriously before they are completely eroded.
If we keep on keeping on with our heads down because we don’t want to see the ugly truth we are all doomed.
There are many great articles and posts for you to read on these issues but I suggest Catherine Deveny or even do a quick search for Rape Culture, it’s insidious and enough is enough.