The murder of Eurydice Dixon has sent shockwaves around Australia, as both men and women discuss a broader climate of violence and fear. On Friday, Meg Watson outlined some of the many ways women “already take responsibility for their safety”. The question now is: how do we move beyond acknowledging this to changing it?
Mary Wood writes: I am so tired of all this nonsense. Women are not the problem — men are. Not all men of course, but clearly there are many men who appear unable to understand that women are actually equal citizens, and assaulting/raping/murdering women is a crime.
Marcus Hicks writes: Just as with the whole “thoughts and prayers” rubbish we always get from the US in response to the latest mass shooting, here we almost always get the same “victim blaming” rubbish after each act of violence against women. Time to change the record, I think.
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Mick Donohoe writes: My wife and I attended the memorial march for Jill Meagher on Sydney Road Brunswick and when we met some neighbours on the march, the talk was all about “if only”. If only she had walked home with someone, if only she had caught a taxi, if only… My thought was that if any of these things had happened Jill Meagher might have been on that march with us — because if she was not the victim, some other innocent woman would have been.
We don’t blame the Hoddle Street or Port Arthur victims and say if only they had taken more steps to protect themselves, or if only they just have been somewhere else. We know that the people at fault are the murderers. We should also hold ourselves at fault, because the primary purpose of society is to protect its members, and when an innocent victim is attacked, raped and murdered society (all of us) has failed.
Rachel Pepper writes: This wasn’t the first attack at that park — the police have a responsibility to make it safe. The lighting at the park wasn’t working; the council could fix that to make it safe. CCTV could be installed. All of that could be done without even addressing the issue of male sexual violence against women (not so easy to fix). But no, let’s just tell women to be more careful…
John Richardson writes: Along with family, friends and I suspect the great majority of Australians, I am horrified by the awful crimes all too often perpetrated against women and children. Having said that, I found Meg Watson’s piece recounting the many ways that women endeavour to stay safe particularly harrowing. It left me feeling angry about the fact that there seems little that I can do personally to change the societal circumstances that have created this horrible situation.
While I agree with Meg about the negative impact that the perpetration of violence against women served up by the “entertainment” industry, I feel helpless to influence that when even the simplest of complaints against the excesses of the media are routinely ignored… And while I worry about not being able to influence many of the bigger issues, I also worry at times about the fact that some of my neighbours’ young daughters avoid speaking to me, not because I have said or done anything to them, but because they are obviously being educated to be wary of men and their motives.
I worry about what kind of society we have become when we can’t even be nice to each other without someone attributing a negative motivation to that behaviour.
Desmond Graham writes: Bernard, the sentiments are well-intentioned but the problem is that modern journalism wants the fruits of journalistic freedom and influence gained over time without the rigours of the art/profession/trade. In the past journalists in their cadetships were trained to check their stories, interview their sources critically, then recheck — a very disciplined process. Today ignorant high school children go to uni, do some assignments, obtain a journalism degree and then think they are fit to give opinions to publish on a few snippets of facts they pick up.
Arky writes: The payment always felt excessive, just on the pub test. Not surprised it was reduced. The personal injury comparison brought up by the MinterEllison chap is very apposite.
It’s hard to say Rebel Wilson’s career is going badly, so unless there was someone from Hollywood willing to come in and say they were absolutely going to hire Rebel Wilson except for hearing about this rumour that she lied about her age (a woman in Hollywood who lies about her age? Even if true, so what?)…
Deserved some damages just for the fact that she was being maliciously slandered by fake news peddlers, but millions? Yeah, nah.
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