Eurydice Dixon violence

The debate around solutions to male violence continues today, with readers responding passionately to Guy Rundle’s piece on “the possibility of change”. Is it truly possible to stamp this problem out, and if so how does one go about it? Meanwhile, condemnation pours in over the real cost of “stopping the boats”.

On male violence

Paul Johanson writes: Actually, I think we men can do something about male violence. One important skill to learn when growing from boy to man is to recognise that we all have stupid and dangerous impulses, and to be able to control them. To say this is not possible for some men just means they haven’t learned how…

So here’s my plan:

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  • Continuing to call it out when I see it in public
  • Having difficult conversations with the small number of men I know of who haven’t treated the women around them correctly
  • And most importantly, raising my son to not be an asshole

That last point extends to all the young lads I know. As far as I can I’ll influence them to not be moronic cat-calling dickheads. All the boys I know are naturally sweet and caring and loving, and I’m going to encourage that rather than, say, beat it out of them which seems to commonly be the case.

It may be generations before a woman need not be afraid to be out in the dark, to not be afraid to walk the short kilometre home. But to throw our hands up in the air and say nothing can be done is not good enough. It’s incumbent on all men to help make the world safer for the girls and women in it.

Nudiefish writes: As a man, I honestly have no idea what to think in this situation. I want to help, but whatever I want to say just sounds blah and lame. Men commit these crimes, not all men, but certainly men. If shifting the focus of the problem at hand back to how overwhelmingly most men don’t commit these crimes, it makes it all about us, instead of the real victims — women.

It might be better for blokes — especially supportive, caring blokes — to just to sit back and listen to female voices on the subject instead of adding to the din. We might even learn something.

Distant writes: What would be helpful to know is why this man committed this crime. That wont be clear for a while. We might find that the crime sprang from a particular set of ideas and values that can be countered, so we don’t in fact have to shrug and say “that’s life”.

Much of the discussion has been rather wide of the point. Of course very few men commit this particular crime. It is remote even from “ordinary” rape and murder. But it happens often enough to enter our collective nightmares and it doesn’t come from nowhere. It might be that for every act of this magnitude there may be a million smaller acts of malice coming from the same source — the same set of ideas and values. That would be worth knowing.


On the weaponisation of asylum seeker policy

Edumf writes: After five years of indefinite detention, the asylum seekers on Manus are less refugees, and more like political prisoners of the Australian government. That Dutton will not let them be resettled in New Zealand sadly reinforces this state of affairs.

Mongoose writes: If there were no bombs raining down on them, killing their families and smashing their homes or if there were no looting of their lands causing famine and hardship there would be no refugees. They do not want to live in Australia, or anywhere else. They want to live in their own country with their own people, in peace and security.

Making terrifying sea crossings in rattletrap boats, risking their very lives and those of their children, is an act of desperation for the greater majority of these people. And then they are hated and incarcerated when they come for help… We have a lot to be ashamed of. This is not the Australia I grew up in where mateship and lending a hand, gladly lending a hand, was the soul of this country. I say put Peter Dutton on a boat.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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