Sunday, July 3, 2022

Equality?

Two years later one of my lines still resonates profoundly: “Former South Australian Young Australian of the Year Arman Abrahimzadeh said, ‘While not all intimate partner disrespect ends in murder, all domestic violence murders start with disrespect.’” And disrespect comes from a power imbalance and a power imbalance happens when we don’t have equality.

There’s that dirty word again: equality.

I wonder if the reason we don’t have it (and no, Mark Latham, simply having the vote doesn’t equate to actual, tangible equality) is that really there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what equality actually means. We can have equal pay and quotas coming out of our elbows but really what we need is actual cultural shifts in the way we think, treat and talk about women, including by women.

True equality will mean when a woman is attacked, the first response isn’t “Why was she there?” or “What was she wearing?” Or at a job interview questions like: “How will you cope being a mum and an employee?” or “Are you thinking of having children soon?” won’t be asked. Equality will be when our elected female representatives don’t vote against the interests of women in the Safe Access Zones bill (I am looking directly at you Tanya Davis and Pru Goward).

Equality will be having an open and confronting conversation with our peers about what internalised misogyny is, without offence but with true reflection and action.

Equality won’t happen with piecemeal policy, or tokenism. It needs to be a deep, dirty, honest revolution of how we, me, you, the community, consider women in society, how we view them and how we talk about them.

 

Women dead in July: 7

Women dead in 2018 so far: 39

 

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