Saturday, May 21, 2022

What a month!

Steve Price on Q&A, Van Badham having her Twitter account hacked and vile tweets sent out by the hacker, Leslie Jones being vilified live on Twitter, and a shockingly confronting court case for Tara Costigan’s family.

There is more: a false story about Cheltenham Girls High School teachers not calling the students girls and women and instead using gender-neutral terms, a story clearly used to forward the agenda of a certain right-wing faction. Then there was the expulsion of senior students at Brighton Grammar school in Melbourne who uploaded photos to Instagram of girls as young as 11, described the girls by what sexual acts they would perform, and asked followers to vote for the “slut of the year”. And let’s not forget that the trial of the alleged murderer of Stephanie Scott began.

The extent of lurid and frankly heinous behaviour in our society towards women has been unfathomable of late. We need to keep raising awareness and calling out this behaviour whenever we see it.

Steve Price’s conduct on Q&A was unacceptable. Van Badham attempted to answer a question from the always well-measured Tarang Chawla (advocate and brother to slain Nikita Chawla) but was interrupted 13 times by Price. Interrupting someone while they are trying to make a point (that they have been asked to make) and shooting down their argument is not only rude, it also completely stems any kind of meaningful debate.

That’s what’s at stake here. Women and men are being stopped from having respectful, thoughtful, sophisticated and legitimate debate purely because the person sitting next to them doesn’t agree with them.

Why is this important? One of my favourite quotes on social media this month was: “Not all disrespect towards women results in violence. But all violence against women starts with disrespectful behaviour.”

The actions of the senior students involved in the Brighton School incident were disrespectful in the extreme. To compound this, when one of the girls’ mothers objected on social media, an anonymous man contacted her and said it was “a group of boys having fun”. There is the problem right there; yet another case of the old “make it a joke and all will be ok” excuse being used to dismiss, legitimise and condone the behaviour.

But that’s political correctness gone mad, we hear people cry? Another great quote I saw on social media this week challenges this cry with ease: “It’s not about political correctness, it’s about not being an asshole.”


Women dead in July: 2

Women dead in 2016: 36



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