Who and why?

In response to the rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon, MP Jeffrey Bourman, of the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, is trying to push through a motion in Parliament to allow the carrying and use of pepper spray and tasers for self-defence. He believes that women should be allowed these items to protect themselves from “stronger and potentially more experienced” attackers.

via GIPHY

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30 women in Australia have been killed by men this year. At this rate, it’s more than one a week, on average. And many of us are furious about it on more than one level.

Yet another young woman, Eurydice Dixon, was robbed of her life as she cut through a park, just a few minutes’ walk from home. The usual response, from police and media, has been reminding women, yet again, to take responsibility for our safety.

Don’t walk alone, don’t go to parks, don’t do this, don’t wear that, don’t drink this, don’t say that, don’t fucking so much as exist in public without one of the “good” men for your own damn protection from the “bad” men. And let’s ignore the fact that, statistically, you’re in even more danger at home. Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor, according to a Victorian study.

But don’t dare voice that thought, you misandrist, feminazi bitch. 

The minute you do, some man will be there to deflect, derail, minimise and deny. They don’t care that we are rightfully angry and frustrated. We DO take care. We ALL do! This is drummed into us from childhood!

via GIPHY

We walk with our keys wolverined in our fists, we text each other when we are home, we call each other when we are in a taxi and feeling unsafe, we walk in groups, we take well-lit routes, we lock the car doors. Sometimes our personal risk assessment allows us to walk home alone at night, sometimes it’s just unavoidable. The punishment for this apparent transgression should never be rape and murder and yet here we are. It’s as if our very presence in public is a risk we must constantly mitigate, by not being alone, by not being in the dark, by holding a potential weapon and by being constantly on guard.

And if you’re a woman of colour, a disabled woman or a transwoman, you’re at even greater risk, statistically.

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INVISIBILIA: The Call-Out

I listened to this podcast, by Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel, recently and it made me think about the practice of calling people out. There’s also a transcription available here.

via GIPHY Rosin and Spiegel

If you just want a snapshot, it’s this:

A woman called Emily became heavily involved in the hardcore music scene. She loved the music, going to gigs, travelling with her best friend’s band and being part of the scene. But the hardcore scene was pretty male-dominated and she experienced firsthand things like sexual assault and the way the scene closed ranks around “good guys”. The expression was “good guy, backed hard”, so people making allegations against “good guys” weren’t believed. There was all kinds of sexism in the scene, including expressions like “no clit in the pit” meaning women weren’t welcome in the mosh. She eventually fronted her own band and used her platform to sing about feminist issues.

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International Women’s Day is Coming

And, predictably, so are the men who are terribly upset by the concept.

A friend posted on her Facebook page about an International Women’s Day event hosted by her employer. She was frustrated and irritated because the keynote (and only) speaker booked for the event is a man. On raising the issue with the organiser, her concerns were swept aside. She was told that it is important that we include men in these events.

Let me say it again: this is for an International Women’s Day event.

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