If you’re anything like me, you think we’ve got it pretty bloody good, here in Australia. We aren’t perfect but we are a work in progress. In my lifetime so far, I’ve seen our society become more accepting, more open-minded and more inclusive than ever before. I hope to see those attitudes reflected in law before too long. But that’s not what this is about. This is about just some of the small but noisy groups that oppose that progress.
The news broke last week about the discovery of a website where teenage boys had been sharing photos of female teens naked, partially naked or engaged in sexual activity. 70+ schools were identified by journalist Nina Funnell, who painstakingly went through the website, cross -referencing names and schools listed. Not only did she uncover existing images and identifying information but she found “hit lists” where users were posting the names of girls they wanted to obtain photos of, encouraging others to “hunt” for them and offering trades. Some pictures were stolen, some coerced, some taken without permission. The website has reportedly been taken down but it isn’t the only one of its kind, nor is it likely to stay gone.
A lot of people think there is no need for feminism, especially here in modern Australia. They don’t think the issues Australian women face really rate a mention. Things like the Gender Pay Gap, the shocking rate of domestic violence, the lack of female representation in positions of power and many more- they all just get explained away, excused and ignored.
But every now and then, something happens. A near perfect example of why feminism is still important, still needed and still relevant even in our relatively progressive society.