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!
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.