“I AM SO FUCKING FURIOUS”

Please understand that there will be no cohesive argument here, no referenced research, planned approach, catalogued stats or learned commentary. No manners. Just raw, unadulterated, absolute had enoughness.

“I am so fucking furious” a wise woman said to me today, which is precisely how I feel after all the horrible crimes committed by men against women that are in the news at the moment (and every moment). My wise woman also said, “WHAT IS THIS WORLD INTO WHICH OUR GIRLS MUST WALK?” which is the thing that summons enough sadness to nearly eclipse my RAGING FURY.

The thing is, I don’t know precisely how many women are sexually assaulted or harassed per day, per hour or minute but one per anytime is TOO MANY. One woman made to feel uncomfortable by a pervy man is ONE TOO MANY.

And one girl raped and murdered in a Melbourne park is one too many in the history of the god damn universe.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE MEN??

Yes men. They are the ones. I know women can and do commit sexual crimes but they are the vast minority. And I know there are plenty of men that are not sexual predators or even a little bit pervy. I’m married to one. He quite likes my bottom I think but he does not EVER make it or me feel worried, nor does he ever make anyone else’s bottom or their person the uncomfortable and unwilling subject of any wayward, egotistical, sexual erkdom. I have male friends and colleagues who don’t feel the need to leer into anyone’s personal space, speak to women in suggestive ways or consider it okay to behave in overtly sexual ways.  I know more of those sort of good men than I do bad ones. But unfortunately, they have to wear the rage that women throw in their general direction. And if they don’t like it then they should be out there with us organising vigils,  holding candles,  ostrasizing the sleazebags  and condemning the too-common depravity of their fellow men.

Tonight I took my two girls and a candle to Hobart’s Reclaim the Park, I thought about Eurydice Dixon and how she’ll never get to hold a candle with her daughter in a park. I thought about my friend who just last night was preyed upon by a creepy, pervy excuse for a man while she was staying overnight with friends. She had to ask him to leave her bed twice. She has spent today throwing up from the stress of it and trying to get herself somewhere where she feels safe.

And then I had to leave the park because I felt overwhelmingly angry but mostly because I realised I didn’t actually want my girls to know any of this, nor did I know what to say beyond, “This is a protest against violence towards women.”

I don’t want to say, “We have to be careful” ,”avoid parks” “don’t wear that skirt” or “never walk alone.” But I suppose I must. And if I do, what if they do walk alone and something happens? Will they then blame themselves, because I’d warned them not to? Would they be too scared to tell me about it in case I’m cross with them for not heeding my warning? Why does someone else’s deviance, someone else’s utter wrongness have to be their concern? And why shouldn’t they  have every right to walk alone in the fucking park, WHY SHOULDN’T THEY? I don’t want them to walk around feeling afraid.

Instead, I think I’d prefer the conversation was with my son. “You never,” I might say, “Ever, ever, ever, use your gender to make a woman feel uncomfortable. You never assume any superiority over her, you never use physicality to try to get her to like you. You listen to her so that if you make a mistake, you can rectify it immediately. You will not tolerate any sexual misbehaviour from your friends. You will respect people, you will be kind. You will not look, touch or manhandle anyone else’s body unless you are 100% sure you are invited.  You must know that if you make someone feel unsafe, unless you are acting in self-defence, it is ALWAYS wrong. And if you don’t do as I say, if I catch you being a sexual harassy dick, I will book you in to have bits of your penis removed. One little piece each time you do a wrong.”

I mean I don’t know. Nothing else is working. What about some rigorous education in schools? Particularly for boys; this is largely their problem, not ours. And if we sentence offenders to penile punishments then perhaps the grubby bastards might sit up and listen. But of course, we don’t want them to stop just to save their precius knobs. They have to know in their SOUL, not their penis, that sexual harassment and violence against women of any kind is NOT OKAY. They should learn how it feels to be a victim of a sexual offence. Schools should run empathy programs for boys, or perhaps someone can come up with some technology that gives a virtual reality experience of the fear women experience every day.  Perhaps men should be visibly marked for sexual offences (some sort of facial tattoo?) so that women know who to avoid and evolution is sped up to exclude at least the personality traits that might predispose a man to pervyness.

I know I’m being far fetched, and I don’t mean to be flippant, I just don’t know what we can do about it, but we must do something and talking about it, yelling about it, getting angry and spouting nonsense is at least something.

Just this week, an eleven year old girl was raped; a doctor was found to be sexually abusing his female patients; a twenty two year old woman was raped and murdered; a 28 year old women is missing, her male housemate was charged with her murder; sex is still actively used as a weapon of war in some parts of the world (there’s a doco on the telly about it as I write); my capable, strong friend was rendered vulerable and distressed at the whim of a dickhead; three older men leered and made suggestive comments at my friend and I in a cafe. It’s all part of the same insidious, deep-seated culture and FOR FUCK’S SAKE, I HAVE HAD ENOUGH. WE ALL HAVE TO DO SOMETHING. NOW.

What will you do?

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5 replies

  1. Nailed it Meg, as usual. I had that very conversation with my 12-year-old son recently (or an abridged version, minus the swearing and threat of penis removal). That’s where it needs to start. With the boys. They need to hear the message loud and clear from their parents and from their schools. And they need to keep hearing it. Not just some 1/2 hr talk delivered once by an outside provider to tick a box, but ongoing, regular, drip feeding input that soaks into their collective psyches.

  2. Nothing far-fetched about this at all. Naming this violation of our most fundamental human right for what it really is must occur. I’m kind of liking the facial branding idea…..that, and chemical castration.

  3. What a beautiful rant. Thank you Meg.

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