When murder doesn’t matter

More so, where murder doesn’t matter when you are a woman murdered by a man.

In a so called free, first world, first rate country, is this really good enough?

22 women have been murdered by known or suspected male violence in the first 2 and a 1/2 months of 2015 in Australia. There is no more time for outdated views, justifications and pedestrian attitudes.

This is Australia where the very environment and culture in which these murders “happen” to women, is not only excused or ignored, but participated in by the sex class of our murderers. By men who are the dominant sex class, men who are running our governments, running our businesses and our religions. Men who also own our freedom of speech, one of the many perks of being the lawmakers in this monopolisation of our media, wealth and property.

Women in Australia live in a world with this ruling sex class – our murderers, our rapists, our abusers and our exploiters. We live in a world where everyday and influential men participate in, benefit from, and perpetuate a culture that subordinates, objectifies and degrades women on a daily basis, calling it “normal” or saying “it’s just the way things are” (it certainly works out well for men).

I hasten to add, before the ‘not all men’ thoughts take over ones ability to read, that yes, a few chosen women have been lucky enough to fend for variations of scraps via the foreboding patriarchal side door, because, as Glosswatch states “They want “equality” insofar as they want the erasure of all measurable signs of women’s oppression (because let’s face it, these get a bit embarrassing). They do not, however, want this to come at the expense of being allowed to see women as whatever they want them to be at any given moment”. Other women have indeed fought hard, against all patriarchal odds, to be one of the few women in their chosen field. And others still, fought long and hard for the rights we have today, and still do.

We know that at-least 90% of perpetrators of violent crimes are male. We know these violent crimes are committed by men against women, children and other men, in the context of this masculine culture.

11 of the 22 women above are suspected or known to have been murdered by their current or former partners. 1 woman was murdered by her father along with her 7 year old son and unborn child, and 1 of these men is believed to have killed his sister and seriously wounded her 19 year old son. These 13 men murdered women they claimed to love, this year, in Australia.

It is true, and very much to the point, that women are objects, commodities, some deemed more expensive than others – but it is only by asserting one’s humanness every time, in all situations, that one becomes someone as opposed to something. That, after all, is the core of our struggle.” – Andrea Dworkin

We know the problem is male violence and male sexual entitlement, we know the cultural context that enables and supports the subordination of women/male privilege in Australia. Now what are we going to do about it? Seriously. Because we women have been putting forth work, research, ideas and even smack bang solutions for decades, and we are still fighting to just get a meager few words heard. So what are we, as a society, as a masculine, male privileged culture going to do about it?

We must, personally and as a society, have a good hard look at the masculinity of men and this masculine culture in which we live. A good hard look at what it is, what it means, and who says?

We must also, personally and as a society, let women speak. Let us speak, listen to us, and not only allow, but welcome, our input, and allow us to help implement changes to move us forward.

Many wonderful precedents are already being set for us in progressive countries, with laws, by community standards, changes in culturally embedded attitudes, all of which had previously denied equal ground for male and female human beings (see Iceland). These countries still have a ways to go, but right now, right here, in Australia, we just need to start.

It has been brought to my attention on a few fronts recently that I, we, survivors of male violence and sexual violence, working tirelessly for positive change, who are constantly told to hush, told the men are speaking, the men are thinking, the men are creating, the men are building, the men are owning… need to take a softer approach and soften our language. They usually say this while calling us bitch prude ugly terf sluts who just need a good ramming – by them of course.

We are being told the real language, the real word, for what is being done to women by men in the prostitution industry, is ‘work’. We are being told that instead of calling this sexual exploitation what it is – the prostitution of vulnerable women, by and for men for men’s pleasure and profit, that we must call it ‘sex work’, thereby magically making the prostitution of women ‘empowering’. And if we don’t use men’s words, we are told we are whorephobic. It certainly cleans up very nicely what men are doing to women, all compactly sanitized into the term ‘sex work’.

we are feminists because we care about women. To say that we want to see women further marginalized is an incredibly bold fabrication. What could our motives possibly be except the well-being, rights, and liberty of women? These representations ignore and erase the truth of our movement. They erase the fact that women in this movement come from all sorts of backgrounds, are marginalized, have been prostituted and abused, work with and for women on a daily basis, and not only are impacted by the sex industry on a personal and systemic level, but care about the impact on all other women and girls as well.” Meghan Murphy

We are being told that in re-telling the abuse, name-calling and threats of violence that men throw directly at us, and in defending ourselves against this and challenging this culture that is in our face and invading our bodily autonomy, invading our boundaries and human rights – that we are being offensive, that we are using offensive language, and we must hate all men. We’ll also all apparently end up alone, and must ‘be on our’ period.

Well, we did sit back and we submitted to being nice, quiet and graceful, and things continued and continue to get worse. When ever we’ve won a glimmer of freedom, our chains have just grown tighter elsewhere, in related, and entirely other, ways.

“The older I get, the more I believe that ‘equality’ is nothing more than a smokescreen to prevent the true liberation of women. Equality before the law means nothing when violence is endemic; when women are most likely to live in poverty; when no one bothers to actually enforce the existing equality legislation.” Louise Pennington

22 women have already been murdered by known or suspected male violence in 2015, and many other women and girls have already been raped and abused by everyday men of our society, even the men who say they love them. Many more women and girls still have been groomed and trafficked into the inherently violent and exploitative prostitution industry, within this culture, this year, in our country.

Patterns are already clear. There were more than 64,000 sexual offences recorded by police last year (UK), Ingala Smith tells me, and 1.4 million domestic violence assaults against women. “When men kill women,” she wants to stress, “they are doing so in the context of a society in which men’s violence against women is entrenched and systemic. When misogyny, sexism and the objectification of women are so pervasive that they are all but inescapable, can a man killing a women ever not be a sexist act?” Karen Ingala Smith

We insist that White Ribbon Australia, the leading male anti-violence-against-women organisation in Australia, that already has a dialogue going with men in this country, listen to and work with women’s rights advocates on the ground in Australia.

We insist White Ribbon Australia take a new pledge and implement this new pledge throughout the organisation and with supporters.

Take Action

Sign and share this petition asking White Ribbon Australia to listen to and work with women’s rights advocates on the ground.

We hope this opportunity is grasped wholeheartedly, as this is the time for support and solidarity from the men of our country, not silence. This current paradigm of masculinity in Australia is not working, for women, for men, or for our children.

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