There are things we can do to help STOP THE VIOLENCE.

TRIGGER WARNING ~ Violence
from yesterday’s news (5/5/15)

“A man allegedly carved his nickname into a woman’s forearm with a knife while keeping her as his sex slave for a month, an ACT court has heard.

The 25-year-old man, who cannot be identified, pleaded not guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to charges of rape, kidnapping, forcible confinement, assault and sexual servitude.

Police alleged the two people began a relationship last December.”

I shared that article on my Facebook wall last night. A friend suggested that people tend to scroll past these sorts of stories when I post them because it is just too much to bear.

I understand.

She went on to say that people do feel affected by what is happening but that they are frustrated, overwhelmed because they don’t know what they can do to make it stop, what they can do to bring about change.

I understand.

But there are plenty of things that we can do.

woman thing

We can start by challenging social norms and representations of women that are limiting, that sexualise them, that reduce them to the status of an object; an object of desire for consumption.

And we can do it Every. Single. Day. Because every single day we are confronted, bombarded! with an insidious cultural narrative that assures us that ‘She’ exists for the pleasure of others. ‘She’ exists to be gazed upon, to be appreciated for her beauty, her sexual desirability (but not for her own sexual desires, slut!)  ‘She’ exists to be judged, to be shamed if she doesn’t conform to the narrow, stereotypical, accepted beauty standard of the day. In turn ‘She’ aspires to be desired, beautiful, possessed by others, always available, feminine, compliant, ready.

‘She’ is public property.

In challenging every day instances of blatant sexism and discrimination based upon gender WE push for a broader understanding of who WE are.  We declare our shared humanity, our values and our care for one another. We can and surely ought to demand women be recognised as fully fledged people, subjects in their own right. Worthy of the status of Equal. Worthy of full consideration.

The sexual objectification of women reinforces Gender Inequality every day.

Women do not exist as mere accessories, as commodities for what? a patriarchal, capitalist ideology that screws us all! Women deserve to be acknowledged and accepted because of their differences, not in spite of them. Isn’t it time we demand to see more diverse (non sexual) representations of women in the media?

HE ‘allegedly’ CARVED HIS NICKNAME INTO HER ARM WITH A KNIFE!

Yesterday I was updating our Man Assaults Woman file that exposes the daily instances of male violence inflicted upon women (and children) so far this year.  It only lists the assaults that are reported to police (around 10% of all assaults) and of course it only contains those incidents the media decide to publish on any particular day. So not a complete picture at all. But shocking all the same!  Please take a look.

violence is happening

#CountingDeadWomen Australia, has worked in raising awareness to the fact that women are being killed by men in this country at an alarming rate, 33 so far this year.  Perhaps the time is ripe for us to consciously open our eyes to the enormity of the problem of male violence against women in this country.  These shocking stories of violence and abuse could and should motivate us to act.

So many Australian women are being treated as objects, possessions. So long as we brush it off while partaking in it, so long as we remain silent, so long as we continue to look the other way, so long as we choose to buy into it, not a lot is going to change. We cannot simply rely on our Government to bring about the cultural changes we need. We can certainly let them know of our concerns.

But each one of us can start taking stands for positive change.

There is a lot of talk within feminist circles regarding ‘personal choice’ and ‘personal empowerment’ that does little for society as a whole. We can, however, make choices and take actions that empower the liberation of all women!  Personally, I think it’s time we started making a habit of it.  When we  challenge cultural representations of women (in the media) that are restrictive, that equate a woman’s worth, her capital with her desirability, we help to create the grounds whereby Gender Equality becomes a possibility.

In this country there are women living in TERROR, in fear for their lives, for their children’s lives, and this is happening every single day, right now.

Take ACTION

– If you see an advertisement that you find offensive you can lodge a complaint here.

– If see something that you find offensive in a newspaper, magazine or on a newspaper website you can lodge a complaint here

– If you see something on free to air tv that you find offensive, you can lodge a complaint here.

– You can write a letter to your local paper, your local politician and so on. It really only takes a few minutes to do any of these things.

– You do have a voice and there are many outlets that you can utilise in order to be heard. Speak out. Do something. Don’t be paralysed by feelings of helplessness. Act for change.

– Also speak up among your friends, family and peers, call out everyday words and acts of sexism.

Cheers.

Related:

While men decide what they stand for – We women must become warriors

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Do you need help or want to report male violence? please contact:

If you are feeling unsafe right NOW, call 000

Insert ‘some’ if it makes you feel a little better

We can’t be silent any longer, women are being violently and sexually assaulted in Australia every single day! We can’t know the full extent of the phenomenon because most incidents go unreported. Here is just a snapshot.

Australian women are being raped, violently assaulted and tortured at the hands of Australian men. And sure, insert the ‘some’ if it makes you feel a little better. The ongoing violence in our communities comes predominantly from men and it is they who need to change. No more victim blaming.

police rape campaignWomen are not responsible for being attacked by men.

Earlier this week the Sussex Police in the UK came under fire, and rightly so, for this ‘rape prevention’ poster that puts the onus on women to look out for each other in order to stay safe from men. “Which one of your mates is most vulnerable on a night out? The one you leave behind.”

Well meaning advice perhaps, but as we have seen time and time again, violent men will attack women in their homes, in parks, at their place of work. Women are not guaranteed to be safe anywhere so long as this violence continues. In order to realise change we must start paying attention and calling men out on their sexist, derogatory remarks and violent behaviour every time we witness it.

anti-rape campaign

You can sign the petition to have the Sussex police campaign withdrawn HERE

Related articles:

The Best Rape Prevention: Tell Men to Stop Raping

– Porn, Politics and Power; Is it possible for men to respect women whilst engaging with ‘hard core’ porn?

– In Response to Owen Jones – Rosie Redstockings on porn

– We should all just stop complaining and start mindlessly accepting

Geelong College principle Andrew Barr resigns over porn scandal

The victims of anti-rape campaigns: Men on sexodus

“If we consider that rape in marriage was legal up until recent decades in most OECD countries, or that rape is a necessary product of the global sex trade, or that rape is a systemic tool in war, or that rape convictions are near enough to nil in most countries, then it should be clear that ending rape would require a massive shift in global relations.

Ending rape, then, requires a radical revisioning of the systems that govern society and an acknowledgement of women as co-creators. The idea that women may no longer be passive recipients of male-centric political, legal and economic systems is likely to unsettle those men who pin their egocentric notions of self-worth on traditional power relations over women.” Laura McNally

Porn, Politics and Power; Is it possible for men to respect Women whilst engaging with ‘hard core’ porn?

I’ll never forget my fury when I heard back in October last year that a Senior Advisor of the Victorian Liberal Party had allegedly been running a porn ring. Apparently Don Coulson’s office was being used as something of a drop off, pick up zone.During an interview with John Faine Coulson admitted to having pornography in his office, describing the material as being ‘hard core’.  According to a number of reports it was alleged that some content included acts of bestiality.

At the time Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, dismissed the claims as speculation, assuring the public that this was not an issue as there was nothing illegal about watching or sharing pornography.

Victoria’s Shadow Attorney-General, Martin Pakula, announced that the Labor party had asked police to investigate the matter to determine whether there were images or videos of bestiality, saying “I think most Victorians would be horrified by the notion that animal pornography is being circulated in the Premier’s office.”

In January this year the Federal Police concluded their investigation into the matter advising that no illegal material had been found and the case had been finalised. No illegal material, so no animals then.

I don’t recall our Minister for Women stepping up and saying anything.

Yet on November 25th 2013, almost a year before this scandal came to light our Prime Minister Tony Abbott, our Minister for Women, and a White Ribbon Ambassador, was reported as saying, “We cannot rest until we entirely eliminate violence against women. In any form – physical, sexual or psychological, violence is never, ever acceptable.” He went on to say, ‘It is particularly unacceptable when it is employed against people who are inherently vulnerable.” What is it I wonder, that makes our PM think that women are ‘inherently vulnerable’? Continue reading