Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rant: Does Australia really say no to violence against women? (part 2)

A second example of how Australia does not say no to violence against women is this study. Basically, it says that in a survey of Australians, many of them including women (let it not be said that this post is a rant against men) believe a guy should get off lighter for raping a woman if she is drunk or provocatively dressed. Some of this attitude is what the ads are trying to address, but nonetheless, the Australian public is not yet saying "no".

A third example is this bloke, who normally inspires me to faith in the Australian male, but who had sex with a prostitute who wasn't really up for it because it is better than being celibate. Now, I am not a prude, and I don't believe that all sex needs to be within the confines of a relationship, but I do believe paying someone who clearly isn't interested for sex muddies the waters of consent considerably. To believe that sex is something you should be able to pay for to me equates rather uncomfortably with disrespect for women as whole beings, and is a form of violence against women -- and here we see it being portrayed as normal bloke stuff.

My final example of how Australia fails to say no to violence against women is the Werribee DVD case. Seven young men sexually assaulted a developmentally delayed young woman, set her hair on fire, and made a DVD of it, which they sold at school. Sounds pretty horrific, and like a court case should be cut and dried, right? Well, they pleaded guilty for sure, but it looks as though they will avoid jail. In a country that says no to violence against women, the perpetrators of this kind of violence are locked up, and the key is thrown away.

While I commend ... whoever it is who wants to change things here (and indeed anywhere in the world), running ads that say "Australia says no" doesn't change things, and in fact can make it harder for women who are victims of violence, because after all "Australia says no". The ads are a good start, but they need to be backed up by AFL player bans, real rape sentences, and a massive attitude shift. Having said that, Australia is doing something, which is more than can be said for many countries.

1 comment:

LepprdQueen said...

Excellent commentaries!! Very well written - keep up the great work!