A response to last post on Violence Against Women.

May 26, 2013

On my Facebook page I received a response from my friend Suzi, who pointed out the tricky legalities of the case I discussed in my last post.

She wrote:

“This case has some serious questions that need to be asked. The police were called that evening and no charges were made – now, in a case like this the woman herself doesn’t need to lay charges and if the police had attended to find someone in a state like this charges would have been made. My understanding is the woman was in the house shared by T’eo and was with another player, in his room. This other player is married and the woman was asked by the other two to leave. I guess it could be argued they were trying to protect their friend from a scandal and they called the police when she wouldn’t leave. He informed the club he plays for immediately and they spoke to the police. I wasn’t in the room, I don’t know what happened, how he reacted, how she reacted to being asked to leave and I don’t know what the police saw when they arrived but this is what ‘he said’ and what ‘she said’. She didn’t press charges, channel 9 paid her for her story, she waited 3 months before coming forward to the media and I think if we begin the slippery slope of believing one person over another based solely on gender we are going to end up in a worse place than we are now. We have great freedom in Australia but with great freedom comes great responsibility and I’ve got to say, I don’t think us women are living up to that responsibility in many ways. I’m a card carrying feminist, and that’s why I have come to believe that. Women can manipulate, they can harass, they have just as much ability to abuse as anyone. I’ve just started my law studies again and looking at Family Law cases is an example of how our rights can sometimes not be taken with the requisite responsibility, just as a trip to the city on a train on a Friday night can be a depressing display of near nudity, drunken screeching and sole crushing self abuse. Each case is different and, for me, we have achieved equality when the gender of those involved isn’t an issue and only the actions of individuals are scrutinised.”

You may think that I disagree with Suzi, but I don’t.
She’s right – we do need to talk about each case as it occurs and judge the actions of each party. But the problem I have is that I don’t think we’re getting the true exposure to the cross-section of cases that are occurring in reality, through our media.

I responded with the following:

“I also grapple with a lot of the same feelings as you and I sometimes find it hard to truly articulate them clearly, as they rush through me.
I did hear that charges weren’t pressed and realised it wasn’t that black and white (it never seems to be when it involves a ‘star’).
I certainly didn’t write this to blame T’eo specifically – it’s just that I saw a woman with a broken eye socket and in the one thing that does divide our genders (generally) – brute strength – I just saw another example of brutality and ask what could she have done? 
What do any women who do find themselves of the end of violence, done to deserve it? And there’s a lot of them.
The other bummer is that this happens all the time, (every few minutes?) to women everywhere and the only reporting we get is of the dodgy, weird case with no clear outcome, which paints women as being deceptive – which they may have been, of course – but if that’s all that’s the only type of news story we receive, then a clear picture is painted about women typically lying.
I think that’s deceptive and dangerous, when it’s all we see.
The more reporting like this – the more difficult it is for the majority of women who have had their rights violated, to come forward and ask for help.
I COMPLETELY agree with you about women also having responsibility – I wrote a post a few weeks ago which asked how women disrespect men.
I think we have a looong way to go, hence why I started the blog and named it Questions for Women.”

I’m not pointing the finger of blame to any particular person with my last post – I was merely commenting of the lack of exposure to the very real and horrifying statistics of violence against women by men and wonder where the ad campaigns, pushing for change, are.
But call a man an ape…

Deep Breath

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