Tag Archives: Violence against women

News flash. One is entitled to walk on city streets without being assaulted

Pop on over to Dr Cat’s blog to read her excellent analysis of this claim.

Ministers arriving for cabinet yesterday said Mr Foley was entitled to walk on a city street at any hour without being assaulted.

Now you know how it feels to be a woman, Kevin (SA edition)

Victim blaming 101

Cross posted

Gregory Meads murdered Helen Meads just four days after she said she was going to leave their marriage. Now that he has been convicted by a jury, some more information has been released. It turns out that he beat her savagely about 18 months before he killed her.

The details are in this newspaper report, and they are horrifying. The report is *triggering*.

What the Meads jury didn’t hear

But it seems that at least one police office thinks that it’s Helen Meads fault.

Detective Sergeant Rod Carpinter, the officer in charge of the murder investigation, said the case highlighted the need for people to seek help from police, Women’s Refuge or another organisation help before family violence escalated.

“Here we have a woman who has lost her life, children left without their mother and their father facing a long term of imprisonment.”

Dude, it highlights the need for Gregory Meads to stop being a violent arsehole. Gregory Meads was the man who threw the punches, Gregory Meads was the man who pulled the trigger, Gregory Meads is the man who is responsible for Helen Meads being dead, for the children being without their mother, and for their father (that would be Gregory Meads) being in jail.

Maybe it also highlights the need for police to press assault charges a little harder. I really don’t understand why Gregory Mead’s assault on Helen Meads was not prosecuted in the first place. If police had taken their responsibilities seriously, maybe Helen Meads would still be alive, and her children would still have their mother.

Enough with the victim blaming.

I’m not impressed by what he said

Brendan Black is a new daddy, and he’s had an astonishing revelation. He has found that he needs to get over his semi-embarrassment, in public, about his partner breastfeeding their little boy. He’s urging all men to do the same, in an opinion piece that appears in both The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Age.

Grow up men! Breasts are not public property

His ostensible purpose is laudable: he wants men to get over the idea that there is something wrong with women breastfeeding in public.

Once my son was born, I quickly realised what I had long dreaded: my wife’s breasts had to be shared with someone else, even though he had a greater need for them than me.

He sets out some fairly standard ideas about the confusion between the sexualisation of breasts, and the need to feed babies. There’s nothing new in what he writes, except that he is addressing men. And yes, it’s jolly nice that he’s supporting breastfeeding. Of course, you will note the privilege that’s on display: because it’s being said by a man, it might get taken seriously, and even get published in a couple of big newspapers, but when women have made the same arguments, that’s just those wretched feminists getting whiny and shrill again.

But what really, really annoyed me about the article was his assumption of ownership.

Nevertheless, seeing my wife’s naked breasts several times a day, even with lessened ownership rights and in a new context, is still enjoyable…*

Oh, he asks for permission before he looks, but he still assumes ownership. And that’s the flavour of the entire article. He used to own his partner’s breasts, but now he has to share them, and hey, he’s okay with that.

Dude, it’s simple. The person who owns a woman’s breasts is the woman herself. Not her partner. Not any man who cares to walk by and take a look. Not even her babies. But the woman herself. That’s one of the basic notions of bodily integrity we have in Western liberal democracies. And once you understand that notion of bodily integrity, then whether or not a woman uses her breasts for sexual pleasure, or for titillation, or for feeding a baby, is none of your business whatsoever. Start with the notion that women own their own breasts, and then you don’t even need to worry about whether your “ownership” rights have been affected, because you never had those rights in the first place.

And by the way, this sort of behaviour…

We love to sneak a peek at a woman’s cleavage, cop a feel when we’re allowed to (and even when we’re not)…*

… is not a matter for joking. That’s sexual assault. ‘Though no doubt it would be more properly regarded as stealing from the man who owns them.

Update: Check out this excellent post at bluebec.com – This is not yours.

* Emphasis mine

Something to read

Something to read, but it will make you cry, and it may be triggering for some people. It’s about ‘stolen’ brides in Chechnya.

The stolen brides turned into Stepford wives

The patient was lying blindfolded on her back, wearing a long flowery robe. Mr Yusupov began yelling verses from the Koran into her ear and beating her with a short stick. “She feels no pain”, he said. “We beat the genie and not the patient.”

The woman, probably in her early 20s, was writhing on the bed : “Shut up! Leave me alone!” she growled. Mr Yusupov claimed this strange voice belonged to the genie possessing her. He shouted back: “Take your claws out of this woman. Aren’t you ashamed? Go on! Leave her body like you did last time, through her toe.”

With a deadpan expression, Mr Yusupov explained that the genie inside the girl was 340 years old. He was not a Muslim – he was a Russian man called Andrei and he had fallen in love with his victim. The genie was so jealous that he made her leave her husband. This was already the seventh time he’d treated this patient.

Thank you for sending me the link, Daleaway.

When you write a column about violence against women…

When you write a column about violence against women, you can guarantee that you’ll be able to fill out a bingo card in the comments thread, just like that. You’ll almost certainly be able to fill out the second bingo card too.

Paul Sheehan has written a column about male violence against women: One Giant Scar on Mankind.

The world is engaged in a clash of civilisations, purportedly about religion, but in reality it is about the rights and freedoms of women. This is the true flashpoint of our age.

It’s an excellent column, and you should go and read it. He’s written it in support of White Ribbon Day, which is held on November 25.

But the comments are something else… some quotes, from each of comments 1, 2 and 3, in that order. (The aphorisms for each quote are mine.)

But women are violent too:

Women are the main perpetrators of violence against children.
Women also perpetrate violence against men, and other women.
Maybe we should just say that violence against anyone is intolerable.

Why don’t you worry about real problems / here’s how you should be a feminist:

I find it disturbing that womens libbers in this country who are so vocal about such things as the St Paul’s outrage, and rightly so, are strangely silent in their criticism of the treatment of and attitudes to women by Muslims, outback Aborigines and other groups favoured by liberal causes.

You’re making it all up:

One-third of women are not necessarily assaulted in their lifetime. This “statistic” is a beat-up, including incidents such as a pinched bottom as an assault. Or men exposing themselves.

I really wouldn’t bother with the comments thread, if I were you. Unless you fancy a quick round of bingo.

It’s not sex – it’s …

Another case for the “It’s not sex, it’s rape” files, except that this time, I’m not sure that “rape” is the right word to use.

This case concerns murder and sexual violation. It could be triggering, so the rest of the post is below the cut, and I’ve included some blank space so that you can flick past this on your feedreader without having to read the details, even inadvertently.

Continue reading

So where did the rape culture at St Paul’s come from?

Some current and former inmates residents of St Pauls College at the University of Sydney set up a pro-rape Facebook group, saying they were “anti-consent.” There seems to be a culture of rape at St Pauls, and at other colleges at the Sydney University. It’s not just the Facebook group – there seems to be a whole lot of other “recreational” and social behaviour based around the denigration, and rape of women at Sydney University’s colleges [link]. FuckPoliteness has an excellent rant about it, Hoyden Mary analyses college rape culture based on her own experiences of living in a college a few years ago, Kayloulee (in comments at HaT) describes her experience of living in a Sydney University college right now, Penguin Unearthed worries about nurturing misogyist culture, newswithnipples notices that news.com.au has rewritten the story to downplay the issue of consent, and Jezebel points out Facebook’s appalling standards – it let the pro-rape group stay up for months, but removes pictures of breastfeeding mothers. Gentle readers, welcome to rape culture. You’re soaking in it.

As Mary says at Hoyden about Town, the rebuttal stories, the counterpoint stories, the ones that point out that there are lots and lots of good things about colleges and it’s all overblown and it’s just a few bad boys and the rest are really all decent chaps, and no matter what, IT”S NOT THE COLLEGE’S FAULT, will start to appear tomorrow. But in the meantime, Dr Ivan Head, the Warden of St Paul’s College, has sent off a very prompt response to the Sydney Morning Herald. (Funny how they never respond to rape allegations quite so quickly.)


The College holds all forms of sexual assault, rape or any proven incitement to rape to be abhorrent and we hold in varying degrees of condemnation anything that detracts from the freedom and dignity of women on campus and within our grounds. We at times work night and day on behalf of the women and men on campus to sustain a 24/7 environment in which learning is enhanced and enriched and in which we aim consistently at good, better and best outcomes.

You can go read the rest of the Warden’s response, and you will see that it does indeed hit all the high points. But what gets me is this. Where the hell does the Warden think the rape culture among residents of his college comes from? Does he really think that it just sprang full grown from the brow dick of Zeus? Or just maybe, is there something poisonous about the college, which turns otherwise decent young men (of course they are decent young men – they come from the best schools and the wealthiest families in Sydney) into misogynist groups who think it’s funny to say things like, “They can’t say no with a c–k in their mouth.” And it’s quite clear that it’s not just talk; women at the colleges report having been raped, living in fear of rape, not feeling safe even in their own rooms. There is something deeply wrong about the social structures that are nurtured within the walls of St Pauls.

But to top it off, this comment that shows that the Warden just doesn’t even understand how far off the planet he is.

St Paul’s College in the University is … one of those rare places in which the radical possibilities of life in a modern ‘secular monastery’ can be explored by an increasingly diverse group of very able students.

He is so deadened to the rape culture within the walls of the college that he oversees that he regards it as a ‘secular monastery’. Trying to cover up rape and rape culture by cloaking it in holiness, is he? Which reminds me, most of those colleges seem to be run by various Christian denominations. The churches who lend their names to these colleges should be feeling deeply ashamed. Do you think they will do anything about it?