Friday, January 29

Abuse of Women

Australians, or many of them, are so upset about the video of a drunken footballer's low life behaviour on Australia Day.  To many it was shocking - an adult who not only pretended to have sex with a dog, peed on the furniture, and also tried to kiss a lady who did not welcome his advances.  Typical drunken Aussie, perhaps.  Many of us are shocked and angry.  

There has been a lot of press about the incident - and many opinions about how this 26 year old sports star should be punished.  It is not the first time he has disgraced himself in public, and he has been punished before.  He is an example of a sports star who is so overpaid, and seems to have no boundaries.  What a disgrace he is!

I was driving to Brisbane yesterday morning, and instead of listening to classical music, I listened to ABC 612 - where presenter Steve Austin, asked listeners to call in with their comments.  He also asked women who had been the victims of similar behaviour by men to call in.  To me it was no surprise to hear women reporting on how they have been treated for years.  It is common for women, particularly young ones, to be "terrorised" by men on a regular basis.    

If you go to a pub, tavern, bar, and are alone, you are bound to be on the receiving end of some drunken slob towards the end of the night.  This is why many good women choose not to go out at night to these venues, if they do not have company to go with.

Too many times in my life, as a single young girl (many years ago), and even as a married older woman, I have been on the receiving end of such intimidating behaviour.   Even when I have been out at functions with my then husband, I have been set upon by men who tried to kiss me or have sex with me.  Did my husband know?  I don't know.  I don't recall him ever coming to "rescue" me.  I recall one event on a Lions Club outing, where one of his "friends" grabbed me and pushed me into a toilet on a train and tried to have sex with me.  Luckily I was able to get away from him - but it was a few brief terrifying experience.

What do women do?  No one saw what happened to me on that night, or if they did, they did nothing.  Did I tell my husband?  I don't actually recall that I did - I may have, but I don't remember.  He remained friends with the bloke for some time afterwards though, and I skirted around from him.

In part, many men think it is is ok to try and kiss a lady - at any time.  I have been "terrorised" in the workplace on more than one occasion.  I have changed jobs because I didn't feel safe.  It is common.   

It was clear from the phone calls from only a few women yesterday, that some women have experienced this sort of intimidating behaviour far too many times.  

The dominance of men over women is endemic in many communities.  Despite all the rhetoric about the improved treatment of women in our society, and there no doubt is an improvement, it is still common place to see women treated badly.  It is clear by the domestic violence figures, the murders of women, and so forth that fill the media on a regular basis, that many men to not respect women.  I wonder how we can change it?  

We will wait to see how this footballer who disgraced himself will be treated.  So many men are concerned that this "star" will be removed from a team - he is a great player, but he needs to get his act together!!!  I'd ban him for life.  He is not a first time offender.  He doesn't deserve to be treated like a star.  Ever.

No comments: