I have a theory that the rise of domestic violence is directly influenced by the rise of women’s rights and our push for equality.
Many women in the public eye and are afraid to say they’re feminists, yet they benefit from those who marched and starved for their right to vote.
They say they believe in equal rights, which is fine in theory but until women are paid the same as men, then I’m a feminist working towards equality. I just don’t see them walking the talk but they reap the benefits.
There is a type of woman who side with sexist men because they are afraid of being bullied for demanding equality. They say, ‘Don’t demonise men, not all men hurt women.’
No, not all men do, but the statistics of women dying in domestic violence in Australia is at an all-time high right now.
Australia is a parochial country that seems to struggle with women at the top of anything, except a dance podium.
The Crime Statistics Agency (CSA) has released state data for the past year, which showed an 8 per cent increase in the number of family incidents, with 69,442 cases.
There has been an upward trend in the number of family incidents over the past five years, with a 65 per cent increase since 2011.
But in the past five years, more and more women are stepping out from behind men in their careers, and in public life, and asking to be respected on their merit.
More women are stating they won’t be silenced with a punch to the face, threats of rape or objectification. More women are saying no to being held as a prisoner in their own home. More women and asking to be represented in government, and to be paid the same wage as a man who does the same job. More women are asking for men to be included in their children’s lives and to be present in their celebrations and sick days.
And more women are dying, by the men they have held accountable.
In five years, more women have asked for equal rights, control over our bodies, to be considered for jobs that historically would go to men, and to be represented in government. And in five years domestic violence has gone up 65%.
Think about it for a moment.
The epidemic of violence needs to start with an education campaign that women are a man’s equal. That men and woman should respect each other. That neither is better than the other. That both matter. Start this now with children in schools and in the home. Start it now and in a generation, we may manage to conquer this disaster.
In some ways, I think every one of the 66 women who have died this year at the hands of a man they knew, are suffragettes. Their deaths have highlighted the incredible epidemic of anger and fear in many men, as we fight for our right to exist beyond being a vessel for children and a housemaid.
With every step forward a woman takes into a boardroom, an operating theatre, or into a courtroom, there is a man who is shaking his head in disbelief. There is a man who is spewing venom that a woman got ‘his’ promotion just because she has a vagina, or a man who is sending abusive texts to his ex-wife because she had the courage to say she will not be treated like a chattel. There is a man who refuses to obey a court order to stay away from his wife because she is his, and his alone. There is a man who asks his partner to explain every credit card charge, as it’s ‘his’ money. A man who berates her for not giving him enough sex in front of her family and friends. A man who burns her possessions when she leaves him. A man who kills her so no one else can have her.
I believe the answer to this godawful situation is refuse to be silenced and ask for more reinforces while we are at battle. To ask for more women to represent me in places of note. To ensure the Minister for Women is not a man! To allow women to make their own choices for their bodies and their careers. To make men accountable when they try and push us down. To make safe places for women and children to be until the partner is arrested. To make it harder for them to get to the woman. To act quickly on threats and to stand up for those who have been beaten down.
Right now, we are in a war of the sexes. Some men are fighting with us, many are not. I have been called cynical by men at work because I don’t agree with their opinion. I have been called bossy, because I get stuff done. I have been called ugly, fat, and stupid when they can’t think of another way to argue with my opinion. I have been told to shut up, been told ‘a wife isn’t worth listening to’ by a teenage orthodox Jewish kid, and I have been told I’m a bad mother for working and having a nanny.
Yesterday I was bullied by a tabloid columnist after asking her why she wrote that poor ‘unsuitable’ women are to blame for domestic violence and that they choose to be on welfare and breed with ‘feckless’ men.
(Is she Jane Austen? The use of the words unsuitable and feckless are hilariously out of touch.)
Her article turned into a shitstorm on the internet, and instead of arguing, she became defensive and combative. She is one the women who benefited from those who fought for her rights, yet she refuses to call herself a feminist. She blames women without money or opportunity for allowing themselves for being hit, and for choosing the wrong men. She chooses to deliberately ignores the many men from middle and upper classes, and probably her some of her peers, who hurt their families.
She insulted and bullied a domestic violence survivor and advocate, and retweeted every one of the few supportive comments, to attempt to shore up her ignorant argument.
She then blocked me and sent her right wing cronies out to lynch me online.
It didn’t work. I won’t be silenced. One of them tried to insult me by calling me a whinging feminist.
‘Too right I am. Thanks for noticing.’ I responded.
And I won’t be silenced.
My name is Kate. I am a feminist. I will stand up for you until you’re strong enough to stand up for yourself.