Paired with the Eurydice Dixon memorial being vandalised was the familiar good guy denial. Again we’ve missed the point. We need to educate our own.
This morning something telling has revealed itself. We’re not listening. Despite the horrors visited upon Eurydice Dixon, the collective outpouring of anger and the empathetic statements emanating from the faces of those we know best, in that it could have been me, we’ve again missed the point.
Heartless vandals have defaced a public memorial for comedian Eurydice Dixon, who was killed in Melbourne last week. The offensive marking has been covered with large sheets. More than 10,000 people have indicated they will attend a vigil planned at Princes Park tonight. #TenNews pic.twitter.com/wkSOOeiduZ
— Kristina Costalos (@kcostalos) June 17, 2018
The ignorance tattooed on the same grass which doubled for a memorial and later vigil for Eurydice is the evidence. As is the internet commentary, supplied from the more familiar radical elements, and the more surprising alike. We’re again entering a pattern. We’re again making an issue of the issue, but it’s the wrong one.
Mark Latham, reminding us once again how lucky we were that he didn’t win the Prime Ministership in 2004. pic.twitter.com/LF78EMGDGI
— Clementine Ford (@clementine_ford) June 17, 2018
While the language of the above tweet is strong, it doesn’t make it false. We are the issue. While we might bristle like Latham does at the fact that we’d never do such a thing, it pales in comparison to the acts that have actually been done. It’s a sidestep.
When this repeated horror returns, a series of denials become available. Such viciousness emboldens it. The coating of sugar is a frequent act, the truisms familiar. The Good Guy denial is A1 in this thinking. I’m not going to murder and rape someone, and I’m not one of those internet incels. It allows one to dust one’s hands, blithely strolling away from the issue, and it certainly excuses us from the learning the lessons.
While we might not have seen the final steps of such a process, we’ve all been familiar with the first steps toward it. We’ve all seen it. We all have that one friend we know who’s a good guy, but a bit dodgy. The one who brackets his sexual stories from the weekend of she said no, but sometimes you know how a no is a yes. The one who loves the chase. The one who sends you private images of his partner because she’s hot, right? The one who is perpetually single and disappointed, because he thought he deserved something more. The one you keep an eye on at parties, but only around your partner.
All of that is the problem.
We see, it but we don’t. It’s easier to not get involved. The personal societal cost seems too great. You’d much rather save the friendship of someone you know as opposed to helping out a theoretical someone you don’t. After all, what could happen, really? It’s a cruel statement, but being honest, we’ve all been guilty of it at some point in our lives. And while the people that we know might not have murdered someone, they’ve slowly built the bricks of the landscape, where every footstep behind you on a well-lit street is feared to be your last, one where the workplace or the home offers no sanctuary. It’s the moon for us, we good guys, but it’s a reality we need to demolish.
It’s not another country we know nothing about, it’s ours.
The difference in media reporting is what is disgusting!
A man gets attacked; described as disgusting, unprovoked and cowardly. #EurydiceDixon is raped and murdered; she “strayed” into her “killers orbit”.
WHY ARE WE STILL DOING THIS. pic.twitter.com/KsRTDGRQJv
— Jasmina Markulić (@jasminamarkulic) June 17, 2018
While we might not have the trolls to convince Latham or the pecs to topple Cottrell, the responsibility to do something remains. I’m not being pious, nor am I a martyr, and I am not without blame. Violence against women is so ingrained in who we are, and how we were raised. It comes in many forms. Forms so familiar, it’s become our normal. It’s the primary school pursuit of pushing of girls into the toilets to show them our willies to make them scream, it’s the spreading of rumours/or stories of sexual conquest with the new one at work you met for drinks. It’s the time we’ve change carriages when we’ve seen some dude lurking after a woman, it’s the time we’ve ghosted, submarined, and emerged from an evening’s stupor to see if they’re still up, it’s the circling around acquaintances you know to be recently single, it’s the protection you offer your friends when they’ve crossed the line after they’ve done something that the law forbids, but is ok through the prism of social ruling. She was asleep, but they were dating, sooo.
For those who have boys, have that talk. For those who are down with the boys, you too. Not in the public forum, not in front of women you know, not through grandstanding, but quietly. Seek those you know best, ask them, talk it out.
And yes, none of this is groundbreaking, nor is it new. It’s been said better elsewhere by better minds, but as long as these acts keep happening, it’s a point that needs to be repeated.
It is us.