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‘Oi luv, show us ya tits’: Are all men pigs?

May 20 2016 By Tarang Chawla, Our Watch Ambassador

I’m developing an unhealthy worldview of my own gender, where men are increasingly either quietly ashamed or simply being misogynist douches.

Photo of Tarang and Nikita Chawla. Image

The ratio is always changing, and I’m still figuring out how many men belong to each group, but there’s a third demographic that’s desperately in need of members: the morally conscious and forthright.

Spend any time on Tinder and you’ll inevitably hear from women about hordes of pathetic males insulting them.

Isn’t a dating platform precisely where one would want to be on their best behaviour? And yet, it’s seemingly one misogynist douche after the other declaring, “Only want a bitch with big tits”, “swipe right to get dick up in you”, “f**k the feminist bitches”, and whatever other genius proclamation their small minds can conjure up.

Are we men a lost cause? It’s not groundbreaking news, but briefly scan through the comments beneath any post on Facebook mentioning gender equality, or the prevention of violence against women, and you’ll be treated to a top shelf sewer of exploding, putrid man-bile about how it was the woman’s fault and she deserved what was coming to her.

For those who care, it’s become easy to get distracted psychoanalysing what rouses such visceral backlash from unremarkable people against inarguably meritorious causes — treating people equally and reducing violence — so I think it’s important to recruit the other guys, those who know it’s a problem and are quietly ashamed by this kind of behaviour.

Sadly, I have unfortunate reason to have experienced the devastating consequences of extreme forms of male violence. My sister, Nikita, was murdered with a meat cleaver last year, aged 23. And you know what? She’s far from alone. That’s what pains me most.

Violence against women and their children is one of our nation’s most shameful realities. It has been at crisis point for years. While we’ve made progress through greater media exposure, increased allocation of government funding and more awareness of risk factors and drivers, it’s vital we continue the conversation to support victims and survivors and eradicate violence entirely.

There are so many women speaking about these drivers and what needs to be done. Yet very few men are speaking up.

Guys, why are we silent? Is it the guilt? Do we not feel it’s our place? After all, we do know that this isn’t a “women’s issue”, this is a people’s issue.

As an Our Watch Ambassador, I share stories of victims of violence — people like Niki — to remember the human cost of violence against women and their children. Statistics often mask the stories behind them. Reading numbers such as the cost to the economy can be alarming and while this creates an incentive for action, it can be dehumanising. Victims and survivors aren’t just numbers on a screen.

Australia is at a point where we must all be part of a conversation on gender and violence. Less than half of us are having that discussion.

Guys, join me. Tell your mate he’s being a dickhead when he says that misogynistic thing he always says. Don’t stand quietly by when you hear that female manager being referred to as a “ball breaker”. Read that article about the media’s reporting of gender-based violence. Talk about it with your mates.

After all, this is not a “cause” men need to swoop in and rescue, as though we’ve finally arrived to do the heavy lifting. This is something we’ve been deafeningly quiet on for too long. This is something everybody will inevitably grasp and be on board with, hopefully even the douches — it’s just a question of what kind of man you want to be now: quietly ashamed or morally conscious and speaking out against something that you know is wrong.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit the 1800RESPECT website.

This article first appeared at www.news.com.au on 20 May 2016
 

Media contact

For enquiries or further information: Hannah Grant, Our Watch, mobile 0448 844 930, email Hannah.Grant@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000. For more information about a service in your state or local area download the DAISY App in the App Store or Google Play.”

About Our Watch 

Our Watch’s (previously the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and their Children) purpose is to raise awareness and engage the community in action to prevent violence against women and their children.
 
Our Watch was conceived of and brought into existence in 2013 by the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of Victoria. The Northern Territory, South Australian, Tasmanian and Queensland governments have also since become members of the organisation.
 
Our Watch’s work derives from the government’s commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022 and gives expression to many of the activities in the Second Action Plan 2013–2016 – Moving Ahead.