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Byron Shire
April 14, 2021

Waking up with a sick feeling in my gut

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Horst Tietze, Mullumbimby

Thank you to Mandy Nolan for publishing her courageous account of growing up as a young woman in Queensland (‘We are coming for you’, Echo 17/3/21). It deeply saddens me.

Waking up again today with a sick feeling in my gut – an all too familiar feeling since the recent impassioned speeches by Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins. We have a massive problem in our society.

There are too many women in Australia walking home at night looking across their shoulder in fear or deciding to catch the last bus home before it gets dark.

Scott Morrison did us a favour with his bullets-in-Myanmar-speech. In fact, Australia may still be a third world country with 50 women killed annually – and all without major policy change in sight. Really?

We have to ask ourselves if we as a society have come far since the book [ITAL]Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes described a misogynist and outright abusive male culture rife with daily assaults in the Parramatta Women’s Factory of the 1800s.

Back then women were treated as a sexual commodity to be used and thrown away. Reading Mandy Nolan’s account we have to ask ourselves ‘how far have we have really come as a society in the last 200 years?’.

This is not about men v. women. My heart is breaking. Not only for the women caught in destructive cycles of violence, but also for the young men caught, from an early age, in pervasive conditioning to objectify women’s bodies and adopting unconsciously the overpowering trap of testicular entitlement.

What gives men, in their mind, the right to sexually assault women?

Court cases against the convicted Weinsteins and Epsteins around the world may help us to better understand dysfunctional misogynist male cultures. Men born into privileged, elitist families, have grown up in private schooling. Why would anyone with that background want to hurt a woman?

Is there again this demonic element of destructive testicular entitlement; ‘I can do as I like because I’m feeling superior, physically stronger and the legal system isn’t protecting my fellow women’?. What is it that makes men engage in such heinous crimes?

They are dirt bags and need to be punished. Yet we learn, that only 1 per cent of perpetrators get convicted. That stinks. If 50 people were killed annually by fundamentalist islamists, we would by now have special courts, a specialist federal police task force and be experiencing widespread immediate law reform to tackle these problems.

Sadly those standards don’t apply when it comes to our fellow women’s wellbeing. Here is this sickfeeling in my belly again: Let the screams of these 50 women and in numerous victims of sexual violence turn into a roar of outrage.

All men have to listen – no matter if they are living in inner city Melbourne or in faraway Longreach. We owe it to all our girls and boys to prevent them falling victim to this violence resulting from men’s sickening male testicular entitlement.

Women have to be given safe opportunities to come out of shame and keep sharing stories of their daily suffering. With appropriate support this may help them, not only in coming to terms with these unspeakable acts of violence, but also to create for us men clearly visible landmarks to learn from and adjust our behaviour and move out of the dark ages of testicular entitlement.

Men’s violence against women and girls cannot be explained or excused. Men alone are 100 per cent responsible. It is utterly despicable and appalling. Women don’t need to adjust their dress code or be asked to stay home at night.

It’s on us, as men, to protect them and support their free movement. How do you spell gentleman?

Perpetrators’ behaviour should not be analysed in order to excuse their actions. I’m convinced that the majority of men in Australia are sensitive and finely attuned, appalled by these injustices and any other form of violence perpetrated by our gender against women.

It’s high time for us men to realise that we are in the minority with 52 per cent women in our society. Why would we want to perpetuate a culture that minimises their status and subjects them to unspeakable acts of violence? What’s in it for us?

Maybe there is a message here and we have to finally start listening? I’m asking for women to keep stepping into the light beyond widespread culturally enforced shame.

Keep on roaring until every single man in the country wakes up to the fact that we all have to pull together and move past our shared suffering; for women to feel safe and free to walk our streets at night and for young boys and men to grow up beyond the bondage of testicular entitlement, which is destroying the lives of millions of women and millions of families around the country.

My hope is that such dirty privileges enjoyed by established male structures of power, the so-called old boys club, based on tradition, physical strength, testicular entitlement and impunity may soon be over. May the Weinsteins, Epsteins, and Strauss-Kahns rot in hell.


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1 COMMENT

  1. Horst, you are one in a million. Thank you. However I do believe there’s more than 50
    deaths per year since they are the ones we know of. Hell, who can keep track of the
    women being bashes time after time who end up [1] taking their own lives or [2]
    finally leaving the earth due to the ongoing damage being done ie head injury plus.

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