Opinion: Men, we have a problem.
March 9 was the funeral of Hannah Clarke and her three young children.
If you’ve been living on Mars for the past few weeks, you may have missed the fact that Hannah’s estranged husband Rowan Baxter doused his family in petrol and set them alight.
last week a Melbourne Newspaper had to disable comments on their website and social media pages over their coverage of Women’s AFL due to “sexist and misogynistic comments from some of its readers.”
It was also the same week that a 14-year-old boy got off a bus in Sydney to stop a man beating his girlfriend in the street.
All of the above actions have one common denominator – Men.
We can have all of the community service notices, celebrity ambassadors and white ribbons in the world, but it seems like the message isn’t getting through. Men are violent towards women at an alarming rate.
Recently Actor Toby Francis posted about his own experience with domestic violence
He wrote “My mate and I were driving one day, and I told him about an argument my wife and I had that ended up with me smashing something. He told me, in no uncertain terms, that what I was doing was violence that would one day turn into me pushing Lauren, which would one day turn into me punching Lauren, which would one day turn into me hitting our kids, and it might stop there but maybe it wouldn’t.”
Toby’s mate called him out on his crap, and that’s what all good men need to start doing, or as the famous quote goes ”The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Toby has now sought help for his anger and has urged other men in similar situations to do the same.
Good men don’t protect their mates; good men protect people who can’t stand up for themselves.
If you know your mate is hitting his partner and you do nothing, if you laugh at the joke ‘what do you tell a woman with two black eyes’, if you think that a female athlete in full flight is there purely for your sexual gratification, then you’re as bad as Hannah Clarke’s husband.
Sure you didn’t light the match, but you make him and others like him believe that it’s the right thing to do.
Australian Police receive, on average, one call every two minutes regarding domestic violence. By the time you finish reading this piece; police will be on their way to another frightened female.
We don’t need white ribbons or community service announcements; we need men to stand up to other men and call them out because the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.