WTF is wrong with some men? And why are we letting them get away with it?

I’ve reached a point where I hardly dare open the news apps on my phone each morning. Not because it is necessarily bad, but because of the increasing number of stories about men murdering, belittling and shaming women (or others that oppose their views).

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I dread to think how this news is impacting our kids. Cross that: I know exactly how it is affecting our kids.

I believe wholeheartedly in freedom of speech – obviously – but like so many of life’s more obscure areas, I also believe that its parameters can’t be set in stone – particularly when it comes to a democracy in which each of us (supposedly) has a voice.

For example, there is a level and a tone of speech that is acceptable to me when it comes to the personal opinions of others. Let’s call it a tolerance level – where Israel Folau and white supremacists don’t register, and Alan Jones is maybe a 1 – purely so we can analyse and ridicule his verbal twattery.

I write a lot of op-eds, so it would be wrong for me to judge people for having and voicing their opinions, but even I draw a line in the sand when it comes to my moral code when writing. I would like to believe that others will show a similar respect. I’ll give you an analogy: In the same way that no one is forcing devout Christians and Catholics to have abortions once the law in NSW is updated, I do not condemn them for their outdated opinions.

Sadly, that gene or part of the brain is missing in many men in the public eye, who like the sound of their own voices and appear to have forgotten the weight of responsibility they carry. Even worse is the number of media channels that condone their vile hate speech by using the freedom of speech argument – when we all know that what it is really about is clickbait and money.

Like children who misbehave for attention, the vitriolic words of these men who get off on bulling a sixteen-year-old for her views on climate change, who insinuate that a sex worker is somehow deserving of her murder, or who suggest putting a towel down the throat of a woman to shut her up – and a respected, female world leader at that – are not ones that we should be endorsing in these progressive times, in much the same way that we don’t sensationalise the murderers of women by disclosing their names.

I am watching the SBS series, “The Hunting” at the moment – a chilling awakening about the power of social media in the wrong hands, particularly in relation to the shaming of women. Frankly, the ramifications of such abuse are quite terrifying and this series highlights again the need for this growing sense of entitlement among SOME of our young men to be addressed, or the number of murders of women, such as Michaela Dunn’s, will continue to increase.

As the mother of young adults, I know a thing or two about the shaming and hounding of girls in school and afterwards, and at the root of the problem is often privilege – and primarily, the privilege of being a man, (and more often than not) being white and middle-class.

As this series points out, it is not the girls that we should be teaching how to behave, it is the boys and their mentors who need to be taught how to respect them. By endorsing men like Alan Jones, there is very little chance of that ever happening.

I Don’t Give A Fuck About Packer’s Street Brawl!

The misrepresentation of the news is seriously pissing me off at the moment.


Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat (Photo credit: Scott Beale)

You can call me Middle-Aged Grumpy Cat if you want, because if the shoe fits, that’s fine with me.


But does the news seem more depressing these days or is it just that with social media it’s in our face all the fucking time?


It’s probably just ANOTHER sign of age that I even care, but one of the few great bits about getting older is being allowed an intolerance to JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING. I also get to mount my soapbox now and again.


Well, all the time.


I’m sure there was a time when I used to get up in the morning and be excited about reading the newspaper. These days, my enjoyment of what was once a relaxing pastime is clouded by fear of what terrible atrocity I’m going to read about next.


I firmly believe that one of the reasons behind the increase in depression in young people these days is the link to them having too much awareness?


OF COURSE WE NEED TO BE INFORMED, but whenever I surf the net these days, the news is always so terrible. And Monday mornings are bad enough.


What’s worse is that I feel helpless to do anything about these awful things. So I did share a post about the plight of the Nigerian schoolgirls this morning, but what’s that really going to do to help them other than increase awareness or appease my social conscience?


In the last few months we’ve seen the loss of a plane, a ferry of children and two hundred school girls. We’ve experienced sink holes, flooding and mud slides and we now know for certain that kids all over the world have been sexually abused without anyone lifting a finger for decades.


Yet the media decide what they want us to know, even if it’s just about some wealthy tosser getting himself involved in a street scuffle. 


I am appalled at how much I found myself sucked into the death of Peaches Geldof recently, as well as other celebrities who have died from drug use. THIS, WHEN INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE THE INNOCENT VICTIMS OF WAR AND NATURAL DISASTER. But that’s what the media wants us to invest in – celebrities get views.


But morally-speaking, should a minor celebrity’s death really take precedence over the kidnap of two hundred innocent schoolchildren?


Don’t we run the risk of becoming blasé in our reaction and passive about action?


Remember in the good old days when the bad news was tempered by good news stories, occasionally? Remember the stories about talking dogs and women who played spoons to make music?


I want to read more about survivors and the positive effects of scientific research, or newly implemented laws that have come about because people got behind them.


A miracle or two wouldn’t go amiss, either.


I don’t want to stick my head in the sand but I want some balance to the news. I’ll say it again – I don’t give a fuck about Packer in a street brawl.

"This looks like some good sand in which ...
“This looks like some good sand in which to bury my head” (Photo credit: quinn.anya)


I was at a meeting about Kids on Speed, a series shown on the ABC about medicating kids with ADHD, recently. Several groups of parents and professionals were there to challenge the producer about his responsibility towards the choice of the sensationalist title for the series. He admitted that if the series had been called something more banal like “What IS ADHD”, for example, the network wouldn’t have drawn the necessary viewing figures.


To my mind, that is clear-cut misrepresentation? And worst of all, it’s misrepresentation that plays with people’s lives.


Why do the media get to play God? And does anyone give a fuck about Packer’s street brawl? 




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