I had an interesting discussion with a workmate the other day. He'd just been to a gig where Slash was being supported by a band called Steel Panther.He was telling me about the band, how they're a parody band of eighties rockers and how they go on about "tits and sex and pussy" and they're really, really funny.
The grumblings of my feminist self started to wake.
We talked a bit more. This group is one of his favourite bands. I asked why. He said they were funny - and he got that they were sending up the world of glam rock. He then went and relayed how women were singled out of the audience and a few other things that happened at the concert.
I turned white. He noticed this and asked why.
"You know, I get parody, I laugh at parody - but in this case, just at this time, I can't support your choices." I told him. "I know I laugh at Ali G and Borat - and I know I shouldn't. I get it. Just not this week. Just not today."
"How come?" he asked.
"Well, I've seen too many women get abused by men this week."
"How do you mean?"
I gave three examples.
The first being the bullying of Gillian Triggs in Federal Parliament. Deplorable behaviour by people who are supposed to be leading the country and really should know better. It appears that our current government cannot abide strong, intelligent women, not that they would appear to know any different - look at how they treated Julia Gillard during her time in office. This travesty is going down in the annals of history, possibly as the last straw that brings down Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.
These men are perpetuating the misguided belief that women, especially intelligent, strong women are somehow inferior to them.
Of course, not all men, hopefully most men have no bar of this notion, but when it's seen in full view of the press what sort of example are these people setting (Senator Ian McDonald saying "I thought you'd like to hear a man's voice... in a senate enquiry - like what the hell!)
The second incident involved an acquaintance. She's an intelligent, lively, woman who also works part time as a glamour model. She let it be known that some freak, (the tamest language I can find for this moron) messaged her videos of himself masturbating to her. Unsolicited, into her facebook messenger.
Seriously. What gives this lunatic the right to send videos of him spanking the monkey to somebody 1) he doesn't know 2) has never met or 3) just anybody, ever, without their full consent? Why would you do something like this?
This woman, who only deserves the best in life, is abused for her looks. She has a job using her blessed beauty. What gives some arsehole the right to do this to her? What possesses him to even think that this is okay? Why can't women of whatever shape or size just do what they want, when they want, however they may be dressed at the time, whatever they may do for a living?
Since what this creep did was illegal (stalking for one, lewd behaviour, obscenity for a start) and he's easily traced as it came from his facebook page...I'm hoping she took this to the police and teaches the cretin a lesson he won't forget in a hurry.
Why do women have to put up with this shit? I've been attending "Reclaim the Night" marches for 20 years now? Why, in this day and age does this garbage still happen?
The last event happened to me last Saturday night while going into White Night. Standing around just waiting for the tram. Why to passing men have to point at me, stare and call me names? Okay, I'm not the world's most attractive woman, never have been, never will be, but seriously - to call me a fat, ugly cow and a freak while standing at the tram stop on the way to a festival. Like why? I'm 46 years old (these guys looked to be in their 30s) Aren't I too old to have abuse hurled at me in the street?
And no, there is no such thing as the "I was drunk" defence. Personally, I thought this shit had stopped long, long ago.
It appears not.
Karma will get them. I let it wash over me and had forgot about it by time the tram came. But still. Why don't I have the right to walk the streets without having abuse hurled at me by dickhead men?
Part of me wanted to hurl at them,"I bet you have small penises and I make double what you earn." or "How would you like it if somebody said that to your daughter or sister?"
I didn't. I have more class than that.
So this is why I'm a bit sensitive about men's treatment of women at the moment.
I asked my colleague what he would think if it was his daughter on stage flashing her boobs, or having lewd videos sent to her, or being verbally abused in the street. He said he would hate that.
When this all men, not just most men, start treating women with the respect they deserve all times, then I'll think about laughing at sexist parody once again.
I might be in for a long wait.