it has been all over the social media (esp facebook) and the shit that passes for broadcast media in melbourne (there’s a media rant coming – you can feel it, can’t you). i probably shouldn’t post too much for legal reasons (although it’s unlikely i’ll be called for jury duty).
but it has been a case of news that spread really quickly. probably because she lived in an area that loads of my friends live in, everyone i knew posted her missing person’s FB post (i didn’t, because everyone i knew already had) and it was front page almost immediately. i must admit to being a teensy bit annoyed that every woman who goes missing doesn’t get this amount of attention, but nonetheless, i kept an eye on the case, even from berlin.
she is a 30-ish smart, confident woman who walked from her local bar towards her home at 2am. a distance of about 100 meters, if that. like she always probably does. in that time, a guy allegedly abducts her, rapes her, kills her and dumps her body 50kms out of town. he apparently lives in the next suburb over.
it could have been me a thousand times over.
i could still be me a thousand times more.
i am a 30-ish, smart, confident woman who walks home at night. i always have. i grew up believing in my right to my own safety and the smarts to carry that out. i have been accosted by dudes asking for handjobs, flashed at, sworn at, called slut/lesbian/whore/showusyourtits, been followed. its a fucking jungle out there.
but i will continue to walk home at night on my own, thanks very much. the only rights we have are the ones we use and if i don’t enact my right to walk in my cities, on my own, without the threat of violence based on my gender, i cease to have that right.
of course, the australian broadcast media, being the minefield of misogynist offal-bags passing for journalists and ‘media personalities’, have naturally used this case to highlight a woman’s choice to walk home after drinks at the local bar as proof that she is a drunk-whore-who-should-have-stayed-at-home-with-her-husband-and-that-she’s-asking-for-it-because-of-it and that’s-what-happens-when-you-don’t-live-in-the-suburbs-and-all-women-should-stay-at-home-from-now-on.
and of course you know what i say to them: get fucked.
you know, if i was in town, i would propose a big fuck-off reclaim the night street party as a memorial to jill (may she rest in peace) and as a middle finger salute to the men who decided that they still need to rape women, and equally to the chauvanist pundit motherfuckers who continue to blame the victim because they have yet to accept that men rape women.
guys, it’s quite simple: if you see a woman walking home on her own at night, don’t rape her.
if you have been raped, here are some peeps you can talk to about it:
rape crisis centre UK
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre
Rape Crisis Center (US)
Rape Crisis (ZA)
Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (CA)
Toronto Rape Crisis Centre (CA)
Rape Crisis Programs (NYC)
The Turning Point (LA)
NSW Rape Crisis Centre (AU)
Centre Against Sexual Assault VIC (AU)
And if you have any further information on the Jill Meagher case, call Crime Stoppers 1800 333 000
UPDATE: to the person coming here after searching for ‘jill meagher dress like a slut’, you might wanna check yourself. hard. maybe against a wall.