Our say | Wake up you lot: men, time to start listening

“I’m a six-foot-one tattooed and well built MAN. Even I wouldn’t walk alone in some places at night. Wake up you lot.” 

Photo - Central Western Daily.

Photo - Central Western Daily.

“Wake up you lot.”

This quote can be attributed to a Mr John Cee and was mentioned in one of the national papers last week. 

He was referring to the rape and murder of Melbourne woman Eurydice Dixon, who was walking home alone at night after a comedy gig. 

Victorian police then suggested women show “situational awareness”. 

In what will not be news to any woman reading this, I have a newsflash for any man who suggests women show “situational awareness” – we already do. 

Triple J’s Gen Fricker made an excellent point after Ms Dixon’s death – she automatically uses “safety tactics” whenever she is in a “dangerous situation”. 

“I was trying to think, when did I start carrying my keys in my fist when I was walking home at night? Who taught me that? … it’s infuriating to be told, ‘Oh, you need to look out for yourself better and you need to be more aware of the dangers’, when I think that women are so, so aware of the dangers.”

It’s almost like a reflex – whether it’s carrying your keys in your hand or walking fast enough to get away from that man lurking behind you but not too fast as to arouse suspicion. 

And thankfully, women across Australia have shared their outrage after that police statement. 

Instead of telling women how to be safe, how about we tell men to not rape, to not assault and to not murder?

I know someone out there is thinking “it’s not all men” but that attitude is making the problem worse. 

Why? 

Because men believe that “only monsters” could ever harm a woman, but that’s not true – it’s normal, everyday fathers, brothers, friends, boyfriends, husbands. Any man is capable of this. 

What men need to do is call their mates out. If you see your mate harass a woman at the pub, tell him to stop. 

If your mate is making sexist comments or joking about rape and sexual assault, explain why that is simply not on. 

Men, speak up and support the women in your lives. 

Or, as Mr John Cee puts so eloquently, wake up you lot!

Kelsey Sutor