It seems that I have fallen asleep at the public discourse wheel. One moment the internet seemed to reflect our offline lives: some joy, some rudeness, light and dark, pictures of kittens in teacups. Then I had my micro-sleep and the world becomes rank with vitriolic misogynists who have no respect for women. Were they always around, or have some men decided to ditch the sensitive side crap and get in touch with their inner Bulldog player instead?
Did John Howard ever have some ask him about the colour of his pubes? Was Kevin Rudd ever told to get back in the kitchen? Julia Gillard was subjected to this and more on her recent Facebook chat on education. Since when was it ok to speak to the Prime Minister like that? Or any woman for that matter?
I have a confession to make. Although I got the odd pizza-face or surfboard remark at school, I was by in large dishing out more dirt than I got. I was a small-time bully. Nothing violent, just smart arse quips and made the odd substitute teacher cry and the odd note passed around that may have caused permanent mental health issues. But, like tie dyed petticoats, ripped tights and hideous beige oversized cardigans, I saw the error of my ways and grew out of it. I was 14.
Alan Jones is not 14. The people who have ‘trolled’ Julia are not 14. The Bulldogs team are not 14. Surely it takes a lot out of you being so negative and angry with the world. If you have your health, family and friends you are on a pretty good run and life can be shitty, why go out of your way to make someone else’s life more miserable – it doesn’t make sense. Physical threats of violence towards women or any person is not ok, and it’s certainly not ok if you are in the media or public spotlight.
To quote the Doug Anthony All Stars, ‘Can’t we all just love each other, even Oedipus had a mother.’