For those not living in Australia the #metoo ripple has finally hit our pond thanks to the spectacular journalism of Tracey Spicer, who has long fought the battle for equality. One of our “national treasures” (we also place meat pies in this category) a powerful media man who became a superstar TV gardener couldn’t even keep his own backyard respectable. As is only now coming to light.
We are talking decades of lewd sleazebag behaviour, a tale told by over 50 women so far (but wait for the dominoes to finish falling). A continuous pattern of targeted abusive behaviour, shrouded and condoned by those on high who sought to destroy the careers of any brave souls who protested early. Culpable much? Some initial responses – from the dinosaurs with dicks but also dishearteningly from female archeopteryx – has been framed in a kinda that’s how things were back then.
Or, you know, forever for women.
A horrifying part of the tale unfolding worldwide is how women since time immemorial have been schooled to acclimatise to this abhorrently shitty behaviour. To be tuned to the danger of men, drunk on alcohol or power. To have to always work out how to keep yourself safe. To have to wear the sexist jibes and menacing taunting as “just jokes” and be labelled a feminist or a witch or a wet blanket or a cold bitch if you didn’t find the denigration hilarious. Like calling me a witch or a feminist was going to dent the duco.
I have always stood up to it and called it precisely what it is, but not without risk or fear. I have escaped with my life, because that is part of what you lose when you cannot or do not. I have played their stupid game when I didn’t want to and raged inside when I had to let clear sexism or mysogyny go through to the keeper. Most of all, I have just been lucky.
Women have been holding space for a brave new world for our daughters and nieces and little girls everywhere since the beginning of time. Ask Lilith, archetype for feminine rage. It is going to get much darker before it dawns on more of us humans than not that equality has to ripple through this world to save it.
Prepare to disrupt regular programming. Yes, you too.
Image via The Daily Beast (and isn’t he, today’s newly minted predator)
Words © Kerrie Basha, 2017