Australian Misogyny Week

It’s very depressing to read/listen/watch Australian media this week.

I posted yesterday on the gang of youths that assaulted a developmentally delayed 17-year-old girl, forcing her to give them oral sex, urinating on her and setting her hair on fire. They sold homemade DVDs of the assault around Victorian high schools, which is the only reason that 4 months later the young men are finally now being questioned by police. [more] While most of the boys’ parents are horrified at the idea their sons could perpetrate such thuggery, there are unconfirmed reports (anyone got a link?) that some of the parents think the media are over-reacting.

A Muslim mufti is defending remarks made by him while preaching last month about women who dress immodestly being the cause of sexual violence from men.

“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it “¦ whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?” he said. “The uncovered meat is the problem “¦ if she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

The Islamic community is divided between those who are decrying his statements and those who think that he has been misinterpreted and that the media is overreacting.

And just to put the cherry on top of the week, a survey report has been released which shows that the anti-feminist rhetoric about women bashing men equally is now widely believed, despite the statistics about who ends up needing hospital treatment after domestic fracases and who does not. Lots of people still believe that women contribute to their own rapes by their behaviour despite grandmothers being raped and bashed in their own homes. But I imagine anyone attempting to counter that belief is going to be accused of overreacting.

Update: Kate has more at Moment to Moment, and Phil has generated a long comments thread at Larvatus Prodeo. Alecto has some thoughts about the effective marginalisation of Muslim women voices outraged by the sheikh.

And as the sheikh’s remarks have made the international media, there’s some reaction from foreign bloggers too: Echidne

Categories: gender & feminism

7 replies

  1. Apart from the morons who made this vileness, what does it say about the others who paid money to watch it.

  2. I’m still trying to convince myself that all the viewers of that DVD who didn’t report it to police (including the people who saw it on youtube) had convinced themselves that the victims were actors.
    The makers of the DVD weren’t ‘just’ misogynists either. They were well rounded bastards – they threw flares at a homeless man.

  3. As my namesake says, I desperately hope the people who saw the DVD and did nothing thought it was a fake.
    But as for the boys? I just don’t know. It’s sickening.

  4. The ‘uncovered meat’ flap made the BBC’s RSS feed this morning. Or maybe it was CNN. I dunno, it was early.

  5. It is a vivid metaphor, Andy. I can understand why the story spread.
    Interesting thread over at Larvatus Prodeo (up to nearly 100 comments in just a few hours).

  6. The other thing is the copy-cat factor being pushed by mass-media. world-wide communications. I don’t know for sure, but I bet most/all of the class members knew about the gang-rape in Australia, the two in the USA. And the idea gets put into play, but do it bigger and badder. It’s never copy-cat acts of random acts of kindness. It’s always the bad-ass sickness being copied.
    Humiliated Polish teenager kills herself
    GDANSK, Poland, Oct. 26 (UPI) — A special court in northern Poland is to rule on allegations five teenage boys terrorized a 14-year-old girl, who later committed suicide.
    In a school classroom in the city of Gdansk a week ago, during their teacher’s absence, the five boys took the girl, placed her on a bench, undressed her and simulated they were raping her, Radio Polonia said Thursday.
    One of the boys filmed the whole 20 minutes of mock rape with his cell phone.
    Her classmates, including girls, only half-heartedly tried to defend her, and nobody went to call a teacher. A majority of the classmates were laughing while watching the teen’s humiliation, Serbia’s Fonet news agency said.
    The girl did not come to school on Friday, and on Saturday her mother found her hanged in her room.
    Police detained the five boys, but being juveniles they will not face charges.
    Only a special “family court” can decide whether to place them in a correctional insitution, Fonet said.
    (Admin: edited your URL to point to your sites proper index page)

  7. That Mufti just keeps on saying the most outrageous things … his claims that he was ‘taken out of context’ – (yeah, right!) – have reportedly been accepted by one Muslim body. On the other hand, I was working on a press conference on the day of his first claims coming to air – bunch of moderate Muslims who made it fairly clear they wanted to distance themselves from his claims.
    Now he’s even got Bob Brown off side. Hey Mufti, how’s that retirement plan coming along?

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