This is in the context of a feminist uproar on social media when, after a particularly vile rape and murder case that emerged out of Melbourne last week, Victorian police issued in routine fashion a recommendation that women “make sure you have situational awareness” when travelling. This did not go down well with feminists, especially feminist journalists.
You get the picture. But just to quickly deal with the absurdity of these two arguments — because they are absurd — the police remind women to be careful and consider adjusting their behaviour (as in, which way they travel at what time and alone or in a group) because they have a responsibility for public safety. A reminder to examine the risks we take in our daily life and how we could mitigate them is not an accusation. This advice is practical and useful because normal law abiding citizens will take responsibility for their own safety by listening to police advice, while someone who is going to commit a rape and murder in a park is not going to change his behaviour based on equivalent advice.
Women shouldn’t feel afraid, in a perfect world. But men remain the primary victims of violence in our society, and I do not walk the streets alone at night, even in my relatively safe suburban area, specifically because of the increased risk. Also, women might feel less afraid if the left wing of politics was actually honest with them about how safe they are in Australia, with it being declared the safest country in the world for women in an analysis by New World Wealth.
There’s been an insane degree of badly informed virtue signalling over this over the past few days. If you’re a person who thinks school-based programs “teaching boys not to rape” and encouraging women to put themselves in risky situations because their safety is everyone else’s responsibility is going to be an effective answer to the rape and murder of women then you are so naive and dangerous you probably shouldn’t have the right to vote.
Funnily enough, we actually had a culture that placed the safety of women as a positive obligation on men not that long ago, that reinforced in boys and men the need to stand up for women but that was dismantled by feminism as it was deemed “patriarchal”.
I, like most people on the right wing of politics, want violent people and rapists castrated or hung. It is the other side, who claim to be standing up for abused women, who have eroded the criminal punishments of their abusers, fought for the acceptance of good behaviour bonds as punishments in violent offending and moved the focus from impact on victims and society to impact of punishment on the offender over the past couple of decades.
You’d be very hard pressed to find a current law professor who identifies conservative or even right-leaning, but you could pick one at random and almost be guaranteed they are left wing or left leaning. There was some right wing involvement in this movement from right-libertarians, many of which now seem to regret that support after seeing the cycle of dysfunction and perpetuation the slap on the wrist response to violent offending has enabled. Most right-libertarians only still support the softer rehabilitation-obsessed sentencing specifically relating to things they see as petty crimes like marijuana possession.
I even think we should question the principle of rehabilitating a physical or sexual abuser at all, depending on how bad their crime was. Thank to our Judeo-Christian heritage, our legal system recognises the potential for redemption of every individual and that’s one of the reasons we abolished the death penalty, but it seems to me that there are certain things you can do like rape or murder that abdicate the society at large’s responsibility to have to expend productive and responsible people’s resources and increase risks to them to help you. The other issue is I don’t at all see why I and other law abiding people should have to live, like I mean physically in proximity, among abusers and rapists. If my next door neighbour can be a rapist, even an adolescent one, undergoing rehabilitation, I don’t see how that’s not a massive infringement on my personal right to safety and that which I want for my family.
I too wish a woman didn’t have to walk to her car carrying her keys like a Wolverine Claw, because we on the right take an individual’s responsibility to secure their own safety seriously. I wish that woman could have had pepper spray or a pistol, not that her murderer had attended mandatory Dont Rape Class.