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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Since when do men enjoy freedom from violence?

In Melbourne recently, a 17 year old girl was murdered as she walked alone in a park around 7pm in the evening. Apparently it was some random attack by someone who was 'known to the police'. It makes me sad that violent or mentally ill people who are known to the police are allowed to wander the streets to potentially commit more violence against people.

But I also know there's very little the police can do to protect people from these random acts of violence. We have laws to punish people for crimes they commit, but how can you punish people for crimes they haven't committed? You can't. And you shouldn't.

It would be nice, however, if there were laws to allow more stringent monitoring of people who've committed crimes. Like GPS tagging and surveillance for the rest of your life. That would help cut crime, that's for sure. Most criminals commit crimes because they think they can get away with it. If we introduce measures that make it almost impossible for repeat offenders to continue offending without being caught, then they're going to be less likely to offend.

I'd pay more of my taxes to live in such a society.

But until that day comes, we need to be more diligent about our personal safety. We either need to learn how to defend ourselves from attackers, or we need to learn how to avoid being attacked. Ideally both at the same time.

Anyway, as a result of the murder, a policeman made a statement that women should be careful about walking in parks alone. And the feminist crowds rioted. Women shouldn't have to be careful, they cried. Instead, men should just learn to not attack women.

Sigh.

In this particular article, the author made this comment:
...[the policeman] should not be using language that makes women feel that violence against them is inevitable should they dare try to enjoy the same freedoms as men.
At this point I sort of facepalmed. What the author seems to be saying is that men enjoy the freedom to do things without having to experience violence, and women should be allowed to do the same without anyone telling them to be careful.

I don't know which reality the author exists in, but in my reality men don't enjoy freedom from violence. In fact, more men are subject to acts of violence from other men than women are. Many men do their best to try and avoid violence, and they try to be careful.

There are men who will attack other men. They're also going to attack women. Women can whinge about it and choose to be victims, or they can decide they're not going to be a victim and learn how to defend themselves.



Am I victim blaming? Yes, absolutely.

We live in a world where violence is a reality. We need to own our personal safety.

A long time ago I used to practice martial arts because I wanted to be able to defend myself if I needed to. It seemed practical and sensible to me. I also used to take careful note of how people behaved when they're about to engage in acts of violence on the street, so that I know what to look out for. (This was easy for me in the mid to late 90's, because I used to work on the streets at night selling pizza to drunk and violent people.)

While I don't expect every random stranger to potentially be a knife-wielding murderer about to attack me, I'm usually quite aware of my environment when out walking the streets, or in strange parts of town or even in other towns.

My safety is my responsibility, and I have great respect for those who believe the same, and who takes measures to help ensure their own safety. I have zero respect for those who don't, and who very loudly cry that they shouldn't have to. They're really just victims waiting for a crime to experience.

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