Andrew Nolch is scared.
Scared of women, scared of feminism, scared of equality and what that might mean for the people who look and think like him.
We don’t know the exact age of the man who admits to vandalising the memorial site for rape and murder victim Eurydice Dixon – Nolch told The Age he’s 29, police say he’s 31 – but what we do know is unsettling.
Despite the ferocious public backlash after his name was published yesterday, he doesn’t regret painting lewd graffiti across the patch of grass where Eurydice was killed. He’s quite proud of it, actually.
Why? Because it supposedly helped Nolch communicate the scientifically debunked piece of fiction that there is a link between vaccinations and autism.
“This was purely an attack on feminism, on mainstream media for hijacking a vaccine-causing issue and turning it into a men are bad, women’s rights issue,” he told The Age‘s Tammy Mills and Erin Pearson on Wednesday night.
The 10,000 people who stormed Princes Park armed with candles and fury that a woman was taken so young were misguided, the scientologist believes. He says men’s violence against women is not the issue here, but that the accused murderer Jaymes Todd has autism; a suggestion that is not only deeply offensive to abuse survivors, but to the millions of non-violent men and women diagnosed with the developmental disorder.
Eurydice Dixon’s death did not make Andrew Nolch uncomfortable because an innocent woman was sexually assaulted, then murdered, on her walk home from work. Oh, no. It made the amateur comedian upset because of the impact such an event has on men.
He and his peers are the real victims here, Nolch says.
"[The media is using the story of Eurydice Dixon's murder] to bring down mens rights," Nolch wrote in a Facebook post after the June tragedy. "They are literally saying that its all mens fault just because it was done by a man. Next minute they will increase the brainwashing at schools and keep telling our young men 'you are bad!' when they havent done anything!"
You see, according to Nolch, a woman's gut-wrenching murder pales in significance to a handful of men's malaise.
That's often the line of argument men's rights activists take. No matter the injury to women, no matter the weight of our collective bloodshed, there is always a tiny sliver of male discomfort that feeds the minority's paranoia. When we discuss women's suffering, women's inequality, women's anger, women's pain, such conversations must always be prefaced with how men suffer too, you know. Women are sick of being murdered on their walks home? Yeah, well, first how about we talk about the men who die in one-punch attacks! Women are plagued by postnatal depression? Have you heard about the rates of male suicide! Women want to talk about female genital mutilation? Not unless we cover male circumcision first!
There is plenty of time to talk about men's struggles. This is not it.
We can rarely, if ever, have a conversation that is quarantined to women and their respective battles, because the chorus of "but men!" from those like Andrew Nolch is impossible to escape. Men who are so incensed and intimidated by the voices of millions of women, they will do anything they can to deflect and distract.
Eurydice Dixon's rape and murder is not an avenue for sympathetic conversations about men. To hijack such a depraved crime against a woman, and flip it into a fantasy where men are somehow the victims, is disgraceful.
Andrew Nolch is scared.
So scared, that when he saw the memorial site for a murdered women, he simply couldn't bear the thought of her story being told before his.