If you need help understanding the term ‘rape culture’, then you don’t need to look any further than Mamamia’s own facebook page, I’m sad to say.
Yesterday, Mamamia published a story about the incredibly awkward moment Channel 9 journalist Tony Jones went to give weather presenter Rebecca Judd a farewell kiss.
Judd didn’t see it coming, clearly didn’t want to be kissed and turned her head away. It was awkward at best. At worst it might be considered workplace harassment.
When our team posted the story on our Facebook page, it might be naive of me, but I was shocked at some of the comments.
“She comes off as being stuck up and rude.”
“She is so rude!! I couldn’t believe she did it! Get over yourself lady…”
“Was embarrassed for Tony. Just a best wishes peck on the cheek and she was horrified. Might need to come down a few levels and humanise yourself Bec.”
“He should of her (sic) a clip under the ear for good luck, rude bitch.”
These kinds of comments appeared on other social media pages last night and this morning.
These comments are the perfect example of a rape culture, a culture that normalises violence against women and the idea that a woman's body is not her own.
It's not rude or stuck up to pull away from a situation that is uncomfortable or even just awkward. It's not ungracious to maintain control over your physical body, what happens to it and who touches it, and that includes everything from a hand on the shoulder to sexual assault.
If a woman doesn't want a peck on the cheek, it's not on her to put up with it. It's not on her to maintain the politeness of whatever social situation she's in.
Despite that in a display of graciousness that some think she lacks, Rebecca Judd is doing her best to make light of the situation.
My son has just reached the point where he doesn't like me kissing him.
He's just turned five. He's my eldest so my heart breaks a little bit that the little dude won't let me cover his face in smooches like he loved me to do when he was two. He would squeal and squeak in delight when I would chase after him; "I'm going to get you!" catch him, launch him in the air, catch him in my arms and kiss his chubby dirty cheeks hundreds of times over and over again.
Those days are long gone. He'll barely let me give him a quick peck on the cheek goodbye now. Sometimes he will, but most of the time he turns his head away and says, "No, Mummy. No kisses."
That's the way it goes, I suppose.
I'm determined to teach him that he can't do whatever he wants to another person without their permission first. And I'm determined to teach him that his body is his own. No one has any right to do anything to him without him giving his permission.
Not even a giving him just quick peck on the cheek good bye.