This is how we change a generation of men.

Content warning: This story includes mentions of violence against women.

At the end of every story about violence against women, or a toxic sexist culture or systemic inequality there's always a paragraph exploring 'so, how do we change it?'

There's always a big focus on things like funding, helplines, royal commissions and petitions to politicians with the acknowledgment that while helpful, 'unfortunately it's going to take a lot more than that'. 

When generations upon generations of men have been socialised in the same soup, the root problem is so much deeper. These are not just surface level problems we can fix overnight, they're systemic. They're woven into the very fabric of how we operate and to make them go away we have to dedicate literal decades to unravelling and rewriting the rules. 

So how do we do that? We shine light on the behaviours contributing to the problem, which is exactly what Four Corners' investigation into Sydney private school Cranbrook did last night. 

Watch a snippet below:

Video via ABC

They exposed a toxic culture and 'boy's club' within the Bellevue Hill school amongst both staff and students.


An environment where female staff were given fluffy handcuffs, wolf whistled in the playground and even blackmailed for nudes. 

As the prestigious school prepares to enrol girls from 2026, multiple female former staff warn Cranbrook has a women problem. 

But you see change won't just happen with this one exposé. If that was the case, toxic 'boy club' behaviour would have been stamped out when the same allegation was revealed to be true within the Morrison government in 2021. 

Or when Sydney's Shore School hit the headlines for their offensive and degrading muck-up day list in 2020 that encouraged boys to have 'sex with an 80kg+ woman', or 'spit on a homeless man'. 

Or when 50 Year 12 students at Melbourne Grammar featured in a degrading, self-produced video in which boys rated the attractiveness of their female formal dates. 

The 'boys will be boys' mentality is insidious, and it's going to take repeated and increased takedowns by the media, society, workplaces and schools to undo it. We're getting there, slowly. But annoyingly the road is long. 

Of course, the more serious end of this spectrum is the allegations of sexual assault. 

In 2021, former Sydney private school girl Chanel Contos asked her followers a question: "Have you or has anyone close to you ever experienced sexual assault from someone who went to an all-boys school?"


She was inundated by hundreds upon hundreds of 'yes's', and it's not just Sydney, this is happening Australia-wide. 

On an even more devastating scale, you just have to look at the number of women murdered by men in this country year on year to see how catastrophically this can end. 

Violence against women is an epidemic in this country; showing us the extreme end of a very worrying spectrum of men's behaviour toward women. 

But focusing on the start of this road is the answer. How we raise our boys to be men is how we make sure every new generation is better than the last. By fixing the 'boy's club', we help fix the bigger more terrifying problems at play. 

We need to keep telling these stories - calling out boys for saying and doing the wrong thing. 

Calling out teachers for covering it up. 

Calling out politicians for not listening. 

Exposé after exposé we are chipping away at the problem. We are writing new rules for how we want our society to function. 

For women this s*** is exhausting. We're all too often the victims in this story, and sometimes it feels like we're going backwards instead of forwards.

But this is how we force change. We refuse to stop shining a light on what we want stamped out. 

Feature image: Instagram @cranbrook_sydney.

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