As a child I witnessed domestic violence, and I can’t remember how many times we heard yelling, mum crying, my sisters, mum and I running to our neighbour’s house and banging on her door in the middle of the night. I can’t count how many times the police came to our house, got us to pack our small bags and put us in safe havens.
Our longest stint was three months, and I had to change schools, make new friends in a very white school (I was the only Vietnamese girl but that is a story for another time) and learn how to comfort my mother. In the end she kept coming home to him because it was the “best thing to do.” These memories are coming back to me as I write this. You don’t want to remember them but they are imprinted.
This morning I woke up to the wonderful world of social media, and saw #MyOvariesMadeMe and Steve Price’s critique of Van Badham’s discussion on #QandA as “hysterical.”
Why am I infuriated?
Because I have heard this term and similar terms used on women and myself. I’ve watched the video three times this morning, and I thought why would Steve Price say, “hysterical.”
Watch Steve Price’s controversial comments from last night’s show.Post continues after video…
Van Badham was only speaking openly in response to a man sharing his sister’s tragic story, the culture of domestic violence and the value that society places on women.
When will the majority of men, not all men, but most men, learn that comments of drowning a woman underwater is NOT okay? And then to laugh about it, as if it is a school yard joke. It is NOT OKAY.
I used to love watching The Footy Show, and having a woman, Rebecca Maddern on the panel is great, but seeing her sit next to a man, Sam Newman, who continues to spit out disgusting, narrow minded and misogynistic views on women appalls me. If I was on that panel I would’ve stood up and left. I switch the channels when he talks. Maybe I shouldn’t watch it at all.
I am proud to be a woman. We have ovaries. I wouldn’t change it. As a woman we have to fight our way through society, make our point and that is worth living for. We fight for change, for ourselves and in the children we raise. Well, I don’t have children yet, but I know when I raise them eventually, I will educate them that men and women are to be valued equally and not by their gender.
So when a woman is making a point, voicing her thoughts, do not put us down. When we ask for better pay, for equal representation on panel shows/conferences, when we have children and go to work again, when women walk home at night, and are told we should be careful because of the men around us, when women are raped and are blamed because we asked for it… NO WE DIDN'T.
When my mum and her three young daughters (all under the age of 10), decided to leave my dad, she did it for her own sanity and freedom, but more importantly for the future of her daughters. She left because the relationship was unhealthy and she did not want this behaviour to be acceptable for her children to witness. For the future of women and men, this behaviour is not acceptable. You and I need to change. We need to change together.
Thank you Van Badham for standing up and being heard. That stare down was epic. That power gives me hope. Thank you.
Diana Nguyen is a comedian and actor currently living in Melbourne.
This post originally appeared on Diana's blog and has been republished here with full permission.