By ROSIE WATERLAND
The 28-year-old New Zealander was in Sydney for business, and met up with her Tinder date at a bar in King’s Cross. During the evening she began to feel dizzy and numb, and as the night wore on several of his friends arrived to join the group. She then woke up in a house she didn’t recognise. She had been gang-raped.
And what’s the lesson our community appears to have taken from this monstrous and horrific act of violence?
“WOMEN MUST EXERCISE CAUTION WHEN USING TINDER,” say the newspapers. “WOMEN MUST ALWAYS TAKE A FRIEND,” warn the police. “WOMEN SHOULD ALWAYS MEET IN A PUBLIC, WELL-LIT PLACE,” blasts the nightly TV news.
As usual, there has been no talk about men not raping women in the first place. That is apparently a lesson that doesn’t need to be taught (despite the fact 3 out 4 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes). Because if you meet a man for a date in the 21st century, you are really doing so at your own risk it would seem.
Since a monstrous and horrific act of violence was committed against this woman, a whole bunch of Tinder ‘Safety Tips’ and ‘Survival Guides’ have popped up; all to help women navigate the notoriously dangerous world of romantic socialising.
So, given there’s already a plethora of ‘Tinder Tips’ out there for women, we thought we’d put a little something together for the men. Just the ones who seem a bit confused about, oh you know, not savagely assaulting people.
It’s pretty simple really. There’s actually only one tip to remember:
Women wouldn’t have to remember 175 different complicated rules about how not to get raped by men, if men just remembered this one handy tip about NOT RAPING.
Maybe then, when a woman has a monstrous and horrific act of violence committed against her, like what happened to this poor New Zealand woman this week, we can have a different conversation – a conversation about preventing violence against women that focuses on changing the behaviour of the perpetrators.
Maybe then, when a woman has a monstrous and horrific act of violence committed against her, the police will talk to media about how men shouldn’t be raping women, and not about how women should be more careful on Tinder.
Maybe then, when a woman has a monstrous and horrific act of violence committed against her, we’ll stop implying that the victim could have prevented her assault if she hadn’t left the house.
Let’s stop teaching women that they live their lives ‘at their own risk’. Let’s teach men not to be a risk.