For empowered young women, rightly or wrongly, it seems a rite of passage to have an indignantly feminist phase. I’ll admit, in the past I too have written the long winded and somewhat regrettable ‘girl power’ post begrudging the ease of life for those of the opposite sex.
Feminism has been particularly topical recently, following the murder of Eurydice Dixon. Many feminists have been rather vocal and while there has been much merit in what has been said, an important element has been overlooked.
There are very few women I know who have not experienced some form of unwanted sexual attention with varying degrees of severity. I wish to take nothing away from how very, very, wrong this is.
However, a lot of media coverage has been painting men as a whole in a sinister light and this too is very, very wrong. I heard a comment on Eurydice’s death that resonated so strongly, “this crime was committed by a singular man, not all men”.
As a woman, feminism set to one side for a moment, I want to set the record a little straighter by offering a sincere thank you to the vast majority of men.
To the men who simply show respect to the women in their lives every day. To those who would never dream of raising a hand to a woman.
To the man who makes sure the drunk girl gets home safely with pure intentions. To the male friend who always offers to walk you to your car and asks you to text them when you get home safely.
To the partner who wakes us up in the middle of the night, holding us close and telling us we are safe during nightmares, reliving a touch that wasn’t so kind.
To the man who sits on the end of the phone so we have someone to talk to when we are uncomfortable walking alone. To the complete stranger who steps in and pretends to be a boyfriend when the word ‘no’ is ignored.
To the man who is so very patient and kind while we relearn to enjoy physical affection. To the men who place no blame on women who have been victims and do not see them as broken or damaged but admire their strength.
To the men who openly do not condone violence against women.
While we will always envy your less excruciating role in reproduction, please know that you are so very, very much appreciated.
Claire Jackson is the Queensland Country Life Miss Showgirl.