Sunday, 17 January 2016

Real Social Dynamics

I would like to think that Julien Blanc and Owen Cook, who calls himself Tyler Durdan after Brad Pitt's Fight Club character, are stupid.  It would make their behaviour and organisation more understandable.  For those who do not know they are involved with an organisation called Real Social Dynamics which purports to teach men how to pick up women.  In 2014 Julien Blanc's visa was revoked and he had to leave Australia following the nature of the workshops he was here to run becoming clear and that they were basically teaching men how to sexually and physically abuse women.  Nothing has changed Owen Cook has been given a visa to peddle the same misogynistic rubbish as his mate Julien Blanc in 2014.  These men call themselves 'pick up artists' but what they actually teach is how to abuse women sexually and physically and try and get away with it.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Kilic v The Queen

Whilst thinking that Jamie Briggs and Chris Gayle should learn to behave better and show some respect for women there is a matter with serious consequences for women who have suffered violence at the hands of their partner.

Yavaz Kilic set fire to his pregnant girlfriend when she tried to escape an abusive and controlling relationship. She suffered severe burns, was in an induced coma for five days and had to undergo skin grafts.  As a result of her injuries she decided to terminate her pregnancy.

Mr Kilic was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with a non-parole period of 11 years.  The Judge commented that he was imposing a sentence that sent a message to the community that this behaviour was unacceptable.  The Court of Appeal allowed Kilic's appeal and reduced the sentence to 10 years and 10 months with a non-parole period of 7 years and 6 months. Amongst the rationale for reducing his sentence were comments that the victim's injuries were not lifelong  major physical or mental injuries and the trial Judge may have been unduly influenced the viewing photos of the victim's

This seems plain ridiculous to a lay person.  Anyone with burns serious enough to require an induced coma for five days will have physical problems from scar tissue for the rest of their life.  Also I cannot imagine how having someone try to kill you does not leave you with psychological scars.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Victoria's Sentencing Advisory Council Report

The Victorian Sentencing Advisory Council is looking at what Judges take into account when judging sexual offences against children. The Council is to report in June to the Attorney-General Martin Pakula on the sentencing of sex offenders convicted of the sexual penetration of a child aged under 12.

What has become clear from the Council's own data is that the rape of adults has received a higher sentence that the rape of children over the past few years. Sexual penetration of a child under 12 is one of the seven serious offences targeted by the previous Government's baseline sentencing laws which were intended to increase jail terms for serious violence and sexual assault of children.  These laws have not worked as they were intended. The current median sentence for rape of an adult is 5 years and for rape of a child under 12 is 4 years.

There are no easy answers to this issue but it would seem that damaging a child's formative years and leaving them with a suspicion of males in authority,their own family members and blaming themselves for adult crimes should at least be seen as serious as raping an adult woman.  All of these are heinous crimes but it is interesting that children are still seen as less damaged than adults by sexual assault whereas those that work with these children understand the long term, insidious difficulties they can have.

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Mel Gibson

It is extraordinary that only four months ago the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Women Michaelia Cash were clear that it was not acceptable to issue a visa to American singer Chris Brown as he had a conviction for domestic violence.  Here we are in a new year when the rules have clearly changed and another American star, who does have permanent residency but a history of family violence, is given a grant by the New South Wales Government to start filming.  Mel Gibson has a history of domestic violence not to mention anti Semitism and racism.

Hollywood has a short memory about transgressions by film stars and directors.  Roman Polanski has had no difficult attracting money to make films even though he raped a 13 year old girl and has not been back to the United States since he escaped to Europe for fear of going to jail.  Hollywood clearly has its own standards but we can expect better from our politicians especially in a year when Rosie Batty was named Australian of the Year, Victoria has a Royal Commission into Family Violence and there is a nationwide debate about how to deal with this scourge.

Perhaps all we have left is to organise a boycott of the movie.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

A bad start to the New Year

It is as if someone has declared open season on women with all the nonsense that has been going on the past couple of weeks.  Not that women do not get assaulted, harassed and insulted regularly but Western men have usually learnt to be more subtle about their behaviour or at least it seemed as though they had.  Now we have Minister Peter Dutton's comments about journalist Samantha Maiden and Jamie Briggs resigning from cabinet after harassing a public servant in a Hong Kong bar.  So it is clear that many politicians are only paying lip service to gender equality issues.  Then there is the matter of the cricketer Chris Gale propositioning a woman on camera whilst being interviewed by her and later another woman revealing that he had exposed his genitals when she went into the changing rooms believing them to be empty. Sportsmen have been notorious for sexist behaviour for a long time but the various sports have been at pains to tell us that they are dealing with this issue.  Finally we have a gang of men in Cologne setting out to deliberately sexually assault women on New Year's Eve.