Tuesday, 26 June 2018

The Murder of Eurydice Dixon and Naming The Problem

I’m writing this for Eurydice Dixon, who was raped and murdered by a man as she walked home from a comedy gig, but I’m also writing this for all of us. 
Eurydice Dixon struck a chord with us, especially women I think, because she could have been any of us. We can all relate to her. Even though she is, devastatingly, the thirtieth Australian woman murdered this year according to Destroy the Joint, Eurydice’s story is absolutely universal. We’ve all had to get home alone, maybe not from a gig, but from a bar or friend’s house or even just from work, at some point. And if not all of us, then the vast majority, have felt the powerlessness of being harassed or intimidated by a man. Most of us can recall feeling scared the harassment we’ve endured might’ve escalated.
I have a six-minute walk from my closest train station to my door, and I have been harassed on the way home. In the space of six minutes. Multiple times. I think we relate to Eurydice so strongly, because most, if not all, of us have felt threatened by men on mundane trips home.
Take responsibility for your safety - keep your phone on you, we heard, in the following days. Eurydice did. She texted her friend that she was almost home. It didn’t matter. Because not having a phone isn’t the problem here.
Bianca Jagoe / @biancajagoe


Be aware of your surroundings, we heard as well from police, in the following days. But let’s be honest: that doesn’t make sense. Eurydice’s surroundings were a park. The park didn’t rape and murder Eurydice. It’s not walking through the park that killed her. The park in itself is not an unsafe place. It was the murderous man who killed her that was unsafe. It was the murderous man who was the danger. That is the root of the problem. To solve the problem we must identify and name the problem: male violence. If the murderous man didn’t kill Eurydice, then Eurydice would still be here. It’s simple.
Why should women be disadvantaged by male violence? Why should we be lectured to watch our surroundings - why aren’t men getting the lectures, getting the advice from police? If men are the danger, then it’s not women who need policing in this situation, it’s men.
And when did we all decide that violent men will always rot our society, and women must just put up with it? I never agreed on that idea. I don’t think that. Let’s challenge the idea that male violence is the status quo and that women must navigate our way around it. Enough is enough. This is not normal, it never was. Eurydice Dixon was just trying to get home after a night out. She did not deserve to be raped and murdered for doing the ‘wrong thing’, she was not ‘just in the wrong place at the wrong time’. She was just walking home. 

I was glad to see the comments–
keep your phone on yoube aware of your surroundings–challenged so quickly. We’re not buying it anymore. The vigils for Eurydice show how much we care about ripping the rot from our society, how much enough must be enough for all of us. Because we know that Eurydice’s murder was not an isolated incident, but instead was connected to every injustice in a sexist and structurally unequal society, connected to the twenty-nine other women murdered this year already, connected to all of us.

We should be angry and we will demand better, by naming the problem, standing together and demanding that the status quo just isn’t good enough anymore.

By: Tee Linden

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