I Am Sick Of Having To Be Fearful Of Men | The Death of Aiia Masarwe

My last post was on gender equality, taking mainly about the AFLW Legaue and how as women we are still regarded to be the lesser sex. Today I want to talk about a subject that I have talked about before. This one is important, as with most of the topics I talk about, but this one- it makes my heart hurt as much as it makes me so mad that this is still something I have to preach about.

Maybe instead of raging against Gillette and their advertisement- maybe you should be raging against the culture of violence against women. The culture that has seen yet another senseless, horrific death of a young women and has made all the women sink further into their fear of men.

Piles of flowers lay in tribute where the body of Aiia Maasarwe was found near the Polaris Shopping centre in Bundoora, Melbourne.
image from here
Aiia Masarwe was an Israeli student studying Chinese and English, she was on Australian soil at La Trobe University as a part of of a studying abroad program. She was 21, determined to experience life and make the most of all her moments in this country, this country that she assumed was safe. On Tuesday night Aiia was travelling home, chatting away to her younger sister on the phone, when a man decided that night would be the last of hers on Earth. A man cut short the precious life of a daughter, sister, friend, student.

Travelling to her home, an apartment close by the La Trober, from a night out at a comedy show in North Melbourne, Aiia felt safe, she felt secure. It was a 20 year old man who made the decision that he and his urges were far more important than that of this young women. That he was more important.

She was found around 7am on Wednesday morning after her sister made the call to the Australian police- her sister had been attacked and he had heard it via her phone. Barely dressed, in a patch of grass nearby the Polaris Shopping Centre, it was another women who found the motionless body of Aiia. By all accounts the end of her life was horrific, she was raped, she was murdered- by a man.

This murder has left the world another short, a life that was full of promise and hope- gone. A girl that could have been an important key figure in our world one day, or held the cure to a disease, she's gone. She's gone because of the actions of one man, the unnecessary actions of one man who considered himself more important than her. One mad who decided Aiia would pay the ultimate price for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. This attack was random, it could have been any women, unfortunately it was Aiia.

Does this remind you of another story? Does it sound like the death of Eurydice Dixon? Or the death of Jill Meagher? The death of Kym Taylor? Michelle Foster? How many women are going to have to die, to have to have the story repeated over and over before there is a change? Before we, as women can feel safe?

Aiia was under the assumption that Australia was a safe country- but are we, as women safe anywhere?

I am so fucking sick of being a women and having to be nervous about being out, alone at night. People say that it is only in the city that you worried, but I live two hours from the city and still won't go out alone at night. We shouldn't have to feel unsafe anywhere- this is Australia for goodness sake. Women shouldn't be made to feel like they have to walk with their keys in the hands and that they can't go for a run after sunset because a man might not be able to control his urges.

I am fucking sick of having to walk a block out of my way in order to walk around a group of men I don't know while walking home from work. I am sick of being nervous in Ubers with a male driver when travelling home from a night out by myself. I am sick of only walking in very well light streets because I know the dangers that could be luring in the dark. I am sick of being a women and having to worry about the danger that is man.

I acknowledge that not all men are of the predatory type, not all will go out of their way to stalk, rape and murder. But the stories we hear, the amount of news articles that come up on the news, they make us fearful for our lives. They make us second guess walking on the same side of the road as a male stranger. They make us stay out later than we want just so we will have someone to travel home with. They make us skip exercise because it got darker than we expected and after dark can be scary. They make us walk without music playing because we need to be on alert at all times.

They tell us to walk with our keys in our hands- what is that going to do if someone comes up behind you? They tell us to call someone if we feel unsafe- Aiia was on the phone and while that may have made her feel more safe- she wasn't. They tell us to walk in well lit areas- what if that isn't possible? They tell us not to travel alone- what if our attackers aren't travelling alone?

Action needs to be taken, Australia- doesn't it make you sick that women are still being murdered by men? Do you want your daughters to grow up fearful of walking home alone? Only traveling between sunset and sunrise? Male violence against women is reaching epidemic proportions and its time to make a stand against it. It's time to say no to violence against women. We want to be safe, we want all women to be safe.

Where does change start? With the Australian government. They need to be trendsetter,  they need to make the changes that is going to path the road to less violence against women figures. Collectively, as society we also need to be the game changers- we need to be the society that actively makes this world a safer place for women today and all the women that will come after us.

Everyone has the right to feel safe, everyone.

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