A hypothetical question asking women what they would do if men disappeared from Earth for 24 hours has elicited a devastating response from thousands of women.
The overwhelming majority of women said they would use the opportunity to go for a stroll, alone and after dark, without the fear of being followed by a man.
Others said they would stop carrying their car keys in between their fingers ‘like a weapon’ when walking at night and could use both earphones when listening to music in public.
While the responses have given rise to vicious trolling from men and women who take offence to the post, the statistics speak for themselves.
Aiia Maasarwe was on her way home in Melbourne in January 2019 when she was raped and murdered by Codey Herrmann after getting off a tram in Bundoora
Perhaps most notorious was the rape and torture of registered nurse and beauty queen Anita Cobby in 1986
So far in 2020, 44 women have been killed, along with 21 children and 112 men. Of those deaths, 199 suspects are male and just 26 are female.
The nation mourned the deaths of Aiia Maasarwe, Eurydice Dixon and Courtney Herron, who were all killed in Melbourne by men while walking alone at night, in 2018 and 2019.
After Ms Dixon’s death, Superintendent David Clayton was slammed for encouraging women to have ‘more situational awareness’ while walking in public.
‘So just make sure you have situational awareness, that you’re aware of your surroundings,’ Clayton said. ‘If you’ve got a mobile phone carry it and if you’ve got any concerns, call police.’
The message prompted a scathing response from Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who made it an election promise in 2014 to do more to keep women safe.
‘We’ll keep asking ”Why was she alone in the dark?” instead of asking ”Why was he?”. We’ll keep ignoring the real problem, instead of actually fixing it. So our message to Victorian women is this: Stay home. Or don’t.
‘Go out with friends at night. Or don’t. Go about your day exactly as you intend, on your terms. Because women don’t need to change their behaviour. Men do.’
After Ms Dixon’s death, Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) vowed to help keep women safe
In total, more than 30,000 people responded to the question across Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter.
The overwhelming majority were women who said they would feel safer performing everyday tasks without men for 24 hours.
From going for a walk alone at night, to stargazing and jogging with both earphones in, women revealed they fear for their safety if they are alone after dark.
But the post also sparked a debate in feminism and sexism, with thousands of men jumping to the defence of their gender as a whole to preach the message of ‘not all men’.
Dozens of comments condemned women for ‘playing the victim card’ while other men agreed that they’ve never held concerns for their safety when walking alone after dark.
Most of the men felt they were being unfairly targeted in a post that should have specifically called out ‘evil men’.
In total, more than 30,000 people responded to the question across Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter
‘We are fully aware that not every single man is threatening,’ one woman wrote. ‘We are just stating that most of the time we avoid doing certain things we would like to do out of fear of being kidnapped, raped or harassed.’
‘We have a true fear of being attacked because we’re women. There’s a history of it. This does not invalidate any man’s story of being attacked or abused. This is not saying that you’re all horrible people because you’re male,’ another added.
‘To say that we’re crying victim or over exaggerating is not true. These things happen every day and we’re taught to not walk alone at night, keep one earbud out, not to wear ponytails in public.’
It circles back to the argument that while not all men are violent or dangerous, most women have heard enough horror stories in their lives to feel concerned about their safety if they come across an unfamiliar stranger in a public place.
A 2018 study found 80 per cent of men said they had no concerns about walking alone after dark, but just 50 per cent of women agreed.
From going for a walk alone at night, to stargazing and jogging with both earphones in, women revealed they fear for their safety if they are alone after dark
22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was stalked for more than an hour and raped and murdered in Carlton North’s Princes Park by a stranger later identified as Jaymes Todd, 19
But history indicates there is good reason for women to fear being caught alone after dark.
Aiia Maasarwe was on her way home in Melbourne in January 2019 when she was raped and murdered by Codey Herrmann after getting off a tram in Bundoora.
Herrmann repeatedly beat Ms Maasarwe over the head with a metal pole and sexually assaulted her, before covering her body in flammable WD-40 spray and setting her alight.
The pair did not know one another.
A year earlier, 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was stalked for more than an hour and raped and murdered in Carlton North’s Princes Park by a stranger later identified as Jaymes Todd, 19.
She had spent the night in a comedy club and was walking home after her performance.
In May 2019, 25-year-old homeless woman Courtney Herron was murdered by another rough-sleeper, Henry Hammond, in a park
Todd was sentenced to life behind bars with a non parole period of 35 years – a sentence which he argued was manifestly excessive due to his youth and previously clean record.
In May 2019, 25-year-old homeless woman Courtney Herron was murdered by another rough-sleeper, Henry Hammond, in a park.
Ms Herron was beaten with a stick for up to 50 minutes before her legs were tied together and she was dragged into a clearing and covered with branches, giving her what he described to police as a ‘symbolic burial’.
Perhaps most notorious was the rape and torture of registered nurse and beauty queen Anita Cobby in 1986.
The 26-year-old was walking home from Blacktown station in Sydney’s west when she was kidnapped by five men who repeatedly raped her, beat her and eventually slit her throat.
Women reveal what they would do if ALL men disappeared for 24 hours
Taylor: ‘I would love to be able to get drunk without worrying that some guy is following me home’
Mel: ‘Probably sook for a bit coz I’d miss hubby but then go out with the girls and not have to babysit each other’s drinks – what a sad world we live in’
Chloe: ‘Go out with girls without having to worry one of us will get groped or drugged’
Nat: ‘I could go out on my own!! Feel comfortable at work, so many things’
Nicky: ‘Just go for a walk in the city at night’
Olivia: ‘Go to gym wearing whatever I wanted and also not have to look like I’m really mad there so they don’t look at me or talk to me’
Jordy: ‘Walk around at night, walk around alone in general, wear whatever I want to, not panic every time I turn a corner’
Courtney: ‘Listen to music as loud as I want through my earphones and walk the track near my house that goes between lots of trees without feeling trapped’
Mia: ‘Walk to my car without having to use my keys as a shank in my fingers’
Georgia: ‘Go out clubbing by myself without fear that a guy will drug me and take me home – I just want to dance’
Holly: ‘A night time walk through the city by myself. I’d layer up, bring earphones, go get some nice food and sit by the wharf ‘n’ just chill’
Savannah: ‘I’d do a night drive to the beach and wouldn’t have to lock my car doors and take a walk on the beach by myself and watch the stars without looking behind me worrying that someone’s going to jump out and attack me’
Mona: ‘No man on God’s earth is walking around living in fear that some woman is going to drag him behind a dumpster and rape him because his shorts were too short’
Source: Daily Mail AU