Well, it’s September 30th and I’m officially past the half-way point of my 6 month paid odyssey into the self-gratifying world of blog writing. It’s been a real slugfest to get to this point, so any notion of it being ‘easy money’ is well and truly out the window (and was out the window by about day 6). By the time I finish this exercise, I’ll have accumulated about 2 thesis’s worth of depressingly cynical social commentary. I actually thought that this process would be cathartic and would allow me to expel all of my vitriol in a constructive manner; however the opposite is actually true. The process is having a real negative impact on my state-of-mind. I’m going to be verging on suicidal by the time December rolls around.
Sydney Road in Brunswick was closed off to traffic today for more than an hour as approximately 20,000 people marched the streets in support of Jill Meagher, the 29 year-old Irish National who was abducted from the same road and killed last week on her way home from a regular night out with work colleagues.
It’s one of those awful things that could have happened to anyone, and potentially that’s why it has had such a huge impact on the local and also the wider community. The absolutely random nature of the attack is what makes it even scarier for people to try and digest; indeed, it would have been far more palatable for the general public if it were a crime of passion perpetrated by her clearly distraught husband (as was incorrectly alluded to by a number of people when the story initially broke). It’d allow us to rationalise it far more easily. That it was allegedly some 41 year-old random creep from a neighbouring suburb with no motive other than that of opportunism is far more difficult for the public to digest.
I was speaking to one of my ex-housemates (a chick) the other night about the incident and we both agreed that it was one of the more fucked things that has ever happened and a bit unsettling considering we both live a stone’s throw away from the scene of the abduction. It’s made me realise that I’m more than a little bit ignorant to the thought processes that women are faced with on a daily/nightly basis in regards to their own personal safety insomuch as I don’t think twice about walking down a dark alleyway in the middle of the night or early in the morning on my way home. Indeed, it’s generally other people that are crossing the road to get away from the large silhouette stumbling drunkenly down the laneway.
Women shouldn’t feel that they have to justify their right to walk home late at night without this sort of horror occurring. It shouldn’t even be a topic for discussion in the first place, it should just be accepted. That said, there are some truly fucked-up people in this world and it’s important to recognise this, regardless of how safe a situation may appear on the surface.
While I’m the last person you would’ve seen marching on Sydney Road this afternoon, I understand why others did.