23 Nov

Remember ‘Sadeness’ by Enigma? Probably the only song that charted that had Gregorian chants. It’s a strange, hypnotic, sensual song. I didn’t like it when I was young, it was a bit too weird. The interest in mysticism in the 90s probably stems from this song. Interesting song, religious and about the Marquis de Sade. Ah Sade, that crazy weirdo. The original practitioner of s&m, he believed that sex had to be painful to be pleasurable. It’s quite a topic for a popular song.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and not in Aus), you’ve heard about the Jill Meagher case. A pretty woman who worked at the ABC who went missing and was later found dead. In a senseless attack by a stranger.

As insensitive as it might be, I’m a bit over it. It was undoubtedly horrible and sad but the media really overplayed it. Every front page was dedicated to Jill and it seemed that every news program was too (from the two minutes of tv I saw in waiting rooms). I read that a couple of other women had gone missing as well but they were just mentioned in passing. Those women it turned out later had died of natural causes but they had been missing for about the same time as Jill and potentially could have been in danger.

So Jill had been out drinking with her work colleagues at night and then vanished. There was footage from a clothing shop and she and a man were outside and appeared to be arguing. The mystery heightened, did she know him, were they having an affair, was he a stranger. Her body turned up a few days later, she had been stabbed and the killer arrested. A seemingly ordinary guy and it was an opportunistic killing.

The media increased its frenzy. It became more obsessed about her, this pretty Irish expat with a bright future had been taken from us. She had worked at the ABC as a Radio Coordinator so it undoubtedly had something to do with the intense press coverage. It got to the point where Jill’s family actually asked the public not to say anything more that might bias the trial against the killer.

Then the marches started. March for Jill’s memory! Peace March! March for more public cameras! Say no to violence against women! It’s not as if women are being murdered on a regular basis and that this murder could have been completely avoided. There will always be sickos who will go out for a kill. We know about ‘stranger danger’, it’s been drilled into us. We’ve heard enough about women being murdered and avoid dark alleys.

A young girl, Sarah Cafferkey recently reported missing and later found to be murdered, again by older men. Unlike Jill, it is believed that Sarah knew these men. This incident happened a few weeks after Jill’s murder so it has heightened the public’s paranoia and sadness. It seems as though so many young women are being murdered and that Australia is no longer safe.

Both Jill and Sarah have become the poster girls for violence against women. Not just by strangers but by family members. There is to be a ‘White Ribbon’ march as somehow their murders have increased an awareness of domestic violence. Whilst it is always good for there to be stands on domestic violence, it seems like a bit of a farce. Jill and Sarah hadn’t been victims of abuse, they had just been targeted a couple of twisted men.

The public needs this. The picture of Jill next to a bookcase is haunting. She is looking upwards and smiling, innocent looking, pale faced and pretty. She is white, middle-class with a good job, things like this aren’t meant to happen. Sarah is smiling and looks your typical popular 22-yr old.

The public’s obsession with the women is exhausting. The more marches there are, the more hysteria. They need to preserve the memory of these two pretty white women. Let them, it’s upsetting yes but frankly, the marches are about rebelling against the patriachal society. Men killed the women. It’s a march about feminism, we have the right to wear short skirts, be alone at night and not be murdered.


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