In a continuation of the rancid rape culture spewing from Australian university and high school campuses, a national grouping of young men identified with the Facebook page “Yeah the Boys”, which boasts half a million likes, is spitting chunks onto social media.
The page is receiving attention now because members of the group scheduled a “male-only” meet-up at Sydney's Coogee Beach. While the anonymous ‘Yeah the Boys’ page admins sought to distance themselves from the event, within hours thousands of the page’s followers had jumped behind it.
The event quickly became a misogynistic cesspool of sexist threats and derision, with hundreds of comments condoning sexual assault, rape and violence against women, or “meat tents” and "two-holes" as they were referred to.
Men who attempted to intervene on the page were told they were “dogging the boys” and had homophobic abuse hurled at them, such as: “You need a left right goodnight for dogging the boys you gay cunt”.
These comments reveal the deepening of a sexist macho culture on social media that transcends harmless online banter and effects real girls and women.
Green Left Weekly explored this in the wake of the recent Brighton Grammar school “young slut puspus” scandal in which school boys who sexually objectified underage girls as young as 11 were defended by their parents and again in the horrific development of a national ring involving boys from more than 70 Australian schools ordering and trading child pornography.
The United Nations says Australia has one of the highest rates of reported sexual assault in the world. The Centres against Sexual Assault found that the greatest proportion of survivors of sexual violence was girls between the ages of 10 and 14, followed by young women between 15 and 24 years.
Jokes about sexual violence are not just cheeky online banter. For women and girls, these “jokes” touch on very real, painful and familiar aspects of our day-to-day online and real life lives. These “jokes” remind us that we do not live in a post-sexist society. They tell us that the reason women travel at night with thumping chests and keys shoved between their knuckles is an urgent, 21st century crisis.
Excuses must stop being made for violent men and the women’s movement needs to break out of its niche to stop sexual violence in its tracks.
And that is worth dogging the boys for.