Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend

I don’t normally do this, but this is a trigger warning if you have had your own experience of abuse. I feel compelled to provide this response and reaction to the furor surrounding the acquittal of Gabel Tostee.

 

 

 

 

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman who remembers that when her family and their wider family were together, she was forced to kiss her male cousin when they parted at the end of the family event. She would cry that she didn’t want to and her mother and father would tell her not to be silly and push her towards him. When she was older and said she didn’t want to, her mother would whisper harsh, quick words in her ear to not embarrass the family. She kept giving her cousin a kiss.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman that was sent to her grandfather’s house every weekend because her parents worked and had responsibilities at church. Her grandfather always wanted to play tickle games with her. Eventually, as she aged, she became uncomfortable with the tickle games and asked him to stop, but he always said it was their thing. She said to her parents she didn’t want to keep going back there, and her parents reminded her how lonely he was and that he really looked forward to her visits. She kept going.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman who as a teenager was a friend with a bunch of her cousins, all boys. They would all go drinking together most weekends, and she would sit among them as they slurred their estimations of the physical characteristics of her female friends, and she would laugh with them. Not as long or as hard, but she would laugh. When one of her female friends confided that she had been raped by one of her cousins, this woman said it was terrible, but the two of them couldn’t figure out what to do. She went to drinks with her cousins again the next week.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman who went to her school ball a little bit drunk. Her friend went with a guy she quite liked, she went with a guy who quite liked her. Someone had sneaked in a hip flask. After the ball, they went to a farm of one of the students, where the parents were in the main house and the students had the run of the barn. Her friend got drunk really quickly, and threw up and coma’d on the ground. She played around with her friend’s partner who had a bottle of cheap whisky. She woke up on a bunch of pallets outside by herself.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman who at university got a bit of a reputation. Her father was pretty distant and she was glad to be away from him. She kept up with her Mum. She would tell the guys that she was up for anything, and she tried lots of things. Some of them were good, some of them hurt, most of them were suggested by other people. She cried quite a lot, but thankfully she met a nice guy and they were together for ages. She felt thankful that he forgave her for the things she had done.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman who had sons and daughters. As they grew up, she kept having flashbacks to all the near misses and the little abuses and the one significant incident in her own background, and if she was honest, she was a bit freaked out by what life would be like for her girls. She told them to dress properly, she encouraged them to not hang with bad boys, but mostly she looked disappointed. Her sons were amazing. They seemed really popular with everyone, and had a few girlfriends. She ended up worrying she’d done a bad job parenting and her girls didn’t talk to her a lot.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a woman who had her daughter in law arrive at her house because her son beat her. She listened, she fed her and the kids, she got them all cleaned up. When the kids were in bed, she listened some more and then she told her daughter in law she would need to go back and sort it out. Marriage was hard and everyone has disagreements. You can’t change him but you can change yourself. She was pretty happy when her daughter in law went back. Her son rung her and sheepishly apologised. She told him to think before he did things.

Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman this weekend.

I know a nation that is outraged that a narcissist in Australia brought a woman to his apartment, loaded her up with homemade alcohol and then had a fight that somehow led to her falling from his balcony. This nation is trawling through articles about his past history of offending and anti-social behaviour, and coming to the conclusion that justice has not been done. This nation is uncomfortable with Gabel Tostee, but is comfortable with allowing women to experience abuses like the ones I have described above every day. This nation is comfortable with allowing men free rein on social media to abuse Gabel’s victim and give virtual high fives to Tostee. This nation is raising more Gabel Tostees in the name of freedom and individual autonomy. This nation will turn away within a few days, focus on the All Blacks looking for a world record and Gabel Tostee will try and find another woman for the weekend.

 

[The header image is from the Tumblr page of Femifesto]

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