Friday, July 22, 2016

Community Safety Cyberbullying Misogyny "It's no coincidence a vile Instagram account was set up by boys from an elite Melbourne private school" Catharine Lumby The Age July 21 2016 #cyberbullying is a serious crime with a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment. How about stopping #cyberbullying? Dob in a #cyberbully Pete Dowe

#cyberbullying is a serious crime with a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment.

How about stopping #cyberbullying? Dob in a #cyberbully

Cyberbullying Law

"Under Commonwealth law it is an offence to “use a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, or for the purposes of a threat”. 13 It is also an offence to “knowingly or recklessly use a telecommunications service in such a way as would be regarded by reasonable persons being, in all the circumstances, offensive”

Penalty Max. 3 years Imprisonment

"A #victoriapolice spokesman said a person found guilty of revenge-porn type posts faced up to
10 years in jail." 

SMH 19/4/16

What does cyberbullying look like?
·         Being sent mean or hurtful text messages from someone you know or even someone you don’t know
·         Getting nasty, threatening or hurtful messages through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, or through sites where people can ask / answer questions like Formspring or Internet forums
·         People sending photos and videos of you to others to try and embarrass or hurt you
·         People spreading rumours about you via emails or social networking sites or text messages
·         People trying to stop you from communicating with others
·         People stealing your passwords or getting into your accounts and changing the information there
·         People setting up fake profiles pretending to be you, or posting messages or status updates from your accounts

"Victims of cyberbullying are treated worse than criminals 

but then cyberbully - vigilantes are the criminals."

It's no coincidence a vile Instagram account was set up by boys from an elite private school

It's becoming an all-too-familiar story. Young men set up social media accounts on which they rate young women's attractiveness. They come with a comment stream that alternates between celebrating their sex appeal and slagging them off as sluts.
It's desire and fear wrapped up in a familiar sexist bundle. These are young men who want women they can't have and so they turn their desire and fear into rage.

The same factors that drive a minority of elite footy players to treat women with contempt apply across all walks of life.
The same factors that drive a minority of elite footy players to treat women with contempt apply across all walks of life. Photo: Penny Stephens

The latest egregious example is an Instagram account apparently set up by minors at the elite all-boys private school Brighton Grammar School on which photos of girls as young as 12 were posted along with sexually explicit comments about their appearance and their alleged sexual activities.
There are two key words in the sentence I just wrote: "elite" and "all boys".
As someone who has worked with the National Rugby League as a gender adviser for over a decade, I'm all too familiar with this scenario. But what's fascinating is how many people seem to think it's just footballers from working-class backgrounds who sometimes treat women badly.
The reality is the same factors that drive a minority of elite footy players to treat women with contempt apply across all walks of life. Social media is not to blame – it's simply letting us in on conversations some young men were already having in schoolyards, bars and locker rooms for decades.
It's no coincidence that this kind of warped male bonding behaviour often happens in male-dominated environments where guys have a sense of privilege.
There are many well-documented cases of women being "slut shamed" on social media at elite university colleges in the US and Australia – as the recent film The Hunting Ground documents.
Clearly, there's a big difference between how we need to respond to schoolboys engaging in this demeaning behaviour towards girls and how we respond to men who have had a lot more opportunity to weigh the consequences of their actions.
That's not to say there should be no consequences. Or that using girls and women as sexual currency so guys can bond doesn't start young. But it's how we respond – how the parents, the school and the community respond – that is critical.
I recently led a three-year federal government-funded study into what young people have to say about how schools and parents can help them navigate social media, friendships and intimate relationships.
The overwhelming message from the 13- to 17-year-olds I interviewed was that sex education in school largely focuses on biology and diseases. Or as one girl put it: "How not to get pregnant and not catch AIDS."
When I asked them what they needed, most of them said they wanted to know more about how to talk with the opposite sex, how to form and break up relationships, and how you talked about what you needed from each other.
Sex education at Australian schools is patchy and often involves external providers who have moral and religious barrows about sexuality and gender to push. The message too often veers away from giving young men and women the permission to speak openly about their sexuality but instead focuses on traditional gender models which assumes it's up to women to police the guys and to "keep themselves nice".
Young people have strong opinions about the pervasive double standard that assumes teenage boys only want sex and girls who display their sexuality are "sluts". The same double standard is what puts huge pressure onto young girls to be attractive to their male peers.
It's two sides of the same coin. The same contradictory messages: "Be sexy. But not sexually active." "Be attractive. But don't show you know you're attractive."
The good news is that the young men I spoke with were largely aware of this double standard and the damage it does to both genders. Many boys were indignant that adults thought they only saw girls as sex objects and adamant that they knew the difference between porn sex and real life.
A number of young men said a version of this: "I might look at porn but I'm still scared to talk to girls at the bus stop."
We are not educating young men about how to communicate with young women. We are not starting young and bringing them together to talk about how to relate to each other and the vulnerabilities and emergent sexuality that young women have in common with young men.
We are still living in a bizarrely gendered world. Yet we educate young women and expect them to make it in the male-dominated world of work. We expect young men who spend years at a single-sex school and then university college to know what young women think and feel.
Sex education in schools needs to start young. It needs to talk explicitly about how gender structures life for boys and girls. It needs to talk openly about sexuality. And it needs to encourage them to think for themselves about how they can understand each other.
Catharine Lumby is a Professor of Media at Macquarie University.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Community Safety Gender Equality Rumour Spread Social Inclusion Social Exclusion Ever wanted to belong? Chances are you already belong to a dysfunctional group. Covert Bullying Cyberbullying Edith Cowan University ECU Social knowledge? Rumour as information? Assumption as knowledge? Emotion as fact? Pete Dowe Gender-Equal Personal, Social and Civic Responsibility Female Aggression

Ever wanted to belong?

Chances are you already belong to a dysfunctional group

Pete Dowe

“The question of why other members of the group participate (in rumour spread) appears to be related to their need to belong and their fear of being excluded [186; 187]. 
For example, while many students may not agree with bullying [188; 189], most students fail to support the person being bullied [190]. 

Studies of adolescent cliques suggest that while clique members may not believe the rumours they are told, their main reason for going along with it is for fear of exclusion [191]

As Garandeau and Cillessen [139] suggest, bullying in this way becomes like following a trend, a ‘fashionable’ thing to do, making them look good and reinforcing their sense of belonging.

Contrary to popular belief that the role of groups is to maintain cohesion among individual members, and hence bullying might be a way of excluding those who jeopardise the group’s homogeneity, a study of 15 year old girls in Australia [192] 

found that even when a person who was bullied left the school, and hence no longer posed a threat, malicious rumours were spread to the new school. It has been suggested, therefore, 

that dysfunctional groups, with a high level of imbalance of power among members, are far more likely to use covert, manipulative forms of bullying [192]

The major difference between genders is that for girls, holding social knowledge equates to holding social power as a means of manipulating their peers

while boys tend to use ‘rational-appearing aggression’ [109] to assist them to disguise their manipulation of the situation. Rational-appearing aggression can include interrupting, criticising, unfairly judging others and questioning others’ judgement, and is a form of aggression which can be presented as being ostensibly rational and concealed as not being aggressive at all [220]. 

Both mechanisms have the same ultimate outcome [111]. In other words, both girls and boys rate social aggression and covert bullying as worse than physical aggression and bullying [146; 205], and studies have shown it to be strongly linked to depression [122], anxiety [149] and low self-esteem [221] in both genders.

‘Cyber bullying’ has been described as a particularly damaging form of psychological covert aggression that involves “….

the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others…” [99], 

and frequently involves “[s]ending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social aggression using the Internet or other digital technologies” [261, p. 1].”

Edith Cowan University

Re “The major difference between genders is that for girls, holding social knowledge…”

Social knowledge?

Rumour as information? Assumption as knowledge? Emotion as fact?

Pete Dowe

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Community Safety Gender Equality "The mysterious case of the disappearing women ..." Julie-Anne Davies examines why so many feel themselves fading into the background. SMH January 19 2013 (and the Invisible Man "Hello Sir" or "Hey You" Comment by Pete Dowe) Gender Politics reverse #genderimbalance

Gender Equality Gender Politics

and the Invisible Man "Hello Sir" or "Hey You" 

Comment by Pete Dowe

Don't be an @rsehole! That's noticeable

"Some women say they like their invisibility; the gaze has gone, so they can get on with things under the radar. I wish I felt that – I am pleased for them but also mystified."

If middle-aged women are invisible,
you can still hear them!

I wouldn't mind being invisible from feminine commentary.

The old saying "Men lead public lives" you find out means any guy on the Bus
or at the Shops that the rumour-mill target.

Negative energy is a renewable

"Whether, as feminists, we like it or not, men find us more attractive when we are fertile and able to reproduce, and this is of course transitory."

Women are attractive if they're not an arsehole

"I'm invisible to everyone else except, of course, other women my age: they are definitely paying attention. There's a kind of verbal shorthand that occurs between my friends, where we know what we're thinking and feeling, but it's like we're speaking another language when we try to explain this deep sense of relevance deprivation to anyone else – husbands included."

relevance deprivation:
does this explain attention seeking behaviour such as rumour spread?
histrionic hyper-vigilant fear-mongering?

50 something + women are the safest females re violent crime
yet they have the highest fear of crime
bleat the loudest

Women are relevant

Don't make yourself irrelevant by being an arsehole

Be considerate of others

I think middle-aged women are invisible to themselves
un-self-aware of their own behaviour
and that they too have an impact on people
except where they are deliberately trying to have a negative impact

I make an effort to ignore and avoid middle-aged women
And am unfortunately unsuccessful


Alas Cold Cruel World


because they are a high-fear of crime group,
project fear
and are arrogant and obnoxious to me.

I wish I was invisible to them

Younger women are more socially skilled

But it is not about a firm pair of breasts

It is about connection
The same cultural references
Shared or similar experiences

But many middle-aged women are arseholes to me
And they seem to have toxic attitudes towards others

Negative-energy is extremely unattractive
But unfortunately renewable


It is the grim reaper or "death warmed up"

And histrionic hyper-vigilant fear-mongering makes a guy scared to be anywhere near you

Re losing my undoubted former good looks ha ha,
I first noticed that when young women called me SIR.

It sounded respectful. Nice.
And probably is.
It also means they see me as OLD.

Middle-Aged Women address me as "Hey You" "Over there"

The younger me was used to being thought to be a nice guy and even a bit handsome, really,
now I'm supposed to be a #potentialperpetrator

Re Shopping
I feel similar discomfort at reverse #genderimbalance
which for a male is pretty much the whole shopping centre

And the shops are also an awkward unpleasant hypervigilant environment for a male

Pete Dowe

The mysterious case of the disappearing women ...

Julie-Anne Davies examines why so many feel themselves fading into the background.

In a Dick Smith store early last year, a 58-year-old woman made a silent protest. "All the screens and sound systems were blaring. [The shop] was staffed by young men and I knew I was definitely never going to be served," posted "Airdre Grant" on the online news site The Hoopla.
"So I went around and turned off five TVs, six sound systems and four DVD players. I was quite blatant. I even turned off the flat-screen car-racing in the middle of the store . . . Can anyone beat this record[?] Don't worry about being 'caught'. No one will even know you are in the shop."

Not giving up ... Rachel Ward, left, and Kathy Lette.
Not giving up ... Rachel Ward, left, and Kathy Lette. 

Grant doesn't tell us whether she succeeded in attracting the attention of a sales assistant that day, but her post reveals her frustration at being consistently overlooked in shops as a mere result of her age.
Her experience is just one example of the social phenomenon known as "invisible women's syndrome": a condition generally understood to affect women aged from about 45 to 59 – or 2.2 million Australians.

<em>Illustration: Veda Sarangapany</em>
Illustration: Veda Sarangapany 

Reports from the gender wars suggest 50-plussers are the worst afflicted (post-retirement age is a whole other story) but that those as young as 40 suffer symptoms. And they hurt.
Yet for these "Generation Jonesers" – those born between 1954 and 1965, wedged snugly between the baby boomers and Gen Xers – there has, in so many respects, never been a better time to be 50. (Longer life expectancy and better access to both information and education are just a few benefits.)
We are all staying younger longer. Being 50 really does feel like 40. Very few of us look or act the way our parents did when they were 50.
Yet juggling work and family still takes its toll. And some women – once their fertile years are behind them, and despite the gains of 40 years of feminism – feel marginalised. Invisible.

Many women are struggling with their invisibility.
Many women are struggling with their invisibility. Photo: iStock

While marriages may be lasting longer, according to the Bureau of Statistics, most people are still divorcing between the ages of 40 and 50.
"Women who have been 'having it all' come to us around 45, 50 and they are clapped out," says Relationships Australia's director of operations, Lyn Fletcher.
"They've made themselves exhausted by being indispensable, rearing a family while forging a career, and they've lost something along the way. If they don't see themselves as important, it's easy to think of themselves as invisible."
Observes a friend, who recently divorced: "Everyone our age is working too hard. They're over-geared and they often have teenage children and ageing parents and a partner they're at least looking twice at out of narrowed eyes. No one has time to cook for 10 people any more, let alone set their friends up. We're opening a bottle of wine in front of the footy on Saturday night and saying, 'Cheers, I'm buggered.' "
Ageing, says feminist and ethicist Dr Leslie Cannold, "makes women invisible, on the street and in the boardroom, and being invisible sucks". A few years ago, Cannold outed herself as a Botox user in a newspaper column. She was arguing for an end to the hypocrisy and silence surrounding Botox compared to other age-defying treatments, such as dyeing hair and using make-up. She started having the anti-wrinkle injections to ease herself through the difficult, painful transition from the fertile, overtly sexual woman she had been to the still sexual but increasingly invisible woman she felt society, and men especially, viewed her as. "I wasn't ready for it," she admits now. "Whether, as feminists, we like it or not, men find us more attractive when we are fertile and able to reproduce, and this is of course transitory."
Botox is seen in some feminist quarters as a test of one's soundness. It's a cosmetic procedure that has kept female actors working in their 40s, but few own up. Cannold has stopped the injections for now.
"I was buying myself some time to get used to my new situation. Time has gone on, I feel a little more ready to manage this stuff, but that's today. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel different.
"Some women say they like their invisibility; the gaze has gone, so they can get on with things under the radar. I wish I felt that – I am pleased for them but also mystified."
There has been some high-profile discussion lately about the "mature" woman and the cultural isolation she experiences. The writer, director and actor Rachel Ward spoke publicly last year about her own struggle with invisible women's syndrome – and if Ward is noticing it, something must be going on.
"Try climbing through higher education, motherhood, self-employment, years of self-improvement, gyms, diets, abstinence of everything enjoyable – from ciggies to Magnums to suntans – to selflessness, to finally reach the summit of womanhood, fit, exultant and ready to fly – to find . . . a generational wipeout," she ruminated in a column in The Sun-Herald. "Visibility: zero. Scream 'Where the bloody hell are you?' all you like, but don't look to the movies, the media or airwaves because, aside from Gillard, Germaine on Adam Hills in Gordon St Tonight the other week, glimpses of Jenny Brockie and Jennifer Byrne, Kristin Scott Thomas and Juliette Binoche buried deep within the bowels of a French film festival, there's barely anyone out there who represents my age group." Ouch.
In 1979, Kathy Lette and her then-BFF Gabrielle Carey published their slyly subversive feminist novel, Puberty Blues, the book that spoke to a generation of women about being an invisible teenage girl in the 1970s. Last year's TV adaptation still made those women (now in their early 50s) cringe and laugh and get tight knots in their stomach as they recognised their younger selves.
Lette is a highly visible woman, a successful writer who has never stopped taking the piss and skewering societal hypocrisy, usually at the same time. But she doesn't buy the line that cosmetic surgery is simply another choice women are free to make.
Rather, she argues, it's being foisted on them because the alternative (women with faces and bodies to match their age) inevitably renders them invisible.
"Age to women is what Kryptonite is to Superman," she says. "Inside every older woman is a younger woman screaming, 'Get me the hell outta here.'
"If we weren't invisible, if we saw normal-looking women over 50 on television and in movies (not playing grandmas), then perhaps women would feel more confident about saying 'no' to cosmetic surgery.
"I may have lines on my face but, hey, read between them – there it all is, the babies, the books, the broken hearts, the hours of fun-loving foreplay." The minute a woman of a certain age sticks her head above the parapet, opprobrium rains down on her. Madonna, almost halfway through her sixth decade, has attracted particularly snarly flak for the crime of daring to think she is still hot – and worse, flaunting it.
I conducted my own small survey, sending an email to 25 women aged 40-plus, three-quarters of whom are in relationships and all of whom work. My questions ranged from "Do you lie about your age?" (most do, especially on their CVs), through to "Do you see any evidence in your personal or professional life that you are becoming less visible as you approach 50?"
The responses poured in and revealed a complex mix of contradictory feelings. Some said they'd never felt more confident sexually, but others felt a youth-obsessed society made them feel like a sexual and cultural desert. One single woman sent a one-line response to the questions: "Too painful to answer."
"I recently lost my job working in the aged-care sector at a relatively senior level," wrote Liz, 48. "It may be that turning 50 [soon] is coincidental, but when I applied for another job where I met all the criteria, I didn't even get an interview. I [just] dyed my hair back to blonde."
Rachael, 50, wrote: "Retail experiences are the times when I feel most invisible, particularly in fashion outlets and department stores where, often, the younger sales people completely ignore you."
Claudia, 52: "I'm invisible to everyone else except, of course, other women my age: they are definitely paying attention. There's a kind of verbal shorthand that occurs between my friends, where we know what we're thinking and feeling, but it's like we're speaking another language when we try to explain this deep sense of relevance deprivation to anyone else – husbands included."
"I'm not sure I'm less visible, but I am treated differently," says 46-year-old Kim, who, at 40, made the decision to stop dyeing her hair because she wanted to start feeling comfortable with the "real" her. For some of her friends, this was deemed tantamount to an act of lunacy.
"One screamed at me, 'Your husband will run off with a younger woman if you do that,' " Kim recalls. "I went on a rant about our relationship being more than that but, inside, I was shattered."
And this from Eliza, 51: "People don't see you as a sexual being any more.
I don't mind that, we need to get over it at some stage. That said, being an attractive woman in a business environment can be helpful if you want to get in the ear of a male who is influential. Otherwise as a woman you have to be three times better to attain the same position."
"When I'm out at the theatre or at book club," says Sarah, a woman with a great job and partner who adores her (but also tells her that the blokes who pick up her single female mates refer to this Friday-night sport as "granny-grabbing"), "I find myself comparing myself with the other women and wondering if I look as old/invisible as they do."
Women, it seems, are not beyond making their own judgments about what makes other women invisible. And it's usually around looks.
There is a highly successful ad on TV for car insurance that is predicated on the assumption that middle-aged women are susceptible to flattery that at best is kind. You know the one; Rhonda, the sweet but deluded woman living it up in Bali, who is so gormless that she is flattered by the attentions of the much younger, hunky Ketut. It's become a mini cultural phenomenon, with websites devoted to serious discourse on its possible colonial overtones, or barely disguised racism, or the urgent question as to whether Rhonda and Ketut are going to get it on.
A quick ring-around of my friends confirms my thoughts. Rhonda is dreaming; that's the joke. She has to take a cheap holiday to get noticed.
As another friend said, the ABC and SBS have a higher quota of women over 40 who are smart and come in all shapes and sizes, "but the commercial networks are appalling. I don't want to be represented by effing Melissa Doyle!"
The invisibility phenomenon couldn't come at a worse time. "The costs of compromises made to manage work and family . . . are coming home to roost," Cannold says. "That we aren't going to get as far, soar as high, achieve as much as we planned, is a bitter enough pill to swallow. Losing our youth at the same time, and the potential for the second chances and happier endings it conjures, only rubs salt in the wound."
In 1986, a now infamous Newsweek article declared that a single, college-educated, 40-year-old woman was more likely to die in a terrorist attack than walk down the aisle. The Sydney psychologist John Aiken says the man-drought myth continues to create a lot of panic among women over 40, and it keeps some in bad relationships and sends many others through his door.
According to (owned by Fairfax Media), Australia's busiest online dating site, the two fastest-growing age groups in the online dating market are the over-50s and the under-30s.
"Women who are 50-plus are quite clear that they're not looking to replicate what they had in a previous relationship," says Glenis Carroll, RSVP's general manager. "They're less worried about looks and jobs; they don't want to give up what they've got; and they select a much narrower age pool than 50-year-old men. In other words, they're realistic."
I sent a different set of questions on the theme of "invisible women" to 25 men aged 45-plus. Initially, the silence was deafening. An old boyfriend suggested I pull my head in. Apparently, expecting them to give honest answers to questions about whether age is a factor when it comes to female sex appeal or – just as controversially – whether, if they were to start a new relationship, they would prefer it to be with a woman younger than themselves, was a bit much.
"If any of them say they are equally attracted to a woman of 50 as a woman of 30, they're lying," another said. "Younger people have more life to them – we're all getting tired," wrote Richard, 49. "That's not to say that older women aren't sexually appealing.
"Some are, but take 20 random women in their 30s and 20 random women in their 50s and ask a man which group is more sexually attractive to him and he'll say, 'Why are you asking? Isn't it obvious?' "
Then more emails arrived.
The most common response was along the lines of, "Isn't this universal? Don't we all feel increasingly invisible as we age?"
Here's Paul, 49: "There is the potential for a much deeper and more satisfying appeal with a woman over 50. They are emotionally mature, more certain of what they want, and probably more experienced in the give and take of the broader [aspects] of a relationship, but any man who pretends that the idea of a physical relationship with a younger woman is not appealing is not being honest with you (or themselves).
"The mere idea that a younger woman might find you attractive is immensely flattering."
There's certainly nothing invisible about the thousands of middle-aged Lycra-wearing blokes who've abandoned golf and a beer back at the clubhouse on Saturday mornings for bike-riding and a latte. What makes them pedal so hard? "Pure fear," says a 51-year-old male colleague who looks about a decade younger.
But men at 50 are not invisible; they still hold the reins of power when it comes to deciding who we see projected back at us through media. The boardrooms of Australia are dominated by balding men in suits who are regarded as peaking professionally in their 50s.
As one female friend, an executive with an ASX 200 company, told me bluntly: "A man's midlife crisis too often amounts to their search for their soulmate, who usually happens to be 30, leaving behind their 50-year-old wife and kids.
"If I read one more story about some old coot extolling the virtues of being a father again at 60, I will puke."
One could never accuse Wendy Harmer, 56, of being invisible.
The successful author, comedian, broadcaster and mother is outspoken on the issue of middle-age invisibility. Last year, she and her business partner, Jane Waterhouse, launched The Hoopla, an online news site which caters unashamedly for 40-plus women. The site is full of stories and opinion pieces on current affairs written by the likes of Jean Kittson, Corinne Grant and Tracey Spicer.
"If you don't see your face in advertisements [and] on TV, or hear your voice on the radio, it's not that one is invisible, but one feels invisible," Harmer says.
In the past few years, she and former ABC radio broadcaster Angela Catterns filled in on Sydney ABC 702's early-morning slot during the summer holidays, calling themselves the "early girlies". They were upfront about their age, but their shtick was to come across as bemused and middle-aged, not grumpy old women. Despite the program's popularity, they didn't receive a single offer to replicate the success anywhere else on radio. "One senior radio executive told me men didn't want to hear one woman talking on the radio, let alone two," Harmer says.
Trying to convince media companies and, in particular, 20-something men in advertising agencies that it's worth spending their dollars on a website whose users are middle-aged women or older is tough.
"Eyes glaze over in meetings when I mention the F [for "fifty"] word, so I tend to say 39 now when I'm describing [the age of] our market," Waterhouse says. "They don't automatically get that there is this huge, highly educated, financially independent category of women who are buying houses, cars, insurance and who are travelling, and that they are missing out big-time by ignoring them." The pair say The Hoopla attracts 40,000 to 60,000 unique browsers monthly.
The University of NSW journalism professor Catharine Lumby definitely does not feel invisible, and she says women should stop being coy about their age. "I've been told on a number of occasions that I should stop being so honest about my age – 50," she says. "I even had a very smart and attractive colleague who refused to confirm when she was turning 40. The best way to refute the invisibility nonsense is to be upfront and out there as women, proudly and loudly proclaiming that we may be ageing, but we're not going anywhere soon.
"When I turn 60, I'm going to invite all my friends to a pool party. Bikinis will be optional – but I've got a brand new one in my top drawer just in case."