Flowers left next to a police roadblock where police are investigating the death of seven people in suspected murder-suicide in Osmington, east of Margaret River.
Flowers left next to a police roadblock where police are investigating the death of seven people in suspected murder-suicide in Osmington, east of Margaret River. RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

When good men do bad things and other crocks

THE more violent and devastating the behaviour, the more you have to wonder what exactly is going on in the minds of these so-called 'good blokes'.

Funnily enough the general population never really finds out so we can only assume the pretty pithy reasons we are constantly dished up with like 'he was under pressure', 'he struggled with mental health issues', 'he had autistic grandchildren', 'he had a wife in a wheelchair' are going to be as good as it gets.

But you know what, &%$* off with that sham.

This kind of protectionism for extremely dysfunctional symptoms of a patriarchal society is becoming so dystopian we are giving these murderous examples of entitlement some kind of quasi-hero status.

Whether you were convinced by last week's column topic about seemingly insignificant examples of patriarchal behaviour building up to really big issues, here it is in all its ugly glory less than a week later.

When women do something bad they are hung out to dry almost immediately so the court of public opinion can feast on her good-for-nothing carcass for weeks to come.

How could a mother do this, she must be evil, a witch, the cow nagged him, 10 women who murdered their partners, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, keep the bitches down.

Even when women are bludgeoned to death by their 'top bloke' they are defamed posthumously if they ever touched drugs or let their kids have a runny nose during their lifetime.

When the opportunity arises women are almost always portrayed in a much worse light than their criminal male counterparts.

Why? (asks no-one ever). Well here's a reason. It helps to tone down male violence in general, lessen its sheer scale and variety of abhorrence.

Amplifying rare cases of female violence is a dirty tactic to skew the gravity of male violence so it seems more mainstream rather than a chronic gender-based issue. More self-serving shams.

What really should be shouted from our rooftops and front pages is 'what's wrong with the men in this country?'.

What really needs to be investigated is how this 'you beaut' patriarchal system has created such a devastating strain of toxic masculinity within our communities that a man can function day-to-day while another man allegedly picks up a shotgun and shoots dead three generations of his family while they slept.

How another man can gun down his wheelchair-bound wife as she tried to flee and then his young children? How a man can belt his wife within an inch of her life, say sorry, and then do it all again the following week?

How another man can cherry-pick a woman off the street, punch her in the face, rape and murder her and try to cover it up?

How a pack of men can stalk a female stranger and perform horrendous acts on her that no other member of the animal kingdom would do?

So if our patriarchal society isn't willing to own this garbage behaviour, do it from a grass roots level.

Quit making excuses, quit using throwaway lines like 'boys will be boys'. Tell your sons it's okay to feel upset and cry.

Remind them that girls are not objects or there to be your playthings.

Don't silently expect to get ahead because you are male. And stop equating physical strength with power.

Do something for #$%&'s sake.

Women are sick of watching women being killed, having their children killed, being raped and belted by men and being polite about it.

Toxic masculinity is the evil spawn of a patriarchal society. It's an epidemic that has its roots in the home and playground and ends up with women on a slab in the morgue.

Shame on those who perpetuate a culture that glosses over that.