The 10 comments that shocked me the most
RAGE, sorrow and a deep cultural divide: the alleged rape and murder of Eurydice Dixon has energised and inspired our audience like few other stories.
I wrote a column, published on Sunday, that called out the unfair backlash against police who, after Eurydice's murder, asked women to show "situational awareness" - that is, not to go walking through dark parks in the middle of the night.
At the time the police made that statement, remember, Eurydice's killer was still at large. But more importantly, they were making the entirely reasonable plea for women to be aware that Australian cities can be dangerous places at night. A tide of women accused the police of "victim-blaming". In fact, it was the opposite: they were trying to prevent more women becoming victims.
After the column was published, a huge number of readers - men, women, old, young, feminists, not - told us in online comments what they thought. An even bigger number shared the piece with their friends and family. Many commenters remarked I was an idiot (I'm used to that and have long since given up taking it personally), and many more said something thoughtful. Here are some of the standouts.
ELLA FACTOR: And yet when men were killed in Kings Cross they were not blamed for going to Kings Cross, instead the laws were changed which totally shut down the night-life for everyone. So why does this paper blame the woman for walking into the murderers area, in a public area? Women don't get a discount on tax due to having less right than men to be in public spaces, women don't get a discount on taxis due to having to catch them instead of walking home.
JOHN SEE: I'm a six foot one tattooed and well built MAN. Even I wouldn't walk alone in some places at night. Wake up you lot.
MEL VASSALLO: Truth be known … we all need to take precautions when it comes to our safety. There are mentally unstable people around. We know not who they are, what they're capable of or who their victim will be. Teach our children street smarts, remove the cotton wool, practice what we preach and be open with potential dangers in society! In other words … teach them the realities of life no matter how tragic!
TRACEY BAKER: My son is married and they have 2 girls and this is one of his worries, which is why the girls don't go out without an adult even if is just in the back yard and his wife is a 10 minute walk to her job and he will drop her off and pick her up no matter the time he will even put the girls in the car even if they are asleep and pick her up just to make sure they are all safe and I don't blame him at all because bad things happen and he loves his wife and daughters and wants to protect them for harm there are to many people who can't be trusted not to hurt other people our society is letting us down and will only get a lot worse yet
SUZANA KARANFILOVSKI: Who walks through a park at night?? It's not safe for anyone, male or female! If my son walked through a park at dark, I would be upset because he should know there are psychos out there. It's a scary world
STEVEN HUNT: If she was allowed to carry a small hand gun for protection there's a good chance she'd still be alive today.
MICHELLE PULLEINE: If she was allowed to carry a gun, he would be too - so what does that solve? Someone lying in wait for a potential victim to walk past and in an instant she has a gun to her head or worse. Arming people doesn't help when the criminals and psychopaths have the same right to be armed as their potential victims.
JOANNA LESLIE: People, especially women, shouldn't have to take steps to keep themselves safe. We all have the right to walk wherever we please and actually be safe, not just feel safe. Why is it always such a small minority of people who ruin it for others? Don't victim blame and shame, Eurydice did nothing wrong. She had every right to walk home and arrive home safely without incident. The monster who did this to her should be put behind bars for the rest of his natural life, or sentenced to death himself.
MARK LANG: All men know raping and murdering is wrong. But, there is a tiny minority who don't care and do it anyway. Blaming all men for the actions of a few is just silly. Taking precautions for your own safety isn't victim blaming, it's common sense. I'm a male, and there's plenty of parts of town I wouldn't walk through at night, because I'm pretty sure I'd be, at least, assaulted and robbed. It would be great if we didn't have these predators in our society, but unfortunately we do, and always will.
CATHERINE CLEMENTS: No, not every man. But every woman. Every woman has stories about violence, intimidation, harassment or threatening behaviour directed at her by men. It should not be up to women to not let men rape and kill them. We must not simply accept that some men are always going to behave like this. It is up to good men to do more to change our pervasive culture of misogyny.