Last night, on a back street in the Sydney suburb of Newtown, a group of women publicly shamed a man for cheating, or so this video seems to depict.
James Branson, editor of Sneaky, came across the scene, in which a man was standing against a wall with a milk crate on his head next to a sign which read:
I LIED TO MY PARTNER
I BROKE COMMITMENTS
I AM A HYPOCRITE!!
IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN HURT BY A MAN...PLEASE HUMILIATE & ABUSE ME
Women were hurling yoghurt at him.
The man in the video claims "it's not a statement, it's not art", and at the end of the video one of the women says, "you have to put up with shit, especially as a woman, by men, all the time...and mostly, there's absolutely not redress, ever, there's no accountability, there's no responsibility".
All of which we can assume means the women who participated in publicly humiliating this man believed they were committing some kind of righteous, feminist act by doing so. Which is so wrong!
Public shaming of this kind is abuse, plain and simple, regardless of gender, and if you need evidence as to why public shaming is abusive, Jon Ronson, acclaimed journalist and author of The Men Who Stare at Goats and The Psychopath Test has just written a book on the subject, So You've Been Publicly Shamed.
This shaming isn't just damaging to the man who was shamed though, it's damaging to the reputation of feminism, too. Feminism's popular image problem is that feminists are considered man-hating loons by some people, and participating in this kind of behaviour under the, albeit very vague, banner of feminism, just perpetuates this image, as these comments on Pedestrian.tv's Facebook post for the video confirm:
Worse still, implying that gender inequality can be addressed by women hurling yoghurt at men undermines the seriousness of the problem, too.
For the record, feminists, by which I mean myself but hopefully all feminists too, believe in ending inequality between men and women, do not believe publicly shaming men will help achieve this, and do not believe throwing yoghurt at anyone is ever OK.
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