It’s always a joy to read the wonderfully inclusive coverage in The Saturday Age — except when it isn’t.
This weekend, Age readers were met with a piece about the flower tram from Bourke Street to Bundoora in tribute to slain Israeli student, Aiia Maasarwe.
Except, at the centre of the “community coming together” coverage on the Age website main landing page on Saturday morning was an image which focussed on a woman standing behind a yellow shopping trolley with a sign stuck to the front, that read: “Man free tram zone”.
Is The Age blissfully ignorant to the contradiction?
Are men no longer considered to be part of the community?
Do males no longer have the right to grieve and pay their respects to a raped and murdered woman?
Should all Melbourne men pay the price for a crime that one man allegedly committed?
Should we ban men from catching trams and standing on tram stops?
Should tram drivers (who are largely male) be given the arse too – or be sacked to meet gender quotas?
One could argue that a tasteless poster on a shopping trolley doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. But the fact is – it matters a lot.
Casual racism and discrimination enter our societal consciousness superficially at first. And casual misandry enters the same way.
But before you know it, ‘little microaggressions’ become normalised and acceptable. A tasteless poster on a shopping trolley one minute. A billboard selling the hatred of men, the next.
Vanessa de Largie is a freelance journalist and sex columnist who divides her time between London and Melbourne.
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