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Australian High Schools Reinforcing Rape Culture


This past week two high schools dominated the news headlines for reinforcing sexism and victim-blaming.

Footage has gone viral of students from St Kevin's Boys College chanting, "I wish that all the ladies were holes in the road, and if I were a dump truck I’d fill them with my load."

And a female teacher from Swansea High School has been exposed of telling students female rape victims should be held accountable due to the way they dress.

These two incidents have sparked outrage across Australia.

But are they just one off events?

Well... according to recent reports they definitely aren't.

* * *

This morning more than 50 students protested in front of Swansea High School calling for an end to rape culture.

They also demanded a teacher be sacked for her controversial comments about victim blaming.

Students rally outside Swansea High School. Source: ABC News

Video footage has been released online of the teacher arguing with students about the relevance of the clothes worn by rape victims at the time of their assault.

The teacher can be heard in the viral video saying "it does matter what a woman wears and that's what your generation doesn't understand."

The video has been viewed more than 123,000 times in a week.

What many don't know is that according to several students from the Lake Macquarie high school the teacher continued her rant about rape culture the very next day.

It's believed the teacher also told a classroom of students "all men have to fight their urges every day not to sexually assault or abuse women."

The NSW Education Department is currently investigating the comments made by the controversial teacher - but will that be enough?

So far it's only been the students that have taken action by protesting for an end to victim blaming.

* * *

And somehow in the same week another Australian school found themselves in hot water.

Several Year 10 and Year 11 male students were suspended after a video went viral of them singing a sexist chant.

They were all in their school uniforms, screaming at the top of their lungs on a tram in Melbourne with many people there to witness.

Several days after the incident went viral St Kevin's College Headmaster Stephen Russell made a statement on the school website about the "offensive and misogynistic behaviour."

"To say I am upset, frustrated and angry would be fair," Headmaster Stephen Russell said, "as a husband, a father of daughters, a brother of four sisters, a son and, I hope, a good friend and decent colleague to many women, I know this behaviour cannot go unchallenged."

But not long after this statement was released more skeletons came out of the closet.

Videos emerged of St Kevin’s College students celebrating their year 12 graduation by singing THE SAME SEXIST CHANT at a pub crawl.

And it's been revealed last year numerous students posted an offensive rap on SoundCloud targeting female students from the all-girls college, Sacre Coeur.

The rap contains the following lyrics:

Single life is the only way F***ing b*tches like F*** Sacre Coeur Bunch of fake b*tches Can’t take 10 inches I got a new b*tch, heads up That’s me, only 17 Been f***ing your b*tch since 13.

Former student and current tutor at St Kevin’s College, Luke Kiernan, emailed the Headmaster about his concerns of the evident toxic masculinity in the school.

Since doing so he has been harassed by other students and been labelled as a "traitor."

“When somebody breaks from the ruling class discipline like I’ve done, when somebody cuts against the grain, they are absolutely victimised because you’re not allowed to leave the ‘boys’ club’ and you’re certainly not allowed to criticise it publicly, " Luke told news.com.au.

“[The new videos] prove it’s not a minority of extreme sexists, it’s an ingrained culture that is adhered to by the majority of the school population. It’s a dogmatic tribalism that’s pedalled by the school. It’s demanded that a key part of your identity is that you are part of the elite class. Anyone that goes against that culture is disowned and torched. The people that participate (in sexist chanting) are the most privileged and elite men in Melbourne. They know they can probably get away with it. The privilege gives them the confidence to do whatever they want to do.”

So what's next for St Kevin’s College?

How do we stop rape culture from being ingrained into our schools?

Or will this be a continuous cycle of sexism, toxic masculinity and rape culture?

Demi Lynch,

Announcer & Producer of 'The Nasty Woman Club Podcast'

Co-Producer & Co-Announcer of Radio 4EB program 'Fair Comment'

Former 102.1FM 4ZZZ Radio Announcer & Contributor

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