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Yeah NAH The Boys who perpetuate rape culture

This petition had 487 supporters

It’s not ‘down with the boys’ to disrespect women.

The ‘Yeah the Boys’ meet up event & page have been taken down, however rampant gender-based harassment still pervades social media. Those who threatened rape remain members of our virtual and physical communities. Their attitudes denigrating to women continue to perpetuate violence and inequality.

Dog THOSE boys and take a stand.

It's reported that 73% of all women and girls have experienced violence online.

Join in calling on YTB, Facebook and State & Federal governments to stamp out gender-based harassment on line.

The Facebook event page created for what would purportedly have been a humble piss-up for ‘Yeah The Boys’ (YTB) fans down at Coogee on Nov 26, overnight rapidly devolved into a barrage of misogynistic and queerphobic hate speech, harassment, and threats of rape and violence. Nearly 20k people clicked ‘attending’ or ‘interested’ before the event was removed around 4.30pm Tuesday Nov 8. 

Dozens of users posted, labelling women “two-holes”, "meat tents" and inciting abuse like “any woman that shows up is going to get a fucking left right goodnight from every one of the boys”. Many commented homophobic slurs. Other men who called-out the behaviour were shamed as “pussy whipped” and “sucking up Tumblr feminist SJW’s asses” whilst women who commented immediately became the targets of personal abuse, rape and death threats. Some of the other lewd zingers:

  • "if i see a fuckin two hole there im fuckin killing them."
  • “Bring your misses and she’s getting put on the spit"
  • “Get the fuck out you tranny slut”
  • “You need a left right goodnight for dogging the boys you gay cunt”
  • "Never trust anything that bleeds for 5 days and doesn't die"

‘Yeah The Boys’ Official have attempted to distance themselves from the trolls following public backlash, claiming "nothing to do with it" despite the creators being members of the YTB online community and appropriating YTB language and content. However the page is widely celebrated for it's own controversial posts openly promoting a hyper-masculine culture and often inciting violence or disrespect towards women:

  • "Boys politics is that every possible problem can solved with a punch to someone’s head NO EXCEPTIONS” - YTB, Nov 2016
  • "I learnt everything I need to know about women from Ivan Milat and the Austin Powers trilogy" - YTB, Oct 2016
  • "Yeah fine give women a vote but they didn't fuckin need one each" YTB, Oct 2016
  • "I'd break an AVO for that shitface" - YTB, Nov 2016
  • "Women are equal and deserve respect... just kidding they should suck my dick” - YTB page user

Despite making a statement that "for the record we absolutely do not condone violence against women or anyone in general, it's a terrible thing" (commendable, thank you), Yeah The Boys made no apology for their "controversial" statuses, nor did they take any responsibility for influencing their 470k+ following. "[The statuses are] crude and they're offensive, but they're to be taken 100% as fiction and as light heartedly as possible… it's up to the viewers interpretation of the content and unfortunately it has been interpreted the wrong way by some people".

Evidently their commiserations fall short. 

The page was temporarily deactivated by admins, but another "Yeah the Boys" cropped up several hours later whilst an existing "Yeah The Boys 2" has since received an influx of comments expressing anger at those wretched "2 holes" again, for the removal of "the greatest page of all time". Alright lads. Numerous smaller copy cat events were also created to fill the void left by the first. 

Whilst the ‘Yeah The Boys Meet Up’ event was taken down, the scope of the problem is far broader.

Rampant gender-based harassment pervades all corners of the internet daily. Similar online misogyny caught media attention earlier this year on the Hotties of Melbourne Fb Page and when Men’s Rights Activists affronted the Fb event for a Gender Pay Gap Bake Sale at the University of Queensland. Facebook is notorious for it's hypocritical Community Standards and failing to police the sending of unsolicited ‘dick pics’, yet has banned women who responded to their harassers with simply more of the same. Men using Fb group chats to take their derogatory “locker-room banter” online have regularly been caught out sharing photos of womens breasts taken without their consent and making suggestions of rape. Even schoolboys have used social media to slut-shame their peers. Countless women in the public eye have regularly spoken out about the torrents of cybersexism they endure, many forced to abandon social media for their safety.

This online misogyny does not exist in a vacuum, but is symptomatic of systemic underlying sexist attitudes and contributes to the normalisation of gender-based harassment and violence.

Yet numerous individuals have decried criticism of the YTB event page as an “overreaction” to what they describe as mere “banter” and a “harmless expression of lad culture”. To anyone with half a brain it’s plain that this is not the case. Absolutely keep your b-grade satire on getting pissed and doing burnouts with ya mates, go crazy on the KFC memes and yeah “dont ever dawg tha boiz [sic]”! But a joke about rape was never funny, and indeed the line must be drawn even sooner. 

In Australia, one in five women over the age of 15 have experienced sexual assault. One in three women have experienced violence or abuse by an intimate partner.

The denigrating attitudes towards women and normalisation of physical and sexual violence expressed in the YTB event page directly perpetuate a culture in which violence against women is accepted. The misogynists who threatened rape remain members of our virtual and physical communities, yet their toxic behaviour will likely go unpunished. This has very real, harmful and dangerous consequences for all women and sets a social standard we should not accept.

Numerous users made repeated reports of the event to Facebook who deemed the posts did not violate their Community Standards and took no action.

Whilst NSW Police are now investigating the incident, it remains to be seen whether the abuse on the page will be found to constitute a crime.

In July this year, Zane Alchin was charged in a landmark case under Section 474.14 of the federal Criminal Code for using a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence, having made over fifty abusive, sexually explicit comments on a Facebook post of a woman’s shared Tinder profile, including threatening rape. Yet the resulting penalty of a twelve month good-behaviour bond, victim blaming from the judge and impossible ordeal the women from advocacy group Sexual Violence Won’t Be Silenced had to navigate to push NSW Police to finally investigate and prosecute were less than satisfactory.

Australian law around cyber hate and online harassment remains a grey area, currently offering scarce protection for victims and little confidence that perpetrators will be held accountable.

We therefore:

  1. Call on the ‘Yeah The Boys’ Official Facebook Page (should they return) to take responsibility for the culture set in their online community.
    We commend 'Yeah The Boys' for openly condemning violence against all people. They should remove posts that are misogynistic or queerphobic in nature and police content posted by users on their page, removing comments that incite violence, denigrate or threaten based on gender or sexuality.
  2. Demand that Facebook implement a zero tolerance policy for gender-based and queerphobic harassment.
    Stricter community guidelines must be implemented and reports more effectively responded to.
  3. Call on state and federal governments to toughen up legislation against cyber hate and online harassment, improve Police training and resources, as well as tackle shifting community attitudes through awareness campaigns and school education programs. 

We must turn the tide on online gender-based harassment, queerphobia and violence against women in all it's forms.

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Yeah the boys who respect women!
Dog the boys who perpetuate rape culture.

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