Tom Meagher: The Danger Of The Monster Myth

Words by Isabelle Cameron

WHILE the vast majority of men abhor violence against women, those dissenting male voices are rarely heard in our public discourse, outside of the monster-rapist narrative.

Jill Meagher was raped and murdered in Melbourne in September 2012. Her attacker, Adrian Bayleyz, was sentenced to a life sentence with a minimum 35-year jail term without parole for his crime.

Tom Meagher, Jill’s husband, was inspired to speak out for the first time last week since his wife’s murder through a powerful essay published for the Irish blog ‘White Ribbon’ that calls out to ‘silent non-violent men’ in order to support abused women.

The article was triggered by what Meagher describes to be, a ‘disturbing moment’ when he first heard his wife’s murderer speak and form ‘coherent sentences’ in court.

“There was a clarity of communication, sentence structure, and proper articulation,” wrote Tom.

He continues his revelation, “it was chilling. I had formed an image that this man was not human, that he existed as a singular force of pure evil who somehow emerged form the ether.”

The article brings a relevant perspective on the awfulness that is male violence against women, and calls to arms his fellow men in recognising that abuse comes in many more forms than the extremity of rape.

It also aims to disengage ‘the monster-myth’ that misleadingly suggests that abuse is monopolised by an extreme few. In fact, cases of abuse can derive from any ‘normal guy’ and is not reduced to just a few ‘bad eggs.’

“We can only move past violence when we recognise how it is enabled, and by attributing it to the mental illness of a singular human being, we ignore its prevalence, its root causes, and the self-examination required to end the cycle.”

This eye-opening essay is definitely worth a read and a share!

For something more worthy of viraldom than a cat video click here.


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