Fixed It: Where’s the alleged serial rapist in this headline?

The SMH published a confusing story about a new rape charge against a man who had already been charged with raping two women. 

After checking other reports, it appears that in August 2020 the man had been charged with raping two women he met in May and December 2019. He was released on bail. A third woman saw those reports and told police the same man had raped her in 2017. He was charged with a third court of rape last week and his bail was revoked because he had changed address and not informed police. 

Headlines in the Tele, Yahoo News, and the widely published AAP report called him a “Tinder rapist” (no mention of the women involved). News.com.au and TVNZ headlines said a man was charged with rape (no mention of the women). The Daily Mail and The World News headlines included him and the women he allegedly raped. 

Whatever else they missed, Every single headline used the word “Tinder” or “dating app”. In most cases it was given more focus than the man accused of rape or the women he allegedly raped. 

I wrote about this for Inkl last week. Tinder does not cause rape. Predatory men cause rape. 

Women who use Tinder should not be stuck between a NotAllMen rock and a what-did-you-expect hard place. 

There’s implicit victim blaming in the media’s salacious focus on Tinder while erasing the men who chose violence or the women those men have raped, assaulted, stalked or killed.

Tinder has a case to answer for facilitating men’s violence against women, but so do parliaments, courts and workplaces. 

Predatory men are the problem and they should be the focus of any reporting about their choices and actions. 

(If you’re reading this on social media, links are in the OP at www.patreon.com/JaneGilmore )

FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

If you would like to know more about how and why the media’s erasure of men’s violence against women occurs, the Fixed It book is out now!

Buy your copy here or at any good bookstore. Extracts available on why Fixed It started inThe Guardian, rape and other violence myths in The Age/Sydney Morning Herald and the Good Guy trope on my website.

1800 RESPECT
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Phone: 1300 78 99 78
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Men’s Referral Service
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Ph: 1300 766 491
www.ntv.org.au/get-help