Nobody owes you a smile

Last week we were treated to some amazing footage of Grace Tame, the former Australian of the Year, dishing up what may well be the best and filthiest side eye we will see in our lifetimes. I’m talking a once-in-a-hundred-years display of sheer gofuckyaself:

Scott Morrison smiles vaguely into the middle distance while Grace Tame looks sidelong at him

Naturally a lot of crybaby men went on the attack about how she was “ungrateful”, “rude”, “disrespectful”, blah de wah blah. Not just in the comfort of their own Facebook posts, either, but prominent writers in the self-proclaimed national fucking paper of record.

Look, it was a week ago and I am sure every take that could be had has been had to death, but it has been shitting me all week. It’s exhausting. I’m not even a famous awardee and it’s fucking tiring.

The good news is you don’t actually need to be a famous awardee to decide that you don’t need to offer a smile or accommodation to every random fucker who tells you you’d be prettier if you’d just smile, or “it can’t be that bad darling”, or the fucker that likes to come and make small talk with you in the smokers area at your local pub.

This can cop you some grief sometimes. Sometimes it’s as small as seeing the look of discomfort on that fucker’s face as he figures out you’re much more interested in Candy Crush than you are in him. Maybe it’s getting yelled at for being a stuck up bitch. Maybe it’s getting feedback from your boss that you need to look more enthusiastic. Maybe it’s worse. But if you can push back, you should.

And Grace Tame? Grace Tame has been working her arse off all year to win justice for people who experience sexual abuse and assault. She’s watched as this government dropped the ball on Brittany Higgins’ revelations and dived in front of Christian Porter to protect him from rape accusations. She’s watched Morrison talk about how spawning a couple of female offspring makes it possible for him to understand that maybe sexual assault isn’t so nice.

Every time she pushes back on these men with large platforms and important titles she makes it a little easier for the rest of us.

Every time we push back on these little men, we make it easier for the rest of us, too.

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