‘Yeah The Boys’ Facebook Event Targets Women With Abuse, Rape Threats
"This will be Cronulla riots 2"
The ‘Yeah the Boys’ Facebook page has attracted nearly half a million likes through a combination of bad KFC memes, Year 5 level humour and regular, derogatory comments aimed at women. The page promotes a particular aspect of male culture, focused on binge drinking, drug consumption and a pretty toxic perspective on relationships.
It’s one of the most popular ‘joke’ pages in Australia, and now some members of the community have organised a face-to-face meetup in Sydney. Because apparently there’s nothing ‘the boys’ like better than getting together in giant, male-only gatherings.
But the event page organising the meetup has devolved into abuse, threats of violence against women and warnings of a “Cronulla riots 2”.
The event is being held at Sydney’s Coogee Beach in November. The number of attendees has exploded from a few hundred last night to nearly 10,000 this morning. According to posts on the page, the meetup is exclusive to men (known as ‘the boys’). Women, referred to as “two holes” by members of ‘Yeah the Boys’, have become the target of personal attacks for posting on the page.
Other posts have called the event a “Cronulla riots 2”, referencing Sydney’s infamous 2005 race riots.
Women have also received death threats after posting on the event page.
There are hundreds of posts and comments in the page threatening women with rape and violence.
The event has been slammed has offensive and “disgusting”.
The 'Yeah The Boys' meetup is disgusting ? if you're referring to women en masse as "two holes", it'll just be you and the boys forever m8
— Ashna Basu (@ashnabasu) November 7, 2016
Can the boys in the 'yeah the boys meet up' page stop excusing their disgusting comments as 'just joking'
— Gabrielle ✨ (@Gxbriellemxry) November 7, 2016
The overwhelming majority of comments were made from personal Facebook accounts that identified the user’s school or university.
This kind of behaviour has recently been taken to court. Earlier this year, a 25-year-old Sydney man was convicted of using “a carriage service to menace, harass or offend” after he posted misogynistic abuse from his personal Facebook account on a public discussion thread. The discussion resulted after the man, Zane Alchin, posting a screenshot of a a Tinder bio on his Facebook along with offensive comments.
The police were initially reluctant to pursue the matter but following a public campaign and petition it was eventually taken to court where Alchin pleaded guilty.
Georgia Mantle was one of the women targeted with abuse after posting on the ”Yeah the Boys’ event page. She told Junkee that her initial reaction to the event was to treat it as a joke until she noticed the misogynistic language and sexist attacks.
She commented on the page making fun of the men participating for how they were referring to women, and immediately realised she was going to become a target. “The first reply was very ominous… ‘Now you’re fucked’,” Georgia said.
Other commenters called her a “fucking slurry” and threatened to punch her. “At first I was like ‘This is funny, this is a bit of a laugh. They’re children.’ But there’s only so long you can see comments saying they’re going to punch you before you stop accepting it’s still funny,” she said.
Georgia told Junkee that she didn’t initially realise how frequently the ‘Yeah the Boys’ Facebook page posted about violence against women, but she sees it as part of a broader issue in the public regarding attitudes to women. Some members of the Facebook community have defended the posts as “jokes” or “banter”.
“If we lived in a world where violence against women didn’t exist, or had never existed, maybe we’d be able to joke about it, but we don’t and we can’t,” she said.
“I’m not going to laugh and I’m not going to reduce this to ‘banter’, because this is what women all over the world experience.”