Deathscapes

Lynette Daley 11f - 'Boys will be boys'

Deathscapes

‘Boys will be boys’: white male entitlement and the bodies of Aboriginal women

A photo of a sole footprint in wet sand at the water's edge on a beach.

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Lynette Daley was objectified by the men responsible for her death. She was regarded as a disposable thing  that they were entitled to use for their own sexual gratification. They believed that they could do whatever they liked to her regardless of whether she could or would consent. This is first evidenced in their conduct towards Lynette, observed by witnesses at the supermarket in Iluka, and in their description of the events that followed, including the brutal rape and killing that they perpetrated.

Following the discovery of Lynette’s body, when asked by paramedics, one of the killers, Adrian Attwater, characterised his rape of Lynette as ‘wild sex’. He also said that what happened ‘wasn’t anything unusual’. However, a Coroner determined that Lynette’s blood alcohol content indicated that she couldn’t ‘have had the capacity to meaningfully consent’ and that ‘Mr Attwater was not entitled to interpret her lack of resisting as consent’.

The term ‘wild sex’ was used in numerous media articles in the aftermath of Lynette’s death, some of which were found to breach Press Council standards because the quote was not attributed to Attwater and therefore provided an inaccurate and misleading representation of what happened. As in many other instances, inaccurate and unethical media reporting reinforced stereotypes about the sexual availability of Aboriginal women.

 

 


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