The Gable Tostee acquittal exposes a fundamental problem with Australia’s legal system: that its standards are built on a male view of the world.
Tostee could be found guilty of murder if Warriena Wright was so in fear of her life that she felt she had no choice but to climb over the balcony. This question is referenced in the context of what a “reasonable person” would do. However, references in the legal system to “reasonable person” are acutally references to a “reasonable man”. Most of them were actually labelled “reasonable man” originally, such as the “reasonable man on the Clapham omnibus” in tort law. They were set up decades – in some instances hundreds of years – ago when men controlled all facets of public life. The change to “reasonable person” was a nod to equality, but it was nothing more than altering the label; it did not actually address the standard itself by taking into account a female perspective.