Introducing “Intimate Civility”: towards a new concept for 21st century relationships

Document Type

Journal Article


Media and Culture


School of Arts and Humanities




Originally published as: Boyd, E. R., Grobbelaar, M., Gringart, E., Bender, A., & Williams, R. (2019). Introducing “Intimate Civility”: towards a new concept for 21st century relationships. M/C Journal, 22(1). Original publication available here


Feminism has stalled at the bedroom door. In the post-#metoo era, more than ever, we need intimate civil rights in our relationships to counter the worrisome prevailing trends: Intimate partner violence. Interpersonal abuse. Date rape. Sexual harassment. Online harassment. Bullying. Rage. Sexual Assault. Abusive relationships. Revenge porn.

There’s a lot of damage done when we get up close and personal.

In the 21st century, we have come far in terms of equality and respect between the genders, so there’s a lot to celebrate. We also note that the Australian government has stepped in recently with the theme ‘Keeping Australians safe and secure’, by pledging $78 million to combat domestic violence, much of which takes place behind closed doors (Morrison 2019). Herein lies the issue: while governments legislate to protect victims of domestic violence — out of the public eye, private behaviours cannot be closely monitored, and the lack of social enforcement of these laws threatens the safety of intimate relationships. Rather, individuals are left to their own devices. We outline here a guideline for intimate civility, an individually-embraced code of conduct that could guide interpersonal dynamics within the intimate space of relationships...

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.