STELLA Donnelly knows first hand that taking a strong stance in this politically-charged climate can result in some terrifying consequences.
The Fremantle indie songstress introduced herself to the world in 2017 when she released the heart-breaking single Boys Will Be Boys.
It told the story of her friend's rape in brutal realism and how women are often pressured to believe they were at fault, excusing the actions on men.
The song was hailed as a #MeToo masterpiece and helped propel Donnelly to international attention after US indie label Secretly Canadian released her EP Thrush Metal (2018) and album Beware Of The Dogs (2019) in North America.
While Boys Will Be Boys is undoubtedly Donnelly's most jaw-dropping moment, she tells Weekender from Melbourne that not all the attention has been positive.
"I went through a phase of detaching myself from it and I think that was a survival mechanism at the time," Donnelly says. "I was getting a lot of attention for that song and not all of it was good attention and there was a lot going on, especially online.
"I found myself struggling to connect to the song, because I was kind of a bit scared performing it a couple of times, especially in the US.
"I played it at a few places where I thought, 'F--k I don't know if this is falling on ears that agree with me on this topic'."
Donnelly is halfway through her Australian Beware Of The Dogs tour and the return to her home country has resulted in a re-connection with the song.
So much so she's become visibly emotional on stage.
"I've come back home to this tour and I remember at Ballarat they sung every word and I burst into tears because it brought me back to why I wrote the song," she says.
"Hearing all these voices, and not just girls, but boys singing as well along with those lyrics. It made me realise it's not my song anymore and it belongs to a lot of people in a lot of ways."
Beware Of The Dogs released in March will undoubtedly be on many "best albums of 2019" lists come Christmas.
REVIEW:Beware Of The Dogs
Donnelly's depiction of the modern experience for 20-something Australian women is a thrilling mix of cutting and intelligent lyrics with pretty indie-pop melodies.
On Old Man the 27-year-old chops down sleazy men with, "Your personality traits don't count/ If you put your dick in someone's face", then on the infectious Tricks she calls out bogans who heckled her when she played covers with, "You only like me when I do my tricks for you/ You wear me out like you wear that Southern Cross tattoo."
Even her former boss is torpedoed with, "You're jerking off to the CCTV/ While I'm pouring plastic pints of flat VB" on U Owe Me.
"I really love biting words that are shrouded in a disguise of a pretty melody," Donnelly says. "That's what I've always gravitated towards, so it makes sense I would endeavour to create that for myself.
"It also makes it a lot more enjoyable to play live, particularly with songs that are more serious. I find it allows me to cope with repeating those lyrics all the time, which are hard to talk about all the time."
Donnelly's seemingly overnight success is actually 10 years in the making. After Donnelly left school she played in a series of covers bands around Perth where she estimates she performed songs like Walking On Sunshine and Wonderwall hundreds of times.
She also studied music, was a swimming teacher and worked in bars and cafes.
"I never went 'I want to make it as an artist'," she says. "It never felt like that. It always felt like I enjoyed playing with this band or someone offered me this gig so I'll say yes."
The pivotal moment came when Donnelly finally tossed in the cover bands and focused on performing solely original music.
"I took that risk as covers gigs make you money and I had to say no to the money and spend more time doing music that was true to me," she says. "That's when things shaped up."
With half her Australian tour sold out, a growing international audience and an acclaimed debut album, it's fair to say Donnelly's career has shaped up.
"Two years ago getting to leave Perth and play a gig somewhere like Melbourne, in my head, I felt like I've made it," she says.
"Everything else after that has been the most hectic bonus ever.
"To the point I'm in disbelief at the shit that's happened this year and it's been so good."
Stella Donnelly makes her Newcastle debut at the Cambridge Hotel with support from Jade Imagine on October 20.