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Time for a “Me Too,” styled campaign in Australia?

Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

I am disappointed that the way women are treated in Australian politics, appears to be regressing. Last week, the Prime Minister interrupted our female Families Minister, when journalists directly asked HER, for HER view, on the sexist culture in Parliament. He interjected and directed debate in the way that would divert attention and benefit him before allowing her to answer the media’s question.

After being interuppted by the PM, this is what the families Minister Anne Ruston finally said when she got to be heard.

“Well, I can only reflect on my own experience since I’ve been in this place since 2012, and I have to say I have always felt wholly supported while I’ve been here,” she said.

Anne Ruston

Is her skirt on fire?

In 2019, he gagged a female Minister, (by his own admission), for tactical reasons and kept her out of the limelight for the duration of the election campaign. She was out of favour. It was best for her not to say too much, or anything really.

Is our leader a misogynistic politician, or a master manipulator and campaign Bull terrier? You tell me.

It seems that when female politicans on one side of politics do get to speak, they know not to say too much. A sideways look from their fearless leader is enough for them to watch their words around the Prime Minister. This is the Prime Minister’s domain. He diverts attention. A sympathetic media does not always highlight his retrograde attititude.

However, the misogynist attitude hasn’t entirely escaped notice. Satirists at the ABC televised this somewhat humourous segment, which could be closer to the truth than any of us would like to believe.

Ex Independent politician Tony Windsor had the following tweet:

Another example of how power works against women….

17 yr old harrassed by [former Deputy P.M] Joyce in Canberra pub in ladies Toilet

> Mother is [Prime Minister] Scomo’s LNP blind follower

> Complaint is shut down by Georgie Somerset – Quid pro quo

> Somerset is promoted to ABC TV Board.

> Julie Bishop’s (former Deputy LNP PM)’s brother hi flyer in Clayton Utz [a law firm] > 17 year old Girl now works @ Cl Utz.

> All quiet.

There is a history of Inaction by senior staff and politicians from Tony Windsor:

Abbott (as P.M.) knew …did nothing

Credlin (as female assistant to P.M.) knew ….did nothing

Turnbull (as P.M.) knew …did nothing

Emails exist Morrison (current P.M.) knew ….done nothing

Georgie Somerset knew….got promoted as voice of Australian rural women. ..and the [culture] caravan moves on.

Tony Windsor – Twitter

And now the Four Corners TV program has alleged the Attorney General has been making unwanted advances to female staffers.

A Four Corners investigation reveals concerns about Christian Porter’s attitude towards women, dating back decades. His alleged behaviour includes making unwanted advances to women while in federal office. Mr Porter released a statement denying the claims made against him.

Four Corners

It may NOT even be investigated.

That seems to be a sh*tload of powerful people and politicians, not coming forward to speak out. No doubt there is more of this, on both sides of Australian politics. N.B. Cyranny.

#cleanupyouract

#metoo

40 thoughts on “Time for a “Me Too,” styled campaign in Australia?”

    1. It is worrisome that the level of respect for women is heading south, even though we have had a female leader in the past. We were progressing with this, but the price of power for some, appears to be silence.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Yes, you are probably right there. Like father, like son. Values are copied from father to son. The woman either allow it or have no choice or influence. I recently read of one women from a well to do suburb having her clothes locked in the husband’s car so that he could control what outfits she wore. Imagine that. So sad.

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            1. Lessons can only do so much, Alison. Values and morals that stick tend to be learnt consciously or subconsciously at home. In our teen years, we may reject or embrace those values.

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  1. Will the paternalistic way if treating women ever go away? I love it when my big man escorts me accross the road, holds my hand etc, but he doesn ‘t talk down to me or disrespect me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel ashamed of my own behaviour, Amanda. When our PM was Treasurer, he was interviewed by Leigh Sales on 7.30. I think it was after he delivered the budget. He shouted at Ms Sales and spoke over her for the whole interview. I was horrified. I assumed that the ABC would take this issue up with the Treasurer and the government, but I didn’t take it upon myself to speak up or say anything. I wish I had written to the ABC and the then Treasurer to complain about the treatment. It still bothers me to this day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do not blame yourself, Tracy. This sort of behaviour exists because society as a whole tolerates it. It is society as a whole that must demand change. Having said that, it sounds like you may be inclined to speak up about a future incident, given the chance?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Well said. As an imperfect man (which is redundant, I know), I cannot fully comprehend the times over the years I may have offended women or made them feel inferior, even as unintended as the actions or words may have been. For that, I am sorry. That is the uphill battle for women.

    Yet, I am aware it goes further than the condescension, where some men use sexual misconduct to get their way. As a former consultant who had many clients in the retail and restaurant industries, I am aware that this problem is quite prevalent and happens everyday in places of employment in all kinds of towns, rural and urban. Male store managers who act like kings in these stores will impose their will on women they hire for scheduling, raises, and simply because they feel they can.

    This is what we all must guard against, men and women alike. As an eventual manager, I learned and became more aware of my shortcomings in the past. And, I became an advocate as imperfect as I am and have been. So, for us men who are reading this, we have to be better than we’ve been. And, when we slip up and overbear or condescend (or do something even more stupid), we need to recognize such and remedy it. Boys will be boys is not an excuse.

    Thanks again for raising these issues. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Keith. I very much appreciate the insight from a male point of view and am so glad you have an awareness of the issue. Some men don’t understand it at all. For them, I would reserve them disguising themselves as a women and living the life of a minority woman for a week or so. Sort of like the blue eyes, brown eyes experments of the past. Role playing can help with understanding. Unfortunately addressing the boys club culture is more difficult. There was an incident with a private boys school singing awfully condescending songs about girls in hearty choruses on the school buses, and rating girls in not nice ways, on the internet along with photos taken from social media. This sort of behaviour from young men is not a great start. I wonder if role modelling could work for them too?
      The service industries are full of casual impermanent and short term contract employees that are at the mercy of ruthless managers. Unions could address this but the time of union power seems to have passed and corruption infiltrated their ranks which turned the public away from banding together to fight for better working conditions for those industries.
      Yet having said that, I am heartened that you became aware of your shortcomings and became an advocate. It comes down to respect for humanity, doesn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thanks. Having eventually been promoted to a manager helped me grow in many ways, as I had to address some poor behavior or remarks by people in the office or department. I witnessed a successful, overbearing male colleague who felt his success and gender permitted him to ride roughshod over anyone, but especially women. I used to describe him as leaning into people until they acquiesced. He was also a narcissist, not unlike the president, yet fortunately he did not ape the president’s history of sexual misconduct. Coaching someone like him who felt he was doing no wrong, was a challenge.

        But, this leaning in by a male colleague to a perceived subordinate or even peer is not abnormal, as you note. It may have been the book “Lean in” about women advocating more for themselves, that shared a truism – men will think they are more deserving of a promotion based on some experience, than a woman who has more experience. Part of this is non-abnormal behavior of leaning in over women.

        Please keep pushing this topic. MeToo is important, but for it to take even better footing will require men to do their part. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh yes, we do need action on all sides of the gender divide. The ‘leaning in,’ phenomenon is interesting and certainly something that could influence the decisions of any women to speak up and out and resist.
          An update on the situation in Australia is that the young woman that was the whistle blower on the recent TV Program on the sexist culture and its shenanigans in federal Parliament, arrived at the place of work to start a new job she had just secured, only to be told she no longer had that position anymore, due to her appearance in the program. Did the employer get cold feet or was there political pressure put on the employer to dismiss her on her first day of employment? The boys club if that was who was to blame, worked swiftly.

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          1. The old boys’ network needs only a whisper to get action. It is all about power. It takes a lot of chutzpah for a woman to push back. It happens so rarely, they make movies about her courage.

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    1. I think a lot of people repress these thoughts as they are so embarrassed at the time it occurs. They have to process in their own heads and after several years, it is buried, but never totally forgotten. It leaves its scars, that come out in various ways in later years. Time passes so quickly without us realizing it, Lisa.
      My own daughter was sent an inappropriate message at work and was flummoxed that some other staff members thought it was funny. For some people, speaking up means career or relationship suicide. The young lady that spoke up and blew the whistle on the sexist culture in Parliament, had just secured a new job when the story went to air. When she arrived to begin her new job the next morning, the employer told her she was no longer welcome at the company. Sacked before she had even started because she HAD spoken up.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. We have a few politicians who are quite far to the right and very old style religious in terms of the treatment of women. I see it as regressive and domineering. I am unsure why educated female women tolerate it. I suppose they pay that price for career advancement.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Deal with it head on verbally. We have phones, twitter everything these days to slap them down. If we do not bring up our boys telling them it’s wrong and our girls to stand tall we are to blame.. and such a sad statement in itself to pay the price for career advancement.. in our time maybe but today.. way too sad for words.. ;-(

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            1. You are so right in saying we need to bring up our girls and boys to respect women and their right to full equality with men. I do not endorse swalllowing inequality for the sake of career advancement but it appears that women in some of our political parties, at least, do. Very sad that they accept brutish treatment.

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