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Cash and Joyce, slut-shaming women. It’s the LNP way.

In the last few days, women have been thrown under more buses than usual by members of the Turnbull government, making something of a mockery of the Prime Minister’s desire to make Parliament House a more woman-friendly workplace, and demonstrating yet again that other women can trash you as easily as can a man.

The following story should finally put paid to the risible argument that the LNP would be a better government if only there were more female MPs. Rubbish. It’s the ideology, stupid, not the biology.

Senator Michaelia Cash, former Minister for Women, now representing the new Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, in the Senate, lost her head and threatened to expose alleged rumours about the sexual lives of young women in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s office, when asked seemingly innocuous questions in senate estimates about the movement of staff in her own office. You can see the entire unedifying episode here, if by any chance you’ve thus far missed out.

Cash threatened to “expose” young women staffers, based on nothing more than “rumours” if she was questioned any further about her new Chief of Staff. It has since emerged that her new female CoS has been transferred from Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s office, a demotion, as Cash is a junior minister.

The women in Shorten’s office are understandably outraged by Cash’s murky innuendoes. And it is quite startling that a Minister for Women should single out young women to use as a threat in an effort to avoid scrutiny of her own staffing arrangements.

In effect, Cash used the female staffers as political weapons. She didn’t threaten to expose Shorten, or any men rumoured to engage in office affairs. She focused right in on the young women, whom she implied were sluts.

Parliament House is not a workplace that looks out for women as a priority. For example, there is no specific procedure for addressing complaints of sexual harassment. This 2017 investigation revealed procedures in place for dealing with these complaints are woefully inadequate, even described by the investigators as “shocking” and below Human Rights Commission standards.

Yes. This is our parliament. The heart of our nation. The home of our legislators. No adequate procedures for making complaints of sexual harassment. I kid you not.

Next, we woke up this Sunday morning to the news that Barnaby Joyce has decided he may not be the father of his lover’s baby after all, but being a decent bloke, he’ll love the boy and raise him as his own regardless. And he won’t do a paternity test. Journalists, Joyce claimed, are entirely at fault for not asking him when the story broke if he is the father.

Joyce is lying. I know of at least two journalists who did ask this question, Sharri Markson of Newscorpse, and Leigh Sales on the ABC’s 7.30 Report. Joyce enthusiastically avowed his responsibility for the baby boy, and the reasons for his current disavowal remain unclear.

It’s quite something, to tell the Australian nation that your partner’s baby may not be yours. If you want to seriously damage a woman, there’s little more effective than implying she is such a slut she doesn’t know who her baby’s father might be. That’s she’s misled you into thinking the child is yours, and now you’re such a great guy, you’re going to stand by her anyway. And yet, if you are such a great guy, wouldn’t you just shut up and carry on, and not expose your partner and the baby to such awfulness?

It’s the enduring patriarchal myth: that women will lie about our babies’ fathers. The primary purpose of heterosexual marriage is to ensure a man knows the children are his. There is likely no greater transgression than a woman being uncertain of her child’s father. Joyce has dumped Ms Campion right in it. All that remains is for him to pin a red “S” on her shirt.

Yet again, we’ve seen played out in our politics this week the damaging myths of female sexuality, myths that position us primarily as sexual objects. No matter that a staffer in Shorten’s office may have three degrees and a fine brain, be first class at her job and work like a dog. She’s useful to Michaelia Cash only as a sexual object. In other words, she’s a slut.

In the LNP government, women’s bodies remain battlegrounds, for other women as well as men.

And spare a thought for women working in parliament house without even the protection of proper process, when they are sexually harassed.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.


43 comments

  1. Vixstar

    RememberRtge dreadful things they said about Julia Gillard she was sterile she needed her throat cut, ditch the witch it was relentles even after Julia made that great speech the World stood up and took notice not much has changed same players CASH CIOBO TURNBULL AND ABBOTT same team same tactics and Murdoch prints their slander tenfold.

  2. John O'Callaghan

    Thanks for a well written article Jennifer on these bloody awful people like Cash and Joyce and Co, and their would be millions of women and men who would totally agree with you!

  3. Christopher

    thank you Jennifer. I am gobsmacked, can’t get the smile off my face at the irony of this story as it has unfolded. If she stays with him, I’ll be surprised.

    And, yes, I feel for the women working in the Parliament. Cash is everything we hate about politicians in Canberra, avoiding a legitimate question by threatening to name and shame, purely based on rumours she has heard. Disgusting woman, nevermind that voice. Then, when she is forced to retract by Penny Wong, she just gives a non apology. Sickening and we deserve more, but I and most of my friends can’t see how we can get it with the current losers who lead us.

  4. Adnil

    Barnaby Joyce said that private lives are private, so why the hell does he now want to cast aspersions about the paternity of this child. Why is it considered ok to pass responsibility for this pregnancy to the woman. He’s been caught with his pants down so why doesn’t just shut his mouth and just get out of the way and stop commenting on this. What an appalling mess he has created, I can’t imagine how his daughters have coped with this whole sorry story.

  5. clarelhdm

    Perhaps Ms Campion has threatened to leave dear Barnaby now he’s lost his plumb position, so he has decided to take her down a peg or too so she doesn’t dare

  6. Joseph Carli

    From my article on this site..: “The Corporatization of Women”..:

    “. . . As political power is not only gained, but recognised to be present and available to those who “seize the day”, one finds that strangely, that power seems only to gravitate toward a certain group of citizens … not to the collective … and from that certain self-elected group, there comes forward certain “authorised” edits and demands of behaviour, language, style and conformity to protocol. In short; the febrile energy of the mass is gathered to a central power of management … a corporation.

    Nothing, neither masculine stupidity at high-governance, macho brutality at low socio-economic levels nor any religion foolish enough to demand obedience to their patriarchal God will slow down this “Vishnu’s Juggernaut” from rightfully taking what is theirs by human destiny.

    “What is born of equal pain has right to equal reign.“

    But I tell you this for free … there are those in these groups, of either gender, who do not hold the best interests of the whole group, no matter the ethical philosophy, in their hearts. Many good, sensitive males have been crushed and destroyed by those men of power who know how to hold onto that power, and neither wisdom, faith nor decency has been able to save them. Ladies … watch your backs! . . .”

    By claiming sole authority by the gender to judge or promote the gender, “Women” are no longer seen as individual women, but more as a “Marque” , a brand…a trademarketted unit of society…owned and presented to the public as “intellectual property”…branded and copyrighted!

    In some ways, “Ladies”, by presuming there will be fair play from “your own” and only “your own”, you have made a rod for your own backs..One ought always be aware and take it as a given…I know I do ; When it befalls their opportunity to profit or betray, the middle-class will turn as swiftly as a wounded viper on themselves and their own.

  7. Mark Needham

    Christopher. Will she stay.?

    Not much hope I would say. Part of a plan? Who knows, we are all, only “guessing”, casting aspersions. I Reckon…!
    Knit one,
    Mark Needham

  8. angela

    While I am puzzled at Barnaby’s behaviour and his motivation I must say that there was nothing to suggest he claims to be misled. That’s an add on

  9. Kronomex

    Beetroot will say and do almost anything to get back the DPM’s job that he has decided is his by right of being Barnaby and no-one or anything will get in his way to regain that position. Besides, just think of all that graft and corrruption and Gina’s largesse he’s missing out on. I think Campion’s days are numbered as the current partner of Barnaby as he realises that his career is now in the brazen bull of his own making. Him and the Mad Monk can commiserate to each other on the back bench about the nasty Trembles and not plot and not scheme and not white-ant.

    One thing, which I hope does not eventuate, I see is the possibility that Joyce might try and make a play to his dumped family in an attempt to get back into their books and “show” the voters that if he is given a second chance he will reform his ways and be a wonderful person. All for political expediency of course.

  10. amethyst3009

    I’m wondering what is the issue being hidden by this sudden ‘look over there’ move. Is he trying to keep the focus on his personal life, while his political life unravels. Evidence piling up for water mismanagement, travel rorts, ‘ jobs for the girls’, or some other matter that hasn’t even emerged yet?
    Is there something about to unravel and will he be able to keep the Murdoch press off the other matter (whatever it is) while they, the tabloid press, binge on the paternity issue?

  11. Christopher

    Mark, yes, I don’t know if VC will stay along for the ride. She has undoubtedly had a rough few months. But as my Mum was fond of saying, when you’ve made your bed…

    I just don’t like BJ; he has no qualities that I respect and that colors my views. Just sayin’

  12. Terry2

    Vikki Campion is no shrinking violet, she’s used to playing the media and it’s entirely possible that she came up with this gambit to mess with the minds of the media and the public : maybe she’s building up to a Sixty Minutes interview with Charles Wooley and a Womans Day article. Perhaps even a series like At home with the Kardashians : In Bed with Barney.

    If this was Barnaby having a brain-fart he would want to watch out for Vikki’s dad who could come after him !

  13. leanne Jones

    Once again the BeetRooter has shown that he cares so little for the women in his life that he has now slut shamed his lover.
    Miss Campion should just get the hell out of such a relationship with a man who is of such low calibre.
    It’s unfortunate that the current political party who Joyce is a member of have such disgusting ministers and representatives representing us.
    Cash is a nasty piece of work and she should be sacked for her appalling behaviour in senate estimates where her response to Doug Camerons questioning recieved a truly disgusting response to slut shame the women in Bill Shortens office.
    Surely she should be sacked.
    She’s a strange woman who is full of her own self importance and is involved in covering up leaks to the media and who won’t answer questions in senate estimates and she definitely needs to go.
    The Parliament is in disarray with the coalition in charge and it matters little to the people who have positions of power that they will say and do anything and everything today in power.

  14. Luke Tippins

    Ignorant people with no honour that have the audacity to call themselves such ruining what was once a Great Country!
    The trouble is the others are made of the same cloth!, Libs Nats Labor Greens and One Nation!
    What we need to do is get away from Party Politics and elect Independants that dont follow some party Ideology, and this will be the future of Politics as the arseclowns currently in power have shot themselves in the foot!

  15. Rhonda

    Someone please give that man a whiteboard

  16. Vixstar

    Luke Tippins they are not of the same cloth it is LNP and only LNP rooting, rorting slanging off accusing others ALP is staying well away and getting on with policies We have heard the sterile ditch the witch 3 word slogans but its only LNP dishing dirt

  17. Kaye Lee

    So much for the “Love Story” angle. Barnaby, to gain our sympathy, told us that they fell in love. Now it turns out they weren’t actually ‘starstruck lovers’ at all. at least not when she fell pregnant. How must that make Natalie Joyce feel?

  18. Luke Tippins

    I just see all Part y Politicians as basically the same!
    To follow an ideology and not your own Conscious is a Cowards way of being!
    How many times do Politicians say one thing and then vote in an entirely different way by selling their vote to achieve some outcome they desire, that’s not following your heart, that’s being a sellout!

  19. diannaart

    Conservative right-wing women have always walked in locked step with their brothers – OK it used to be behind their men, but that is not such a good look in the 21st C.

    Such women as Cash have tarred and feathered their sisters since it earned them a place closer to the camp-fire… and they always will. Feminism is an ideology wasted on women such as these.

    Never mind, that Cash & Co have benefited from the gains earned by feminists – not unlike those workers who refuse to join unions, but happily accept improved pay and conditions.

    As for Joyce, why should we expect any better from the likes of him? He is part of the overly privileged patriarchy which still sees women as something to buy, sell, or divest. His female peers happily add to this sexism deliberately and by their behaviour – its OK to be a shrieking harpy if you are part of the “ruling class”.

  20. Jack Russell

    The dates, times, places, people, and monetary claims that link to his liason are the issue. Anything else is deflection from that, while he assembles his manufactured evidentiary timeline for the upcoming day of judgement.

    There are no adjectives in either a dictionary or a thesaurus to adequately describe him, or his co-conspirators and enablers.

  21. Matters Not

    Re Natalie Joyce:

    … My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood…

    ‘Tis a tragedy of sorts for her and her children. Nevertheless, what this tragedy lacks (in the Shakespearean sense) is the presence of a great man. Barnaby’s downfall is his own doing, and he is never the helpless victim of fate.

    Luke Tippins – the historical record suggests that ‘independents’ invariable join with ‘others’ so that they can have some effect. In politics, as the song says: One is the Loneliest Number.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22QYriWAF-U

  22. Terry2

    Tomorrow’s Headlines

    Vikki’s joy : Barnaby not father of her baby boy………….Cash points finger at Shorten

  23. tet02

    Natalie Joyce should run as an independent for the seat of New England. Perfect payback if she won.

  24. Jack Russell

    Terry2:

    LOL! 1000+

  25. Luke Tippins

    Matters Not

    Maybe so, but the future of Politics is nothing like what we have now!
    Independents may join forces but if they remain truly Independent then they can choose to agree with someone else in the future!
    Party Politics is dying, and about bloody time!

  26. 1petermcc

    I heard Malcolm Turnbull trying to avoid comment on this but I believe it’s time to hold his feet to the flames. He has now encouraged Cash to Slut Shame and refused to call out Barnaby for the same thing. Is Slut Shaming now Coalition policy?

    Now that MT has appointed himself as the Moral Guardian for parliament, surely he should be pontificating on such issues? He was stupid enough to open that can of worms so now it’s time to call him out.

  27. Kaye Lee

    “Barnaby Joyce has defended his decision to publicly cast doubt on the paternity of the child his former staffer and now partner, Vikki Campion, is expecting in April, claiming they had “no choice” but to tell their story.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/04/barnaby-joyce-attacks-media-intrusion-and-casts-doubt-on-paternity-of-partners-child

    ????

    What story? Do we really need to know that they were having unprotected sex with multiple partners?

  28. Glenn Barry

    So we have our candidates who epitomise conservative politics in this country – by word and deed they are ruthless, amoral, selfish, dishonest, untrustworthy and prepared to do anything to win, including, lying, cheating and slandering & denigrating anyone and everyone.

    Have I missed anything?
    There’s no family values, respect for others and sense of community amongst this lot.

    So do I now have my working definition of conservative politicians in Australia?

  29. Kaye Lee

    Makes you wonder what these much vaunted Australian values are, doesn’t it Glenn.

  30. Roswell

    1peter, you’ll be waiting a long time if you want to hear Turnbull call him out.

    Turnbull doesn’t do call outs. He’s more into things that take far less courage.

  31. 1petermcc

    Ain’t that the truth. I was surprised he started declaring moral standards for Ministers, then I remembered Conservative pollies like giving orders not living by them.

  32. Luke Tippins

    MT, even his initials describe the sellouts character!

  33. Kronomex

    1petermcc, I think “Moronic Goonian” sounds better…wait, thought of another one, “Mostly Gas”.

  34. kristapet

    Barney just likes to find ways of abdicating his responsibility, and passing the buck! He has his suspicions does he?? Me thinks, he is just looking for excuses to ‘opt out’……a very shabby partner, dumping, retracting, and casting aspersions …..indeed, he is a louse!

  35. Glenn Barry

    Kaye Lee, it’s a pity we don’t have a modern day equivalent of permanent exile, though we’re a few decades late otherwise Cash would have been perfectly at home as part of the apartheid regime in South Africa

  36. paul walter

    Marvellous thread starter, marvellous comments.

    But it is alarming, even offensive, that these people think we came down in the last rain cloud, are somehow THAT stupid.

  37. Matters Not

    Luke Tippins re:

    Party Politics is dying

    Re the dying bit. Not sure about that. Indeed I think there’s evidence that political parties are in fact multiplying – almost exponentially. In the last QLD State election, for example, registered political parties included: the ALP, the LNP, The Greens, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, Katter’s Australian Party, Civil Liberties, Consumer Rights, No-Tolls and The Flux Party Queensland

    Almost, already in plague proportions? And the evidence suggests there will be even more diversity at both the next State and Federal elections. So much so, the printing of each ‘Ballot paper” will require almost one quire per voter.

    That the decline of a simple binary divide accelerates is clearly evident. That it will be replaced by a spray of independents maybe true but only in the short term. The recent Tasmanian election supports that view.

  38. wam

    ‘You may know who is your mother but you cannot be sure who is your father’
    That was a quote in my youth but I cannot find it now?
    ‘The pill and condoms have narrowed the odds except for the church???
    A lot of women have been murdered by men’s jealousy from the chastity belt days till now and the foreseeable future..

    Is it possible barnaby’s jesuit attitude reflects his ‘besottment’ and his acceptance that an engaged women may have slipped past the edge of the bed??

    Cash is a different catholic born in 1970 girls only school aggressive name aggressive dad aggressive jumper to conclusions. She believes in best man for the job and, like her name, has been the best man many times. To my mind she was after shorten and the means were unimportant and not considered as she just follows the anti-labor/shorten rants of the lnp.
    She is the nastiest politician in my memory. She is more vicious than the rabbott and more vindictive than little johnnie.

  39. Jacqui

    Thanks Jennifer, when it comes to bullying our pollies lead by example. One day they might wake up to themselves. But they are not alone, bullying is endemic and across media and entertainment industry also. I would have missed this one except for the fact I follow Virgina Trivoli on twitter. Thanks Virginia.
    http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/tv/tv-star-admits-to-obscene-bullying-campaign-with-vile-letters-and-drawings/news-story/5329781d5269086eafa3714eb32312d9

  40. townsvilleblog

    Bullying comes naturally to the L’NP and especially bullying of women, I find bullying abhorrent in every case, minor or major. This practice has led to the disintegration of my mental health on a chronic basis from two decades of workplace bullying. I have never been a strong person and when the employer knows that you have a mortgage they can be ruthless in bullying a person into thousands of hours of unpaid overtime for fear of loss of job, this was my experience and I have no doubt that a huge percentage of the Australian workforce are similarly treated, both sexes.
    I was lucky in that I had a great union who backed me, after I approached them. The ASU made the difference between life and death for me because when I approached them I was suicidal.

  41. jimhaz

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/turnbull-staffer-loses-job-after-posts-about-cheating-boyfriend-nsw-minister-matt-kean-20180307-p4z35z.html

    Ms Keage promptly deleted the February posts but they spread rapidly through political circles. She subsequently went on leave and Fairfax Media has confirmed she is no longer employed in Mr Turnbull’s office.

    Seems fair enough to me that she had a go online about her cheating boyfriend. I’m definitely not at all a feminist, but it does seem rather unfair that she lost her job.

    If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Matt Kean is a dog.

  42. Sandra

    jimhaz, looks like this is where the world of social media is taking us all, where those who ‘live by the gossip, die by the gossip’. The PM staffer has paid a high price for being unprofessional but I find it strange she didn’t go direct to her “boyfriend” rather than go online to play the victim-shame game. Now she is just another ‘victim’ of gossip journalism and by her own hand. She might have got lucky though, who in their right mind would want to work with the LNP?

  43. RONALD ANDERSON

    Did Barnaby have paternity test, why was partner not on pill,maybe a bit of forward planning on her part!!

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