Scotty is listening to women. Well, that’s what he tells us at least. But if history is anything to go by, a woman expressing an opinion Scotty doesn’t like is liable to find herself out of a job or, at the very least, the subject of a blistering and co-ordinated smear campaign.
When the Australian Human Rights Commission produced a report on children in detention, then-President Gillian Triggs was mercilessly attacked and hounded out of her job.
SCOTT MORRISON: “I don’t think the Human Rights Commission is being well served by her tenure. I don’t think Australians feel better and more supportive of the Australian Human Rights Commission because of her engagement in various issues. And what from, from… looking outside in I’m sure looks like a complete partisan approach to these sorts of issues.”
When ABC journalist Emma Alberici wrote an article analysing Treasurer Morrison’s proposed company tax cuts, the hit squad were so outraged they insisted she withdraw her article and put pressure on the ABC management to get rid of her.
Georgie Dent wrote a piece about how the 2020 budget had let women down. The next morning, she was contacted by the office of the PM, telling her that her article was “factually inaccurate” and “no one credible” was making that argument.
Within hours, a tsunami of “credible” women and men united behind Dent on social media under the #crediblewomen banner, all making precisely the same point.
In response to an impassioned speech by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, Scotty said kids should be kids and leave the adults to think about that stuff.
Which was almost as dismissive as his bimbo putdown of Pamela Anderson‘s advocacy for Julian Assange.
And woe betide anyone who messes with our jingoistic public holidays.
On Anzac Day, Yassmin Abdel-Magied posted a private Facebook post that read: “Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine …)”. She was then subjected to the most horrific personal attack, forcing her to leave the country.
“There was a concerted effort to ruin my life, and nobody stopped them. Not the government, not advocacy groups, no one. I was out there alone.”
There was similar outrage from the top when Dr Annaliese van Diemen, Victoria’s Deputy CHO and a respected public health physician, tweeted on her personal account:
“Sudden arrival of an invader from another land, decimating populations, creating terror. Forces the population to make enormous sacrifices & completely change how they live in order to survive. COVID-19 or Cook 1770?”
Morrison hit the airwaves to express his disappointment.
“She clearly wouldn’t get the job as chief historian,” Mr Morrison told Alan Jones on radio station 2GB. “People should stick to their day jobs.”
So much for truth-telling.
Anika Smethurst got raided by the police for telling the truth. Samantha Maiden got called a “mad fucking witch” for telling the truth. Brittany Higgins got called a “lying cow” for telling the truth. Louise Milligan is being sued for telling the truth.
Scott Morrison tells us that it is actions, not words, that count. Mind you, he only says that when avoiding any commitment to targets on emission reduction, but, if we are to judge him by his actions towards women raising their voice, we still have a very long way to go before he will consider us worth listening to.
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