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It stops with me.

bully racism sexual harrassment

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.”

When I heard Chief of Army, David Morrison, utter these words about incidents of sexual harassment in the Australian Armed Forces, I stood up and cheered. These are words that truly resonated with me and that we must all heed. It is time for everyone to take personal responsibility, not for the economic reasons being thrown at us, but for a far greater cause – that of humanity.

I listened to Anne Summers give the Human Rights and Social Justice lecture at Newcastle University in 2012 where she shone a light on the political bullying of our first female Prime Minister. We have all heard the clips, read the quotes, and seen the posters, but are you aware that, for many months, cartoonist and conman Larry Pickering bombarded not just Julia but every member of federal parliament and every senator on almost a daily basis with emails containing hate-filled commentary about Gillard, often accompanied by cartoons, many of which depicted her naked and wearing a huge strap-on dildo. Anne suggests he couldn’t envisage a Prime Minister without a penis, hence the strap-on.

Yet no Member of Parliament took steps to stop this or to denounce it in public. Pickering went on his merry way spreading his filth on facebook and even published this rant in response to Anne’s lecture.

“Even lesbians like Wong have turned their backs on Gillard.

If you wish to dry retch and peruse the sewage that pours from this “thing”’s noisy red orifice you will have to read today’s Fairfax Press or watch the ABC, because only the far Left will stomach her disgusting, vile drivel.

Understand this, Summers, it’s obnoxious vermin like you who emboldened Gillard to take the misogynist road.

It was you who applauded that nauseating crap and it is you who are responsible for her downfall. Live with it!

We real men adore real women and a thousand “thing”s like you will never drive a wedge between us.”

I shudder to think what Larry’s idea of a “real woman” is but thankfully I will never have to find out. (wedge firmly implanted and working on retaining wall and moat).

On Australia Day, Adam Goodes was awarded the honour of Australian of the Year. Everyone on social media had an opinion about the choice, some calling it tokenistic, some suggesting that he had bullied a young girl who had called him an ape. Having watched that incident, Adam’s response at the time, and then his defence of this young girl, I would suggest that he was trying to teach us all something. He is part of a campaign to end racism in this country called “Racism: it stops with me”.

Some of you may be aware that I am concerned about the direction this government is taking and have been critical of that in previous articles. In turn, I have also received criticism for some things I have written. Some of it has just been silly and easy to ignore, but some of it has been justified and I have learned from it. I do not want to spread rumours and gossip, I do not want to call people names, I do not want to hate. I have this grandiose idea that every single one of us has the capacity and the duty to make this world a better place.

For the victims of bullying, racism, sexual harassment, and abuse, I have decided to try, to the best of my imperfect ability, to stand up and say “It stops with me.”

38 comments

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  1. Joanne Sullivan

    It stops with me also Kaye.

  2. Tracie

    As a past victim (and now not just a survivor but lived past it) of domestic violence and bullying, I have found it easy to have it stop with me.

    In relation to Larry Pickering, my chastity belt will always be tightly locked around me if I ever met him.

  3. Darrius

    given that the gillard scum { a word chosen for what she did to this country and nothing to do with gender } was more of a bully than abbott ever was, I find the garbage being served up bordering on comical { as in, the deranged rantings of those who have not dealt with their childhood issues to such a degree that they are now so openly damaged as to be seemingly incapable of rational thought or discussion being comical}. i can still recall the gillard barking like a rabid dog { literally, not figuratively} at abbott. He { abbott} looked at his watch at one point and the gillard scum chose to make the deranged and bordering on retarded assumption that he was doing so because he believed that a woman shouldn’t be allowed to speak

  4. Kaye Lee

    I admire your strength Tracie.

    I think in our lives that all of us are victims at some time but for some, what they endure is unimaginable to the rest of us, and that is why we must hear from people like you who have come through the tunnel.

    We must all watch and listen and look after each other, and speak out to give courage and hope to those who can’t.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Darrius, your words are those of a bully and I will not tolerate such behaviour. You have one chance to make a coherent argument. If you continue to rant your comments will be deleted.

    But thank you for the chance to show how it will stop with me.

  6. Tracie

    Thank you so much Kaye. The domestic violence I went through was mental, psychological and financial – not physical. It meant I was never able to go to the police, so I pulled myself up out of the depths.

    It gave me even more resolve for it to stop with me.

    Darrius do you have any idea what this article was actually all about? Or are you just biting at the bit to bully and harass the rest of us? You have nothing to back up your ramblings, nor do you have any idea about abuse and the effects of abuse on others. Perhaps you commit domestic violence yourself, but you’re unwilling to admit it, as you don’t know what it looks like? Or perhaps you believe that, by putting someone else down, it empowers you?

    Believe me, you look like a little boy in a playground with comments such as what you wrote. Go away and think about it, before spewing anything more on here, particularly about this topic.

  7. Maureen Walton

    Great article good read. Thanks.

    There will always be nasty people, who have there own agendas as to why they love to hurt others deliberately. Sometimes it is a learned thing. Othertimes kids being nasty is attention seeking from others.

    Whatever the cause it is hurtful and nasty. Hopefully one day people wil learn not to discriminate.

  8. John Fraser

    <

    I say it loud and clear every day … to the Murdoch media.

    The biggest bully in Australia.

  9. Sue Lofthouse

    Darrius, the topic of this article is “It Stops with Me” referring to bullying. If you have a counterpoint to make i.e. that bullying should be allowed to proliferate, please try again to make your point using reasoned argument and without abusive language. Your post shows that you are a bully but does nothing to advance the cause of bullying if that was the purpose of your vitriolic reply.

    It is quite possible that you do not identify yourself as a bully. Perhaps you have experienced a difficult upbringing and you have not yet resolved some childhood issues that cause you to lash out (as you would say ‘with deranged rantings’) at perceived threats or attacks. If this is the case, I am sure many AIM readers can empathise; a point to which you alluded so inarticulately.

    I look forward to a rewrite of your comment which intelligently explains why an intolerance of bullying invokes such a visceral reaction in you.

  10. Carol Taylor

    Well said Kaye. It has often been observed that Abbott took the tone down to the lowest denominator. As he stood in front of a crowd carrying signs with slogans which included Bob Brown’s b*tch, the thing which came to mind is this where we are as a nation? Is it a place where reasoned debate has been replaced by hate…and sexism..and bullying.

  11. Dan Rowden

    Moral bullying is one of the most subtle forms and one most likely to enacted unconsciously.

  12. Roswell

    Darrius, that was uncalled for. Poor form.

  13. Gina

    We live in a world in which there is too much apathy around the lives of others, and too much focus on ourselves. Mostly, individuals ignore their instinctive nature to assist and to break the cycle of abuse, in fear of becoming persecuted.

    Why is it that in our modern society people live in fear of retribution, when there is an obvious need to respond to a crisis? Something has gone terribly wrong in the system.

    It stops with me.

  14. Hotspringer

    Ah, Darrius, can you really be that horrible or did I miss your sarcasm?

  15. John

    I truly don’t know what it is about my gender that prompts comments of the nature of the Pickerings of this world. Any man who feels the need to reaffirm his masculinity, doesn’t have much to begin with.

  16. patsy

    darrius……WOW you dare to call Gillard scum…..you need a to see a shrink…they call what you have projection….and boy do you have a really bad case of it……maybe you resent women and their achievements that is why you are so critical…..look in the mirror darrius and feel what you see not good I guess……go fly a kite it will take some of that pent up emotion you have towards women…..

  17. Dan Rowden

    You know, as rude as Darrius was, he’s as entitled to hold the view that Gillard was scum as much as we’re entitled to hold that view of Tony Abbott. And he’s entitled to express that view without having it suggested of him, simply because we disagree, that he needs psychiatric help or that he has an issue with women. Pointing out a person’s rudeness and chastising them for it is fine, but it should have ended there.

    This comment section is already dripping with irony. If being rude, of itself, constitutes bullying, there’s quite a few posters here who are in a spot of trouble.

    To Darrius,

    The context of Gillard’s [in]famous misogyny speech was that of Bishop and Abbott, in questions without notice, accusing her of supporting misogynistic behaviour (Slipper). That would tend to rile most people, and reasonably so. Her quip regarding the watch moment was nothing more than a bit of off-the-cuff rapier wit. Live with it.

  18. hilderombout

    It stops with me too Kay Lee. Thank you for bringing this to the fore. Simulteaneously, being a victim stops with me too, as i heard Tracie say as well in her comment. For me it is both.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Dan,

    Darrius is entitled to hold whatever view he chooses. What he is NOT entitled to do is to attempt to bully me or anyone else. I will not tolerate it and I will call him out on it, just as I have to commenters that have been critical of Tony Abbott if they overstep the line in the language they use to express their displeasure. I have removed comments that suggest violence and asked people to avoid vitriolic personal abuse on many occasions.

    He is not forced to read what I write, nor is he forced to agree with it, but to call it “the deranged rantings of those who have not dealt with their childhood issues to such a degree that they are now so openly damaged as to be seemingly incapable of rational thought or discussion” is not acceptable. Nor is it acceptable for him to call Julia Gillard scum, a rabid dog, and deranged and bordering on retarded. This sort of language must be removed from public discourse if we are to ever address the issues of bullying, harassment and discrimination.

    We all need to raise the standard. That is the point. Don’t ask me to accept what he said and condone his right to say it. I am not prepared to do that any longer. If you consider that moral bullying then I guess I am guilty.

  20. Dan Rowden

    Patsy,

    I don’t really have an issue with people being candid in their assessment of those in public life, so long as they are able to offer some substantiation. You and I both feel Julia Gillard does not deserve to be labelled in such a fashion. Others will differ, and not just those of the Right, but quite a few on the Left of politics as well. One of the other reasons I don’t feel any special need to jump on or deride the Darrius’s of the world is that they defeat themselves with their own lack of civility and argumentation. Allowing certain types of people to hoist themselves on their own petard really saves a great deal of intellectual and emotional energy. Generally speaking they are, quite literally, not worth it.

    Actual bullying and personal abuse of one’s interlocutors is something I don’t think ought be tolerated, but simple rudeness, however unedifying it may be, is not that and is most often nothing more than an embarrassment for the one being rude. If you can stay calm and measured in the face of it, you have already gone a long way towards winning the argument and making their intellectual and moral inferiority all the more evident. It isn’t always easy, but it’s actually quite gratifying when you achieve it.

  21. Darrius

    patsy makes an interesting comment…”but my opinion is look at yourself before you look down on others…..he did not that “. Wow. How interesting that someone who has never met me, does not know me at all somehow knows this. I’ll take another point she makes. “but Gillard did not deserve to be called scum”….uhhmmm, thats your opinion patsy.
    “maybe you resent women and their achievements that is why you are so critical…” As I said , my comment was based on what gillard did to this country, her deliberate divisiveness, in addition to her total hypocrisy that was the basis for that comment. Perhaps you should actually comment on what I have written, rather than attempt to play the role of seer/therapist/whatever.
    Take as an example gillard using her dead fathers memory to attempt to gain some sort of credibility re her “concern for workers safety” . gillard lied through her teeth saying that a place her father worked was so dangerous that he was given a pistol. That never happened, but it didn’t stop her from standing on his grave to wave her flag.
    Let’s continue with your total hypocrisy…. you call me out for something…and yet you say I need a shrink? Hmmmm, that does make you a hypocrite. “go fly a kite it will take some of that pent up emotion you have towards women…..” and from my comments about one woman, you somehow extrapolate that to womne in general. Most will see this for what it is, regardless of their opinion of my comments.

  22. Kaye Lee

    But what of those people who are not as strong as you and I Dan? What of the people who just wilt under the barrage, unable to ignore or fight back. What of the fragile people disempowered by years of abuse? Are they to be bludgeoned into silence, too scared to offer their view?

    I agree his rudeness is self-defeating, but I have never been a victim who has had to endure abuse on a daily basis. I can pass it off or see it as a challenge to chew him up and spit him out. His aggressive words caused a response – aggression breeds aggression.

    We decide what we will tolerate and in my view this country has sunk to gutter level. We have been mocked in overseas press for our treatment of our first female PM and we have an alarmingly high level of domestic violence for such a wealthy country. Racism is rampant, and bullying via social media has led to many suicides.

    Words DO matter.

  23. Kaye Lee

    ” the deranged rantings of those who have not dealt with their childhood issues to such a degree that they are now so openly damaged as to be seemingly incapable of rational thought or discussion”

    ” How interesting that someone who has never met me, does not know me at all somehow knows this.”

    Hypocrisy? Moi?

  24. patsy

    dans rowden I agree with you fully…but Gillard did not deserve to be called scum…..regardless we are all entitled to have an opinion….but my opinion is look at yourself before you look down on others…..he did not that is why we are in this state of hatred towards what we should all believe in…your fellow man or women.

  25. Dan Rowden

    Kaye Lee,

    Words DO matter.

    Yes they do; I know that all too well. Actual abuse directed at a person (as opposed to criticism of the concepts they are articulating or beliefs they may hold) is not something to be tolerated in my view. Personal abuse is against the rules and spirit of a place such as this and is anathema to civilised discourse, even where disagreement may be quite vehement. It’s right that admins and moderators should uphold the principles of such.

    If you feel someone is being rude and it upsets you, don’t engage them. If you can’t help yourself then you need to take responsibility for your own actions. The problem is that there’s always a certain neblosity involved in notions of abuse. One can take offense where no offense is intended. Some people are more skilled and refined in their use of language and can be offensive without their interlocutor even knowing it. The waters are muddy indeed and in terms of how we respond there’s little more that we can do but to make our best judgment and hopefully do so with purity of motive.

    Darrius,

    Perhaps you could give some substance to your claim about Gillard’s “deliberate divisiveness”. It doesn’t mean much to assert this without substantiation.

  26. John Fraser

    <

    My opinion is that "Darrius" is an exceptionally rude moron, and I won't waste my time with him.

    Give it your best shot moron !

  27. Kaye Lee

    Usually when women speak up about discrimination it is labelled as divisive. If they point out the lack of women in leadership roles they are told that they don’t merit such positions and any attempt to address the imbalance is labelled as reverse discrimination. Look out for those scary EMILY’s list people – they want to eradicate the male gender.

    When Gillard suggested that 457 visas should only be issued for jobs that Australian workers couldn’t fill it was once again labelled as divisive, discriminatory against foreign workers. That was an interesting sell by the spin doctors.

    Tony Abbott’s treatment of Julia Gillard was extremely rude. The watch incident, though trivial, is a prime example. I would also be offended if someone looked at their watch when I was speaking to them. It indicates disdain and a total lack of interest in anything you have to say. He would regularly turn his back on her even when she was answering a question he had asked. He would ignore her in public, refusing to acknowledge her as he shook the hand of whatever man they were meeting. The continued comments from Coalition MPs and conservative commentators regarding Julia’s personal life, her marital status, her childlessness, went uncensured.

    I am reminded of a t-shirt my bike-riding cousin owns that says on the back “Honk if you can read this. The bitch has fallen off.” Tony Abbott and Larry Pickering aren’t misogynists. They love “real women” and “women of calibre” – but only in their place.

  28. abbienoiraude

    After having been raised a racist and years of recognition and self education, meeting with our local Reconciliation groups and listening to our local Elders I made a declaration that “Racism stops with me”.
    The first step was to teach my children well. To make them aware of Racism and the prevalence of bullying in our culture and at school to always report it. (Most of the time the three of the reported bullying on behalf of other people…however once when our daughter was moved up a class she suffered bullying enough that we asked the high school to call in the police).

    I try very hard to call out racism when I hear it ( even though confrontation is not my ‘thing’) as well as sexism The hardest one to call lately is misandary. My best friend ( who has suffered assault, abuse, and been married three times) suffers from this. She is not aware of it…but when she tries to gather me to her in a secretive ‘we are in this together’ way, I quietly say to her : “I don’t feel like this toward men. I quite like them”.

    Yesterday she sent this to me….She never ever involves me in conversations of a political nature after my firm disgust I expressed in my own home, about the idea of her husband voting for Tony Abbott.

    I looked up a few sites to disavow her of the truth of this hoax and finally found it on
    http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/myth-email.php

    I have not heard back. I may have put our 50 year old friendship at risk, but I refused to just delete as I do with many of these things.

    Would love your response Kaye Lee and any input and suggestions on how to deal with this kind of thing.

    Here is the email doing the rounds.

    Subject: This is just unbelievable!

    Something wrong here!?
    Subject: THIS INFORMATION IS FROM CENTRELINK

    THIS IS IN AUSTRALIA:

    If you ever wanted know why the boats are coming in droves read on and it’s got nothing to do with being racist!

    From John Glover
    We sat in the sun at Coffs Harbour CBD mall last Thursday having a coffee before browsing the now weekly fresh food growers market. The number of well dressed African couples with children were enjoying the same atmosphere. I needed to walk over to the Coffs Central chemist to get Shirley one of her prescriptions. I stood 3rd in one line of a four abreast line with others waiting to be served, it was truly a “spot the Aussie” group, just me and two others.

    When the well dressed tall African man in front of me handed over his prescription it was promptly filled. The shop assistant advised the man that it cost $32.20. He looked at her in surprise and said “but we don’t pay”.
    After the attendant asked for evidence of why, and the man pulled out two reasons, the first was his families Australia Residency Card, the second was his personal Federal Government Pensioner card.

    The attendant took both back to the owner/chemist, I stood there watching the chemist make a call. A few minutes later the attendant returned and told the man the cost was reduced to $9.40, his response was “but we don’t pay”, to which the attendant said “but this prescription is not made out to you, it’s made out to your wife”.
    The man then went into a “but she not speak with you”. By now myself and others behind me were getting impatient. Then the man pulled out his MasterCard and paid the $9.40 for what would have cost this wood duck $32.20 had it been mine. This man was early 30’s, 6′ tall, well dressed in a suit – yet he had an Australia Pension Card that neither myself or Shirley will ever qualify for.

    Whilst Australia may one day gain from the guy’s adult aged children, they too will cost all tax payers, on top of their parents, until they finish school, are funded through university, and maybe one day get a tax paying job.

    The above is a real life and true account of a single event that unfolded on just one sunny Thursday in my own home town. JC.

  29. Tracie

    I am wondering if, by targeting Darrius, he could possibly be missing the point. Bullying is bullying, no matter what mask one puts on it. It’s degrading to others, and lowers the importance of the one doing it. It also stops people from believing anything of importance or relevance that they may actually have to say.

    Perhaps I should expand – I do not just defend myself, nor do I stand up solely for women’s rights in relation to domestic violence. I also stand up for men, some of whom have been treated abominably by women.

    But the fact of the matter is, now I do stand up. I talk. I defend. And I do it willingly. And if someone decides they are going to be a bully, I tell them they are behaving like a bully. I am straight down the line with this matter, as it goes to my heart.

    The reason why? Because I suffered quietly for 5 continuous years. In the end, I nearly died from it. I nearly became a statistic.

    So to be quiet about something like this cannot become the norm. I recall a quote – the only way for evil to become prevalent is for good people to do nothing. Or words to that effect.

    We can’t be quiet about bullying, nor can we be quiet about domestic violence. And the responsibility must end with us, personally. Words do have effect, so they must be treated with respect.

  30. Kaye Lee

    abbie,

    Your link should have been sufficient for your friend to realise she had been duped.

    Here are a few more facts you can share with your friend.

    Pensioners pay $6 per script. Many of them say “but I don’t have to pay” and the staff explain, yet again, that yes, you pay a co-contribution. It is a daily refrain they go through to all sorts of people.

    As part of the “Closing the Gap” initiative, indigenous Australians who are on a pension do not have to pay the co-contribution for scripts – if pensioners, they get it for free.

    Perhaps the fellow in the chemist had shown his own pension card and the chemist had rung to make sure his wife was also covered – some pension cards are individual, some show the family.

    Regarding the Australian Residency Card, we have a three-way agreement with New Zealand and Canada regarding pharmaceutical benefits for citizens living in each other’s country. Perhaps this man was Canadian or a Kiwi? Not all black people come from Africa.

    I cannot explain how the price would go from $32.20 to $9.40 as pensioners pay $6, not $9.40.

    The advice I am increasingly giving people is to check the credibility of their sources. Just because you get an email doesn’t make it true. Just because Larry Pickering or Andrew Bolt or Miranda Devine say it, doesn’t make it right. The climate change debate had highlighted the necessity of doing this.

    I agree that confrontation is uncomfortable but so is accepting lies or allowing them to pass unquestioned.

    Good luck 🙂

  31. Darrius

    ” you are not worthy of a retort” …again your hypocrisy shines through. ” but I sure hit a nerve for you to defend yourself” ….actually, when you consider your response, it is clear who’s nerve has been hit. Even after exposing your hypocrisy, and having it pointed out, you can’t help but prove it yet again. And this is from the same logic where you assume my opinion of one person, who happens to be a woman, can be extrapolate to women in general. A point you wisely, but very obviously avoided. I’m just wandering where this behavior comes from…. maybe one of my earlier comments has a particular significance for you….which would of course be totally in keeping that it was in fact your nerve that was hit.

  32. Kaye Lee

    Darrius,

    You claim Gillard was divisive yet ignore an invitation to expand on your assertion. You accuse others of hypocrisy while failing to acknowledge your own very glaring example of same. This article is about bullying yet, other than one throwaway line about Gillard being a bully (cough), you have contributed nothing towards the discussion.

    Your language has improved slightly which is why I have tolerated your comments, but if you continue to single out commenters who try to get you back on topic then I would prefer for you not to waste our time.

    If you have something to add to the discussion about bullying, backed up by factual referencing, then I am prepared to listen. So far you are just hot air that would be more welcome on Larry Pickering’s page.

  33. Dan Rowden

    Darrius,

    I’d still like to see some support for the allegation that Gillard was deliberately divisive. Most politicians say things and take stances that are in some sense socially divisive simply because the social divide already exists. You seem to be suggesting something beyond this. Some examples would be appreciated.

  34. patsy

    darrius……you are right I should have kept my opinions to myself but I sure hit a nerve for you to defend yourself and like what has been written you are not worthy of a retort……not only my opinion…this is not only about politics I believe it is about bullying which is everywhere…..BUT print some of abbbotts lies if you dare…

  35. patsy

    darrius get your own material…..that was mine you do not think for yourself you have to take my words….I repeat go fly a kite ….

  36. Keith

    Darius was exceptionally rude in what he stated, and his message gets lost in his venom. Something I have noticed time and again is that those who support Abbott often do not provide a substantial argument for their cause but make a few derogatory comments. There are also some who tend to get testy on the progressive side of politics also, but from what I’ve noticed there are fewer of them.
    I thought the election has been and gone so whats the point in sounding off at PM Gillard?

  37. Kaye Lee

    It’s the “look over there” distraction that is such a transparent strategy Keith. The Coalition, ably abetted by members of the Labor party and the MSM, were so fixated on the script of leadership tensions and man-hater rubbish that they just can’t stop. They certainly don’t wan’t scrutiny of their actions in government as they have shown by their obsession with secrecy. It wouldn’t matter what it was we were discussing, Gillard is overtaking Hitler as the inevitable destination. She sure got the termites’ nest buzzing.

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