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We need to talk about what Jamie did

Jamie Briggs resigned this week from his ministerial portfolio in the Turnbull government because of “inappropriate” behaviour towards a female public servant late one night in a Hong Kong bar, when he found himself apparently disinhibited by alcohol and the lateness of the hour.

Briggs was rapidly supported on Twitter by at least two of his colleagues, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Queensland MP Ewen Jones, both of whom describe Briggs as a good, decent man and a better bloke having a bad day. The Australian journalist Chris Kenny also came to Brigg’s defence on Twitter in a desperate attempt to frame the incident as being all about alcohol and staying up late in bars, with no reference to the alleged sexual harassment.

The public servant, it should be noted, did not complain that Briggs was drunk or up late, but that he had sexually harassed her, according to one report telling her she had such “piercing eyes,” before falling upon her neck. Mrs Estee Briggs, (who, like her husband, also worked for John Howard) is standing by her man, and has declared Prime Minister Turnbull’s sacking of her husband from the ministry an “exaggerated over-reaction” unwarranted by the triviality of the incident.

Some of us women set the bar low for ourselves, but perhaps we shouldn’t expect that the rest of the community will hold similar standards. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard women defend partners who act “inappropriately” towards them and other women, and what astonishes me every time is their expectation, indeed demand, that the rest of us hold the same minimal expectations. Stand by your man by all means, but don’t tell others we’re “over-reacting” when we refuse to embrace your low standards.

It’s interesting that if a woman is drunk, and sexually harassed or assaulted, society’s default position is still that she shouldn’t have been drinking. On the other hand, the Briggs incident reaffirms for us that there are people in positions of considerable influence and power who still believe that if a man sexually harasses woman when he’s drunk it isn’t his fault: he’s really a decent bloke who’s had a hard day, and he can blame it on the drink. The woman, on the other hand, is a moll and a slut for getting out there and getting pissed and assaulted, and nobody even asks if she’s had a hard day.

I mean, really. When are we going to get past this? Ever?

I don’t know what Briggs’ defenders mean by “decent.” For mine, if you’re married and cheating on your spouse, you aren’t “decent.” You’re duplicitous, deceitful and probably more concerned with your own needs than those of your wife, family and lover. Infidelity demands a strong sense of entitlement, bordering on narcissism. It’s all about what the cheater thinks he/she needs, not the people he/she will damage. I mean, if you aren’t getting what you need in your partnership, have the courage to do something about it that doesn’t require duplicity and betrayal, or accept your lot. Deceiving the people who trust you is no way to address your needs.

As a man bent on betrayal once told me: I know I am behaving abominably to my wife and family, but you are so good for me.

Says it all, really.

The point of this is that if a man (or woman) can justify the betrayal of those he/she cares most about, why would he/she think twice about betraying anybody else? We may know little else about the cheating spouse, but we do know with absolute certainty that he/she is a liar.

Ministerial standards are high, as they should be if governments are determined to give individual ministers the kind of power over others granted to Immigration Minister Dutton, for example. Why on earth should such power be in the hands of a man who has proved himself a liar, capable of intentionally deceiving his own wife? He’s demonstrated what he is willing to do to achieve his own ends: are we to be so naive as to think he’d only do this to his wife, and not the country?

The incident may not have been “illegal,” as Briggs hastens to assure us, though quite what he means by that I don’t know. It certainly highlights yet again that women are still seen by some societal groups as irrelevant in comparison to the needs and ambitions of men. Briggs was daft for getting drunk and staying up late, but hey, he’s human and works hard. Let’s not mention the predatory sexual behaviour: it was only a woman.

I don’t know the extent of Briggs’ harassment of the woman involved, what I do know is that until men like Briggs stop believing they are entitled to our attention and our bodies we have to call them on every incident, no matter how “trivial” it might seem to someone else. We are not comfort women for when such men are having a difficult time. We aren’t cuddly things for such men to grab and grope. Such men as Briggs are not inherently entitled to our bodies, our emotions, our attention and our time.

The “trivial” nature or otherwise of the sexual harassment is irrelevant here: what matters is the belief men such as Briggs hold that they are entitled to us whenever they feel the need of us. Nothing will substantially change for women until such men are disabused of this sense of entitlement, and until women who support these men demand higher standards from them instead of enabling them. We’re not “over-reacting” in thinking your husband should be fired, Mrs Briggs. It’s bad enough that men such as Jamie Briggs harass and assault us in the first place, we don’t have to lower our standards to yours as well.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

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62 comments

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  1. Roger

    Well said Jennifer!

  2. Kaye Lee

    Jamie might say that nothing illegal happened but sexual harassment is most definitely against the law.

    Sexual harassment is a type of discrimination that is against the law. It is covered by state and federal discrimination laws.

    The legal definition of sexual harassment has two parts. What happens to someone has to be both these things before the law will call it sexual harassment:
    it must be unwelcome sexual behaviour; and
    it is reasonable that you would feel offended, humiliated or intimidated by the behaviour.

    Sexual harassment includes unwanted touching, staring or perving, suggestive comments or jokes, unwanted invitations or requests for sex, sexually intrusive questions, offensive emails or having to look at sexually explicit material.

    The law also says that having to work in an atmosphere with sexual overtones can be sexual harassment, even if it’s not targeted at you directly.

  3. diannaart

    Awesome – calling the incident for what it really is; part of the sexual double standard that continues into the 21st century.

  4. bobrafto

    anybody like to explain the body language in the xmas pic?

  5. diannaart

    The law also says that having to work in an atmosphere with sexual overtones can be sexual harassment, even if it’s not targeted at you directly.

    Kaye Lee, you have reminded of a time when I was working as a lab-tech – the ‘men’ (all the senior staff in the lab) would go, every second Thursday, to a strip or table top top dancing joint and return in the afternoon rosy cheeked and smug – I had to work along side these…. people, it used to do my head in – what were they thinking now?

  6. Terry2

    I hope this works out well for the young woman involved ; she must have known that insisting on lodging a formal complaint was going to have repercussions and obviously an apology wasn’t going to cut it for her – courageous to say the least.

    I saw a similar situation in private enterprise some years ago and whilst the man – a senior executive – was ‘counselled’ the female ended up feeling that she had to quit her job and move on as she was ‘sent to Coventry’ by other staff members including other women.

    bobrafto : the doghouse comes to mind !

  7. Matthew Oborne

    I support the concept of consensual adult behavior being none of our business, but this wasnt. If Briggs wants to play around he needs to be honest with his wife about it and needs to find an adult who consents, not do it in a way where the staffer is in a position of imbalance such that she might have struggled with the decision to complain.

    She didnt want it so he had no right doing it.

    Defending the character of someone who feels it is OK to engage in sexual harrasment says more about the people defending him than they should have offered.

    No wonder women are still just a token in the Liberal Party.

  8. Backyard Bob

    I have to say I wish people would stop using the term “harassment” to characterize this sordid event. It doesn’t apply, harassment being characterized by repetition. The use of the term in this case I feel is actually an insult to all persons actually suffering the horror of genuine harassment. I really wish we’d call it something else.

    That said, dumb prick got his comeuppance and that is as it should be. Would be nice, though, for the PM to get that his behaviour wasn’t merely inappropriate for a Minister, but for anyone.

  9. Matthew Oborne

    noun
    1.
    the act or an instance of harassing, or disturbing, pestering, or troubling repeatedly; persecution:
    She sued her boss for sexual harassment.

  10. Matthew Oborne

    would not need to say repeated harrasment if repeated was implied.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I sometimes think things have gone backwards for women. I was waitressing at a club in the late 70s. A large company had their work Xmas party there and one of the diners made lewd suggestions to me as I was serving his table. I went back to the kitchen and told my boss who told his boss who then sacked him. (There were a lot of witnesses). Mind you, I can think of several other jobs where I was not so well looked after, so I guess it just comes back to the standards we insist on.

  12. Matthew Oborne

    I was in a workplace where the men had to have a sexual harrasment course due to disgusting behavior, and that years christmas party saw a young girl get a G string as her present with many remarks about trying it on.

  13. Jaq

    If she supports him, than Emma Briggs is more the problem than the solution. Bad behaviuor is just that, and cannot, no should not be excused.
    When he has an affair I wonder how accommodating she will be.

  14. Brett Pattinson

    Sexual harassment has been alleged here and Briggs has (rightfully) been dumped. It is, as Kaye points out, illegal.And just plain wrong.
    Is there more tolerance in this forum of the aggravated rape of a minor alleged against Bill Shorten?

  15. Kaye Lee

    As I understand it Brett, that matter was investigated by the police and dismissed. Briggs has confessed.

    Could I also say that I am somewhat surprised that your friend Mr Christensen, that well known defender of free speech, would link to my article then remove all my comments and block me from replying while you and others lambasted this site.

  16. Backyard Bob

    God knows why you brought up the Shorten rape allegation. Seems like a non sequitur to me. My understanding is the investigation into that matter is closed. But yes, we all tolerate rape by Labor members around here. It’s how we roll. Sigh.

  17. Matthew Oborne

    16 is not a minor.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Ummmm….Bob was pointing out how silly Brett was being

  19. Kaye Lee

    I would assume Brett’s purpose is to derail this thread. Let’s not allow that to happen.

  20. Matthew Oborne

    After reading about it police found he (shorten) did not have a case to answer, After Julia Gillard was investigated many years ago and found to have also had no case to answer conservatives Hounded her and we even had an inquiry again going over issues she was already cleared of.

    That is a disgraceful comment to make saying this forum, by extension meaning left leaning people have tolerance of criminal behavior if it is committed by the left.

    I would have thought the opinions posted by left quite simply do not give Labor a free pass, I have seen very few comments by Liberal supporters doing anything similar.

    Where were the comments by the right denouncing Abbotts multiple sexist remarks?

  21. Matthew Oborne

    That Comment is not aimed at Bob because he is simply pointing out how absurd it is to think we think that way.

  22. diannaart

    Matthew

    The right thought that Abbott was a “decent bloke”.

    However, there are plenty of “decent blokes” of the left and I and quite happy to out them as I am those “decent blokes” on the right.

  23. Kaye Lee

    The fact that two Senators felt it necessary to tweet their support is flabbergasting. Even the football clubs have learned that is not ok. Good bloke, hard day be damned. And let’s not forget the menu at the Mal Brough fundraiser. The standards we walk past are the standards we accept.

  24. randalstella

    Happy New Year orstaya!
    Brett’s comment about Shorten is that of a gutless, unprincipled louse…. allegedly.

  25. Brett Pattinson

    I’m on Admin’s side, B. Bob. I similarly read your comment without irony. It appeared to be the only non-partisan comment apart from mine – quite unusual for an independent site.
    Well, Kaye, the prosecution of Shorten was abandoned by police due to lack of evidence. But there’s one very adamant woman who witnessed the event and has refused to go away, despite the passage of decades. I’m really not sure what Briggs has confessed and what is alleged by the victim. I notice that your writer refers to the event as “alleged sexual harassment”. Hence my drawing of parallels, although the forced rape of a teenage girl goes beyond commentary on the piercing quality on another’s eyes.
    Indeed, I go back to Bob’s unintended sentiment that this is how the left rolls. As a young man, I witnessed a similar approach to the sordid deeds of one Bill Clinton. Those actions, which included a rather nasty rape, were quickly defended by the left, despite millions of dollars paid by the Clintons to the victims (including the rape victim, who I believe received a full million) to abandon their claims. For me, those payments qualify as confessions. You’ll recall that Secretary Clinton revealed recently that they left the White House broke … (OK, that’s an attempt at levity, perhaps inappropriate).
    I understand that Bill (Clinton) is going to be wheeled out to attack Trump if he gets up in the Republican selection process. Might find himself getting schlonged there …

  26. John Fraser

    <

    I'm just glad the arsehole has gone.

    "Brett" should give some serious thought to doing the same.

    Is “Brett” the Donald Trump of LNP fame ?

  27. Matthew Oborne

    Yes they did. Citing he is religous married and has children. and even more astonishingly that he has daughters a wife and Peta was rock solid evidence that he couldnt possibly say he is the one with the sexy daughters, or he wished he was younger when attending a girls netball game.

    Julie Bishop thinks feminism is a relic of the 70’s and dont be a victim. she said that when how many women were in the cabinet?

  28. Brett Pattinson

    Diannaart, you’re the exception. Good for you!
    The rest of the commentators are like the Decent Blokes who rush to the aid of these chaps.
    Randal Stella, I can very clearly see your principles at work here in your refusal to apply the same criteria to Shorten. You’re one of those DBs.
    Kaye, I don’t want to disrail the focus on Briggs. I’ll leave you to it.

  29. diannaart

    OK Matthew

    I concede it is more likely for there to be more sexist double standards on the right than the left cos ‘that is their nature – tradition…..

    Having experienced unwanted sexual attention from pretty much every political stripe and every nationality (except Inuits) during my well traveled and rather interesting life, while there is an inherent acceptance of male entitlement, women children and a small subset of men must remain vigilant.

  30. Backyard Bob

    Kaye Lee,

    I think it’s somewhat a matter of relief that only a couple of LNP fools came out and tried to defend Brigg’s character in a general sense. I can understand the motive, but like Briggs in his everyday behaviour it shows a serious deficit of sound judgement. And on that point of sound judgement it has to be noted that Briggs has not shown any in pretty much any context, from complaining about journalists calling him a “junior” Minister to trying to crash tackle Abbott at a staff party to inviting a junior public servant to a bar after an event. Each and every one stupid beyond belief. Mind you, the young public servant’s fellow department staffers let her down badly in not advising her to not socialise with a Dept Minister, which is, in itself, a significant error of judgement and lapse of professionalism.

    Briggs’ Chief of Staff is obviously not worth his salary. He also should have known better then to let the woman place herself in a potentially compromising position (by that I don’t mean sexually but in a broad sense professionally). Briggs is where he ought be, essentially nowhere.

  31. Backyard Bob

    Brett,

    I’m on Admin’s side, B. Bob.

    Well, of course you are, but unlike the admin, you need much more than just a better sarcasm detector.

  32. The AIM Network

    Backyard Bob, we have removed our comment. We apologise to you for our error.

  33. Backyard Bob

    No sweat, admin. Remove my response to it as well if you wish.

  34. Matthew Oborne

    What shocks me Diannaart is Someone Like Julie Bishop who I feel saw that in the context of the times that her male collegues couldnt rubbish feminism in the wake of Abbotts sexist behavior but she could.

    Schools do a very good job in these times making children understand issues, but the whole boy girl thing is still there when really we are people first who need to treat each other as equals.

    As a man I have witnessed sexist behavior, a woman I worked with was in exactly the same position as me but got less than me, so we had to go together and demand her equal pay which was disgusting because our positions started out as different but when the employer left the two of us to run the business for him it should have been understood that we both had equal responsibility, but my original position was given as the reason I was paid more.

    The fact is we accept different treatment of women because they are paid less.

    We can show the gender pay gap has increased when it should be equal.

    My daughter is 7 and when she was younger I was able to point out all the women with high jobs in cabinet, we had a female PM. the world as she could experience had the possibility of being an equal society yet I dont know how to tell her we elected a pig and the old boys club resurgence was underway yet again.

    Australia lost a lot of itself when it didnt give her a chance to be what she was fighting to be.

  35. chrishav2001

    This is a disappointing article. Which is a pity, as many of the assertions within, especially about sexual harassment and gender stereotyping, are spot on.
    Unfortunately however, the writer confuses the issues of sexual harassment and gender on one hand, with so-called marital infidelity on the other.
    The first and most important point to make is that Briggs’s (alleged) actions, if the reports are accurate, would be just as reprehensible and sleazy if he were single. As many have pointed out, sexual harassment is any unwanted, unreciprocated act of a sexual nature. Alcohol is no excuse and I agree with the writer’s comments about the double standards around gender.
    But moralistic, judgmental assertions about the sanctity of marriage do not even belong in the same post code, let alone the same article, as the subject of harassment and gender.
    As for the idea that anyone, male or female, who has ever has extra-marital sex is forever branded a “liar” or “cheat”… please! It sounds like something out of an American court drama where the attorney cross-examines the witness by saying, “you must have lied to your spouse once, so how can we believe anything you say?”
    The institution of marriage itself, of course, originates in religious dogma which is invariably misogynist in nature.
    But there was no martial infidelity here in any case. What there was was sexual harassment, which is unlawful and inappropriate.

  36. Kaye Lee

    When Tony Abbott described Fiona Scott as having sex appeal, she said she took it as a compliment. FFS you women, perhaps you enjoy flirting at work but you seem not to understand what you burden the rest of us with when you condone that sort of behaviour. The fact that that even entered his mind is inappropriate let alone being so gauche as to list it as one of her attributes and a reason to vote for her. That absolutely humiliating video of Tony urging people to vote for him because he was the one with the good-looking daughters. This entire mentality must be challenged if women are to ever truly approach equality. In my experience, women have to earn everyone’s respect by being knowledgeable, hardworking, strong, and approachable – men so often get advancement on the coat tails of someone else or through jobs for mates (eg Tim Wilson has been ringing around seeing if he has the numbers to run for the Victorian Senate seat vacated by Michael Ronaldson). I realise that is a sweeping generalisation but there are so many examples as to make it noticeable.

    Personally I would like to see the hundreds of billions wasted every year on the beauty industry spent on something that mattered.

  37. Matthew Oborne

    While there are many sexist comments from Tony Abbott this one I found the most disturbing as it is him saying a woman shouldnt have the absolute right to withold sex.

    ‘I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak’

    Had Murdochs rags run front page quotes of his sexist rubbish instead of saying he is a god. Our country would be a much better place

  38. Matters Not

    the young public servant’s fellow department staffers let her down badly in not advising her to not socialise with a Dept Minister

    Not sure about that. We know she is in her twenties but we don’t know whether she is 21 or 29. Don’t know whether married or single or position held. I am willing to bet she wasn’t from the typing pool.

    Seems to me, regardless of age, she is, and was, quite capable of taking care of herself as Jamie now knows only too well. She was possibly just doing her job as she may have done on countless other occasions. Wouldn’t be abnormal for diplomatic staff to be out and about with visiting Ministers.

  39. diannaart

    Matthew

    I have developed a pretty good radar, over the years, to alert me to ‘men with a sense of entitlement’. However, in my professional career I was brought undone by the ambitious “I am one of the boys” women. Some of my most consistent and loyal supporters were men – this is why, in spite of once being married to a violent man, I simply cannot castigate all men – I know there are some heroes among you. (OOps I’m getting teary).

    As I watch, as more and more women enter positions of power, these prickly brittle women are being outnumbered. Julie Bishop is just as much as dinosaur as are her male counterparts.

  40. Sir ScotchMistery

    Should we bring in a system of marking our comments for the less enlightened?

    I like the use of “…whatever your ironic comment is..”, for example.

    It’s patently obvious that the comment was sarcy to anyone equipped with half a brain

  41. John Fraser

    <

    Kaye Lee

    Bit of cherry picking here, but its easy to see where Abbott is (was) coming from :

    "Erasmus was also the best-selling author of his day. Over one million copies of his works had been printed by 1515, devoured by a Latin intelligentsia in the free-thinking heyday of the Renaissance, chortling at his satires on clerical pedantry and the industry of holy relics.
    But after lighting the fire of evangelical reform, he watched in horror as the ideologues took over. They charged headlong into the Augustinian cul-de-sac of original sin and predestination, led by Martin Luther, a volcanic force of nature, or the "Goth" as Erasmus called him. Luther preferred to see the whole world burn and Christian Europe split into armed camps, rather than yield an inch on points of doctrine. And burn they did. The killing did not end until the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648".:

    Excellent Article overall with particular emphasis on "The great disorder" :

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/world-economic-and-political-order-stronger-than-it-looks-20160101-glxqii.html

  42. David

    I suspect Mrs Briggs attack on Turnbull for sacking her husband, is more about her loss of social standing as a Ministers wife and the perks attached to the position, rather than the sexual harassment, which don;t warrant a mention from her.
    It’s the Tory way don’t you know.

  43. Matthew Oborne

    Diannart My sister bought a coffee shop about five years ago now she has made a great success of it and yes the great thing about it is there is no pressure to be one of the boys. I know that well, I have seen people out ruthless the most ruthless just to show they are strong and it is simply wrong to do.

    We are humans. I dont believe someone can be a monster for eight hours of a day and still say they are one of us, just doing my job is no excuse for hurting people but so many do it.

    As well as equality I do think we have to look at jobs that require almost sociopathic traits to perform and remove them from our society.

    The best thing to do is look in the mirror and be true about what lies underneath.

  44. diannaart

    “…I do think we have to look at jobs that require almost sociopathic traits to perform and remove them from our society.”

    One of the greatest successes of any controlling power is the ability to divide and conquer. We see it all the time. We still, apparently fall for it… all the bloody time. MuslimsVChristians, refugeesVxenophobes and the biggest one of all; men versus women.

    We have seen our enemy – within us all.

    To rout the sociopath requires a massive change to a system which is not already controlled by such people. How to change from ‘greed is good’ to collective progress?

    Dunno.

    I figure the greater variety of people in power, such as we have witnessed a little here and there, through the likes of some very surprising and enlightening Independents (I mean Ricky Muir – who would’ve predicted it?), greater numbers of Independents and small parties are our best and, I believe, only chance.

    The one thing the two-party system fears is the weakening of the 2-party system (apologies if anyone thinks this is off-topic -I don’t believe it is, sexual entitlement has always been about power).

    Screw the LNP and Screw you, Labor – you betrayer of the most sacred; the well-being of all.

  45. Matthew Oborne

    I was shocked in 2007 when I spoke to the candidate for wakefield, He was Labor and I approached him with my greatest gripe about why wont Labor change the legislation back to before Fraser when he made it harder to get human rights issues into our courts, subsequently forcing many to get decisions from overseas courts.

    Greg Champion said it was a matter of sovereignty that they wont change it back.

    I was furious that anyone could think sovereignty trumps human rights.

    Labor has many examples like that, it was Jenny Macklin who said she could live on bugger all, it was Chris Bowen who blamed innocent people for trashing the place they were locked up in, it was Julia Gillard who spoke out against Julian assange.

    That said I like a lot of people will donate my time this year to help Labor oust the Liberals because the Turnbull experiment is a far right winger in a leather jacket instead of the familiar straight Jacket.He is worse than Abbott because people think he isnt.

  46. Jaq

    Statistics from the HRC

    “Nearly one in five complaints received by the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)relate to sexual harassment. The vast majority of these take place in the workplace.2
    A telephone poll commissioned by the Commission in 2003 found that over 28 per cent of women had experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, compared to seven per cent of men.3
    Less than one third of interviewees from the Commission’s telephone survey who experienced sexual harassment in the workplace made a formal report or complaint about the sexual harassment.4”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/silence-about-sexual-harassment-in-hospitals-a-major-issue-doctors-say-20150308-13y9ki.html

    Its still a man’s world. We still have a culture of men here who think its their right to make sexual comment or to harass, without consequence, in every walk of life. Perhaps that is why the rates of abuse against women and DV deaths are so high.

    Until women are seen as equal, this culture will never change. Speak to 5 women at a dinner gathering and I can bet that at least 2 have experienced harassment or worse either as children, teenagers, or in the workplace.
    Will it change? I don’t know. But I do know it won’t be the men that do something about it.

  47. diannaart

    @Jaq

    But I do know it won’t be the men that do something about it.

    I disagree.

    Although not so long ago I would’ve echoed your statement.

    More and more men ARE speaking out, quite, loudly; the old boys’ network is floundering – they don’t have women making them their cups of tea any more and a lot other men have better things to, such as, enjoying their families than propping up some tired old boozy (boys will be boys) institution which has had its day.

  48. JeffJL

    ‘The point of this is that if a man (or woman) can justify the betrayal of those he/she cares most about, why would he/she think twice about betraying anybody else?’

    I think this answers your question Chrishav2001.

    Most telling sentence of the article to me Jennifer. Thanks.

  49. Jaq

    diannart

    Men have had their chance. Centuries in fact. Even religions make out women to be second class citizens, and religions are almost exclusively instigated by men. The fact that our very own Pell stated that ” “abortion is a worse moral scandal than priests sexually abusing young people”, more than suggests that their theory, that women are evil and deserving of punishment, than those men who rape children, proves how women are perceived in the 21st century.

    As long as there is money and power, as long as women believe they cannot fight back, nothing will change.
    It is only when we , as women, begin to fight back, refuse to stay silent, demand justice when this happens, and DO NOT brush it off as nothing, that things will start to change.Even coming from England when working in the 1980’s the Old Boy Network was in full swing, I see it here – in full swing. And in families you will find that sexual harassment tends to get the victim in trouble, more than the perpetrator. What has changed is the fact that some women now feel able to have the courage to speak out.

    Wish I could share your optimism but I do not.

  50. Miriam English

    There was a Kickstarter project a while ago (a year ago? two years ago? not sure — I have no time sense) for a documentary film to be titled “The Brainwashing of My Dad”. Yesterday Jen Senko, the woman who conceived and directed the movie sent a message to all the backers that we would be given an opportunity to watch the movie, free, online as a kind of end of year celebratory thank you.

    Well, this morning I watched it (I was one of the backers) and it was brilliant. It showed how the right-wing propaganda machine turned what was a burgeoning new age of social responsibility and progressive thinking into a tide of hate, racism, and intolerance through the careful use of talkback radio, right-wing think-tanks, Murdoch-owned media, and the buying of politicians.

    You would think that such a film would be depressing, right? In fact it gave great hope. It showed that we can undo the effects of the right-wing propaganda machine. All around us people are waking from its spell. There are powerful movements taking back our society from the liars and sociopaths. It is happening right now. I give it a year or two and I think we will see the corrupt, right-wing, hate machine crumple under the weight of its own lies.

    This morning after watching the movie I sent off an email to Jen to ask her if she minds if I petition our national broadcaster, ABC to screen it. I’m waiting on her reply. Hopefully you will all get to see this scary, but uplifting documentary soon.

  51. Paul Murchie

    ‘ The incident may not have been “illegal,” as Briggs hastens to assure us … ‘

    many activities are not “illegal”, many can be better described as “unlawful” …

    from the Party of Self-Exonerating Criminals, the TURC ROYAL COMMISSIONER opined that if a woman’s husband raped her, then it wasn’t rape because they were married ; or Bernard Gaynor’s July 29, 2014 wisdom that “Marriage is about sex. And people of the same-sex can’t have sex” ; or Captain Nastie saying that, although he was in charge of specialised soldiers in his command who mutilated the corpses of war-dead by removing their hands for “finger printing purposes”, he was not responsible as he was in a helecopter over-head at the time ; or what about #28’s gem that a man is better to do wrong than not and that to seek forgiveness afterward is the way to go ? ; or the Credlin Android’s insistence that “justice doesn’t have to be done, it has to be seen to have been done” ; or #29’s defence of Aggressive Tax Evasion by Pariamentarians (and other Psychophants of the 1% who are intent on the IDEOLOGICAL Economic Destruction and Austeritisation of the country) : it’s not illegal, it’s common practice and i’m not culpable because i don’t care !

    indeed …

    as for Briggs “inappropriate activities” which saw him get “stood down” from his position … hmm … well, if Hokum can Deliberately run the Economy into Recession AND get rewarded with a plum Diplomatic Post to WDC (@ $380,000 Salary PLUS $90,000 Pension PLUS $180,000 Parliamentary Pension for Life PLUS what we’re not “entitled” enough to know about), i’d have to surmise that the Briggs Debacle is a fit-up (man-with-reputation gets intoxicated and abusive and dobbed in to some inner-party scalp collector for undisclosed reasons). a slobbering drunk gets inappropriately “affectionate” with an anonymous Public Servant, especially by LNP “standards” this would be nothing to take action over. and if Kenny’s out blustering (read “establishing the Script for the Faithful”) !

    PFFT …

    Φ

  52. Jennifer Wilson

    chrishav2001 I’m not arguing for the “sanctity of marriage,” a concept I have no belief in. My point is that when someone does enter into marriage or monogamous partnership a commitment is made that is then betrayed by infidelity.
    Neither am I arguing that someone is “forever” a liar and cheat, rather that someone who chooses to live in a duplicitous manner with the ones closest to him or her is unlikely to place much value on truth and loyalty to anyone else. This has nothing to do with a presumed sanctity of marriage, but with betrayal of all kinds.
    If someone in a committed relationship sexually harasses or assaults someone else, then they’ve betrayed their partner as well. This isn’t a moral judgement, it’s self-evident reality.

  53. Lee

    That’s weird body language for a Christmas card. They look like they could use one of Kev’s marriage counselling vouchers.

  54. Maureen Walton (@maureen_walton)

    What a terrible Shame this incident is. The Women I think is really of strong character and I admire her for making it known. And who had to put up with the incident should never have had to go through it at all. Women should be able to have a night out with out having some creep touch her or say inappropriate things.
    Especially from a man who has young children at home. These things do make a lot of difference in childrens life, especially now that it is public and will always be public. Time men learned Respect and Boundaries so they can teach there little children some too…..Women should learn that, just because your husband has a position that is no reason to say it is okay when they are flirting with other women as then you are teaching your children also to have no respect for self or others for others…

  55. Backyard Bob

    Matters Not,

    Not sure about that. We know she is in her twenties but we don’t know whether she is 21 or 29.

    etc etc. Fair call. Good points all round. [Just wanted to note it so you didn’t think I’d missed the valuable input.]

  56. philgorman2014

    Misogyny in Power

    We can take it as a given that power corrupts. In most societies the vast majority of males still grow up assuming they are entitled by virtue of their gender to bolster their fragile egos by dominating and exploiting others. With few exceptions this has been one of the pillars of every civilisation. We still have a lot of evolving to do.

    Women are still placed among “the others”. This is a very deep seated cultural given. Brigg’s behaviour stems from his sense of entitlement. In male circles it is not only thought to be normal; it is actively encouraged by the male pack mentality. From street gangs, to the cabinet, to the college of surgeons they usually get away with it. Briggs would be considered as unlucky and hard done by. A woman had the temerity to call him out and someone else actually acted on it.

  57. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Well said Miriam English. I will look out for that film.

  58. lawrencesroberts

    From the family photo: His dog still loves him. All is not lost.

  59. VON

    While Briggs comportment in Hong Kong is inexcusable, it is his plans for Norfolk Island that are most disturbing. The Government’s own report shows Briggs reform plans for the Island will collapse the economy there and turn it into a welfare basket case in the South Pacific. That will be his legacy. Mrs Briggs has been strangely mute on the demolition of a once proud-and hardworking-community.

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