By Tess Lawrence
Women live with Mandemic virus
Scott Morrison’s coercive control of women
In this third and final excerpt of her treatise, Tess Lawrence takes no prisoners but leaves no woman behind. In the face of the Mandemic, she calls for women – and the world – and politicians to all woman up. (Please also see Part 1 and Part 2).
Women have long lived with what I call the Mandemic virus.
Like Coronavirus, it has various global variants and mutations and as burgeoning statistics attest, can cause physical and psychological injury – and prove fatal.
Unlike Coronavirus, there is no Mandemic vaccine.
Ironically and catastrophically, Coronavirus has formed an antigenic shift with the Mandemic virus, igniting sporadic breakouts of increased ‘domestic’ violence, mostly by men, towards women, children and their families in general.
Women have become the punching bags of the world. As well as the perennial sexcuse ‘she made me do it’ chuck in another one. Blame Covid-19.
I killed her. I blame her and Covid. They made me do it
Blame Coronavirus and everything and anything for beating her up, for knifing her, for running over her with the car, for glassing her, for kicking her in the stomach while she’s carrying a baby, for breaking her arm, for strangling her, for pouring petrol on her, for throwing acid on her face, for gaslighting her, for beheading her, for drowning her, for stoning her, for starving her, for breaking her spirit, for drugging her, for killing her children, for setting her and the children alight in a car, for throwing her/your child off a bridge, for raping her, for gang raping her, for killing her by grief, for not allowing her to vote, to dance, to sing, to love, to lust, for harassing her, for demeaning her, for sodomising her with implements, for torturing her, for keeping her uneducated, unfed, unhealthy, poor, for selling her into sexual slavery, for not letting her vote or stand for public office, for killing her with an axe, for killing her with a gun, for killing her with a Kalashnikov, a rapid fire assault rifle, for killing her with barrel bombs, cluster munitions, landmines, chlorine and lewisite, for mutilating her, for slicing off her clitoris, for killing her by humiliation, for ridiculing her, by rumours, for degrading her in public, for killing her by stealth, for killing her dreams, for killing her hope, for killing her aspirations, for stealing her dreams, for slut-shaming her, for killing her with unkindness, for sobbing like a girl, for weaponising sex abuse, by killing her with political psycho violence, for killing her with coercive control.
To all the above I have been privy. As a journalist, as an advocate, as a sister to all the women and girls and girl babies above. Some of the above I have experienced.
She. We. I. Have nowhere to hide.
Govt in-house inquiries into rape and sex abuse, dead loss
The industrial strength parliamentary allegations of rape and sexual harassment have resulted in a plethora of various inquiries, reports and navel upskirting, making international headlines and deadlines.
The community has to endure the nonsensical and irritating propensity of time-wasting of so-called ‘independent’ in-house investigations, often led by party flunkies, former or current staffers. They are a dead loss.
They are meaningless and invariably have happy endings for the accused. Nothing to see here, nothing to hear here, nothing to say. The government is simply regurgitating its own vomit.
Morrison’s cos, John Kunkel, an émigré from Rio Tinto that used sacred Juukan Caves for target practice
They are an insult to our intelligence and to justice. Most of all they are an insult to those who are courageous enough to speak their truth.
Take the facile Kunkel Report. It should be read with more than a grain of Epsom salts.
Dr John Kunkel is Morrison’s chief of staff and general advisory factotum. A proud émigré from Rio Tinto, the blow up doll of the mining industry who used the indigenous sacred caves of Juukan for target practice.
See what I mean? Goodness me, he might as well have been seconded to the Prime Minister by Rio Tinto.
It was Dr Kunkel who was charged with the onerous task of investigating the black ops sleazebags who were spreading false rumours about David Sharaz, partner of Brittany Higgins – his own colleagues in his own office, mind you. As if.
The Battle of Great Brittany in Manberra
Inspired by Grace Tame’s courage and example, on February 14, former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who worked for then Minister for Defence Industry, the hapless and some say hopeless, Linda Reynolds, revealed she had allegedly been raped by a colleague on a sofa in the Minister’s office in March, 2019.
The allegation stunned an already disgusted public, especially in learning how reaching out to her political peers left Higgins feeling threatened and isolated.
Headlines ricocheted around the world about this latest in a string of allegations and loud rumour that still swirl about Canberra, better named Manberra.
The usual platitudes of faux concern slid out of Morrison’s mouth, along with the pro forma denial of all knowledge of any such thing.
Il Duce Dutton Minister for Home Affairs and Au Pairs reduce Higgins’ claim to “He said, she said.” Really?
Add to this nothingness the repugnant, snide remarks by the ever-plotting prime minister-in-waiting Peter Dutton, still smarting from Morrison shrewdly out manoeuvering him for the top job in the Turnbull coup.
The then Minister for Home Affairs and Au Pairs blithely dismissed the Higgins allegations as a mere “he said, she said” affair. Really?
Well no. Not really. It turns out that Il Duce Dutton was being less than honest with the Australian people he professes to serve. Further, he has been more than duplicitous and misrepresented the facts about his knowledge of the Higgins allegations and his contact with his nemesis, Prime Minister Morrison – his office and minions.
An appalling Home Affairs Minister, Il Duce is now busy making an even greater mess of his current Defence portfolio than his predecessor, Marise Payne, whom Morrison has pathetically crowned the Prime Minister for Women in yet another forensic red flag of his disassociation to women and dismissal of the physical and psycho political sexual assault crisis in our Parliament that now warrants a Royal Commission.
Moreover, this crisis continues to compromise our national security and confirms that Dutton has lost control of this aspect of both portfolios. The stereotyping of cherchez la femme has obscured the brutal reality of cherchez l’homme.
Security Alert! If Putin has video of Trump peeing on prostitutes, what does he have on Aussie politicians?
If Vladimir Putin really has footage of Donald Trump peeing on prostitutes (hope they got paid extra, not for the peeing but because it was the Donald) then imagine what filth he has on Australian ministers and parliamentarians in general.
Despite serious allegations made by a number of women employed by the government, most politicians, including females, failed to make any definitive statements.
They displayed the political cowardice for which Australia has become synonymous, whether the discussion is about submarines, asylum seekers, voting at the United Nations, the judicial system, the workplace, the home, wage parity, aged are, superannuation, employment opportunity, welfare, housing, gender equality, Indigenous and other human rights, religious persecution, abortion, climate change or change of life. By any measure women get a bum deal.
But Australia has been blessed with a singular tribe of mostly young, fearless warrior women who have emerged from the shadows of autocratic abusive male dominance to stand defiantly in front of their accusers and their fellow Australians to call out and denounce their abusers and the systemic culture of toxic masculinity that protects and incubate them, including within corrupt political and institutional spheres.
Grace refuses to tame the shrew
Grace Tame, 2021 Australian of the Year, left the nation in awe with her profoundly eloquent, inspiring and moving acceptance speech. It shamed those of us who could have done more and didn’t. Including female politicians.
No more shaming or taming of the shrew within!
The end of her courageous speech when she talks of her serial rapist teacher’s command to be quiet, still echoes in my head and turns my gut:
“I remember him saying, ‘Don’t make a sound…
Well, hear me now!
Using my voice, amongst a growing chorus of voices that will not be silenced.
Let’s make some noise, Australia!”
Tame’s speech prompts ScoMo’s ‘Felt good to get that out’ remark as if he was speaking about a fart
The first publicly known survivor of child sexual abuse to win the award, as well as the first Tasmanian recipient (she earlier won Tasmanian of the Year) Tame was also responsible for changing Tasmania’s archaic gag laws to enable victims/survivors to identify themselves if they so wished.
And what did our Prime Minister say to Tame after her compelling speech?
‘Well, gee, I bet it felt good to get that out!’
This is our Prime Minister speaking for gawd’s sake. As if he were talking about a fart. His repugnant and crass response again reflects a patronising pathology. Either he just doesn’t get it, or he just doesn’t care. Or both.
Women force fed manburger with the lot
It is apparent that our political system is geared to protect the guilty from all sides of the political spectra. The Westminster system was constructed by men, for men and remains mostly comprised of men to this day.
This inequity is reflected in all tiers of our society and the body politic, women are force fed the manburger with the lot.
Lacklustre leaders and governments without vision like Scott Morrison and the LNP compound the problem. The Labor Party and the Greens are not without sin. The world has a glut of such men.
Of course, Australia is not on its Pat Malone with any of this but given our track record we are implicit and complicit in the decrepit legacy world order that subjugates women through coercive control, menace and mendacity. We need a new model of government and governance.
Women getting the short end of the dick
If it is correct that 80 per cent of the world is ruled by men, then at 20 per cent women are surely getting the short end of the dick.
Don’t be misled by inane Coalition propaganda that it is genuinely concerned about the plight of women and girls in this country or any other.
We openly trade, consort, cavort and play sport with regimes that treat girls and women as chattels ultimately owned and enslaved by the male dominated state.
We do so because we share strands of the same intellectual and societal DNA as these foul regimes.
Execution of adulterous Saudi Arabian women related to execution of Hannah Clarke and her three children
The stoning to death of an adulterous woman in Saudi Arabia is unquestionably related to the horrific murders of Hannah Clarke and her three children, Aaliyah 6, Laianah 4, and Trey 3, burned alive by Hannah’s estranged husband Rowan Baxter, who poured petrol on his family and set them alight while they were in their car in Brisbane, February last year.
Ultimately, they were both executions engineered by the state. By defaullt. By intent.
In her 2019 book ‘Coercive Control – See What You Made Me Do’ and so-named SBS TV series, Australian journalist Jess Hill provides us with a litany of ugly home truths about this insidious societal disease that Australia has failed to incorporate into our Commonwealth criminal code, unlike Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland.
Why do you think that might be?
“For a lot of people [coercive control] sounds like second-grade abuse, a lower form of abuse that wouldn’t be so hard to recover from. What the model of coercive control shows, is that where that is present, you are actually looking at a situation of entrapment, not just abuse.”
The psychological trap and the threat of violence for non-compliance is often enough to keep victims in a state of fear. In the case of Hannah Clarke, Baxter would change his routine randomly to keep her guessing his movements.”
Morrison’s – and the Coalition’s continual sometimes subliminal attempts to coercively control women – ultimately relegates us to instruments and possessions of the state, do they not? They are the same and similar tactics deployed by the likes of the Taliban, Islamic State, Boko Haram, cults, established religions and various pop up terrorist groups.
American Evan Stark’s book ‘Coercive Control – How men entrap women in personal life’ first published 14 years ago, nails the similarities between terrorism, hostage taking and coercive control.
I add the sexual grooming tactics of predators and the more blunt force tactics like cyber terrorism, spiking drinks and raping women whilst they are drunk or unconscious. Or dead.
I’m also adding government, fiscal, political and institutional coercive control of women. Dammit, chuck in manburger with the lot!
Australia slave to Granny England and Uncle Sam and any fossil that precedes the word ‘fuels’
In Australian politics we continue to follow whilst others lead. Latterly, there are no saints and few heroes. We boldly go only where others have already trod and that includes banal intellectual wastelands and fallow paddocks.
We don’t stand on the shoulders of our own giants, instead we genuflect to the United States, party donors, benefactors, sponsors and any fossil that precedes the word ‘fuels.’ We buy, sell and trade policies and principles on the toss of a dollar.
Since white settlement, we have never stopped tugging at the mullet that grows like a razorback hog’s down what remains of our political backbone, to ingratiate ourselves with Granny England, Uncle Sam or the carpet baggery of home grown and imported marauding mining companies.
Today Morrison is at the helm of this fetid heap of poisonous tailings.
His benign demeanour is dangerous. Consider the company he keeps. I’m not talking only about his QAnon mate, Tim Stewart or indeed Brian Houston but rather those who comprise and compromise his government.
Red-faced wombat Barnaby, eats beetroot and leaves
For a start there’s the red-faced wombat, deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, so called because he eats beetroot and leaves.
Barnaby’s philandering Joyce stick had already once caused him to be stripped of the position and cost him a marriage as well as inspiring then PM Turnbull’s ministerial ‘bonk ban’ on having sex with staff.
Even though Morrison is said to loathe Joyce and claims he cannot interfere in National Party internal politics, he could have and should have in this instance, given the squalid, hypocrisy of Joyce’s past and the (strenuously denied) allegations of sexual harassment by Catherine Marriott.
Regional as well as National Party women have deplored Joyce’s return, including former federal and state president, Christine Ferguson. The Nationals are no different to others when it comes to the disregard and disrespect for the safety and well being of women and girls.
Not only did an in house investigation into the allegations against Joyce predictably prove inconclusive but now there are circumstances concerning the man who headed up that investigation that warrants a truly independent investigation into Marriott’s allegations that will be seen to be fair to both parties.
It was discovered that Ross Cadell, the Nationals’ NSW State Director who oversaw the Joyce inquiry had been the subject of an apprehended domestic violence order by police in 2014 on behalf of Cadell’s former wife, that had later been withdrawn.
Women have had enough of sexcuses
Morrison’s pimping of obnoxious behaviour has been debated on social and anti-social multimedia platforms, mainstream and upstream media alike, in the court of public opinion and in national protest marches led by angry women who have had enough of sexcuses; me included.
Enough is more than enough. We have reached a stage when the coalition’s response to serial allegations of rape and other forms of sexual abuse and intimidation, harassment, covert and overt violence both within and close to parliament’s portals, are met by SloMo and his bovver boys and girls with indifference and diffidence.
The Liberal and National parties are mired in sewage of their own making; muck expunged from a body politic riddled with parasites feeding on their egos.
Too harsh? I’m not finished.
The reflux of the allegations by a now dead woman of rape against former Attorney-General Christian Porter and the allegation by Brittany Higgins that she was raped by a former parliamentary staff member have forever severed the larynx of the LNP circa Scott Morrison.
The facile and arrogant notion held by Morrison and Porter that he could remain Attorney General after his inane press conference when he outed himself, is again another red flag on the coercive control map.
So too is Porter’s arrogant presumption that anonymous monies poured into a Blind Trust is yesterday’s news, now that he has stood down as Industry Minister. Porter has long forfeited his right to represent Australia and the good folk of Pearce.
Christian Porter is the Minister for Christian Porter. Even in this porterfolio he has proven his deceit
Christian Porter is the Minister for Christian Porter. Even in this porterfolio, time and again he has shown his propensity for deceit. This ghastly man, who presumed he would one day be Prime Minister has been the architect of his own demise.
When Morrison goes down, and go down he will, the Porter scandal will indisputably be writ large on his political epitaph.
In my Independent Australia article, The night Porter and allegation of rape, I’ve documented a number of reasons for this claim.
We live in an era of big dick politics and big dick politicians. Hard men with hard-ons all the time, seemingly. Pun intended, there is more to come this side of the federal election.
Australia is a cause without a rebel
Time and again, claims of sexual harassment and cover-ups, the general fobbing off of women and the largely uncensured snide remarks and insult directed towards women for decades by members of both houses of parliament have brought the coalition into particular disrepute on this day. And for sure, some of the insult has been by women in the House.
Who can forget histrionic UteGirl, Michaelia Cash, the political scraps pecker who somehow reminds me of a gallus gallus domesticus (although that is probably unfair to your average chook) threatening to name “every young woman” in Bill Shorten’s office during a tit for tat Senates Estimates hearing?
This noxious bile spat from the mouth of a former Minister for Women! Now this political mercenary is the first law officer in the land. Just what is it about the likes of George Brandis, Christian Porter and Michaelia Cash that vaguely warrants their appointment to Attorney General?
Australia has become a cause without a rebel.
Women are political roadkill
Instead of railing against bigotry and bigots, the Prime Minister has led the Charge of the White Brigade. I’ve touched on only a few of the many worthy examples of proof
For too long in Australian politics, women have been perceived as roadkill. Politically, a bit on the side.
Throwing a few million overdue dollars at us recently is designed to shut us up, tantamount to economic coercive control.
It is as if we should be grateful for extra housekeeping money – if we’re good girls and don’t march or make a noise!
Women around the world live under a mandemic yoke. We need to woman up
We don’t need to wait for the results of a Morrison Rorschach test. He has a list of priors that are sourced well before he was elected PM. He has a modus operandi when dealing with problems – largely ignores them.
The global reality for women is that the design of all governments and regimes, fractured, rogue or otherwise practice coercive control of women, as do institutions and society in general, where it is so often culturally enshrined.
Our world remains a patriarchal collective, like it or no. Even the spoils of war, the looting and the mooting of a new world order really refers to male power, military and political supremacy. Let’s not kid ourselves that the notion embraces gender equality on any level. Millions of women are enslaven to men and their governments and governance.
None of this is so called feminist rhetoric, or the spoutings of any womanifesto. This is the reality for women and girls. The societal dominant and dominating gender is male. It is men who hold the greater power.
Australia and the rest of the world needs to forensically analyse what is left of our degraded democracies and all other forms of regimes infected with the Mandemic virus.
Some of us must step up and take responsibility for not making enough noise, as Grace Tame urges us to do.
We have to fight against an elitism and the corporatisation of what must be a new kind of emancipation. We need to see more so-called ordinary women and indigenous women attend summits and contribute to reports; women who are not always renowned corporate game changers, but women who are mostly voiceless. We need to seek them out, we need to hear their voices. We need to learn from them.
I want to hear from potential Hannah Clarkes and not just hold a wake around their funeral pyre.
Women – and the wonderful men who love us and support us – need to lock this in. To lock our arms around one another. Leave no woman behind. Politicians throughout the world need to acknowledge the wars on women.
Women, myself included, need to woman up.
Please Note: If you need any support, please reach out to Lifeline on 13 11 14. You are not alone.
© Tess Lawrence
Tess Lawrence is Contributing editor-at-large for Independent Australia and her most recent article is The night Porter and allegation of rape.
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