Ok, I need to say from the outset that I’m a man so when it comes to explaining things that gives me unique insights into the recent controversy about women’s issues.
Like a lot of people, I had made the mistake of thinking that women were the people to listen to on this issue, but apparently they don’t have the answers. As Peter van Onselen told us: “In the sexual assault debate, the focus has been on outrage rather than solutions.” Of course, when PvOS says that women have had “surprisingly few ideas”, it’s not actually clear what he means. Is he saying that the ideas put forward are not acceptable ideas to him, or is he surprised that women have ideas at all? With Peter, it’s hard to tell because he has a tendency to say one something silly one day, but he balances this by completely disagreeing with himself the next.
Now, I guess some of you are wondering why Pete refers to it as a “sexual assault debate” because that suggests that there are two sides to the argument and things like rape and sexual assault are illegal and therefore you’re thinking that there’s no debate to be had. However, that’s probably because you’re missing the subtlety of what’s happening. The debate is not about the rightness or wrongness of these crimes, it’s who’s in the best position to stop it. And the answer to that, of course, is that men are, so women expressing anger aren’t helping and they should leave it to the guys.
Let’s put van Onselen to one side and get back to the point of this whole thing. I’m here to help women by telling them what to do because it seems that they’re in need of a little guidance. Now, before you get on your high horse, let me say that this isn’t my idea. I’ve been reading a lot about this issue and there’s one clear thing that comes across from reading “The Australian” and that’s that women are angry and emotional and that’s uncool unless you’re the male PM, in which case it just demonstrates your depth of feeling on the issue.
Apparently, some women haven’t done enough and made their issues clear so it’s their fault that males like Scott Morrison were so unaware of the barriers facing women. However, now that some of these women are marching and making their concerns public, it seems that they’re a noisy group of left wingers trying to bring down the government simply because it took money out of programs to help prevent domestic violence and presided over a workplace where sexist behaviour is rampant.
These agitators marched on Parliament and wanted Morrison to go out and listen to them, but if they’d really wanted to get his attention why didn’t they march to the Rugby and into the winning change rooms. where he’s clearly happy to meet anyone who’s wearing the right top.
No, these women just don’t understand the way it works. Take that Grace Tame as an example. She seems to think that being given Australian of the Year gives her a licence to criticise the Prime Minister. The Courier Mail had an opinion piece saying exactly that which some people misunderstood and kept asking where one could apply for such a licence if one is needed. You don’t need a licence to criticise the PM, but when you’re a woman who‘s given an award or a job, you’re meant to be grateful and just accept things and not complain about anything. So Tame shouldn’t have expressed her view that Stoker was an inappropriate choice as Assistant Minister For Women just because she stated that Bettina Arndt thoroughly deserved her award and it’s far too easy for women to make complaints when they’re sexually harassed.
Or take Samantha Maiden. Apparently when Scotty switched from showing how much he was moved by the plight of women to suggest that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones and issued his “Be careful!” threat, he was specifically referring to a complaint that had been made against Maiden in the workplace. Just in case, she missed it, Aaron Patrick did a follow up piece in the AFR where he explained this, and pointed out that not only had some people found her difficult, but Patrick also disclosed that she’d suffered from anxiety and depression because we all needed to understand that this might be the reason that she was on the left wing side of the debate and therefore not thinking clearly.
On a side note, is there an irony to the fact that two of those driving the “debate” are named Tame and Maiden?
So, what are the solutions? Well, it seems to me after everything I’ve read from men on this issue, that women need to keep their heads down, do what they’re told and be grateful that there’s an extra woman in the Cabinet.
If women have better ideas than this, I suspect we’ll hear them. Unlike Peter van Onselen, I won’t be surprised.
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