Is There Anything Young Men Can Do to Protect Themselves From Malicious Accusations?

January 6, 2022 Updated: January 9, 2022

Commentary

What gives a fundraising platform the right to act as our moral guardians determining which victims we are permitted to support? I’ve just been banned from GoFundMe, after starting a fundraiser to support a college tutor fighting an unfair dismissal case against a Melbourne university in Australia.

This fundraising platform is full of campaigns to raise funds for sexual abuse “survivors,” including those accused of other crimes, such as defamation. But supporting this case was deemed “prohibited conduct,” and the woke institution pulled the rug out, refunding all donations.

The whole drama started four days before Christmas when one of our elite Melbourne universities announced they were firing the tutor. His employment was terminated forthwith—just in time for the festive season.

This young man’s story should send a chill through the ranks of every man working in an organization in Australia. His alleged crime was sexual harassment.

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Activists and advocates for survivors of sexual abuse gather in the Federal Building Plaza to protest the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in Chicago, Ill., on Sept. 28, 2018. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The glaring lesson which emerged is there is nothing men can do to protect themselves from malicious accusations. This guy, I’ll call him “Chris,” was an ultra-cautious man, very conscious of the need to maintain professionalism in his role as a residential college assistant and tutor.

He’s a 30-year-old with a Ph.D., in his first job after achieving his Ph.D. in psychology, a position which required him to live with the students providing pastoral care.

All was going well until one of the girls, let’s call her “Eve,” took a shine to him. He hadn’t even registered her interest until a member of the administrative staff pointed it out to him.

Chris then took strenuous measures to ensure professional boundaries were kept, such as: telling staff and students he would never have female students alone in his room; making sure doors were kept open if he was with females in a common space; changing his personal phone number so students couldn’t contact him other than through email; and avoiding social interaction with Eve.

He also reported what was going on to the college principal, particularly when another student spread a rumor he was having sex with Eve, and sought advice from colleagues as well as the relevant university HR unit.

Eve was clearly not happy when she met resistance to her attempts at more intimate social interaction with Chris, complaining he hugged other students but not her when saying goodbye to them, or when he reopened the door of the common room where he was studying with her, after she had closed it.

In July, he was suddenly officially informed that a complaint had been made against him by Eve and told he had to leave the residential hall.

The whole matter ended up in the hands of an external investigator who took four months to interview Eve and the friends who collaborated her story. Chris was not permitted to contact witnesses who could have supported his version of events.

Many of the alleged sexual harassment offences were trivial in the extreme. Like catching her by the waist when she was tripping over. Placing a scarf around her shoulders after she had specially asked for one. Placing a blanket around her and other students sitting outside on a cold night. Including her in a group of students receiving goodbye hugs after an event. Placing a hand on her shoulder whilst herding students across a busy road. All these events occurred in the presence of other students, with Chris treating all students in a similar manner.

The most damning allegation involved Chris supposedly asking Eve to a movie night in his room, where he hugged her and touched her knee. Chris says emphatically that this was a fabrication, pointing out that when this was alleged to have happened, he had already approached his superiors and the university’s HR program for advice on handling the unwanted interest Eve was showing. Yet, the external investigator claims the movie night allegation was “proved.”

Epoch Times Photo
Chris took precautions to keep professional boundaries with Eve yet was still accused of sexual harassment. (Finn Mund/Unsplash)

It’s notable that some of the more outrageous claims in the list—such as suggesting Eve be shown photos of male genitalia—was listed as unproven, presumably because witnesses failed to support her story.

There’s just no way this process can claim to offer just treatment to the accused man when the investigator chose to include only witnesses recruited by Eve, excluding those suggested by Chris who could have disproved many of the allegations. This applies particularly to the administrator who warned Chris that Eve had a crush on him, and kept tabs on the young woman, noting her unhappiness when Chris put up professional barriers to restrain contact with her.

It is mighty depressing ploughing through the list of 35 allegations made by this young woman and her friends, knowing that many thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on this one-sided investigation designed to shaft the accused young man. In today’s climate, there’s just no other possible outcome from this arse-covering exercise than to dig up suitable dirt to support the university’s initial decision to turf him out.

We’ve had one of our campus justice legal team helping Chris through the investigation process and we are very grateful to him for his valiant efforts. We started the GoFundMe to support the unfair dismissal case through the Fair Work Commission and are still collecting donations to fund this battle.

Throughout the Christmas period I worried about this impressive young man, who was already devastated when we first had contact back in August, after he found himself thrown out of the college and publicly shamed. Now he faces the New Year broke and jobless after working for years studying for his Ph.D.

What a start to the New Year—a telling reminder of the dangerous world we are facing and the need for us all to step up, speak out and take on this mob controlling our lives.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Bettina Arndt is an Australian writer and social commentator on gender issues. She was the country’s first sex therapist and feminist, before focusing on men’s rights. Arndt has authored several books and has written for major newspaper titles, magazines, and has featured regularly on television. She received the Order of Australia in 2020 for her work in promoting gender equity through advocacy for men. Find her online at her blog, BettinaArndt.substack.com.