The Great Purge Rolls On in Australian Parliament

December 5, 2021 Updated: December 6, 2021

Commentary

“Like Fresh Meat: Detailing Rampant Sex Harassment in Australia’s Parliament.” This was the lurid headline in the New York Times this week, describing a report into harassment and bullying in Australia’s parliament.

“A sweeping report lays out a cloistered, alcohol-fuelled environment where powerful men violated boundaries unchecked,” claimed the Times.

Typical biased NYT reporting. And just plain wrong. Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins survey (pdf) revealed 61 percent of the bullying was actually done by women.

And there wasn’t that much difference between male and female sexual harassment rates—42 percent of victims were women verses 32 percent men. The vast majority of people (75 percent) who were sent the survey didn’t bother to respond.

Only half of the self-selected people who participated reported experiencing any bullying or harassment, and 1 percent claimed actual or attempted sexual assault.

There was also some fudging of the data. The survey used the broadest possible definition of sexual harassment which included staring, leering and loitering, sexually suggestive jokes/comments, and repeated invitations to go on a date.

The supposed toxic parliamentary environment covered incidents occurring when people travelled for work or attended after-work drinks—far from the parliamentary workplace.

Pretty disappointing to only have a third of people claim harassment after casting such a wide net, eh?

This whole pantomime stemmed from a desperate attempt by Scott Morrison to throw the dogs a bone, after being savaged by the mob stirred up by the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins in Parliament House.

Epoch Times Photo
Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins reacts as she attends the Women’s March 4 Justice in Canberra, Australia, on March 15, 2021. (Lukas Coch/AAP Image)

The media is dutifully promoting Jenkins’ demand that all her 28 recommendations must be accepted in full. But we’re talking here about some very big asks, like a new Independent Parliamentary Standards Commission to police sexual misconduct rules. Tantamount to a kangaroo court, the Commission would have the authority to impose sanctions on people deemed to have broken their rules.

And then there are the new quotas to achieve gender targets amongst parliamentarians, part of a “ten-year strategy to advance gender equality, diversity and inclusion.”

The justification for this leap into broader social engineering? The report simply claims lack of diversity contributes to a “boys’ club culture and bullying, sexual harassment and assault.” They mouth the usual feminist mantra and it is taken as gospel.

Now the game continues, with the government considering the recommendations—a process they will try to string out until the forthcoming election.

The usual suspects in the media already saying that nothing is being done and the opposition will use the lack of action to beat up the government. People everywhere know this is all a lot of hogwash, a desperate attempt from a struggling government to keep the feminist mob at bay.

It reminded me of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s famous story of the audience at the Soviet Communist Party conference not daring to be the first person to cease clapping after the speech honouring Stalin.

On and on they clapped, fearing that the first to stop would be sent off to the Gulag—which is exactly what happened.

There are sinister echoes in Australia today to the world Solzhenitsyn describes where people don’t dare challenge the ludicrous dogma being promoted by the Party.

Epoch Times Photo
British Prime minister Winston Churchill (L), US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (C) and Secretary general of the Soviet Communist Party Joseph Stalin (R) pose at the start of the Conference of the Allied powers in Yalta, Crimea, on Feb. 4, 1945. (STF/AFP/Getty Images)

Endless denunciations and show trials are used to warn of the risks of not siding with the pack. Further groupspeak has become the only safe option.

Look at this headline, used for a news.com.au article this week, reporting on a survey about attitudes towards gender equality in the workplace: “Survey reveals insane thing half of Aussie men believe.”

The “insane thing” that 50 percent of Australian men believe, is that “reverse discrimination is occurring in the workplace, with women being boosted up the career ladder simply because of their gender.”

How’s that for unbiased reporting? All the major media covering the story went to strenuous lengths to belittle men’s experiences. They know they must keep clapping.

The final week of this bumpy year in parliament included a very telling moment where Greens Senator Lidia Thorpe was forced to apologise to fellow female Senator Hollie Hughes for an outrageous remark made when Hughes was speaking about her disabled child during a debate around the National Disability Scheme.

Thorpe was overheard by another senator to remark, “at least I keep my legs shut.”

Can you imagine if a man was to make such a remark? But Thorpe’s credentials are regarded as impeccable, as one of the first Aboriginal women in parliament and a domestic violence survivor. So, her violation of parliamentary boundaries will have no serious consequences.

Then came the show trial.

Education Minister Alan Tudge has been stood down from his cabinet post whilst the latest allegations from his former staffer Rachelle Miller are investigated.

Miller is a married mother who acknowledged last November that four years ago she’d had a consensual affair with her boss—after ABC’s Four Corners blew the whistle on their relationship.

Cheered on by the feminists keen to impose maximum damage on the government just prior to the Christmas break, she’s gone public with a new story claiming this was an abusive relationship.

Miller said she had been drinking with Tudge, ended up totally hammered, naked in bed with him, unable to even remember if she’d had sex with him. She claims to have been woken by a phone call from a breakfast television producer but when she took the call, Tudge yelled at her and pushed her out of his bed.

That a married woman would choose to go public with such a story defies belief.

“Has she no shame?” a friend blurted out, a thought which echoes across the nation even as the compliant media runs with her sob story that she suffered a “power imbalance.” No one dares point out to the poor pet that’s what happens when you bonk your boss.

Just as Stalin ultimately came unstuck as his policies proved disastrous, scepticism about the imposed feminist narrative is surely growing every day. We can only hope sanity returns soon.

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.