Women are demanding an end to Australia’s culture of “toxic masculinity”
Allegations of rape against two members of the ruling Liberal Party in Australia have already sparked numerous protests and calls for an end to violence against women.
But filtering an amazing video Unveiling a man masturbating at the table of a female MP this week, a new profound bias has been unleashed, with critics renewing calls for a misogynistic culture across parliament and across Australian society.
“It is clear that there is a problem with toxic manhood in parliament,” said Janine Hendry, organizer of the nationwide protest movement Justice on March 4th. “But it’s terrifying that these are the patterns that are affecting our children, young men and women.”
Hendry, a Melbourne academic, led dozens of protesters in one of the protests last week, which caught his mood. frustration and anger. Demonstrators have called for legal reforms to protect women and investigations into allegations of rape against both parties.
Demonstrations have put pressure on the Liberal Party government, which has been accused by the opposition of covering up the alleged rape of a party adviser ahead of the 2019 elections.
But they have also exposed the wider problem of sexual harassment and violence against women, where an average woman dies every week in an event of domestic violence.
The issue exploded on the national agenda last month with Brittany Higgins, a former Liberal party adviser presumably was raped by a colleague in the parliamentary office of the Minister of Defense Industry in 2019. Higgins reported the incident to police, but initially did not follow up on the allegation, saying his “work was in line.”
Linda Reynolds, the then defense minister and her boss, had to pay compensation and apologize to Higgins for calling the “lying cow” when the accusation was made public last month.
Two weeks later, Christian Porter, the Attorney General of Australia, denied allegation that in 1988 he raped a 16-year-old girl in a discussion contest. The woman who lodged the complaint with the police died of suicide but her friends have called for an independent investigation. The government has rejected the request.
“For many people this is the last straw. It’s horrible, it’s an alleged rape at the highest level of government, ”Olivia Patterson said while protesting in front of Sydney City Hall last week.
“A lot of women have been sexually abused and people are completely disgusted,” she added, grabbing the sign that said “I’ve seen better wardrobes at IKEA”.
The extent of the sexual assault crisis was revealed this month by an online application for prior permission for sex education in schools. The request, Published by Chanel Contos, a former Sydney student, has attracted nearly 40,000 signatures and more than 3,700 testimonies of abuse.
Hendry was having breakfast with her 16-year-old son as she read about Contos ’request and told the Financial Times that some of the testimonies led her to cry.
“I just thought, this is my son’s life, this is his future,” Hendry said, very angry when he posted on Twitter how many women he would need to demand measures to form a ring around parliament.
Hannah McGlade, a human rights lawyer and survivor of sexual assault, was one of tens of thousands of women who responded to the call to action and spoke at a protest in Perth.
He said sexual abuse was normalized during the Australian colonization period and that “macho culture” continues to flourish to this day.
“At the time of the border, white men could rape and kill Aboriginal women with impunity,” McGlade said when he wrote his doctorate on sexual violence. “And, you know, we haven’t made that much progress.”
McGlad says the government has approved national human rights legislation or rejected the reforms proposed by the Human Rights Commission last year in the wake of a consultation it was a tremendous failure in sexual harassment at work.
She added that a profound cultural change was needed around the equality of women and indigenous peoples.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week denied that Labor had covered up his government’s alleged rape of Higgins and made a tragic call to change public attitudes towards women.
He is preparing a cabinet reshuffle, which will surely move Reynolds and Porter from their portfolios, trying to satisfy people’s anger. But the prime minister has not proposed practical measures to address the March 4 key justice concerns.
Hendry doesn’t give up. Instead, he is developing a popular movement that he believes could force the reforms needed to clean up politics and break the culture that pervades society.
“That could very well be understood as Australia’s #MeToo movement,” he said. “I am confident that it will lead to the structural changes we saw around equality and sexual harassment in the UK and the US.”