Rape culture alive and well in Australia

This one has been stewing in the back of my mind for a few days now. The other night I was up late and happened to be watching the ABC late news. Karen Middleton, their erstwhile political reporter, came on screen and told us about the Parliamentary Midwinter ball, at which one Tony Scrinis had wandered around sexually harrassing women. Karen looked quite non-plussed, the first time I’ve seen such a thing from her. Since then, I haven’t seen her at all… Instead there’s some other bloke who hasn’t been on before… No doubt there’s a reasonable explanation for that.

But I digress. What really gave my obstreperal lobe a case of acute feminitis was the fact that the boss of this staffer, Sophie Mirabella, immediately denied that he would have done it.

Now this, girls and boys, is one of the primary problems with rape culture. Denial of the abuse of women by men. The idea that men have a right to help themselves to women’s bodies and if women don’t like it, they’re called liars or beaten up for their trouble.

Note also the article’s focus on whether Sophie Mirabella is suitable for her portfolio and criticisms by Tania Plibersek that she isn’t… Omission of any criticism of the activities of the man in question.

Opposition frontbencher Tony Smith has told Channel Ten says that is ridiculous.

“Yesterday I saw you calling for action on the staffer, the staffer is no longer employed,” he said.

“He behaved appallingly, everyone acknowledges that, and within the day, he had ceased employment.”

In otherwords he lost his job for getting caught. Where’s the indictment? Where’s the police investigation? Where’s the judgment and rejection other than a piss-weak “it was appalling”?

It’s like something out of one of those hideous crime shows where any woman who claims rape and is still alive is portrayed as a liar, and the only genuine victims are those who show up dead and hideously mutilated. Imagine the subtle effect this would have on jurors, police and judges if they watched a couple of hours of this crap every week before having to be involved in a rape case.

“He wouldn’t have done that.” = “Those lying bitches deserve to be treated like meat.”

It also serves to keep other women quiet about abuses they’ve suffered at the hands of men. Not to mention the psychological damage it does to men, to preserve the destructive gender roles that support rape culture.

Such denial is commonplace in Australian culture as well as the global fungus we import from the US. Shortly after Ms Mirabella’s staff member decided to drunkenly grope a number of women at a Parliamentary ball, a woman in South Australia won a sexual harrassment case.

Ms Poniatowska was awarded $466,000 plus costs, which her lawyer believes is the highest awarded for such a case in Australia.

“I am very happy, not only for myself but for all people who are being harassed at workplaces,” Ms Poniatowska said outside court.

“I would strongly recommend not being afraid to stand up for their rights.

Is it my imagination or does the description of the compensation as “huge” imply that it is undeserved?

Notice the conclusion, however. The last word…

The company said in a statement it contested the claim because “to take any other course of action would have been wrong”.

It says it will lodge an appeal against the decision.

Ah huh. She should shut up like a good little cunt and put up with abuse at work by *four* men… Didn’t she get the memo that the sex class are expected to say nothing and look pretty?

How is it wrong to admit to something you’ve stuffed up over? How is it wrong to admit that you’ve been a complete misogynist pig and need counselling probably for fucking years? Someone should give these Hickinbotham creeps a memo of their own: It’s the 21st century and regardless of ten years of Howard’s conservative christian patriarchal abuses, women are in fact human.

Jesus tapdancing Christ, are we ever going to get out of this goddamned locker room?

Misogyny in the USA.

Yeah, I know that will shock you. Fancy that, in the land of the free and home of the brave, people are selling their teenaged daughters. How sick is that?! Worse, religiously sick.

What’s worse, describing a 14 year old girl as “not having much experience, but having been taught everything she needs to know to be a good wife and mother” or asking $29,000 for her! Do you think this girl knows what her parents are up to? Do you think she’ll be pleased when one of them tells her they’ve just been paid nearly $30k and she has to go marry some guy she’s never met, who, to have $30k to spend on a 14 year old girl, would have to be quite a bit older… How absolutely creepy. How disgusting!

How about the 16 year old who has a bit of a wild streak? Not surprising since her parents are trying to sell her for $49k.

The ones that really break your heart are the fostered girls. One is 17 1/2 and offered up for only $3,900 because she’s almost 18 and at that age will be on her own and have no support. I wonder why her foster parents didn’t equip her to stand on her own two feet as an adult and take care of herself? Could it be because their religion tells them that women are supposed to be subordinate to men?

Marry Our Daughter is an introduction service assisting those following the Biblical tradition of arranging marriages for their daughters.

Uh. Right. Selling your children like a piece of furniture is a reprehensible, ancient practise that civilised cultures outgrew centuries ago. Didn’t anyone tell the religious right that? Are Sydney Anglicans and Pentecostals in Australia going to attempt to do anything like this? Bastards. I thought I was over my angry Feminist bitch phase, but stuff like this really pisses me off.

Prominent permanent ads on the site also advertise the “city kids foundation” where young people can get involved in community programs and further their education. What manner of education might that be, I wonder?

It’s difficult to get my head around the idea that a couple would foster girls, teach them to be subordinate to men and that their place in life is to live as domestic sexual slaves, and then sell them off for a few thousand dollars. You wouldn’t want to be a fostered child, would you?

So many psychologists talk about the detrimental effects of religious thinking, mainly the way guilt and tradition keep people from integrating their shadow selves resolving differences and experiences and moving forward to take responsibility for their lives. I wonder how these girls will feel in twenty years time, when their doubt over religion leads them to question God, and God shows them how so many traditions are the result of power agendas, having a basis in the thinking of people in an organisation and not based in spirituality at all, I wonder how they’ll feel?

And people reckon there’s no need for Feminism.

These poor girls. After a childhood of indoctrination to be nothing more than a domestic slave, how on earth will they ever find the werewithall to live as a human? And what sort of man would seek out a psychologically deformed, emotionally abused teenager as a wife? *brrrr* What sort of woman would stand by and allow her daughter to be sold off like that? What kind of distortion of motherly instinct renders a woman so powerless as to allow her children to be sold as sexual slaves in a nation so purportedly developed as the US? If this is the leader of the free world, Goddess help us.

Cybele! Cybele, where are you?