THE Australian parliament and the Scott Morrison government are being rocked by an incident in which a young female adviser alleges she was raped in a minister’s office after returning from a night’s drinking with colleagues.
As a teenage boy I saw my mother beaten and assaulted as a result of domestic violence, so I’m the first to agree that women can be shamefully abused and victimised by men. At the same time, I refuse to believe society is riven with misogyny, that all men are guilty and that women are always passive victims.
As a result of the furore surrounding the alleged sexual assault in Canberra, one female commentator repeats the usual feminist tropes about women always being the victim of male dominance and exploitation. Without providing any evidence Caroline Overington, a journalist at The Australian newspaper, claims that ‘women get pinched and squeezed and touched and propositioned by their colleagues all the time’. As to why women don’t report such assaults, the writer asserts it’s because they feel ‘guilt, shame, fear’.
Again without any evidence Overington concludes: ‘Girls are encouraged from the earliest age to feel ashamed of themselves’ and that sexual assaults occur as a result of the power imbalance in a male-dominated society where women are always passive and the victims.
Summing up the alleged incident in Parliament House, she says: ‘This is not a sex scandal. This is a monstrous, criminal scandal. Savage, brutal and cruel, and yet in terms of the ways in which young women routinely experience power in Australia? Depressingly familiar.’
A second commentator, Stephen Biddulph, also falls into the trap of making exaggerated and unproven claims when he writes in response to the alleged assault: ‘Dangerous and predatory men still abound in our culture, in sufficient numbers to make it grimly unsafe to be a girl or a woman.’
As a result of this ever-present misogynist threat, the writer concludes: ‘That no girl or woman is ever truly safe in the world today is a chilling indictment of us all.’
Such is the intensity and widespread nature of what has become a fatwa against men and manhood that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was attacked for the crime of ‘victim blaming’ for simply telling the truth – that is, that when asked by her then boss, the Minister for Defence, whether she wanted to report the alleged assault to the police the young woman declined.
Instead of all women being in danger the reality, based on the 2012 Australian Bureau of Statistics Personal Safety Survey, is that only 1.1 per cent of Australian adults (the overwhelming majority being women) reported being sexually assaulted. While any incident is reprehensible it’s wrong to argue that all women are unsafe and equally wrong to categorise all men as potential rapists.
The argument that all men are misogynist and violent is amplified by the fact that the popular media makes any alleged incident front page news and on social networking sites like Twitter the activists who are always ready to enforce cultural-Left ideology and group think flood the web with their grievances and complaints about ‘structural sexism’ and ‘misogyny’.
As argued by the American feminist Camille Paglia, the other misconception promulgated by the cultural-Left is to portray women as perennial victims overwhelmed by events they cannot control. While writing that ‘young women are vulnerable and defenceless’ Paglia argues that ‘every women must take responsibility for her sexuality’ and that ‘a women’s number one defence is herself’.
Paglia agrees, as everyone must, that rape is a heinous crime that must be punished but, at the same time she argues feminism is guilty of creating the misconception that even if they are alone, women have the power to go wherever they want, at whatever time of day or night, no matter what the possible dangers or threats. Paglia also argues that when socialising women should always be surrounded by close friends, never get drunk and never put themselves in a dangerous situation.
As I learned when a young boy growing up in a violent, dysfunctional household, one of the most reprehensible crimes a man can commit is to bash or sexually molest a woman. At the same time it’s wrong to characterise all boys and men as dangerous and misogynist and to deny women what the Woke brigade describes as personal agency.