March for justice: World’s media reacts to Australia’s big moment

Grace Tame, As a troubled teenager she was abused by a male teacher

The protests are very understandable.  Attacks on women enrage me too and cause me to regard the men concerned as worthless excreta who should ideally be burned at the stake.

But what on earth can the government be expected to do about it?  It is a justice issue but I cannot see that it is a political issue.  Words are just about the only tool governments have to change attitudes but we all know how ineffective words can be.

By all means prosecute the guilty but what can be done in that connection that has not already being done? Changing the criteria for prosecuting rape would endanger the innocent. There have been all too many cases of women making false rape accusations. Heavily penalizing such women is probably the only thing one could do to make sure rape accusations are more believable

These protests undoubtedly make the women concerned feel good but it is highly unlikely that they do more than that

Time Magazine, Al Jazeera, The Washington Post and the BBC reacted to Australia’s “furious reckoning” and the brave women behind it.

Australian women and the allies who marched with them during a “furious reckoning” about sexism and rape culture on Monday have made headlines around the world.

Tens of thousands joined March For Justice rallies in cities around the country and outside Parliament House in Canberra demanding cultural change.

Former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins, who claimed she was raped inside a parliamentary office and sexual assault survivor and Australian of the Year Grace Tame delivered powerful speeches in Canberra and Hobart respectively.

It was a significant moment in Australian history that did not go unnoticed by the world’s media. Time Magazine, the BBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Irish Times and Al Jazeera each dedicated significant coverage to the events.

Time Magazine’s headline read:‘We’ve Had Enough.’ Furious Australian Women Force a Reckoning on Sexism After a Rape Allegation in the Government.

The publication’s story touched on how deeply ingrained the culture of sexism and sexual harassment has become.

“Furious women across Australia are now opening up with their own experiences of sexism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse,” it read. “And it’s begun conversations about inherent discrimination and mistreatment of women — both within the halls of Australian government, and across the wider society.”

Al Jazeera made note of the historic rape allegation against Attorney-General Christian Porter and the allegations of inappropriate behaviour against Craig Kelly’s political advisor, Frank Zumbo.

“Allegations have been laid by six women against a senior parliamentary aide Frank Zumbo, drawing attention to what many critics say is a toxic culture of masculinity within the nation’s federal parliament,” Al Jazeera wrote.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to refuse to hold an independent inquiry into the allegations against Porter, and on Monday also refused to meet protesters on the parliament’s lawn in Canberra.”

The New York Times made mention of the longstanding issues Australia has failed to address.

“Wearing black and holding signs reading; enough is enough’, thousands took to the streets across Australia on Monday to protest violence and discrimination against women, as a reckoning in the country’s halls of power sparked by multiple accusations of rape continued to grow,” the Times wrote.

“The marches in at least 40 cities represented an outpouring of anger from women about a problem that has gone unaddressed for too long, said the organisers, who estimated that 110,000 people attended the demonstrations nationwide.

“With the next national election potentially coming as early as August, experts say it is something that the conservative government, which has come under stinging criticism for the way it has handled the accusations, ignores at its own peril.

The Washington Post celebrated those who took to the streets with messages denouncing the ongoing poor treatment of women.

“(Protesters) carried placards decrying misogyny, victim-blaming, abuse and rape,” the newspaper wrote.

“In Melbourne, a banner listed 900 women who have lost their lives at the hands of men since 2008. The rallies follow a wave of allegations of sexual assault, abuse and misconduct in some of the highest offices of Australian politics.

“They come amid a growing global movement demanding officials do more to protect women and to hold perpetrators of harassment and assaults accountable.

“The reckoning over assault allegations has reached the highest ranks of government. On Monday, the country’s top law official filed a defamation suit against the state broadcaster over an article that reported a letter had been sent to the prime minister containing a historic rape allegation.”

The BBC wrote that Monday’s rallies “could be the biggest uprising of women that Australia’s seen. And the Irish Times wrote that “public anger over the government’s handling of the alleged incidents mirrors the sentiment on display at protests in London over the weekend following the killing of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, who disappeared while walking home at night-time”.

“Mr Morrison said Australia had made big strides toward gender equality over the years, though he acknowledged the job was ‘far from done’ and he shared the concerns of the protesters.

However, he raised some hackles by expressing pride in the right to peaceful protest when he said ‘Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not in this country.’”

1 comment:

  1. If a recipient of words does not understand the concept(s) being erected, or does not want to understand then words become ineffective. If there is a disagreement at least there is a potential of something being clarified.

    There is much at stake being a proponent of hatred, more than what is obvious. It is at least obvious that the burning desire of hatred causes harm and suffering. Retribution as an extension of harm already done enables hatred to keep on destroying. It may feel like the right thing to do but the reasonable thing to do is to let consequence manifest through the laws of the land.

    That being said, I am for the death penalty for serial killers and similar crimes. But even then an executioner should not be obliged to hate those about to die, nor should she be obliged to make others suffer as much as possible before they expire. I realise that may sound dry and lack a bit of exictement but I can live others not being electrified by my words.


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