At Melinda Tankard Reist’s website she comments thus: Today I am thinking about a 15-year-old Tasmanian girl and what she thinks of the Australian justice system. I’m wondering if she is questioning if it was worth taking her harrowing ordeal to the courts to find no justice at the end of the process.
Tankard Reist then goes on to re-publish the article by Professor Caroline Taylor in which she calls for the prosecution of some 120 men who allegedly paid for sex with the allegedly eighteen-year-old “Angela.”
There appears to be no awareness of the contradictory nature of these two posts. Tankard Reist admits the harrowing ordeal of subjecting “Angela” to a court process that results in “no justice,” yet she supports and re-iterates Taylor’s demands that “Angela” be subjected to 120 more such experiences because it’s in the public interest.
As well, both women believe the Tasmanian DPP ought not to be permitted to decide “behind closed doors” that there isn’t sufficient evidence against the men to make a case that has a reasonable chance of attaining justice. Rather they believe the 120 men ought to be brought to court, where a jury can make that decision in clear sight.
In order for this to occur, both women are apparently willing to subject “Angela” to 120 more harrowing experiences, every one with little potential for offering her justice.
This makes no sense. It sounds like the kind of blind, vengeful fury that inevitably destroys everything in its path. In this case blind fury is willing to sacrifice “Angela” to attain it’s own ends, those ends being the humiliation of 120 men. That there will be anything more than humiliation for the men is unlikely. However, for “Angela” there will be years and years of unrelenting “harrowing ordeals” and no justice at the end of it.
The fact that “Angela” has refused this fate is apparently irrelevant to these enraged seekers of “justice.” In their worldview, society is entitled to demand that “Angela” satisfy it’s need for retribution, no matter that she’s suffered unspeakably, and doesn’t want to fulfil society’s needs.
Do they really believe that there can be any justice for “Angela” in a system that will do little more than temporarily humiliate her abusers? Do they really believe the suffering she will endure throughout the process will be adequately compensated by seeing the men named and temporarily shamed?
Tankard Reist and Taylor are ready and willing to turn “Angela” into a means to their end. A human being is not a means to another’s end, no matter how righteous that end might seem. To treat her as such is to dehumanize her. It is appalling that people dedicated to advocating for women and children are apparently more than willing to use “Angela” to further their own personal agendas, and in the process, deny her voice, and her humanity.