There’s been something of a small online kerfuffle these last couple of days, with first Melinda Tankard Reist going public over a sexually suggestive tweet she received, and then Andrew Bolt publishing on his blog an impassioned defence of Miranda Devine, also the recipient of a sexually suggestive tweet from Mike Carlton, whom Bolt describes as a “boor.”
Bolt’s blog drew an online mea culpa from Catherine Lumby, who inadvertently retweeted Carlton’s comments before she realised they contained sexual suggestiveness.
Reist ‘s offensive tweet dates from the period when she initiated legal action against me, and Twitter took up my cause in a manner for which I will always be grateful. Reist claims in Chris Kenny’s piece in The Australian (linked above) that she has received appalling sexist and misogynist communications, including rape threats. This is the tweet she chose to take action against:
“So, has anyone found naked pictures of #mtr (Tankard Reist)? She is rootable in that religious feminist way.”
The author of the tweet, Darryl Adams, outed himself a couple of weeks later in the comments section of a Drum piece on the treatment Reist has received during her career as an anti- pornography campaigner. Adams used the persona “Fake Paul Keating” for his Twitter account. He is a public servant, and his tweeting had nothing to do with his working life.
Nevertheless, Reist did not approach Adams to complain that she was offended by his comments. She went straight to his employer, the Australian Tax Office.
Adams was duly spoken to. We do not know what form his punishment took, but his “Fake Paul Keating” account no longer exists. The ATO, for reasons known only to itself, failed to notify Reist that any action had been taken for several months.
This further enraged Reist, who felt the whole system had failed her as a victim of sexual harassment and intimidation. I encourage you to read the article in full.
Miranda Devine posted on Twitter that she was “embedded with NSW Police Public Order & Riot Squad,” with an accompanying photo. Mike Carlton then tweeted:
“@mirandadevine is ‘embedded’ with the Police Riot Squad, as she puts it. What, all of them at once? Must be exhausting.”
Devine contacted him to request that he remove the tweet immediately. Carlton has since apologised and deleted the tweet.
Read the Bolt blog in full if you can bear it.
I’m not expressing any opinions on these situations. I’m leaving it to you. Please don’t make any sexually suggestive comments, and remember the Sheep rules, which you have so beautifully honoured recently. 🙂