On Hanson’s claims that women lie about sexual assault

14 Nov
Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women, hugs Senator Pauline Hanson

Michaelia Cash, Minister for Women, hugs Senator Pauline Hanson

 

My default attitude to Pauline Hanson is that my life is too short to spend much time contemplating her, however, an interview on Sunrise (no, I’m not linking) in which she gloated about the Trump victory and sputteringly claimed that women who accuse him of sexual assault are liars and women in general should toughen up when a man, uninvited, strokes our breasts and grabs our pudendas enraged me to the extent that I have to address it.

Aside: Sunrise enrages me as well, as does all breakfast television: who the hell wants to start the day with overly-cosmeticised women in tube frocks, and self-congratulatory men in nifty suits cackling & exclaiming, not me, I’d rather listen to the parrots & wattle birds brawling outside my window, they make more sense. Somebody thoughtfully sent me a clip of the Hanson debacle. It’s the only thing that’s consistently distracted me from Leonard Cohen up and dying.

Hanson articulates (?) a distressingly common attitude by some women towards claims of sexual assault, an attitude I confess confounds me. Their sympathies default to the accused man, innocent until found guilty as of course he is, but here’s the thing: so is his accuser. It’s quite something to accuse a woman of lying about sexual assault when you weren’t present, have limited knowledge of the circumstances, and are basing your judgment entirely on your feelings for/impressions of the accused, and/or dislike of the woman.

In the event that you are wrong, you’ve further harmed an already seriously harmed woman and added to the entrenched narrative that women lie about being sexually assaulted. That narrative is challenged in the link, and it’s well worth a read.

I recently watched the BBC Channel Four series National Treasure, inspired by the ghastly revelations that celebrities such as Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville sexually assaulted and molested women and children during their highly successful careers. Paul Finchley, played by Robbie Coltrane, is a celebrity comedian charged with the historical rape of a minor, and sexual assault of another woman. Marie, played by Julie Walters, is his blindly devoted (and controlling) wife, who has long since come to terms with his many infidelities on the condition that he tells her about them.

Finchley’s two accusers are torn to shreds by the defence counsel, demonstrating why so many women do not pursue action against their attackers. However, what for me is most riveting in a series whose every moment is absolutely riveting, is the gradual admission by Marie to herself that her husband has “many layers,” his most obvious being that in which he plays the role of a harmless, loving husband and father, as well as a much-loved public figure.

With great and admirable courage, Marie slowly allows herself to see what has always been present in Paul, but brilliantly disguised: the sexually predatory, self-obsessed, emotionally immature man who believes, if he even bothers to think about it, in his entitlement to gratify his needs and desires whenever and however he sees fit.

(This acting in this series is beyond superb, btw. I haven’t recounted much of the story, in case you haven’t seen it. If you have any doubts about the complexities of sexual assault, this series will go a long way towards unpacking the life-shattering effects those complexities have on everyone involved.)

The point is that even wives and girlfriends of sexual predators can live in ignorance and denial of their partners’ “hidden layers,” so how does Pauline Hanson or anyone else know if a woman is lying about a man sexually assaulting her?   Of course she doesn’t, and what’s so deeply troubling is the need by some women to deny the experiences of other women, when it comes to the actions of men.

Hanson is the current poster girl for this attitude, in her ludicrous defence of Trump, and her vicious attacks on women who’ve made claims against him. Hanson is a member of the Australian parliament. She has a platform and she is inspired by Trump’s victory.  So, much as I resent spending even part of my morning writing about her, I can’t ignore her poisonous views. They have to be challenged. She has to be called.

It is never, ever acceptable to accuse a woman of lying about sexual assault until one knows, beyond a reasonable doubt, if she is.  It is never, ever acceptable to base one’s judgement on dislike of her, or affection for the man she’s accused. Until we as a society get past defaulting to the assumption of false claims there will be no justice for women, and perpetrators will remain free and unaccountable.

 

 

 

 

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84 Responses to “On Hanson’s claims that women lie about sexual assault”

  1. DrKP November 14, 2016 at 8:42 am #

    Reblogged this on karenpriceblog and commented:
    Well written piece on the complexities bigotry and bias around sexual assault. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Well said.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Noely (@YaThinkN) November 14, 2016 at 8:48 am #

    There is a special place in hell for people like Pauline bloody Hanson 😦

    Attitudes like hers are also the reason why so many don’t get the family support they need when subjected to domestic violence, due to an older generation that tends to think you are being hysterical or the horrible “What did you do to deserve it?”

    ARGH! Makes me soooooooo angry and should have died out decades ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 8:49 am #

      Unfortunately, Noely, I feat it’s making a come back, Trump has given them all permission to express their ignorance & prejudice.

      Like

  3. 8 Degrees of Latitude November 14, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    Reblogged this on 8degreesoflatitude and commented:
    Reblogged because this argument, contra Pauline Hanson’s dangerously asinine remark, is part of the essential learning process that Australian society, and others, need to undertake urgently.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. 8 Degrees of Latitude November 14, 2016 at 10:05 am #

    Pauline Hanson’s asinine comments are symptoms of the whole underlying problem with men who possess the caveman gene. Not all men do. It seems to me that in the absence of consent any sexual behaviour, whether or not physical, is assault, where it isn’t actual rape. I don’t know why men (and apparently some women) don’t get this. It is shameful that the political ascension of Donald Trump, whose views on women and his demonstrated attitude to them are disastrously antediluvian, has given a boost to regressive practice. I’ve reblogged.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. doug quixote November 14, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Some do lie about sexual assault: perhaps to extract revenge for some other perceived or real slight; perhaps to cover up a voluntary indiscretion to a reactionary family; perhaps to extract funds or to ensure custody of children. The reasons are as varied as humanity can devise and no-one should be entitled to be believed without corroboration or physical proof.

    Like

    • 8 Degrees of Latitude November 14, 2016 at 10:23 am #

      Well, they do. The argument here is about the assumption in some quarters that this is a widespread practice. Which is balls.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

        Please see the articles referenced below, and then tell me it is balls.

        Like

        • 8 Degrees of Latitude November 15, 2016 at 3:39 pm #

          I read the articles referred to below, before I commented originally, incidentally, as well as other relevant material that I read in the general course of things, and repeat my assertion that it is balls to suggest false complaints about sexual assault are widespread. I’d add that the widespread assumption that false complaints are widespread is a an irritant. Clear now?

          Liked by 1 person

          • doug quixote November 16, 2016 at 8:25 am #

            “At the end of the day, my point is this – If someone tries to advocate a particular policy based on the fact that “only 2-8% of rape reports are false” an appropriate response might be “Sure, but only 1-8% are true.”

            “I’ll close with one of the quotes from the article I agree with, and I think it sums up my thoughts on the topic pretty well

            Of course, in reality, no one knows—and in fact no one can possibly know—exactly how many sexual assault reports are false.”

            You, Richard, read the statistical analysis and the author’s conclusion and still deny the likelihoods?

            Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 10:47 am #

      DQ, My point is that unconditionally believing the innocence of the accused is necessarily accusing the complainant of lying.

      I know there are false allegations of sexual assault. I also know a disproportionate number of those guilty of sexual assault are never held to account.

      There are many sexual assaults where there isn’t any physical evidence.

      Like

      • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 12:11 am #

        There are no unconditionals. There are no absolutes in human affairs, except for death.

        On that cheerful note . . .

        Liked by 1 person

    • Anonymous November 15, 2016 at 12:47 am #

      No they don’t and that’s what research shows ux

      Like

      • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

        “Rape allegations also draw attention to an uncomfortable contradiction. One of the core beliefs of our legal system is that defendants are innocent until proven guilty. On the other hand, many people—after an entire recorded history that has often assumed the opposite—have a default response of wanting to support and believe those who say they’ve been sexually assaulted.

        “So how do we handle the fact that these two stances are fundamentally irreconcilable? If we believe that alleged rapists are innocent until proven guilty, then on some level, we have to believe that victims might be lying until they can prove that they’re telling the truth. We don’t want to automatically assume that everyone accused is a rapist, but we also don’t want to assume that accusers are liars. There is no unequivocally safe ground from which to judge.”

        http://jezebel.com/he-said-she-said-the-mythical-history-of-the-false-ra-1720945752

        Liked by 1 person

        • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

          A great deal of “he said/she said” would be clarified when a majority of men understand they do not have freedom of access to women’s bodies because of status, money, power or just because they’re men.

          A great deal more would be clarified if women stopped being so fucking ‘nice’ and shrugging off unwanted behaviour as “boys will be boys’ and loudly objected every single time. I know I am guilty of this; too crowded, couldn’t see who it was… in places like public transport just speak out loudly – doesn’t matter if you don’t know who it was, you know what happened – speak out – this is advice as much to myself as anyone.

          While I appear to be picking on men I am not, men just tend to behave in this manner more frequently than women.

          So to the woman who thought it great entertainment falling towards me when the tram jerked around and finding balance by grasping my breast, 3 times, I really regret not decking you, although you didn’t dare try for a fourth grab now did you?

          Liked by 1 person

          • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

            The stats are difficult and involved. I was reading the articles cited below when you posted. Please read it carefully – I know few others will.

            Liked by 1 person

            • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm #

              Why should I, DQ?

              You have accused me of being a liar in the past, nor do you acknowledge much of anything I may have to say. Such as the above comments I just made. Which are relevant to this discourse.

              You gain infantile enjoyment of using the word “cunt”, just to elicit provocation.

              So why would I follow any suggestion you have to make?

              Like

              • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 4:14 pm #

                Please yourself.

                I give your comments the respect they deserve.

                If you want to engage further, read the references first.

                Like

                • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

                  DQ

                  Respect is a two way street – you lost it along with Paul Walter, Hypo and your ladylike friend, Helvityni, some months ago.

                  Therefore, I do not jump when such as you tell me to. I pay little to zero attention to much of what you write. I respond, if and when I feel like responding.

                  I have lived an interesting life, in the Chinese sense of the word. I am also well educated and I am experienced. Sometimes I wish I knew a lot less than I do about people.

                  I do not know what is in the links you insist I should read – however, I do know that whatever it is is not going to change the fact that more men than women are violent, more men than women rape, more men than women grope other people in the safety of crowds. Nor do I deny many women behave very badly indeed – and may they never catch up to men with that level of bad behaviour, because then we will be truly fucked.

                  Like

          • Jennifer Wilson November 15, 2016 at 2:21 pm #

            Yes, diannart, my project for some time has been to work on being less nice. People tell me its tremendously successful.

            Like

            • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

              Good way to filter people; those who are a little put out when you are “less nice” and those who get it.

              🙂

              Like

            • helvityni November 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm #

              Jennifer, I don’t know about being less or more ‘nice’ , I always prefer people who are HONEST, people who give their honest opinions, whilst still being CIVIL.

              Like

              • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

                helvityni

                I disagree. In my honest opinion, I see no reason to be civil to anyone who is molesting, abusing, intimidating or harassing in any manner.

                The above is what I believe.

                However, my actions or that should read, reactions (?) are usually to pretend it hasn’t happened, there has been some kind of mistake or to leave the situation ASAP. I, as do many nice people, tend to do the wrong thing for ourselves.

                Quite frankly, my dear, you can take your ladylike civility and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

                Like

              • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 4:15 pm #

                I agree with Dianna. If you want civil discourse try the local sewing circle.

                Like

        • Jennifer Wilson November 15, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

          I’ll read the Jezebel piece in a bit, DQ, but basically I agree with the part you’ve quoted.
          There is no unequivocally safe ground from which to judge, as in many other criminal allegations, however the difference I perceive is that in rape cases it’s far more common for the woman to be assumed to be lying than most other victims of other crimes are.
          Of course we can solve the whole dilemma by refusing to *believe* anything, until the legal system has done its work.

          Like

      • doug quixote November 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

        Or if you really want an in-depth analysis:

        http://www.datagoneodd.com/blog/2015/01/25/how-to-lie-and-mislead-with-rape-statistics-part-1/

        then part 2.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson November 15, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

          I deliberately didn’t use any stats in the piece because of the lack of criteria in this country for establishing that an allegation is false.

          Like

            • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 8:56 am #

              DQ, I don’t get the point you’re trying to make to me.

              Like

              • doug quixote November 16, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

                That the stats are there, but no-one really wants to trumpet them.

                I proffer them with some trepidation, not wanting to lend any support to Hanson. Once again, just because some right wing nutter says something it is not necessarily wrong. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

                  DQ, it was never my argument that there are no occasions on which a sexual assault allegation is false.
                  My argument is against the assumption of falsity, on the grounds that *women do that* or some such idiocy, which I think is Hanson’s position.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

                    Agree.

                    Hanson does not look for evidence, she does not identify with the day to day lives of many women, in fact she only identifies with a subset of discontented men.

                    Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson November 16, 2016 at 9:00 am #

              We don’t immediately assume someone who makes an insurance claim is lying, though apparently there are people who do this.
              So why assume a woman claiming sexual assault is lying, even though some apparently do this?

              Liked by 1 person

              • diannaart November 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm #

                The point I have been trying to make is that many men don’t even perceive their actions as sexual predation – that copping a feel is just a part of the game. When a woman does have the temerity to complain these men are genuinely aggrieved.

                Similar is the behaviour of SOME men when rejected – they are outraged, whether it is a woman giving them a finger to their cat-calls in the street to turning down a date. Their sense of entitlement is threatened, they feel misunderstood and see complaints as lies.

                I am among the many who has not brought about formal charges. I was in a workplace injury where the litigation went on and on and left me worse than I had started. To bring a bout a charge of rape, better to get on with life.

                That said, I question DQ’s reasons for this link to some ‘damned’ statistics.

                What is your point DQ? We know people lie, we also know many abuses go unreported.

                What do YOU want to prove?

                Like

                • doug quixote November 16, 2016 at 6:02 pm #

                  I don’t want to prove anything.

                  Shades of grey, Dianna, shades of grey.

                  Like

                  • diannaart November 17, 2016 at 9:30 am #

                    “shades of grey”

                    Ironic, much?

                    Considering you are pushing a single shade on this issue.

                    It has been acknowledged by myself, Jennifer and many others that some women lie. Most keep silent – because we are victimised when we deign to speak out – haven’t you noticed the frequency of disbelief when a woman discusses her personal experiences she is frequently cast as a liar, attention seeking and given short shrift on anything she has to say?

                    Like

  6. Jan Dobson November 14, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    C’mon Jennifer, the detractors can’t cope when you’re logical, poor darlings 🙂

    Actually, very well done. Articulated the one thing that bothers me about the ‘always believe the victim, if she’s a woman’ diatribe that we sometimes hear and the ‘always support your closest’ meme.

    People do lie and, while I believe it is the tiniest of fractions, sometimes people make false accusations. People do have secret and sinister lives. Again, most of us couldn’t keep anything secret for 10 minutes, let alone a secret life. But it happens.

    Weighing up the evidence, supporting victims and giving perpetrators the tools to rehabilitate themselves isn’t such a hard ask, is it? Unless you’re a Pauline Hanson & her ilk, it seems. I would check my birth certificate if Ms Hanson told me my name was Jan. Not because I don’t like her (I don’t but, like you, I avoid her where possible) but because the evidence says she ignores science, data, facts, the truth etc. But even for Ms Hanson, I check the evidence before I dismiss her claims, no matter how outrageous. Pity she and others wouldn’t do the same.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      Thanks, Jan, exactly, we should no more convict the accused without fair trial than we should convict the accuser of lying without fair trial.

      Like

      • Marilyn November 14, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

        The thing that struck me about National Treasure was the revulsion I always feel at the sight of fat Robbie, even though he is a brilliant actor. The only reason anyone would go to be with him is to be star fuckers.

        Make no mistake, there are plenty who pretend rape, especially back in my day when young girls got pregnant and tried to cover it up.

        As for the rancid Pauline, life is just too short for her.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. diannaart November 14, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    “some do lie about sexual assault”

    So what? Daring to place formal charges of sexual assault against anyone is a gauntlet run of so many obstacles, that a claimant may well wind up with even more damage than they started with.

    Sexual predators lie about sexual assault is more accurate.

    As with any criminal proceedings it is for the courts to determine the guilty from the innocent. It is not perfect and the system is not helped by the strident voices of those who screech “some do lie about sexual assault”.

    Humans lie about many things all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 10:51 am #

      My experience of reporting sexual assault is that the process is so awful, no matter how good the police and the police I dealt with were brilliant, that I don’t know how anyone lying about it survives or persists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • diannaart November 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

        “some do lie about having their car stolen”

        😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn November 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

        When I reported a rape when I was 19 and the rapist was 40 I was in a large regional town in SA. The cops knew they couldn’t charge or get a conviction on he said/she said so they quietly beat the crap out of him.

        Some years later he got 12 years for doing it again.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. AnnieM November 14, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    As always, well said. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  9. samjandwich November 14, 2016 at 11:04 am #

    You’re certainly very eloquent for someone who’s in mourning Jennifer!

    I think I’ve gathered that Pauline Hanson has been lending an ear to the men’s rights movement, and has been critical of the family court for basing decisions around divorce settlements and care arrangements on “false allegations”. Whereas I’ve also read many times that family courts are often perceived as making blanket assumptions that any allegation of child abuse against a male partner is probably false and that women have an extremely difficult time proving what are often clear-cut cases of same.

    For me this is a somewhat complex area… I’ve had a minor brush with an abusive woman, who amongst other things did make false allegations against me. And of course I’ve read many similar accounts of men being the victims of domestic violence. The way I’ve come to understand this phenomenon is that, yes it does happen, though it’s still not entirely evident how often, and it’s most often the case that women who engage in this sort of behaviour have complex and unresolved trauma histories and/or diagnosable mental illnesses ie borderline personality disorder etc (if you believe in that sort of thing)… the upshot being that they are operating from a very different framework or world-view, and that they probably feel so threatened themselves that they need to do whatever they can to resolve the situation.

    Unfortunately the men’s rights movement will shout down such arguments and will claim that women are constitutively manipulative and “out to get us” and that feminism “enables” this type of behaviour. This is essentially the default viewpoint of this movement: “the only thing that matters is what I think”. There’s no nuance.

    And this is the perspective that Pauline Hanson is peddling. She has bought in to the blanket assumption that allegations of sexual assault are likely to be false, and yes has perpetuated the entrenchment of this attitude – as you would completely expect that she would, since she has cast herself as a lightning rod for the unhinged and uninterrogated gripes of utterly shameless people.

    There’s still quite a bit to be unpacked re this I think, but Hanson’s certainly not the person to do it! Ugh what a world we live in!

    Liked by 3 people

    • diannaart November 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm #

      Humans are complex. I have been bullied by more women than men.

      However, I do not run about screaming “women are liars” – both sexes are imperfect – women are more likely to verbal, men are more likely to use physical abuse.

      People such as Hanson and those MR groups are not helping anyone except to pit people against each other. As always the blame game closes discussion.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 3:52 pm #

        I’ve also had many serious difficulties with women, diannart. In fact I still can’t work out who did me the most damage, my mother or my stepfather. Not that I give it too much time anymore.

        Like

        • diannaart November 14, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

          There are better ways to burn energy.

          🙂

          Like

        • Marilyn November 14, 2016 at 7:27 pm #

          My mother enabled years of abuse, she set us up for beatings when our pedophile father was drunk and she laughed.Her favourite when we were 6, 7 and 8 and onwards after that when he forced us to lie across bed with our pants down and he beat us blue with a razor strop. I got that fucking thing one day and dropped it behind 400 pound immovable wardrobe.

          She played me and my two sisters off each other all our lives breeding three girls who loathe each other even in our 60’s. She told us all daily we were brainless, lazy, ignorant and ugly. Short fingers, short legs, stumpy finger nails, no insult was too small to destroy our self esteem.

          She faked anorexia for decades -she would binge when she thought we were all asleep but we caught her quite early in the piece, she took uppers and downers and drove around with 4 little kids in the car.

          Her verbal violence and abuse left far more scars on all three of us than his regular brutal beatings did and even the sexual assaults.

          Liked by 1 person

          • samjandwich November 15, 2016 at 9:15 am #

            Marylin, no matter how many times I hear personal stories like yours it never fails to rattle me each time. Words can be brutal weapons – and I’d say you have done extremely well getting to where you are today.

            Liked by 1 person

            • helvityni November 15, 2016 at 9:33 am #

              Sam, did you watch Four Corners last night, our child protection systems have failed to protect the most vulnerable in our society; the children.

              Failed in the past, and fail today…make grown men cry, from hopeless homes into worse institutions…

              Even child protection has to be made into a money making business…

              Liked by 1 person

              • samjandwich November 15, 2016 at 12:03 pm #

                Thanks Helvi, I was hoping to have some time tonight to have a look.

                Like

              • paul walter. November 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

                Was that not a disgusting tale that got told?

                Good ol’ cheap ‘n nasty privatisation. Fails worst of all when social infrastructure is involved.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Jennifer Wilson November 15, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

                  I don’t know why I’m always dismayed and shocked by human behaviour when there is so much of it that is so vile one really ought to expect it.

                  Like

                  • diannaart November 15, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

                    I believe we are going to have to strap ourselves in, “vile” has been lauded AND given a blow-job:

                    Brexit, Trump, Turnover’s bend-over to the far-Right, Abbott any time, Hanson again, Joyce is Deputy PM (FFS!), we still assume all women lie because all cats are grey in the dark…

                    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

      Sam, I use writing to assuage my grief!
      My point is not that women don’t ever make false accusations.

      You’ve given an explanation for women who do make false accusations: mental illness, trauma, etc, but what is the corresponding explanation for men who falsely deny they’ve sexually assaulted women, a much more common phenomenon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sam Jandwich November 14, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

        Good point Jennifer – and while I’m not familiar with the literature on this I’d say it’s pretty easy to put forward an explanation based on what I’d hoped were relatively mainstream understandings (though Trump’s election might prove otherwise).

        Firstly I do think that there’s a patriarchal sense of entitlement which leads men of that disposition to think that sort of behaviour is acceptable, coupled with a lack of understanding/capacity to empathise with the fact that the victims find sexual assault extremely traumatic – and here I say “victims” partly because the same men who have a tendency to be sexually aggressive towards women are in my experience also likely to feel very confronted by the idea that gay men might be attracted to them, hence the phenomenon of homophobia. See the disconnect? (and as far as patriarchy goes I’d say this is a source of complexity as well, as I would argue that fundamentally patriarchy does in fact aspire to gender equality just as much as feminism does. I would say that for example the law is constitutively patriarchal, including laws against sexual assault. Not much more than 100 years ago you could be flogged for beating your wife in some jurisdictions. Perhaps that should be reintroduced? Patriarchy does however have its approaches all wrong on this though.)

        Secondly I think there is a lack of remorse driving men to deny sexual assault, and the capacity to lie that goes with it.

        There is also the understanding that it’s pretty easy to get away with such behaviours, for the reasons you have outlined – i.e. the need to prove an allegation through the courts is far more difficult for women than it is for men to stick to the strategy of continuous denial. These men are gamblers, and they know that the entrenched scepticism over women’s allegations mean that the odds are in their favour.

        Perpetrators also take advantage of the tendency for most people to maintain their faith that people are fundamentally good, and find it hard to be convinced that people they know are actually not so – and I haven’t seen National Treasure but it sounds like that’s a big part of what’s going on there.

        Lastly – and perhaps most controversially – I think that people involved in court processes day-to-day will inevitably come across (objectively) clear cases of false allegations, and this puts some doubt in their minds about all the cases they see where there is some ambiguity over the facts, and so they fall to stereotyping etc.

        How does that sound?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 6:33 pm #

          I agree with all of that, Sam.
          I’d add that there’s a strong perception that women are untrustworthy, that patriarchy needs to perpetuate this perception in order to blame women for its failings, and anything to do with female sexuality is fraught. The madonna/whore thing still exerts its negative influences.

          I’m interested in women who mock & disbelieve the claims of other women: this works to silence victims and supports the patriarchal system.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. stewarthase November 14, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    The most disturbing part of this as well as the racism and bigotry is that it is all alive and well outside of Hansen’s brain. I regularly meet people who are just ordinary citizens going about their lives who think the same as she does. And they are not all blokes either. What is more I have met quite a few people who think Trump as President is a good idea. As in the good old US of A and Britain, the shift to the right in Australia is a real phenomenon with its white supremacy, misogyny and inherent fear (along with a whole lot of other baggage) of anything different.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

      Yes, Hanson is merely the current figurehead for these attitudes, should she disappear, another will take over.

      Like

  11. helvityni November 14, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    I don’t watch breakfasts shows, and Ms Hanson’s second coming should have never happened.

    What a top show National Treasure was; what impressive actors, both Coltrane and Walters are. Loved the ending too, Marie left…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm #

      It was a brilliant ending I thought Helvi. And very instructional on how justice and retribution can work outside of the system.

      Like

    • Patagonian November 17, 2016 at 4:27 am #

      SPOILER ALERT: But not before she worked out, via having sex with her husband’s best friend, that what her husband had been serving up to her all those years was at best rough sex. Her husband was her first and only partner to that point, so how was she to know any different? that was when the penny dropped.

      Like

  12. paul walter. November 14, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    I don’t know how to respond to the posting either.

    Overall, it seems that the US psyche has descended into denialism as a sort of reaction to badly mishandled change. in a way similar to what has happened in West Asia and other third world locations where far more severe change including chronic warfare has sent traumatised people into a seeking for some sort of certainty in nostalgia for the past expressed through a clinging to Manichean religion, say. As their world has crumbled and conditions that facilitate healthy social interaction disappeared, so have they scrambled, Stockholm Syndromish as control of lieu of social interaction has become a seeming eternal or at least intractably chronic default best expressed in and as violence, including sexual violence.

    You could easily say we remain tenaciously ape like in our limited capacity to respond to life’s unfoldings.

    I suppose I adopt a Marxish sort of view involving imperialism and capitalism, yet these processes are themselves responses to previous eras disruptions where people responded to disaster by clinging to control, unable to loosen up and the whole culture is transmuted over generation after generation as pathologies are worked through at the expense of their reproduction in the psyche of a new generation, seen in the urge to control manifest in authoritarian systems and behaviours.

    It’s as though we all lived on top of some “Magic Mountain, a sort giant rubbish tip where damaged, disempowered people fight over the spoils of defeat.

    No doubt Hansonists here and Tea Party Obscurantists in the USA, or Islamophobes in France, are part of the same reactive mindset. We can see the worst of it in places where “öthered” feudalist knuckle walkers are on their ISAL or religious fundamentalist lurchings and miss its presence in our own culture because it is like cosmic noise, in the background from and at the dawn of memory itself and thus undetected but no doubt easily recognised by a different mindset that witnesses the violence we do ourselves (gender violence, racism and classism at home) and in our bombing and starving to death of tens of millions of people elsewhere.

    I watched some of the Leonard Cohen doco last night and someone suggested that Cohen had not only looked into the Abyss, but returned laughing. My guess is that may have been lest he weep. I suppose all of us are pathetic, but pathetic is most overt involving the likes of Trump, Abbott and Hanson and their lost sheep followers, in the lack of self reflexivity that someone like Cohen,say, would possess.

    Cohen could see himself as others see him, thus the wry laughter and perhaps he could find the beginnings of his own humanity in a resulting compassion for others.

    But this response seems beyond a Hansonist or Abbottist mindset, you have to wonder why and perhaps feel sadness as a lack of humanity as way of life, except that deranged people also cause such harm for others.

    I do wonder what’s afoot with humanity, but what solution if any exists, I lack the wherewithal to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

      I also watched that doco, PW. Cohen both laughed and wept, I think.
      Your last para is the crux of the matter, for mine. Abbott, Hanson, Trump et al are ignorant & unwilling to be anything else. They lack the courage to examine themselves & deride others who do. They are limited human beings, the world is currently swamped with limited human beings & there’s likely nothing to be done but to ride it out.

      Like

  13. paul walter. November 14, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    An afterthought.
    People seem to like and trust Michelle Obama say (or Elisabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, or even Trump in bluff, genial mode), but could not warm to Hillary Clinton, a person many identified as a Nurse Ratchett, an automaton of and for Wall st, in the same way they could not trust Gillard and cant warm to Shorten or Turnbull. In the end they decided possibly through sophisticated consent manufacture and the narrowing of choice to no choice, that Trump was a noisy demon, more tolerable than the quieter Clinton who seemed to lie a lot rather than just fess up to being what trump fessed up to or was too unconscious to recognise in himself.

    Clinton had a different cast to argue, that she would and could commit to social reform against the temptations of back sliding and acquiesence, whereas all Trump had to do was show his supporters he was against any change at all, eg any additional complexity requiring of the effort of thought in a system seemingly dedicated to unquestioning acceptance and functioning within it rather than any questioning of it and its underlying bases and propositions which could further disempower them.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. paul walter. November 14, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Wait. Yet one more. I should try and relate above to the specifics and polemics of the thread starter.

    Many women and racial others were terrified of change of the sort that would leave them (even more) disempowered, scared of the reactive mob.

    Yet these people themselves engendered in a fear in many men and many conservatives, to the point that change lost its allure as some thing beneficial but as some thing becoming nebulous and a cause for fear.

    I add this as a response to jam sandwiches posting, which suggests world where males would be reduced to an Assange like existence on no better than hearsay, as disempowered as women and Native Americans. Many women apparently also voted for Trump on conservatism and a desire to maintain an imperfect but known present despite all the negatives involved rather than strike out for some thing better. Hillbilly or Medieval you might say,

    Of course it is probably illogical when examined in the clear light of morning after daylight, but people like Trump Abbott and Howard and organisations like Murdochs and NBC are past masters at engendering the emotional heat, irrational fear and loathing that creates a knee jerk response like the one typified in and by the US elections.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson November 14, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

      As far as I can tell, relentless logic is our only weapon against such spin: unfortunately, media either can’t or won’t use this weapon, I suppose because it isn’t as entertaining for them as promoting and prolonging the agony of the people.

      Like

      • Jan Dobson November 14, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

        Sadly and unwillingly, I’m coming to the conclusion that no amount of logic (relentless or not) will engage a large percentage of the population.

        We’ve all heard of emotional eaters. I think we need to accept that there are just as many ’emotional voters’ and that we may have to put aside our disdain for manipulative campaigning and learn the skills to bring them into the light. Perhaps, and I can’t believe I’m writing this, but perhaps sometimes the ends justifies the means.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn November 14, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

          right wing nut jobs don’t do logic, all thought is linear.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jan Dobson November 14, 2016 at 7:57 pm #

            Hey Marilyn, not sure if all RW voters are also believers of the extreme RW ideology. I think many are conned because they have limited access to or interest in political detail

            Liked by 1 person

            • paul walter. November 15, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

              Jan, they just remove the pesky details bits and fill you in with their explanations to save youthe effort of thinking stuff through.

              Isn’t that kind of them?

              Like

      • Patagonian November 17, 2016 at 4:30 am #

        Media organisations,like any large organisation have a vested interest in propagating NeoCon lies.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Suziekue November 14, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    People like Hanson (and Trump), for their own political ends and benefits, mobilise racism, sexism and bigotry to distract from the problems that create inequality and poverty in society, such as corporate globalisation. Whether they are racist, sexist, bigoted or climate deniers themselves is moot. Hanson et al only have to foment distrust and disrespect against the “others” so that those disaffected in the community have someone to hate, to vent their collective spleens against. Hanson et al don’t need to have solutions to society’s ills, just the divisiveness is sufficient to ensure their political continuance.

    Hanson et al want us and journos to take the bait of their bigoted and warped views because it feeds their political machine. This places us all in an invidious position of course, because it is difficult to ignore and not respond to her contemptuous utterances. So in effect, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

    Like

    • allthumbs November 15, 2016 at 3:27 pm #

      On the face of it, Trump has some limited anti corporate globalism cred, if he is to be believed in threatening and wanting to punish Ford and Carrier for taking their production to Mexico, (remember Hockey’s response) lambasting NAFTA, derailing the TPP and so on and so on, something Turnbull failed to mention in his jobs and growth defence with Leigh Sales last night, and something Sales should have picked up on if she had any improvisational skill as an interviewer.

      Almost any Leader diminishes the electorate, the Libs with their governance, policy stands and Frontbench personnel have effectively diminshed me personally and I find it hard to look in the mirror sometimes (well most of the time as I get older). Labor’s unity ticket bullshit makes me cringe.

      I bet quite a few people here love and respect John Pilger as I do. Check out John Pilger’s articles on the recent US election, his more favourable attitude towards Trump and his much less favoured take on Clinton, Corbyn and Obama for instance. Have a look at Pilger’s recent interview on RT.

      I am looking forward to the chaos of global dismantelment where agility and nimbleness will really be put to the test.

      As for Hanson, fuck her, but I am kind of glad the epitome of ignorant racist, semi illiterate redneckism is embodied in the female form, kinda makes gender equality seem more easily attainable, but maybe she has the legs to carry it off 🙂

      Like

  16. mongriella November 15, 2016 at 8:12 am #

    Really interesting discussion – thanks! Love the jamwich phrase “she has cast herself as a lightning rod for the unhinged and uninterrogated gripes of utterly shameless people”. I reckon that PH is just Trumpet in drag and I predicted he would win – partly cos nobody ever went broke underestimating (American’s/Australians/brexitians) intelligence..as H L Mencken sorta said. Many years ago I picked masochistic resentment as the #1 underlying feeling of those (not like sheep who are – despite your premise – too intelligent..)who follow Hanson & anyone else who preaches the PH Factor doctrine that ‘someone is doing you down/getting more than you are/being preferred over you’ etc etc. It’s masochistic because if these preachers get power, they will often whittle away at the ‘entitlement’ their followers enjoy. For example, depriving one segment of the population (refugees, single mothers) of access to public housing (if there is any left..), may rebound on you if you ever find yourself homeless and broke. Sorry not concise like the rest of youse!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Patagonian November 17, 2016 at 4:33 am #

      Yep, keep us all fighting among ourselves for the scraps from the table while they make off with the banquet. The thought of all of us ordinary people putting aside our differences and acting in concert must scare the crap out of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Havana Liedown November 23, 2016 at 7:04 pm #

    Phew, at least he can blame his time held in Guantanamo Bay for this alleged misogynistic violence:

    http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/guantnamo-bay-detainee-david-hicks-in-court-for-allegedly-assaulting-partner/news-story/85cee594b581e378c59a8de5abce32ba

    Oh well at least old his Lashkar-e-Taiba and Al-Qaeda buddies will be proud…

    Like

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