Cash and Joyce, slut-shaming women. It’s the LNP way.

4 Mar

 

 

In the last few days, women have been thrown under more buses than usual by members of the Turnbull government, making something of a mockery of the Prime Minister’s desire to make Parliament House a more woman-friendly workplace, and demonstrating yet again that other women can trash you as easily as can a man.

The following story should finally put paid to the risible argument that the LNP would be a better government if only there were more female MPs. Rubbish. It’s the ideology, stupid, not the biology.

Senator Michaelia Cash, former Minister for Women, now representing the new Minister, Kelly O’Dwyer, in the Senate, lost her head and threatened to expose alleged rumours about the sexual lives of young women in Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s office, when asked seemingly innocuous questions in senate estimates about the movement of staff in her own office. You can see the entire unedifying episode here, if by any chance you’ve thus far missed out.

Cash threatened to “expose” young women staffers, based on nothing more than “rumours” if she was questioned any further about her new Chief of Staff. It has since emerged that her new female CoS has been transferred from Trade Minister Steve Ciobo’s office, a demotion, as Cash is a junior minister.

The women in Shorten’s office are understandably outraged by Cash’s murky innuendoes. And it is quite startling that a Minister for Women should single out young women to use as a threat in an effort to avoid scrutiny of her own staffing arrangements.

In effect, Cash used the female staffers as political weapons. She didn’t threaten to expose Shorten, or any men rumoured to engage in office affairs. She focused right in on the young women, whom she implied were sluts.

Parliament House is not a workplace that looks out for women as a priority. For example, there is no specific procedure for addressing complaints of sexual harassment. This 2017 investigation revealed procedures in place for dealing with these complaints are woefully inadequate, even described by the investigators as “shocking” and below Human Rights Commission standards.

Yes. This is our parliament. The heart of our nation. The home of our legislators. No adequate procedures for making complaints of sexual harassment. I kid you not.

Next, we woke up this Sunday morning to the news that Barnaby Joyce has decided he may not be the father of his lover’s baby after all, but being a decent bloke, he’ll love the boy and raise him as his own regardless. And he won’t do a paternity test. Journalists, Joyce claimed, are entirely at fault for not asking him when the story broke if he is the father.

Joyce is lying. I know of at least two journalists who did ask this question, Sharri Markson of Newscorpse, and Leigh Sales on the ABC’s 7.30 Report. Joyce enthusiastically avowed his responsibility for the baby boy, and the reasons for his current disavowal remain unclear.

It’s quite something, to tell the Australian nation that your partner’s baby may not be yours. If you want to seriously damage a woman, there’s little more effective than implying she is such a slut she doesn’t know who her baby’s father might be. That’s she’s misled you into thinking the child is yours, and now you’re such a great guy, you’re going to stand by her anyway. And yet, if you are such a great guy, wouldn’t you just shut up and carry on, and not expose your partner and the baby to such awfulness?

It’s the enduring patriarchal myth: that women will lie about our babies’ fathers. The primary purpose of heterosexual marriage is to ensure a man knows the children are his. There is likely no greater transgression than a woman being uncertain of her child’s father. Joyce has dumped Ms Campion right in it. All that remains is for him to pin a red “S” on her shirt.

Yet again, we’ve seen played out in our politics this week the damaging myths of female sexuality, myths that position us primarily as sexual objects. No matter that a staffer in Shorten’s office may have three degrees and a fine brain, be first class at her job and work like a dog. She’s useful to Michaelia Cash only as a sexual object. In other words, she’s a slut.

In the LNP government, women’s bodies remain battlegrounds, for other women as well as men.

And spare a thought for women working in parliament house without even the protection of proper process, when they are sexually harassed.

 

 

 

 

 

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60 Responses to “Cash and Joyce, slut-shaming women. It’s the LNP way.”

  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith March 4, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

    Spot on, Jennifer.

    I’ll be surprised, if Ms Campion sticks around after this public humiliation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moz of Yarramulla March 4, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

      That does seem like one of the more obvious problems the Cash office will have. Andrew Elder has felt obliged to point out a few more.

      But it’s just eye-rollingly stupid of her, in a situation where there’s been a tiny sliver of daylight between the Nationals egregious awfulness and the Liberals tied to them in coalition. Cash has reminded us all that nope, there’s no difference in that area between the two.

      It’s another opportunity for Turnbull to strap on a prosthetic spine and prop himself up at a press conference to say something, anything, to make it look as though he has some control over his party. Or at least some lingering vestige of self-respect. Even “I do not like remarks of that nature and have spoken very firmly to the member who made them”. Although maybe he did and I missed it between Cash and Abbott grabbing the limelight.

      Still, it has to count as a win for Barnaby… he’s out of the spotlight. Or is that why the “maybe I’m not the father” statement was made?

      Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter March 4, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

      It has been a month of astonishments and out of the blue, this latest one, as remarkable as the previous several.

      I wonder at what has been going on behind closed doors at Freebie Lodge.

      Did they have a row and Vikki taunted Joyce?

      Without severe provocation what he has said is imbecilic. Was thinking about this yesterday and wondered at how Joyce is so off his tree that he keeps burning bridges as he does, particularly if the relationship itself could have been his salvation.

      Liked by 1 person

      • doug quixote March 4, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

        They lurch from one disaster to another.

        As for Labor, they should get in some popcorn and watch the show.

        As Napoleon said, “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”

        Like

      • paul walter March 4, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

        Like

        • paul walter March 4, 2018 at 10:49 pm #

          Pity. a cartoon of an ultrasound with a radish at the centre..”Its a grey area.”

          Wonder why it got dragged?

          Like

      • Jennifer Wilson March 5, 2018 at 6:32 pm #

        Ha ha, now he’s come out today and told the media it’s none of their business, it’s personal. I think he’s losing it

        Like

  2. doug quixote March 4, 2018 at 3:14 pm #

    Echoes of Abbott’s phantom love child.

    Is it possible to dislike these people any more than we do?

    Their entire mentality, their worldview sucks.

    If there is a cure, short of Stalin’s solution – worth a try.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Moz of Yarramulla March 4, 2018 at 4:49 pm #

      I have a mental image of them dressed up like Dad’s Army, complete with shovels instead of guns, and CorporalTurnbull saying “keep digging, men, we’re nearly there”.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 4, 2018 at 6:08 pm #

      Time for a revolution. I hear the tumbrils.

      Liked by 2 people

      • doug quixote March 4, 2018 at 7:18 pm #

        Perhaps, but these “leaders” are only the spear holders for the ones we need to get into the tumbrils.

        Their antics are a distraction.

        Liked by 2 people

      • drsusancalvin March 4, 2018 at 11:53 pm #

        I hear the tumbrils coming, they’re rolling round the bend
        And I ain’t seen a policy since, I don’t know when

        I’m stuck in Abbott’s prism, and polls keep draggin’ one,
        Campaigning keep me lying, I know I’ll not atone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • paul walter March 5, 2018 at 2:11 am #

          Doggerel, but nice.

          Like

    • flrpwll March 4, 2018 at 9:39 pm #

      I was watching a youtube about the peasants revolting in 1381, this morning. I think we’re overdue.

      Maybe a little less of the literal bedheading though.

      This bunch of grubs make me very unhappy.

      Liked by 2 people

      • doug quixote March 4, 2018 at 9:44 pm #

        Oh, I don’t know . . . the British executed an admiral for failing to press an attack. Their navy then went on to rule the seas for 200 years.

        A beheading or two here might be a salutary lesson for the rest.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Moz of Yarramulla March 4, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

    I am mildly surprised that no Liberal member* has raised a complaint about Ms cash, on the basis that *he* was unable to progress in the same way she did and has thus been discriminated against on the basis of gender or sexual preference 🙂

    * snigger.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Meyer-Smith March 4, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

      For example, that sad, little creep that sits next to Sarah Henderson in Federal Parliament.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Barry Waters March 4, 2018 at 4:56 pm #

    When you put Barnaby in charge of a bus this is what happens. This attempt to look “honourable” makes Barnaby look more contemptible. Is this his first step on the road to reconciliation with five other women is his life? Beware of Barnabies driving a bus.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. paul walter March 4, 2018 at 10:24 pm #

    Commented on Joyce, but Cash was freaking out at the prospect of further scrutiny after the Shorten/ AWU smear stunt came unstuck so spectacularly last year and conceited and panic stricken with guilt, took hostages,

    The response to Cameron, who only asked a reasonable question concerning something that might have had nothing whatsover to do with Ciabo and Kapertain, that people would at worst have been attributed to DeGaris’s downfall after his leak (was there an instruction to leak?) and who was replacing him was astounding.

    As regards Jennifer Wilson’s last sentence, the blackmail implicit became that even if the women or Shorten were absolutely blameless of ANY untoward behaviours, another smear campaign would start up. Not truth telling, outright , nauseating malice.

    This only days after an entire flock of conservatives wailed in righteous indignation about press intrusions into private lives.

    I’ve been amazed, btw about how a number of well known columnists have already tried to employ the antics of the last month as a cover for further smear campaigns, employing feminist outrage as a smokescreen, including one recently mentioned at Sheep.

    Instead of trying to silence debate on serious issues like severance of social infrastructure for child care centres or women’s shelters, ABC information and education quality dumbing down and the persecution of people on welfare to pay for tax cuts for the rich, why not do the unthinkable and discuss these things rationally on the merits of the issues themselves?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 5, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

      Good questions.
      Did I tell you how Malcolm Farr sent me a sarcastic tweet re the Joyce affair saying I complained about lack of information in the msm when I’d jut read the information in the msm?
      It gave me great delight to tweet right back at him that I had in fact written the first analysis of the Joyce affair at IA last October, and that he could apologise anytime.
      They’re in siege mentality.

      Like

  6. Wilbur March 5, 2018 at 12:37 am #

    It seems that all of this poking and probing into the sexual, private affairs of politicians has opened up a hornet’s nest waiting for the vipers in shadows to spring forth and discharge their venom in any which way they can. The idea that a political crusade to right the wrong of Barnaby’s private affairs and expose the rorting of tax payer money was at the core of your motivation ignites the cynic in me. You and the flock of sheep have helped turn the tide that has created this spiteful twist of fate for all players. Turnbull’s moral censure of Barnaby’s so-called error of judgement is a direct consequence of this insidious campaign of targeting privacy and chastising the media for its apparent neglect of infidelity. In fact, all of the residual fall-out happening in the nation’s capital, including the swagger of the pure and the untainted, as well as the suffocating, hapless victims is an outcome of this media censure. Lives are being tormented and turned upside down. Although it is the lives of the privileged and many couldn’t care less, the principle of smart, ethical journalism is at stake here. If you come to think about it this attitude of a free- for- all into politicians’ private affairs sleeps snugly with the ideology of power at whatever cost. Now look what’s happened. The narrative has changed its complexion for the worse and the women you claim to champion are sinking deeper in the despair and the lunacy of a world seeking to condemn trespassers. And you lot are mind-marching to the tunes of a delusional revolution while you sit comfortably in your armchairs pontificating over the next episodes of Canberra’s Days of Our Lives. Now that is something to laugh about.

    Like

    • paul walter March 5, 2018 at 2:28 am #

      Deflecting, Wilbur.

      Current state of play is referred to by Wilson citing two journalists who claim of Joyce boasting of paternity earlier. in his latest outburst yesterday, he seems not so sure.

      Ultimately we shan’t know, short of a DNA test later on, but what seems a defacto public attack on Vikki Campion does not seem to augur well for happy ever afters.

      What would it say as to relevance if Joyce were to be truthin’…or lying?

      We need to know why Joyce is following this current strange course, which seems an implied slur vis a vis partner Campion and he has not volunteered such information when able to do so yesterday.

      Come to think of it, no comment from Vkki Campion so far either?

      The question is, will one or both partners call for a test and if so, which one will it be?

      Fascinating stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter March 5, 2018 at 2:44 am #

        Ultimately, it was JOYCE who went public on paternity, NOT anyone outside of himself ( and Fairfax, the publisher).

        How do you comment so inaccurately on folk analysing something the protagonist HIMSELF put into the public arena (surely FOR analysis?), particularly when the situation involves the implications it does?

        Liked by 1 person

    • doug quixote March 5, 2018 at 7:53 am #

      Delusional, Wilbur. We merely shake the tree. What falls out is amusing enough short term. Longer term, we shall see.

      The hypocrisy of parliamentarians lecturing everyone else on morals and behaviour is rightly outed. The conservatives seek to muddy the waters with counter-claims which have nothing to do with the main issue – creation of jobs in Australian government funded ministries based not on merit but on a cover-up mentality.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 5, 2018 at 6:38 pm #

      Seriously, Wilbur. Read the post.

      Like

    • silkworm March 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm #

      That’s right, Wilbur. It’s the feminists’ fault for Turnbull making this a sexual thing.

      Actually, I’m being sarcastic. Wilbur, you make me sick.

      Like

  7. drsusancalvin March 5, 2018 at 8:38 am #

    Well of course Campion’s former partner, ex fiance and somewhat jilted groom would have standing in the Family Court to ask for a paternity test.

    Liked by 3 people

    • paul walter March 5, 2018 at 11:48 am #

      Thinking on it on, Is the the idea of Barnaby as deranged quite right.

      This naive writer is reviewing his view on the paternity stuff through the lens of it being a media stunt to focus on Joyce as victim, away from some of the other stuff he does..damage control for image.

      Lets do the counterfactual.

      Campion has remained silent. Does this indicate complicity? So, there maybe a paternity test that vindicates Joyce on the basis that he is the father of the “grey area”.The implication is that he “did the job”, was not a buffoon but a lover and then a victim, since he is framed as a “normal” man.

      Is all spin and manipulation and narrowing or redirecting of focus prior to manufacture of consent?

      Paul Karp from the Grauniad:

      https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/04/barnaby-joyce-attacks-media-intrusion-and-casts-doubt-on-paternity-of-partners-child

      Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter March 5, 2018 at 11:48 am #

      Would he setting himself up for future financial costs?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Moz of Yarramulla March 5, 2018 at 1:34 pm #

        That part of the law is one of those places you really don’t want to go, even more than any other part of non-criminal law. I believe it’s what they call “evolving law” meaning that it depends a lot on the details of who said what to whom when and the people paying the lawyers are not the primary party to the case – that’s the baby.

        I think there’s a case for joint and several liability here – if both men admit that they might be the father the court should just say “great, until you sort your shit out you each pay the full amount”. But… both can afford lawyers, so you could expect the first $20k-$100k of any argument to go to the lawyers.

        Given the level of nous we’ve seen, though, I wouldn’t surprised to see Joyce launch defamation actions against anyone who published his claim to be the father.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson March 5, 2018 at 6:40 pm #

        I suspect he’s trying to cover an unmanageable number of bases, and seriously messing up all of them.

        Like

  8. drsusancalvin March 5, 2018 at 10:34 am #

    Found the sound track to the soon to be released movie The Joyce Of Sex. (working title Clusterfuck) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rNoR8jnPRU

    Like

  9. Anonymous March 5, 2018 at 12:24 pm #

    On the bright side it is comforting to know that Peter Dutton hasn’t fucked another woman apart from his wife. He seems almost angry about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. drsusancalvin March 5, 2018 at 12:58 pm #

    So was BJ suggesting that the photo of a pregnant Campion with the “unsubstantiated” paternity headline is a “pap smear”?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. paul walter March 6, 2018 at 8:45 am #

    Think I’ve worked it out. it is wedge to set feminists against male leftists over custody etc stuff. The hard right have had a long term bee in their bonnet over custody, paternity and so forth.

    Like

    • paul walter March 6, 2018 at 8:57 am #

      He is a dirty bastard. He is losing and his consolation will be to drag others down with him. He reminds me of a monkish someone else until recently right at the top.

      Like

  12. allthumbs March 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm #

    Vicki should have gone the other root, the James Ashby route, sexual harassment and a hefty but undisclosed settlement. Maybe it really is love.

    Ahh, Peter Silpper, there’s a name from the past to conjure with, Christopher Pyne’s jollyhockeysticks outrage, the hypocritical turned political blind eye, BJ escaped fairly lightly.

    If a middle aged pillow biter can use the system, surely that should give heart to the fairer sex to get up and have a go, Geez!

    Like

    • doug quixote March 8, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

      I know you speak in jest, Carl – but there really is no parallel with that agent provocateur who set about destroying the Speaker politically and very nearly physically.

      This woman is guilty only of a poor taste in men and less than satisfactory birth control. A little Barnaby? The world can do without, and maybe she thinks so too right now.

      Like

  13. doug quixote March 18, 2018 at 7:26 pm #

    Is a pussy-grabber shortly to come unstuck?

    “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history.”

    – John Brennan (CIA Director from 2013-2017) addressing Donald Trump.

    Impeach the most corrupt President ever elected by the USA. Now would be good.

    Like

    • paul walter March 19, 2018 at 11:55 pm #

      Eat the rich.

      Like

      • doug quixote March 21, 2018 at 12:26 am #

        There’s more meat on them?

        Like

        • Canguro March 31, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

          OT, Dougie, but how surprising to stumble into this blog and immediately see many familiar names among the correspondents. Kudos to Jennifer re. her capacity to attract such well-calibred scribblers.

          Like

          • doug quixote April 1, 2018 at 9:15 am #

            It’s not often that April Fool’s Day and Easter Sunday coincide.

            Perhaps it did in 30 BCE and the rest is history.

            Certainly there is no contemporary Roman record of the life – or death – of Jesus of Nazareth.

            The gospels were written at least 40 years after the events they seek to glorify. A safe time lapse for mythology by which time potential witnesses were safely dead. To say something never happened is far more difficult than to assert that it did.

            April Fools, for 2000 years?

            Like

  14. krissycoconuts April 8, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

    This was a good read.

    Like

    • Jennifer Meyer-Smith April 8, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

      Very true, krissycoconuts,

      all sensible women identify with how the LNP capitalise on slut shaming.

      Any reasonable woman does not accept comidification of any woman or group of women.

      SPEAK UP coz YOU are the game-changer.

      Like

  15. allyoucantthink April 12, 2018 at 4:48 am #

    It is women vs free speech now. Let’s see who wins;)

    Like

  16. Mal Kukura April 18, 2018 at 10:41 pm #

    Agent 99 almost two years after Bob Ellis – exactly – has left the departure lounge. I so enjoyed interacting with Barbara Farrelly on Table Talk and then on her Departure Lounge blog until a year ago when she was unable to continue and now this https://thedeparturelounge.co/2018/04/04/hoo-roo-and-ma-te-wa/ from Frances Rand her partner-wife-companion-lover followed by this obituary written by her cousin and pictures https://www.smh.com.au/national/marriage-meant-so-much-to-barb-soon-we-would-weep-at-her-funeral-20180412-p4z9am.html

    What a great time we had over there with Bob – it gets better every day.

    Like

    • doug quixote April 20, 2018 at 5:33 pm #

      Hi Mal. This is a great site with excellent articles, and us of course. But Jennifer is an occasional writer only, of late. We need to encourage her to take up the cudgels more often!

      As you have found, so have I found, and the other refugees from Bob’s blog have found, there really is no replacing the Ellis.

      Like

      • Anonymous April 28, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

        Yes Doug – only one Ellis’ Table Talk. Each experiment in cyberspace. That we are still able to interact – this time on Jennifer’s platform – whatever the differences – still enhances my hopes for a better Australia – culturally and politically.

        To some extent I share hope with Richard Rorty, Walt Whitman and John Dewey except that my hope is now invested much more in Australia than in the USA for which Rorty wrote the following in his Massey lectures ‘”Acheiving our Country”:

        “Whitman and Dewey tried to substitute hope for knowledge. They wanted to put shared utopian dreams – dreams of an ideally decent and civilized society – in the place of knowledge of God’s Will, Moral Law, the Laws of History, or the Facts of Science. Their party, the party of hope, made twentieth-century America more than just an economic and military giant. Without the American Left, we might still have been strong and brave, but nobody would have suggested that we were good. As long as we have a functioning political Left, we still have a chance to achieve our country, to make it the country of Whitman’s and Dewey’s dreams.”

        Like

        • doug quixote April 28, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

          Ah, the American Left. Overrun by the remorseless, humourless unscrupulous Right.

          The Right are now discovering just what you get when you sell your soul to the devil. What could have been, with Bernie Sanders or even Hillary as President.

          Personally, I went with Hillary, as being far more electable than Bernie; I would have thought electing a President was not a popularity contest but a choice of the best available candidate to be Chief Executive for the next four years.

          How did the Americans get it so wrong?

          (rhetorical question – the Russians, Trump’s billions, the rabid Right, the idiotic FBI rules of disclosure. Add others of your own choosing.)

          And so it goes.

          Like

  17. Anonymous April 19, 2018 at 1:52 pm #

    Hmm I found this article interesting. I have been to 2 of Melinda’s presentation evenings and I have never heard her discuss clothing choices of women. Her points have always related to mainly children’s apparel, slogans that are on clothing. I have never once heard her call anybody a slut for what they are wearing. It’s more about the objectification of women and the results in society around that.

    Like

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