The Daily Telegraph (Sydney)
Yes to equality and justice – but no to vengeance
Women are angry. And they should be. Enough already with the innuendo, harassment, unequal career rewards and sexual assaults.
The continuing unacceptable treatment of many women worldwide, no matter how seemingly trivial or serious, causes lasting pain.
It can and has destroyed lives. It must stop.
For all the undoubted progress that has been made in Australia, equality has never seemed further away in the past few weeks.
Through her courage, Brittany Higgins has given a voice to so many other women to come forward and speak about their negative experiences: being ignored, being overlooked, being objectified, being abused and NOT being believed.
One that really infuriates me is tough women being labelled “ball breakers”. Give it a rest.
Women are expected cop this stuff, toughen up and get on with it.
And until now, many have ‘got on with it’, believing it is easier to endure the abuse than cause a stir.
Women have instead relied on a quiet revolution, being “ladylike” in creating change.
Not demanding or forcing it. Look at our home lives. Children are raised (or at least they should be) with the expectation now that their parents are equal.
Our husbands, fathers, brothers and sons are starting to get it.
But we can’t stand back and wait for generational change.
The political class is so far behind. That is why we have seen such a nationwide outburst of anger in the past few weeks.
Brittany Higgins didn’t make women angry. They were already boiling on the inside. But she has given them an outlet.
Enter Christian Porter. The allegation against him, which he strongly denies, has become a lightning rod for every woman who claims to have been dudded by the legal system.
Some present him as symbolic of a women not being believed.
But the issue is certainly not as simple as some make out.
It is not black and white.
And it’s OK to feel totally conflicted about what the ‘right’ thing is.
This is not a class action and Christian Porter should not be put on trial to answer for the crimes of every man who has committed sexual assault and got away with it.
I say this not being opposed to an inquiry. But worry about the expectations we have of such a framework.
If Porter is denied fairness in the pursuit of justice, no one wins.
He will be a scapegoat, an example, but it will not set a precedent. He’d be a prized scalp, but would it really bring the change we demand?
Many of you will reading this will by now be scoffing, shouting at the page, saying “Fairness!? Where has that been all my life?”
Do we want equality? Or do we want revenge?
I suspect it’s sometimes the latter. I get it. I feel it. But I’m not sure if that gets us to where we need to be.
Mr Porter has denied all allegations made against him and NSW Police determined there was insufficient evidence to investigate