Australian Liberal Party’s women problem turns out to be liberal women

Australian Liberal Party’s women problem turns out to be liberal women, by Janet Albrechtsen.

The WhatsApp conversation — from Monday, September 3, until Wednesday, September 6 — gives a truer picture about claims of bullying within the Liberal Party. Liberal women are deeply divided over the issue.

On one side, a small group of vocal women is intent on building momentum, geeing each other up and trying to portray bullying as clear-cut and systemic. It kicked off with Banks, who says she will resign at the next election, claiming she had been bullied during her short time in Canberra. Like a relay team, O’Dwyer, Bishop and others have kept the claims going with interviews, speeches and corridor asides. …

Then dissent emerges in the WhatsApp women-only ranks. Stoker says: “Of course, if there’s a complaint of bullying to be made, it should be particularised and fully investigated, but our avenue for doing that is through the whip’s office, not through the media or in the chamber.”

What then follows is a curious silence from those who were using clapping hands, red shoes and ­boxing glove emojis. Maybe they set up another WhatsApp group ­solely for women like them.

The episode sounds like a grab from the teenage cult movie Mean Girls. Except these are grown women masquerading as cool girls, speaking the same way, treating other women with contempt to the point of not making eye contact with those who won’t repeat their bullying mantra.

The Australian has learned that Stoker is among other Liberal female MPs who have had enough of this increasingly bogus campaign. … Now they are fed up, frustrated and, frankly, disgusted that the same Liberal women who have made public complaints about bullying are now bullying other female Liberal MPs to join their cause.

They are appalled too that women such as Banks have publicly slammed the party, pointing to “appalling behaviour” but providing no names, no specifics about who did what to whom. Where is the procedural justice in asserting a systemic culture of bullying with no evidence? Sadly, their procedural unfairness is fully supported by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, who told ABC Radio National that naming names really isn’t necessary. Even the most vociferous ­activists in the #MeToo movement named names and laid out particulars.

The WhatsApp comments suggest a wider civil war among Liberal women over gender targets and quotas …

Political correctness has addled the heads of too many in the main non-left party.

hat-tip Stephen Neil