When it comes to the crunch, Australian Labor is failing women. By Gemma Tognini.
It’s a curious thing to watch something unravel. To watch, as if in time-lapse photography, a crack traverse the full length of a wall in what feels like the blink of an eye.
It is equally odd to watch men obfuscate as they attempt to defend the indefensible, and women declare themselves complicit by their silence.
Federal Labor is self-immolating as it tries to deflect serious and growing allegations of bullying and intimidation – specific allegations and those against the party and its culture more broadly. Labor, which has traded heavily on being the only party in which all women are safe, valued and championed, is unravelling as it attempts to avoid accountability. …
The revelations about how Victorian senator Kimberley Kitching was treated by her own came not only following her death but also in the wake of damning and brave allegations by Victorian MP Kaushaliya Vaghela. Most recently, former MP for the federal western Sydney seat of Lindsay Emma Husar detailed similar experiences, claiming to have been on the receiving end of toxic, unchallenged bullying within federal Labor. …
Oh the hypocrisy:
When confronted yet again with the growing bank of evidence, the Opposition Leader [Anthony Albanese] responded by saying Kitching never made a formal complaint so there was no need for an investigation.
It’s astonishing in how dangerously close that feels to saying, well, she never said stop.
No formal complaint was ever made in relation to matters concerning former attorney-general Christian Porter. Former Liberal staff member, now women’s advocate, Brittany Higgins never made a formal complaint either. The allegations against both were robustly investigated and, in the case of Higgins, criminal charges subsequently were laid. …
The real message:
What Labor’s behaviour says to women is: if you have allegations to make about being bullied in the workplace, and those allegations are directed against the wrong side of politics, we will trash you and your reputation. It’s a warning to women everywhere. …
In this circumstance it seems many of the same people who insisted that all women must be believed now appear somewhat caught in the thorny briar of their own hypocrisy. It’s just politics, sweetie, didn’t you know?
What people will do and say to gain power. Sigh.
And in the USA: