The past week has been incredibly heavy for women around the world. Already grappling with accusations of rape in Australian parliament, we then woke up to news from the United Kingdom of Sarah Everard’s disappearance. When it was later found that Everard was kidnapped and allegedly killed by a cop, the news was devastating. We began to share our own stories of violence, harassment, assault and abuse. Women spoke about how draining it is to live in a state of fear, of how this state of hyper-vigilance is inculcated into us at such a young age. On social media, a post of “Text me when you get home” went viral, a nod to the text we’ve all sent one another at the end of an evening, almost out of habit.
With all of this going on, we took to the streets to demand change and action. No longer was this our issue to shoulder alone, it was time for men to stand up for the women in their lives and not be passive bystanders to abuse and violence. It was time for men to do better. In news that’s not at all surprising but still very disappointing, Pauline Hanson has now lashed out at Australian women and demanded they stop ‘demonising men’.
After former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins came forward with her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by a colleague in an MP’s office after a night of drinks, the conversation surrounding such abuse of power became more heated as another woman came forward to accuse Attorney General Christian Porter of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers. Porter has denied the claims, but as the government has been slow to address such allegations (there was the infamous Scott Morrison address where he had to think of his daughters to simply show empathy), marches have continued across Australia.
Hanson isn’t having any of it, though. The One Nation leader labelled the rallies as “anti-men” and told Sky News: “Stop demonising men. There are false allegations, there are men who have been accused of these things that didn’t, it didn’t happen.”
Taking aim at Ms Higgins for waiting two years to come forward with her story, Hanson added that she should have just gone through the courts. “Brittany Higgins, she had the right to go and lay those charges. Take it to the courts. If you’ve got a case for assault then you take it to the courts.”
One she remember though that Hanson has a stake in this as her son was falsely accused by his ex-wife of being outside her home, despite him being in a completely different city, and of sexually abusing his son. The Senator alleged her former-daughter-in-law made the claims so her son wouldn’t be able to see his child. She told the Senate back in 2019 that the claims were devastating. “I know this feeling because, for years, my own son faced these destructive allegations in an attempt to stop him having access to his young son.”
She added, “It shows you how lies and perjury are leading to the failure of Australia’s family law system and contributing to the death of 21 men by suicide and the murder of one woman each week,” she said.