Blame the women

Statement by Australian Senator Claire Chandler:


The biggest fear of women and girls concerned about the loss of single-sex spaces, services and facilities is being forced to share space with violent, dangerous men.

There is no more dangerous or violent group than Nazis. This is an obvious fact confirmed repeatedly by warnings from security and intelligence services.

It is preposterous to suggest that women and girls fighting for the sex-based rights of women and concerned above all about male violence would want the most violent and dangerous men – Nazis – anywhere near a women’s rights event.

Over the last few years I have spoken to thousands of women concerned about laws which enable males to enter female sports, facilities and spaces. Protecting single-sex female services is a completely mainstream and widely supported position. Many of the women who advocate for female single-sex spaces are victims of sexual abuse, or male violence. Many are women from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Much of the public commentary over the last 48 hours blaming women for the actions of dangerous men has been disgusting and defamatory.

Serious questions should be asked about why women in Victoria needed permits and protective security to hold an event speaking about women’s sex-based rights, yet Nazis were allowed by Victoria Police to stroll through in balaclavas and performing Nazi salutes. Any laws designed to criminalise Nazi hate symbols which allow Nazis to walk down a public street performing Nazi salutes are clearly inadequate and should be strengthened. Police and security services should be empowered to go after and shut down all Nazi groups operating in Australia.

It is of great concern to me that once again, the media and many commentators have chosen to blame women for the actions of violent men. It is documented over and over again that women face violence, death threats and sexualised abuse for speaking up about sex-based rights. Hundreds of police were in attendance to protect the women attending an event called ‘Let Women Speak’ from violence.

Yet when those hundreds of police allow balaclava clad men to perform Nazi salutes in a public place and the entire apparatus of Government claims they were unable to prevent it – the media chooses to blame a handful of women speaking about women’s rights.

It’s Karenism.

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