Saturday, December 05, 2020

Woke women and the captured culture

The latest bulletin from Bettina Arndt

Cracks are emerging in the TEQSA-based operation running the campus processes and I’m hopeful we might soon have the means to blow the whole thing apart.

But in the meantime, I’m helping two young men who’ve faced biased, deeply flawed campus investigations. It’s astonishing how the university administrators make up rules as they go along, banning accused students from completing courses, throwing them out of colleges – and all without any proper authority. Since universities across Australia allow convicted criminals to study on campus there’s no legal justification for excluding a student who has simply been accused.

Another glaring problem is that the university regulations apply to both staff and students and as employers, universities do have a duty of care to staff. But students pay fees and therefore are customers of a business. Businesses have no right to control the private behaviour of their customers. That shoots a pretty big hole in TEQSA’s justification of the whole regulatory mechanism, doesn’t it?

Woke women are killing marriage and dating

Now something more cheerful for the start of the silly season, as we limp to the end of this annus horribilis.

Next Tues morning (Dec 8, 9.30 am AEDT) I’ve lined up a chat on thinkspot with American marriage coach Suzanne Venker who recently posted an article suggesting women needed to lower their unrealistic expectations of marriage. She was swamped with angry abuse which hardly surprised this outspoken woman who has made a name for herself by telling the truth about the poisonous influence of feminism on current relationships. Read the recent article she wrote about this issue for The Washington Examiner.

Suzanne argues that America’s values have shifted dramatically—away from love and family, toward an unhealthy individualism. This is especially true for women who for decades have been taught to be independent at all costs and to "never depend on a man." The result is that when women do marry (as most still do), their marriages become mired in conflict. You can't succeed at something you've been groomed to de-prioritize and even resent, Suzanne suggests.

I’m on the same page since I once spent five years working as an online dating coach, struggling to persuade many of my female clients to get real. Here’s the link if you want to sign up and listen to our discussion – you’ll see the times on Monday Dec 7 for the American audience. And thinkspot will post a recording after the event. We’d love some questions or comments posted in advance.

Cate Blanchett plays Schlafly through gritted teeth.

Funnily enough, Suzanne Venker is the niece of Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative activist who successfully defeated the 1970’s feminist push supporting the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Schlafly was the Trump of her time, winning battle after battle despite being despised by all the liberal establishment.

It was pretty amusing watching Cate Blanchett portray this formidable woman in the recent television series, Mrs America, based on the clash between Schlafly and the second wave feminists like Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug. Blanchett does a great job, even though Blanchett’s woke views mean she no doubt despises everything Schlafly stood for.

Naturally the producers can’t resist rewriting history, including all sorts of distortions in the portrayal of Schlafly and downplaying her very real achievements. Here Suzanne sets the record straight about her powerful aunt, making the point that now that Schlafly is dead “feminists can rewrite history to their heart's content, and few will stop them, in part because so few people alive today know the truth.”

Whilst Mrs America gives the impression that the Steinem and her cronies were an unstoppable force, in fact Schlafly won. The ERA never made it into law. I’d recommend you read Suzanne’s blog on how that happened, given there’s no chance of the true history getting a run in the current climate.

There was still a certain pleasure to be gained from watching the show struggle to present this admirable, powerful woman who would have been a feminist hero had she not batted for the wrong team. It’s very similar to the portrayal of the formidable Margaret Thatcher in the latest cringe-worthy season of The Crown. How the woke crowd hates women who don’t toe the leftist, feminist line!

Grumpy old woman

The woke capture of the entertainment industry is turning me into a very grumpy old woman, prone to yelling at my television set and giving up on endless movies and shows.

Recently a friend recommended an Italian crime drama, Petra, now showing on SBS. Here was the usual troubled heroine, a beautiful but clearly damaged police inspector. When Petra gets to lead a rape investigation, she is confronted by an obnoxious young sex offender who, during their interview, taunts her in the most sexually provocative, foul manner. And how does she respond? She sexually humiliates him. Forces him to stand and strip naked, exposing his genitals right in front of her sneering face and then taunts him until tears pour down his cheeks – all in front of an older male colleague.

I assume we are supposed to applaud. There is an interview with the actress Paula Cortellesi where she expresses delight at playing a woman with the “courage to free herself from female clichés, first and foremost the need to please others.” She clearly delighted in playing this brave new woman who beats men at their own game.

I thought the scene was actually a telling example of the latest twist in #MeToo, as women take vengeance on men by descending to their very worst behaviour.

It’s driving me crazy that every second novel I read now includes lurid descriptions of men’s depravity, child abuse, domestic violence, evil man after evil man. I turfed the latest highly recommended work after wading through chapter after chapter on racial hatred only to discover the nice new boyfriend of the main character was trans. Enough already!

Do me a favour and send in your recommendations of wonderful, meaty novels, movies, television show that avoid any hint of this preachy, self-righteous PC culture. I’d love some stimulating, intelligent entertainment for the summer break.

Aussie men suffering coercive control

Finally, I am sure many of you know UK researcher Deborah Powney, whom I have interviewed previously. Deborah is now continuing her excellent work on male victims of domestic violence with a new survey on coercive control.

This new ragbag category of abuse – which includes emotional, psychological, financial and sexual means of tormenting a partner - is being set up as the latest weapon in the feminist armoury used to destroy men. In theory, the coercive control can be practised by either gender but the UK experience has shown only men tend to be charged, given men’s reluctance to define themselves as victims and the reluctance of police and the legal system to believe those who do.

It’s really important that as many men as possible fill in this survey which will provide proper data proving men suffer similar manipulation from their partners. We need this data to resist new Australian laws set to be introduced in NSW next year. Currently the NSW inquiry is only hearing from the proponents of this change in our laws.

Here’s the survey – which has already attracted 1250 participants, including 366 Australians. Deborah has sent through some fascinating initial findings:

45% said they were always/often threatened with false allegations
69% said partners controlled whom they were allowed to see
60% had phones/social media monitored
52% said partners refused to work
49% of men said ex-partners withheld contact with children unless demands for money were met
60% had sex withheld as punishment always/often

Well, the last point hardly comes as a surprise, given my previous research on sex-starved husbands. Men having to grovel for the sex is an excellent illustration of women asserting coercive control. Can’t see that argument getting public traction any time soon, can you?

Bettina Arndt newsletter:

Shameful police crookedness in the Northern Territory

Concealing exculpatory evidence is a serious offence. The cop concerned should be fired

Indigenous man bailed after Darwin Local Court shown CCTV footage police said did not exist

An Indigenous man who spent more than 100 days in prison has been released on bail after a Darwin court heard CCTV footage shows he is not responsible for an assault he was charged over.

Police and prosecutors had both denied the footage existed, prompting the man's lawyer, Patrick McNally, to subpoena a copy from the casino.

Zarak Bolga, 44, was charged with aggravated assault and breaching a domestic violence order and then jailed on August 25 after his partner was assaulted outside Darwin's Mindil Beach Casino.

At a bail hearing on Thursday, Mr McNally tendered CCTV to the Darwin Local Court that he says shows an unidentified woman carried out the attack.

But in a November 23 email read to the court, prosecutor Lee Campbell told Mr McNally the incident was not captured on camera. "There is no casino CCTV available. Their CCTV does not cover the area outside the casino and they wipe their footage every two weeks," the email read.

The court heard there had been two previous court orders, issued by Judge Greg Macdonald and Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris, compelling police to produce the footage.

"Numerous attempts were made to get the police to, I say, do their job and obtain this material — including orders by Judge Macdonald — which haven't been complied with, and further orders by Her Honour the Chief Judge as well," Mr McNally said.

"This is a matter where orders of the court have not been complied with and there's been attempts made by members of the police to, I say, defy orders of the court," Mr McNally said.

Constable summonsed to court

The court heard Mr Bolga went to Royal Darwin Hospital with the victim after the incident and was later arrested. He initially applied for bail in August but was refused.

Before CCTV of the assault was played to the court, Local Court Judge Michael Carey asked: "Does this footage show females attacking the victim?"

"It does, Your Honour," Mr McNally replied.

The court also heard that during his arrest, Mr Bolga told police: "I didn't do it. Get the CCTV at the casino; it'll show what happened".

Mr McNally requested the police officer in charge of the investigation, Constable Jessica Speckman, be summoned to the court on Monday to "explain how this matter has come so far, such that this man has been remanded since the 25th of August".

"I have very, very serious issues with the conduct of the investigation and the prosecution in this matter," Mr McNally said.

"The question is: is [Constable Speckman] lazy and did she not ask [for CCTV], or is she lying?"

Judge Carey suggested Constable Speckman may have been told by staff members at the casino that the CCTV did not exist.

Prosecutors did not speak at Mr Bolga's bail hearing on Thursday.

"Looks like the Crown case is in very serious trouble," Judge Carey said.

Constable Speckman was ordered to attend court to give evidence.

The case will return to court on Monday, December 7.

A tough new policy will see mobile phones banned in Australian primary schools – but is it fair?

Mobile phones will be banned in primary schools in South Australia from 2021 under a new policy to curb distraction in class.

Under the draft policy students are allowed to bring their phones to school but are not allowed to use them - with the schools choosing if the devices are stored in lockers, bags, with a teacher, or in the school office.

SA's ban would leave Queensland as the only state where students are allowed to use their phones at school.

Some parents welcomed the move saying phones only distract from learning, but some argue phones are too essential to ban.

The restriction does not apply to bring-your-own laptops or tablets which are used for digital learning in class.

The change will also only affect the state's primary schools and will not cover high schools or private schools - which decide their own rules on digital devices.

'Such a great idea. Social media is a huge problem with bullying and lessening the access to phones during school hours will make a huge difference' one parent posted online about the policy.'

'For sure, primary school kids do not need phones at school. Collect them at the end of the day if they are absolutely necessary,' another person said.

Some people were not as convinced though saying that there are reasons children should be allowed to have their phones.

'When my daughter had hers I used to text her if I was running a bit late or start walking, I also used to text her where I was parked,' one parent argued. 'Kids need to have the ability to stay in touch with parents. Specially in these times.' one person said.

'There are children who actually need to use devices to help them out. Sight impaired or hearing impaired children count on these devices to communicate,' added another.

Yet another person questioned how the procedure would even work if dozens of students are handing similar phones into the teacher or office it would take 'an hour' just to sort out who owns each phone.

South Australia is one of the last states in Australia to move to ban phones in primary school classrooms with New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania introducing policies in 2020.

The draft policy will be released for consultation with primary schools before the 2021 school year.

Untested war crime allegations let China attack us: Liberal MP Hastie

Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has lashed the Australian Defence Force for publicly releasing allegations that special forces soldiers murdered children in Afghanistan, saying the disclosure has allowed China to malign Australian troops.

Mr Hastie, a former captain with the SAS who served in Afghanistan, also slammed social media giant Twitter for not deleting a fabricated photo posted by a Chinese government official showing an Australian soldier slitting the throat of a child.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday launched a direct appeal to Chinese Australians for unity, as Chinese social media sites censored his messages and allies rally around the Australian government.

"Any Australian of Chinese heritage in Australia, I want only to feel as valued as any other Australian," the Prime Minister said.

The Chinese government has sought to capitalise on the release of a report by NSW Court of Appeal Justice Paul Brereton, which found Australian special forces soldiers allegedly committed 39 murders in Afghanistan.

A report produced by defence consultant Samantha Crompvoets, attached to the redacted version of the Brereton report, also contained allegations that two 14-year-old boys suspected of being Taliban sympathisers had their throats slit.

"Crompvoets detailed unproven rumours of Australian soldiers murdering Afghan children ... the Brereton report neither rules these rumours in or out. So why are they out in the open?" Mr Hastie said in a speech to Federal Parliament on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Hastie said the release of the allegations had "undermined public confidence in the process and allowed the People's Republic of China to malign our troops".

He said he was "particularly angry" at the leak of the Crompvoets report to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald two weeks prior to the release of the Brereton report.

"I am unhappy that the author of the report appeared on 60 Minutes four days prior to the release of the Brereton report," Mr Hastie said. "I also disagree with the decision to release the Crompvoets report unredacted, alongside the redacted Brereton report."

Chinese social media site WeChat on Wednesday night blocked Mr Morrison's response to the Chinese government, after he said Australia was dealing with the war crimes allegations against Australian special forces in an "honest and transparent way".

Twitter has refused to remove the original tweet from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arguing it did not breach its rules because it was commentary from a government official. But WeChat, which is partly controlled by the Chinese government, moved swiftly on Wednesday to remove Mr Morrison's message, stating it contained "non-objective facts" and fabricated historical issues.

Mr Morrison reiterated his statement in person on Thursday and called for unity, stating Chinese Australians had played a critical role in Australia's health and economic success in managing COVID-19.

Mr Hastie said the tweet was "enabled by Silicon Valley social media oligarchs in the United States".

He also directly took on critics of Mr Morrison, including veteran broadcaster Alan Jones, saying the Prime Minister had "stood up for the ADF".

Mr Jones on Thursday demanded Mr Morrison apologise to Australia for his response to the Brereton inquiry, accusing the Prime Minister of giving China an opening to attack Australian troops.

"I, too, found the tweet by the People's Republic of China to be a repugnant slur on the serving men and women of the Australian Defence Force," Mr Hastie said.

"Our Diggers don't ask for much. They want strong leadership and a boss who has their back: the Prime Minister called out this slur. And the PM has also consistently defended their conduct and integrity since Brereton report was released."

Chinese-language media outlets in Australia, some of which are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, ridiculed Mr Morrison's reaction to the tweet this week, prompting the Prime Minister to attempt to reach the community directly through social media.

"They are trying to style themselves as defenders of freedom and democracy, but it is a travesty of freedom and democracy," she said. "It is all double standards and hypocrisy."

The Australian government's response has now secured the support of allies in Europe, the US and New Zealand, and former prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. Labor has become increasingly critical of the Morrison government's handling of the crisis, accusing the Coalition of being responsible for a breakdown in the relationship.

Mr Morrison accused Labor leader Anthony Albanese of having "an each-way bet" on national security.

A spokesman for the German foreign ministry in Berlin said on Thursday that China's decision to publish a fabricated image on social media was "unacceptable".

"The Australian government is facing up to the responsibility to investigate alleged crimes by its special forces in an exemplary manner," the spokesman said.

"This goes to show that Australia takes human rights and the investigation of alleged crimes seriously and contrary to others – we very much respect Australia's approach.”

Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser for US-President elect Joe Biden, on Thursday said America would stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Australia and "rally fellow democracies to advance our shared security, prosperity, and values".

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said of the tweet: "This is despicable & beneath the dignity of a nation with 5000 years of culture & history."

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wrote to Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey to complain that the image had not been removed from the social media platform.

"It defies belief that Twitter is unaware of the image, which falsely portrays an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of a young Afghan child, as Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison requested the image be taken down," Senator Rubio said.

But amid rising tensions with China, the 10 ASEAN states – all of whom are heavily dependent on economic ties with China – have been noticeably silent on the escalating diplomatic and trade dispute between Beijing and Canberra.




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