His phrases, critics stated, had been reluctant and patronizing. Worse, they revealed a disturbing sentiment: that when a girl is raped, and unable to enlist the help of her colleagues to deliver the perpetrator to justice, the blame lies not with the accused, or the sufferer’s superiors, however together with her. As Ms. Higgins herself stated in a statement launched final week, “The continued victim-blaming rhetoric by the Prime Minister is personally very distressing to me and numerous different survivors.”
Mr. Morrison and others haven’t expressly blamed Ms. Higgins for having change into too inebriated on the night time she says she was raped, or for what she wore that night — such apparent sufferer blaming belongs prior to now. However they insinuate that the fault lies together with her, ladies’s rights advocates say, by couching her allegations by way of Ms. Higgins’s notion of the assault and her feelings in response to what adopted.
As Jacqueline Maley wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald, “It could not have been deliberate, however the persistent use of Higgins’ first title, and Morrison’s feedback about consulting his spouse Jenny on easy methods to deal with the alleged rape, all appeared that this was a matter to do with Ladies’s Emotions.”
“Ladies’s Emotions,” she explains, “is a personal emotional realm, difficult to navigate and greatest left to the women. It has little to do with male leaders, and nothing to do with necessary issues of state.” The issue, she provides, with this characterization is that it “minimizes what ought to be an apparent level: rape is against the law.”
A part of the issue is cultural, specialists say. Australia has a dearth of intercourse schooling, so it ought to be no shock that Mr. Morrison, the chief of among the many most male-dominated areas within the nation, can’t totally comprehend problems with consent, or articulate an appropriately condemning response, they add.