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September 05th 2018 print

Peter O'Brien

Truth on Campus, Abducted and Defiled

If there is no rape culture, as Bettina Arndt argues, wouldn’t you think university administrators might wish to promote her demolition of the hysterics' myths? Instead, for expedienciy's sake, they pay lip service to feminist fabulists and thereby condemn their own institutions

rape culture poster IIMoral posturing can be a tricky thing.  We all have a good chuckle when some terrorist – sorry, freedom fighter –  obliterates himself with his own bomb before he has a chance to hand it over to its 8 year old delivery platform.   Well, most of us do.  There are some of the John Donne brigade so diminished by the death of Ahmed and his confreres that they would give the Bushmen of the Kalahari a foot or two.  And, of course, many of these types are found in universities.

Thus it is that Sydney University has fostered a one-sided ‘ debate’ on the Arab/Israeli conflict.  As reported in The Australian earlier this year:

At least 37 University of Sydney arts and social sciences academics have ­rallied behind a move to boycott Israeli universities following the recent killing of Palestinian protesters in Gaza.

No mention of Israeli deaths. And earlier an address on the University campus by a retired British Army officer, Richard Kemp,  in defence of Israel was violently disrupted. You get the picture — and if you don’t, just watch video footage of the incident below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auwjiq6gt64

Universities are bastions of Free Speech TM,  as opposed to free speech. But it’s not the tertiary sector’s view of the Religion of Peace that I’m concerned with here.  It’s a matter much closer to home.

Leftists, of course, don’t do irony very well.  A brick through your window, is rather more their style.  But Quadrant readers will appreciate the irony of university administrators at Latrobe and Sydney universities siding with the hysterics of their more excitable students (for want of a better word) on the subject of the campus ‘rape culture’.

Recently, both Latrobe and Sydney universities have gone out of their way to make it difficult for Bettina Arndt to speak on campus at the invitation of student associations.  Bettina postulates that there is no rape culture at Universities in Australia.  And this is anathema to university administrations frantically establishing ‘sexual consent’ courses as a prerequisite to engaging in real learning.

But according to the ‘rape culture’ theorists, this misbehaviour is not just on the part of libidinous male undergraduates, who have managed to negotiate family and school life at the same time achieving higher than average school results (in some cases anyway – teaching students not so much it seems) without getting into any trouble. And yet, on entering university, they transmogrify into sexual predators at double the rate of the normal population.  No, the universities administrators are also complicit in this problem by covering up and failing to report and or discipline errant students, as detailed in a Channel 7 Sunday Night expose of two years ago, which I wrote about here.

“I am finding it really difficult to imagine why an organisation that is the very spearhead of political correctness in all the trendy issues would ignore the one thing the whole of society abhors.  I’m betting that university bureaucracies are heavy with card-carrying feminists.  Are their principles so ephemeral that they are prepared to overlook these crimes just in the name of not rocking the boat?”

If there is, in fact, a rape culture at universities, it reflects very poorly on those institutions’ highly paid administrators.  And if there isn’t a rape culture, as Bettina Arndt argues, wouldn’t you think university administrators would be bending over backwards to confront their internal accusers and allow Bettina’s views to be aired on campus, even at the cost of outraging the snowflakes?  There’s Bettina, prepared to exonerate universities and being told she’s not welcome.

As I said at the beginning, that’s the trouble with moral posturing.  You can end up screwing yourself – vulgar pun intended.

Comments [7]

  1. Doubting Thomas says:

    In my opinion, it is a function of the cancerous growth of university administrations. As with bureaucracies everywhere, the tendency to “mission creep” is as universal as it is irresistible. There is no incentive to take the most effective means to solve problems, and if administrators actually, and usually accidentally, do manage to solve a difficult problem, then another equally intransigent “problem” must be found or invented. It’s the way of the modern world.

  2. LBLoveday says:

    Tina has asked for details of her interviews to be disseminated, so hopefully this is an appropriate place to do so:

    Hi Everyone,

    The battle continues with Sydney University. I am supposed to be speaking there next Tues evening, September 11. The administration stalled for 12 days, claiming the application for a venue was being processed. At the weekend I finally wrote to the Vice Chancellor, Michael Spence, reminding him that he had recently given an interview claiming his university was “a place where ideas are challenged and tested, but where evidence is called for.” When the letter was released to the press Spence finally responded offering a venue but announcing the Liberal Club students would be charged for security. He presented them with a bill for nearly $500, plus the room hire.

    We have decided to tell the university the event is going ahead without the Liberal Club students paying for security and Spence is being informed that it is his responsibility to ensure unruly students do not disrupt the event. If the university believes other students are likely to create a problem with regard to the event, it is up to the university to ensure no disruption takes place. We will see what happens now. I’ll let you know how it all pans out before next Tuesday.

    But assuming it works out as planned, Sydneysiders please come along and support me. September 11, 6 pm. Quad History Room s223. Tickets available here

    Meanwhile the La Trobe campus talk is tomorrow. (Thurs, September 6, 11 am ELT-3, Bundoora.) Everyone is welcome.

    Last night Jack O’Brien, President of the Sydney University Liberal Student Club was on The Bolt Report on Sky News, talking about what’s happening. He did a great job. Here’s the interview.

    This morning on Radio 2GB Alan Jones talked to Mark Latham about my battle with Sydney Uni – see here:

    It’s great if you can circulate these interviews. We’re getting them up on my Facebook page to make it easier for you to do that. https://www.facebook.com/Bettina-Arndt-146481039248876/

    Also see below, the article about all this in the Higher Education section of The Australian today. Australian subscribers please post comments online. It helps get stories about my campus tour into the paper.

    Oh yes, the other thing I meant to mention was I was supposed to be talking to Germaine Greer today about her book on rape but she has had a fall and has cancelled all her events this week. Hopefully my interview might happen in a few weeks but I wasn’t sorry to have this one drop off the list at this crazy time.

    Until next time, Tina

  3. Alice Thermopolis says:

    Interesting article (behind paywall) in today’s AFR by David Marin-Guzman on this subject:

    https://www.afr.com/news/policy/industrial-relations/domestic-violence-counsellor-fired-for-sharing-views-with-feminism-critic-20180905-h14ymm

    The Fair Work Commission has said an employee is entitled to hold personal views and beliefs at odds with his employer after a domestic violence case manager allegedly breached company policy for sharing articles by a critic of feminism from The Australian.

    Relationships Australia in Western Australia (RAWA) confronted its men’s counsellor, Robert Tiller, because he appeared to believe domestic violence was not caused by the “gender power imbalance” and had linked to articles by columnist Bettina Arndt.

    But Commissioner Bruce Williams said the counsellor’s views had not affected his work and the agency was on “precarious” ground if it had dismissed him.

    “Whilst Mr Tiller is obliged to carry out his duties in accordance with the Family and Domestic Violence Policy and Procedures his Employment Agreement does not, on its terms, have the effect of denying him the freedom to hold personal views and beliefs that are at odds with RAWA’s policies,” he said.

    Views ‘not only wrong but dangerous’

    Mr Tiller had worked for eight years at RAWA and was a member of The Men’s Focus Group, a separate group where men working in social services met and often debated new research and articles.

    Management became aware Mr Tiller had sent emails to the group from his work address with links to Ms Arndt’s articles where he “appeared” to be endorsing the view that domestic violence was not primarily caused by men and was gender neutral.

    RAWA chief executive Terri Reilly said the emails were a “complete breach” of the agency’s policy on domestic violence and “entirely inconsistent” with its philosophy.

    She told the commission views that domestic violence was not gender based are “not only wrong but dangerous”.

    At its worst, she said “these views propose that domestic violence is a conspiracy promoted by feminists”.

    When Ms Reilly confronted Mr Tiller about the emails, he defended linking to Ms Arndt’s article as a sharing of ideas and said it was never intended as a political statement.

    He claimed Ms Reilly then became agitated and moved to the edge of her seat to tell him in a sharp tone “Bettina Arndt is right wing” and challenged her credibility as a journalist.

    When Mr Tiller replied that her article had been published in The Australian, Ms Reilly allegedly rolled her eyes.
    Policy ‘problematic’

    Commissioner Williams considered that RAWA’s domestic violence policy described its philosophy as “historically framed by a feminist analysis of gendered power relations”.

    But he said how that philosophy applied to the minority of RAWA’s cases, such as women’s violence against men or between same-sex couples, was uncertain and “problematic”.