Category Archives: Scandals

Bob Ellis and believing you own someone’s body

The thing that disturbs me the most about what Bob Ellis wrote yesterday is his underlying belief that he has a right to look at a woman’s body, naked, without her consent. He defended his “right” to perve – sorry, he used the less creepy “peek” – at women in the shower and to watch them having sex.

He’s not the only one who believes he has the right to leer at and/or touch women’s bodies. Yesterday, a 30-something-year-old man sat and watched me hang out the washing. Watched me hang out my underwear. While looking me up and down. For a good part of it he just stared at my breasts. I felt completely creeped out and adjusted my behaviour, rather awkwardly shielding myself with clothes as I pegged them. I changed what I was doing yet he was the one with the shitty behaviour. Now is a good time to add that I wasn’t at the communal washing line, but inside my home. Hanging clothes on the airer because it looked like rain. He leered at me through the window, inside my home. There are no blinds yet so I couldn’t block him out. I glared at him, but big fucking woop.

A few days ago, a very old man grabbed my arse in the supermarket. My internal response was “well, he’s quite old, that’s probably the only jollies he gets these days”. I should have said something to him, but what would be the point? He would dismiss everything I said as me just being a humourless bitch and he’d continue to grope women without their permission in public spaces. I am not a spring chicken. I’ve been groped and mauled by men in public spaces for decades, and when I say something very loudly about it, the response is always the same: I am over-reacting. Bob Ellis is very clearly not the only person who thinks he has the right to touch and watch. And the rage, it builds and builds.

The belief that women’s bodies are public property is all around us. News websites and tabloid mags are filled with body policing – “evidence” of a baby bump, boob jobs, nose jobs, a hint of cellulite helpfully circled and ridiculed, weight gains, weight losses, muffin tops, what a “real” woman should look like, skin and muscles in motion decried as freakish, etc etc. (My personal belief is that if you’re going to enlarge a photo of a thigh in motion and hysterically scream “See! Cellulite! Here! Here! This woman’s body is disgusting!” then you need to include exactly the same photo of your own thighs. Fair’s fair. Sure, there are people who make a living from their bodies looking a certain way, but we all know the magazines insist the photos are digitally altered so frankly, they can fuck right off with their body policing.)

This culture believes it’s perfectly ok to grab my arse in the supermarket, but if I turn around and punch you in the cock, then I’m the one who has over-reacted and assaulted you. This culture believes it’s perfectly ok to stand behind women at their desks at work and “harmlessly” look down their tops (ooh, how I wish I could name that pathetic douchebag), but if we report it to HR then we’re the ones making a big deal out of nothing and being bitches who are trying to hurt his career. Sure, we have rules against this stuff, but we all know what actually happens in the real world.

And so people like Bob Ellis and Andrew Bolt (who also believes that being watched in the shower is a prerequisite for a combat role and that the female cadet “should have known better” so it’s her own fault that he broadcast the sex to his mates) and probably Miranda Devine (sorry, can’t bring myself to find out), get to bang on and on about political correctness gone mad because some women are saying “no, you don’t have the right to act like you own my body”. And no doubt millions of Australians agree with them because they are either too intellectually lazy to consider what it means to act as though they own other human beings, or they’re just complete arseholes who believe they have the right to violate other people’s bodies. And that bothers me a whole lot more than what some 69-year-old man writes in The Drum as he desperately tries to remain culturally relevant.

Bob Ellis is a sexist dinosaur

What the hell is this piece of shit from Bob Ellis: Why are heads rolling at the ADFA?

So women, it seems, are tough enough for service on any battlefront but not tough enough to be peeked at in the shower. For the latter they need compassionate leave, counselling in depth, back pay and five parliamentary enquiries.

This is just so offensive that my eyes are bulging out of my head and I’ve had to wipe the flecks of spit from the computer screen. The right to take a shower without some filthy pervert watching you has absolutely nothing to do with being “tough enough” to fight on the front line. I imagine a big part of army culture involves mateship and trust, and how the fuck can you trust your mates if they’re spying on you in the shower? Oh, sorry, “peeked”. Clearly a deliberate choice of word by Ellis to make it seem less creepy. Plus there’s the dig at women who can’t hack a bit of harmless peeking. Jeez, can’t they take a joke? Must be on the rag.

In M.A.S.H. the movie Hot Lips Houlihan is washing herself when a crane lifts the walls of the shower upward and men in uniform gaze at her fumbling nakedness through binoculars. Are these uniformed men thereafter court-martialled, their commanding general sacked, and Congress made to interrogate all participants? No. Extremely hard to see why. They are guilty, surely, as charged.

Personally, I make all my decisions about the treatment of women from a fictional US tv show that was made in the 1970s and based in the 1950s.

Most frat-house movies and all TV comedies at some time involve observed, or interrupted, or bungled, copulation. It is desolating for the copulants but judged good sport by audiences. Events like this occur in The Simpsons. They occur in Seinfeld, and Cheers, and Frazier and The Honeymooners and I Love Lucy. They occur in Shakespeare, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Suetonius and rather notably the Bible, where David gazed on Bathsheba bathing and upon her nude rounded body soon begot a dynasty which included Jesus of Nazareth. In no case do these incidents produce a Royal Commission or a bolt of lightning from heaven.

He’s using the Bible and some long-gone sitcoms to justify perving at women in the shower or having sex? Seriously? And someone at the ABC thought it was ok to publish this rubbish?

Let us consider a tiny variant on what probably happened, as a hypothesis; a hypothetical. Let us imagine the girl agreed to be filmed, and then, afterwards, being mocked for it, and flabbergasted by the number of leering hoons who saw the film, made the complaint. Would that then occasion the sacking of her commanding officer, the court-martial of fifteen or twenty of her fellow recruits, and the bastardising of her lover? Or something less than this? Think carefully about this question. If she were complicit in the filming, would that change everything? Or not?

Oh, we’re playing rape apologist bingo. (And no, I’m not suggesting that the woman was raped. The “she changed her mind afterwards so she wouldn’t feel like a slut” is a classic example of twisting the situation to pretend that the woman is the wrong-doer. Plus, it’s slut-shaming, which we don’t do here.)

Ellis runs his hypotheticals over two paragraphs and it’s completely meaningless. We don’t need “ifs”, we know what happened. Two people had sex, and one of those people secretly broadcast it to his mates in another room. Why is Ellis so keen to defend his right to secretly film people having sex?

It was to be expected, surely, that their fellow recruits would know soon that the couple were ‘at it’. What then was the grave wrong in seeing (if anything much could be seen from that one angle) how they went about it?

Really Bob? You can’t see the difference between knowing that two people are having sex and actually watching them do it without the knowledge of one of those people? Wow, that’s pretty embarrassing for you.

They, and we, should be careful when we attend too closely to what occurs in a bedroom consensually, and how we punish either participant.

And here he eliminates the breach of trust. Ah, it was just two people having sex, why should they be punished? One more time for the slow learners and yes, that means you Bob Ellis: one of those participants secretly broadcast the sex to his mates. That is what this is about.

Is the young man to be sacked from the army now, and ruined, or wounded, or bruised, perhaps, for life? Driven, perhaps, to suicide, as young army men so often are? Is his crime, of going along with an undergraduate prank, so great? Is the young woman, moreover, to be named, and acclaimed, and promoted, and hereafter entrusted with frontline command on some field of battle? Who would trust her in any high army position? Who would be sure she was truthful? Or sound of judgment? Or loyal? Or reliable under fire?

Bingo! We’ve got “oh, the poor man, his life is ruined” and “if he kills himself it will be all your fault” and “can’t you take a joke” and “women just use sex to get promoted” and “women make it up”. Ellis’s dishonesty here is breath-taking. He knows that the woman is the only cadet who is in trouble. And as for trust, who could trust a group of colleagues who thought there was nothing wrong with a premeditated plan to film you having sex?

And then he just goes on and on about how paparazzi shots of celebrities prove that it’s ok to film a colleague having sex (and he gets the Fergie bit completely wrong), and that people living in university colleges watch each other having sex all the time so clearly it’s ok and that it’s no different to seeing a photo of the roof of his house on Google. Oh my god, the rage balls are blinding.

How to make $2 million

Sexually harass someone at work, and then quit.

At least, that’s the conclusion I’m drawing about David Jones CEO Mark McInnes quitting over “inappropriate conduct towards a female staff member”.

And of course, the hunt is on for the woman who was harassed: “unidentified staff member was 25 years old and works in the head office marketing department”.

Ah, a young woman. She’s probably hot. And asked for it. And in marketing. Well, we all know what those hot marketing girls are like. I can hear the journos salivating from here.

The company said Mr McInnes would not be entitled to any of his contractual rights relating to short term incentives or to any currently operating long term incentive or retention.

He will receive his statutory entitlements of $445,421 and a settlement payment of $1.5 million.

Mr McInnes said he would be overseas together with his partner for the foreseeable future.

Right. Make that ‘how to make $2 million and go live overseas to avoid the lawyers’.

Do you have a golf ball?

No post over the long weekend my lovely lovely Nipplers, so I’ll leave you with this comedy gold:

Your sexuality is none of my business

What you do with your genitals in your own time is none of my business. (Unless of course there is force involved, but that should be pretty clear to anyone who hangs out here.) Which is why I’m not convinced by this: A day for gay MPs – National Coming Out Day – proposed by gay activist Gary Burns:

POLITICIANS should be given a chance to publicly declare themselves gay under a proposal by homosexual activist Gary Burns for a “National Coming Out Day”.

By all means, if you want to take part in a National Coming Out Day, then go for it. But it’s the expectation behind it that bothers me. Why do we (being heterosexual Australia) expect gay colleagues to tell us? Is it so we know not to stand too close in case we catch gay germs? Is it so we feel we can make an informed decision about going for a swim after work, because being seen in swimmers is like being seen in your undies, and then there may be the chance of a glimpse of pink bits in the change rooms? Because, like, oh my god, you hear about gay work colleagues making passes at their straight colleagues in swimming pool change rooms all the freakin’ time.

In a surprising declaration, Mr Burns said Mr Campbell brought the scandal on himself by living a secret life.

Sorry Gary Burns, but David Campbell’s sexuality is none of our business. He didn’t campaign on family values (which, of course, implies that gay people can’t have family values, which isn’t true), so his “secret life” is a matter for Campbell and his family.

In another shock Mr Burns – who has sued a string of media outlets for alleged homophobia – also rubbished comments by former High Court justice Michael Kirby that Channel 7 were “serial homophobes” for outing Mr Campbell as a user of sex clubs.

That Kirby link is to the Sydney Morning Herald, where they felt it necessary to mention that he is also gay. Because only gay people are talking about Seven’s disgusting piece of gutter journalism. And as for Channel 7, they hung their whole story off Campbell’s sexuality, so clearly they think being gay is scandalous and career-ending.

In The Australian, Mark Day writes:

But I think the times are changing and with them the rules and conventions of publicly dealing with personal issues. The increasingly open nature of public debate – the product of easily accessible and vigorous online commentary – is eroding the walls around ancient no-go zones.

Which means “because other people are public with their private lives, then we can disregard every public figure’s right to privacy”.

I don’t know if the “so what?” response was applied to the Campbell case before publication, but clearly he didn’t apply it to himself. He chose to resign before the Seven story hit the airwaves, apologising to his wife, family, colleagues and the community “for letting them down”. He clearly considered he had no choice – a judgment at odds with the next day’s online polls, which strongly indicated a public view that the report should not have been broadcast, and that Campbell had no reason to resign.

If he had decided to tough it out and argue – quite legitimately – that the use of his government car was perfectly legal and acceptable and that his sexual choices were his own business which in no way affected his job as transport minister, the public debate on this story would have centred on Seven’s actions, rather than Campbell’s.

Nice buck passing there. And the public debate HAS been about Seven. Across all media outlets, public comment has been in support of Campbell and disgust at Seven. Which suggests that Mark Day, who is a media commentator at the Oz, is completely out of touch.

How can this be acceptable?

In today’s Online Opinion Melinda Tankard Reist writes about a Facebook page where people can post photos of girls they reckon are sluts:

Since when did it become OK to hate women and girls so publicly and to judge them so mercilessly?

Apparently it already has a million members. One million people who don’t think there’s anything wrong with this:

One average normal young woman is standing in a front yard looking relaxed and happy in a long blue summery dress. This girl cops a torrent of abuse on the site. Because girls can’t just look or actually be relaxed and happy. They must be covering up for the fact that they’re really sluts.

Other images are of larger sized girls posted purely to be ridiculed. And they are. Condemned for being alive, though some men comment that despite their obvious hideousness, they could still manage to find some use for them.

There is even a picture of a woman with a bashed face.

Each girl or woman is analysed based on her body parts and what she is wearing. The text includes allegations of their prostitute-like ways, describing multiple STD’s, multiple pregnancies to multiple fathers, and all the sexual acts they have ever allegedly performed on multiple men.

What’s it going to take for Facebook to realise they have to stop this shit? It’s fucking disgusting. Free speech my arse. If it was about Indian students, or indigenous Australians, it would be taken down straight away. But it’s ok to hate on women. Because they’re sluts. And deserve it.

Forty years ago, Germaine Greer wrote in The Female Eunuch that women don’t realise how much men hate them. I think it’s becoming abundantly clear.

Protected: What’s half worth?

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: