Lifeline which offers immediate over the phone counselling to those suffering mental health issues had received significant backlash for inviting feminist speaker and writer Clementine Ford to be a panellist for their event Recognise, Respond, Refer: Domestic Violence is Everyone’s Business in Melbourne.
Ford has become infamous for her misandrist social media posts which have included the hashtags #killallmen and the statements ‘I bathe in male tears’. The event was being moderated by former newsreader Tracey Spicer who has been attempting to import the #MeToo movement in Australia with her new group NOW and has a history of generalising all men as sexual predators.
A change.org petition calling for her to be removed as speaker gained over 14,000 signitures with many people vowing never to donate to Lifeline again. Lifeline initially defended their decision to include Ford at their event telling Mark Latham’s Outsiders in a statement “It is commonplace for a range of views and perspectives to occur in a discussion panel. Lifeline does not necessarily agree with any particular panel member or commentator’s views”.
But after two weeks of controversy with its reputation being damaged Lifeline announced they had cancelled the Recognise, Respond, Refer event. Lifelife spokesperson Alan Woodward told the Daily Mail Australia that ‘The decision was made following feedback we had received and our assessment the event had drawn strong views’ and that ‘Lifeline does not want to do anything that could create division in the community’. Woodward, however, said the decision was not made based on the views Ford as expressed.
The cancelling of this event is a refreshing commonsense decision in a nation that has a history of organisations pandering to the feminist and social justice agenda. However many are still asking why Lifeline invited Ford in the first place and their subsequent cancellation statement did not include a condemnation of Ford’s views.
Corrine Barraclough who has been following this story for the Spectator Australia was more upbeat about Lifeline’s decision writing that ‘Compassion and true equality has had a win today’. Certainly, Lifeline’s decision is an indication that people power still has an impact in Australia and that the left’s steamrolling of our institutions can be stopped.