The mainstream media, feminists and social justice warriors in Australia have been eager to promote the “shocking” national report on sexual assault and sexual harassment at Australian universities by the Australian Human Rights Commission. It alleges that 51% of students at Australian universities were sexually harassed on campus and 6.9% percent of students were victims of sexual assault. Thankfully we have prominent commentators and alternative media outlets who have been able to immediately point out the massive flaws in this report.
One of these flaws is the incredibly low response rate to the survey of only 9.7%, the fact the figures included incidents of harassment and assault that occurred outside of the university setting, that the definition of harassment included things as innocuous as starting or asking a question about someone’s life and that the report itself conceded “People who had been sexually assaulted and/or sexually harassed may have been more likely to respond to this survey than those who had not”.
Even though Gillian Triggs has now left the Human Rights Commission it is still an organisation interested in finding victim groups to champion and alleged oppressors to take down. It is not actually interested in protecting actual human rights like free speech, or by the looks of this report does not care for the rule of law or the presumption of innocence. It has been quite happy to paint Australian universities of being full of deviant sexual harassers and rapists. All of the responses alleging sexual harassment or assault are made anonymously so there is no burden of proof.
But despite the Human Rights Commission clear bias, reports presented by it still carry weight in the wider community and even with our alleged conservative government. Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s response to the report was to remind universities of their “legal obligations to provide a safe environment”. Universities themselves were all too eager to say how terrible they were at handling this alleged epidemic of sexual assault campus. If this were true then one wonders how terrible universities must be in other areas if they can’t even prevent sexual offences from becoming rampant.
But the results of this report should not surprise anyone, if you know which organisations were behind lobbying for and assisting with the complying of the report. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins thanks in her introduction to the report the End Rape on Campus, the Hunting Ground Australia Project, the Australian Human Rights Centre at the University of New South Wales and the National Union of Students. All organisations that have been all too eager to push the sexual assault epidemic on campus narrative.
Nobody should be surprised that organisations that pushed for a study into sexual assaults on university campuses got the result they were hoping for. And of course, the Human Rights Commission was all too eager to accommodate these organisations request and give it the stamp of approval of a government body.
The feminists and social justice warriors have been building up the release of this report with several demonstrations on university campuses around the country. Nobody knows why they feel the need to exaggerate the prevalence of sexual assault and loosen the definition of what is harassment. Any sane person knows that sexual assault is wrong and that one is too many.
One suspects their hyping of the statistics is to help them paint the narrative that women are always helpless victims and men are natural predators (though the report does discuss male victims of harassment and assault). Another reason is so that they can obtain university and government funding for women’s counselling and consent education programs, as has been done with domestic violence.
Meanwhile the fact that this report is so flawed actually ruins any possibility of obtaining an accurate figure on what the real rates of sexual harassment and assaults are. The loose definitions of harassment also denigrate the experience of actual survivors of serious sexual assaults by putting their trauma on par with being stared at.
One also wonders why feminists and social justice warriors are so eager to have the university setting as a place most dangerous for women to be in, given that universities are known to attract left wing students and teach left wing ideas. It would appear they are implying that left-wing males are actually more prone to sexual assault than maybe tradies who hold conservative views, they appear to be actually attacking men who are more likely to agree with feminism and social justice.
Sexual harassment and sexual assault are serious matters, if it is happening to somebody they should feel they can report it to the authorities who can make an assessment on what course of action should be taken based on the evidence.
But what is not okay is creating the hysteria that there is a rape culture on Australian university campuses, this has the potential to threaten the social cohesion between students on campuses and drive a wedge between female and male students for the sole reason for pushing a political agenda.
What’s also wrong is to dilute the definition of harassment and include everything from being stared at to cat-calling (the latter is vulgar and maybe even degenerate, but it is not harassment), resulting in unnecessary stereotypes about particular groups. Let’s hope this report does not result in unnecessary anxiety amongst university students and parents which appears to be the goal of its creators.