Leftist Feminists even in the 2020s still claim we live in a rape culture. Part of their argument is in their opinion not enough rape and sexual assaults against women are prosecuted and convicted. They’ve long argued toxic masculine culture excuses rape and discrimination against women and that things such as staring, saying a woman looks pretty, or telling a joke are a sign of rape culture.
While a sexual assault can destroy a victim’s life, an allegation against someone that they’ve committed a sexual assault when they are innocent can also destroy their life. The original #MeToo movement saw Australian actors Geoffrey Rush and Craig McLachlan falsely accused of sexual misconduct. They were vindicated through our legal system, Geoffrey Rush through a defamation case against the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and Craig McLachlan was found not guilty on criminal charges in the Magistrates’ Court.
In February of this year, the local feminist left launched the #MeToo 2.0 movement. The trigger for the existing Australian feminist movement to remobilize was former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins alleging through reporters Samantha Maiden and Lisa Wilkinson that she was raped by a colleague late at night in the office of Minister Linda Reynolds in March 2019.
Then later that month came an ABC article by Four Corners reporter Louise Milligan that a sitting Cabinet Minister had accused of historical rape. The Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter outed himself as the accused Cabinet Minister and emphatically denied the allegation, he appeared a broken man when he fronted a bloodthirsty media pack stating simply ‘it just did not happen’.
The allegation is that he raped a girl known as Kate that he met at the Sydney debating Championships when he was 17 in January 1988. Kate sadly took her own life last year while in hotel quarantine in Adelaide after having medical treatment in Melbourne. She had suffered from mental illness including bipolar disorder for many years.
Kate’s written account of the allegation found its way into the hands of ABC Four Corners reporter Louise Milligan. Milligan first broke the story via an article on the ABC website that stated a sitting Federal Cabinet Minister had been accused of historical rape.
NSW Police had spoken to Kate at the beginning of 2020 but she never made a formal police statement nor a sworn affidavit outlining her allegations against Porter, simply writing a personal story detailing the alleged rape. In the months leading up to her death, Kate told police she did not wish to proceed with the complaint due to her declining mental health state. The woman’s parents are reported to have said they did not entirely believe her story that she may have embellished the details. There are many historical inconsistencies in Kate’s allegations. After Porter outed himself NSW stated that their investigation in the allegation is closed.
Following Porter’s emotional press conference leftists feminists on social media had no intention of being objective or seeing Porter as a human being. They believe him guilty for the sole partisan reason that he is a conservative Liberal politician. But they accepted the rule of law, the presumption of innocence, due process, and rules of evidence in 2014 when then Labor leader Bill Shorten was investigated over a historical rape. They accepted the findings of Victoria Police.
Scott Morrison was badgered at every press conference by the mainstream media asking if he would capitulate to the social media feminist mob and set up an ‘independent inquiry’ to investigate the allegations who would decide if Christian Porter was a fit and proper person to be the first law officer of the land. Morrison repeatedly rejected these demands rightly highlighting it would undermine our rule of law and criminal justice system.
Leftist feminists have long disliked our rules of evidence and beyond reasonable doubt standard of proof when it comes to sexual assault cases. This is why they have pushed for the establishment of Kangaroo Courts where new rules about guilt or career destruction can be established. Many Australian Universities have already created their own Kangaroo Courts to investigate and rule on sexual misconduct allegations against students which with a proven verdict resulting in students being suspended or expelled.
After taking a period of leave, Christian Porter decided to take defamation action against the ABC and Louise Milligan over the initial article. Due to the perceived conflict of interest of Porter being the Chief legal officer of the land responsible for the justice system while having a defamation action heard by the Justice System in the late March Cabinet reshuffle Scott Morrison moved Porter to the Industry, Science and Technology portfolio. Porter also lost his position as Leader of the House.
This defamation case was spun as the independent inquiry that the feminists had been demanding. Legal experts were billing it as the defamation case and trial of the century. The trial was expected to take place at the end of the year. This is why it came as a shock to many that last Monday Porter discontinued his defamation action against the ABC in exchange for an Editor’s note on the Louise Milligan story:
The ABC did not intend to suggest that Mr Porter had committed the criminal offences alleged. The ABC did not contend that the serious accusations could be substantiated to the applicable legal standard – criminal or civil. However, both parties accept that some readers misinterpreted the article as an accusation of guilt against Mr Porter. That reading, which was not intended by the ABC, is regretted.
The ABC, Four Corners EP Sally Neighbor and Reporter Louise Milligan span this as a win stating that they stood by their journalism. The mainstream media reported this as a backdown for Christian Porter and his political career was all but over. Despite the ABC statement that the allegations against Porter could never be proven in any court under any standard of proof, the feminist left on social media will always believe he is guilty.
But later revelations coming from ABC Managing Director David Anderson during Senate Estimates hearings revealed that although the ABC wouldn’t be paying Porter any defamation damages the mediation costs they agreed to pay Porter will be $100,000. Anderson also basically confirmed it was not in the ABC’s interest for the case to go to trial given Porter’s case had already cost the broadcaster (meaning the taxpayers who fund it) $780,000 and a trial would blow that out to $1.5 million.
Time will tell in Porter’s career will recover from the unproven allegation. But based on the career after-effects of vindicated MeToo targets mentioned above Geoffrey Rush and Craig McLachlan the career and reputational damage are ongoing (McLachlan is still in the process of suing the ABC and Fairfax/Nine over their reports of the allegations).
Although during the Porter saga feminists didn’t get their demand for an independent inquiry/Kangaroo Court to investigate the allegation, the fact that Porter is no longer Attorney-General proves that their social and mainstream media influence is enough to pass an informal verdict on an allegation through a trial by media.
The Australian feminists’ March for Justice on Monday 15th March resulted in the Morrison Government implementing all 55 recommendations of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins Respect@Work report which expands the definition of sexual misconduct and allows allegations to be reported up to years after they are alleged to have occurred.