The Foundations Are Crumbling in Australia’s Parliament House

Trigger Warning: This article contains mentions of sexual assault and trauma.

On the third of March 2021, the ‘alleged’ cabinet rapist, Christian Porter, or as referred to in this article as ‘The Perpetrator’, stepped out of the shadows to claim his innocence – after a week earlier a damning letter had been delivered to the office of the Prime Minister.

The ‘material’, as the perpetrator constantly referred to it in his press conference alleged that he had raped a young woman in 1988. The heavy publicization of this ‘situation’ – another Perpetrator adjective – means I don’t need to go into the details. You know it already – and if you don’t, then you definitely won’t see this or bother reading it.

Being overweight, I’ve been on footy club rooms where my body has been mocked. As a male I’ve been in club rooms, showers and toilets where other players have grabbed my genitals. I heard the locker room talk and used to take part in it. While embarrassing to experience, and embarrassing to do, this is the culture of boys. And it becomes the culture of men.

But what I never have, and never will feel, is like I am sexually threatened. I am not here to comment on this. I can say the most vulnerable I have ever felt is when taking my daughter to a public toilet or parents’ room at a shopping centre. I suffer from anxiety in general, and this is no exception. But feeling I may have to explain myself to a nosy Karen, is no match for the constant feeling that some fucked up asshole might jump me at any moment and rape me.

In that moment of vulnerability I’ve never decided I need to carry a copy of mine, and my daughter’s birth certificate just to be safe, as oppose to someone having to carry keys in their hand to their car regularly or some other kind of protection.

From a male perspective, this is behaviour that has been normalized, and it will continue until our social construct changes.

In saying that, before I being to get into what I am here to share, I want to apologize of any women feels I am commenting in a place where I should not be. Being a man, it is my nature to want to have a word. But I am also an activist, I work in the anti-racism space, write about it regularly, and feel that sexism exists because of the same things the racism was born of.

In terms of racism, I view it as ‘not being racist’ is not enough, you have to be ‘anti-racist’ – and I feel the same way about sexism. Not being sexist is just not enough. We need to call out behaviour of men and be anti-sexist.

This is something I find harder to do than be anti-racist – as I have never been entrenched in racism that way I have been entrenched in sexism – that is – being a part of the problem.

To use an excuse used all too often – I was once young also, and made mistakes in the form of jokes, comments, looks and what not. In my years since I have heard and learnt a lot of things from women, which have greatly changed my perspective. I certainly believe that having worked predominantly with women for most of my working life has had a profound effect on me.

But excuses can also be reasons, or the symptom of a reason. Me being sexist when I was young was not who I was at birth. Just as no racist is born. This is learnt behaviour, taught to me by the very social constructs that every child is raised in. Meaning that unless the world changes, boys will continue to grow into sexist misogynist men in the masses.

Not many people find themselves in the situation, and in with the power to make real change. A country’s leader is in that position.

Scott Morrison is in that position, and he has had opportunity after opportunity to make significant changes and has failed.

He continues to stand behind his army of ministers who’ve been caught up in the firing line of corruption or being inappropriate – to downright criminal to a point where his leadership is null in void.   

Morrison is not fit to lead a country as he is not fit to lead his own party. But at the same time, literally everyone else in the liberal party seems to be a worse choice. This isn’t to say I support the labour party either – I don’t.

Albanese is also a weak leader in my opinion. He has had opportunity after opportunity to front the media about the liberal’s behaviour, and until this year, with the election upcoming, he has remained silent.

Labour are simply the lesser of two evils.

But let’s start on the perpetrator. That’s really why I am writing this. Specifically – let’s analyse the words he used while constantly proclaiming his innocence during yesterdays press conference.

To begin with, the perpetrator went on a tangent about how he does not want to impact the victim’s family further, as they were already suffering from their death. A suicide committed, from what I have read, the very trauma this rape afflicted on her. A trauma that was never healed.

I felt there was no sincerity in his words.

From his very first claim of not wanting to affect the victims grieving family further.

According to the NSW police, the perpetrator is unable to be prosecuted – due to a lack of presentable evidence, so he is getting away with it. Yet despite this, his clearly prepared speech was filled with buzz words, legal jargon and then went on the claim that his reaction was one for the betterment of the country. That kids around Australia will now grow up and have jobs and roles that are safe from unfair dismissal.

That he is almost heroic in nature because of the many, many (and he mentioned this many times) trials he went through as a lawyer, and essentially an advocate for women.

That he can’t remember anything from that night – except for some very specific details, but there is also no possible way that he could forget raping someone – if it ever happened.

This is all bullshit.

The perpetrator seems to have zero morals and values that align with anything he said.

So, what about the family he was trying to protect? Why? Why say you consider the family, only to rub it in over and over and over again that she was allegedly lying? What about the effect that would have? If you truly do not want to impact further on the family, just say your piece and get the fuck out of there – they didn’t even need to be mentioned and I would suspect that him even referring to them was a kick in the guts. All he did was the them a scapegoat. To gaslight. What a piece of shit.

I get he’s in a highly public position, but from what I saw – the very legally inspired speech given, said more about him than it was supposed to.

What about the claim of ‘I can’t step down because it sets a new standard’?

The whole, I am doing this for the kids of Australia stance is fucking disgusting, and does not align with previous statements, or even make any fucking sense at all.

For starters, children as young as 10 are able to be held criminally responsible. Something the perpetrator is in favour of (fucking google it) and is not in favour of changing. Many are held in prison without even having a trial.

Well guess what fuckhead – having a criminal record affects your fucking future.

The extra serve of irony here is that in a moment of desperation for belief, the perpetrator quipped – “I’d just turned 17, I was only a boy”.

Well, according to your own morals, you are a fucking criminal.

Aside from form that – the perpetrator, heavily implied that him stepping aside would set a legal precedent. He didn’t say it 100%, but it was most certainly implied. This is simply untrue, I mean, he’s the lawyer – and I only just passed year 11 legal studies, but precedents are something we delved into.

In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is alegal case that establishes a principle or rule. This principle or rule is then used by the court or other judicial bodies use when deciding later cases with similar issues or facts.

The perpetrator stepping down DOES NOT create a legal president.

Stepping aside because you’re a cunt is a choice. Being fired unfairly because of rumours is another story – but we have unions for that. Wait…what’s that? Liberals fucking hate unions. I guess it’s because they don’t need them because they look after each other.

But the perfect example of how bullshit the perpetrators claim is, is on the very same day he made the claim, Liberal sports MP John Sidoti stepped down because of claims of corruption against him, despite having Berijiklian’s support.

As for the previously mentioned NSW police. The perpetrator has claimed that they have never been in touch with him about the accusation.

What in the actual fuck?

Then there is the whole – trial by media – that’s not the way we do things in this country narrative.

What a pile of shit.

Nearly every week in the media, and in parliament, and on the news Aboriginal people have to deal with a trial by media. So too, for members of the Muslim communities, the immigrant and refugee communities and the LGBTQIAP+ communities.

Every election, whether state or federal, the politicians themselves engage in trial by media against each other.

To claim that trial by media is un- Australian, is well…. un-Australian. Because going after each other in the media is as Australian as it fucking gets.

Again, I am no lawyer, and I have never been a cop, so I have no idea of the legalities here, but I have to ask, how can the NSW police claim there is no admissible evidence when they haven’t even spoken to the accused?

Please somebody answer this for me. An extremely serious accusation has been made, regardless of who the victim is, whether they are dead or alive, the claim should be investigated – especially when it is a member of government.

For me though, almost the most telling bit of the conference, was not a comment that eluded to the perpetrators guilt, but a comment that eluded to why he is unfit to be in his position – is that he had heard a ‘whispering campaign’ last year – near 6months ago – that he had ‘offended against a woman’ and did not do anything about it.

I don’t know about you, but if I had heard rumours about myself being a rapey cunt, or even just a pervey cunt, I’d be like – “I’m sorry, what was that now?”

The fact that he let these rumours simmer for 6 months say to me that he is unfit for office – as he failed to address this issue before it really became a public one – which was one if his biggest complaints about the entire ‘situation’.

But is there a reason he didn’t address them?

These so-called rumours, or the so-called whispering campaign came – AFTER – the victim’s death. Meaning that by the time the perpetrator had heard them, he would have been able to find out straight away that his victim was dead. Meaning that is was no longer a ‘he-said-she-said’ as despicable Dutton put it. It was only a ‘he-said’. Especially in his case, where the perpetrator has the support of the Australian Federal Government.

But given the perpetrators intimate knowledge of the legal system, he would have known that this rumour could grow into defamation – which means he knew there was opportunity to not only get out of the accusation unscathed, but have a legal case of his own afterward.

And a potential defamation case was mentioned during the conference.

And once again, I learnt all of my legal knowledge in year 11 – a time where memories just aren’t what they used to be – according to the perpetrator, and from JAG – which I am not sure if 100% factual, and is also based on the US military legal system, so undoubtedly not relevant.

I just needed to get this out of my head.

But before I go – I need to say – the old presumed innocent until proven guilty line is not a thing. It’s only ever been a thig for rich white men. But if it was, the perpetrators reputation when it comes to women is already proven sullied, so the presumption of innocence simply should not be possible.

The ABC’s Four Corners report about liberal’s treatment of women featured the perpetrator regularly, with accounts of women still alive, and there have been numerous other reports of his sexist behaviour.

All in all, the perpetrator, can only be assumed guilty and should step down. Morrison’s presumption of innocence is completely unjust and unfounded, and he should resign also.

Every Liberal, or Labor or any politician with allegations of this nature against them should be shoved aside.

If not because of a legal standpoint or because of actual guilt, because our leaders should not be forcing women to work alongside accused rapists, sexists or misogynists, and they damn sure shouldn’t be reinforcing the behaviour by letting them stay around.

Then you read things about how on the same day of his presser where he claimed innocence, the perpetrator was also trying to pass laws to prevent refugees from being able to attend their own trials, and not see the evidence used against them in those trials. And when then are family’s like the Tamil’s out there, how does that really look?

Now since the presser, new details have continued to drop. Other cabinet ministers present on the night of the issue.

The officer who closed the complaint supposedly retiring for politics in the near future.

Press contacts claiming that they tried to contact the perpetrator before the presser, which he claimed no one had.

This whole thing just feels like corruption.

Sounds like corruption. Smells like corruption. Reads like corruption.

Travis Akbar

Travis grew up on the west coast of South Australia and has been interested in film since seeing Jurassic Park and Predator for the first time in the mid-nineties. Particularly fond of the action and thriller genres, he met his long-time idol, Jean Claude Van Damme, in 2016, talking with 'the muscles from Brussels' about his upcoming films and the hurdles he has faced in the entertainment industry. Some of his favourite films include Jurassic Park, The Salton Sea, Apt Pupil and Any Given Sunday. Travis loves the way a film can make people feel such a diverse range of emotions, from excitement and happiness to fear and sadness. He believes that creativity is what helps the world evolve and that the arts, is the centre of creativity.

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