His phrases, critics mentioned, have been reluctant and patronizing. Worse, they revealed a disturbing sentiment: that when a girl is raped, and unable to enlist the assist of her colleagues to convey the perpetrator to justice, the blame lies not with the accused, or the sufferer’s superiors, however together with her. As Ms. Higgins herself mentioned in a statement launched final week, “The continued victim-blaming rhetoric by the Prime Minister is personally very distressing to me and numerous different survivors.”
Mr. Morrison and others haven’t expressly blamed Ms. Higgins for having turn into too inebriated on the evening she says she was raped, or for what she wore that night — such apparent sufferer blaming belongs prior to now. However they insinuate that the fault lies together with her, ladies’s rights advocates say, by couching her allegations by way of Ms. Higgins’s notion of the assault and her feelings in response to what adopted.
As Jacqueline Maley wrote in The Sydney Morning Herald, “It might not have been deliberate, however the persistent use of Higgins’ first title, and Morrison’s feedback about consulting his spouse Jenny on learn how to deal with the alleged rape, all seemed that this was a matter to do with Girls’s Emotions.”
“Girls’s Emotions,” she explains, “is a personal emotional realm, difficult to navigate and greatest left to the women. It has little to do with male leaders, and nothing to do with vital issues of state.” The issue, she provides, with this characterization is that it “minimizes what needs to be an apparent level: rape is against the law.”
A part of the issue is cultural, consultants say. Australia has a dearth of intercourse training, so it needs to be no shock that Mr. Morrison, the chief of among the many most male-dominated areas within the nation, can’t totally comprehend problems with consent, or articulate an appropriately condemning response, they add.