opinion

Australian politics has a message for women: There's nothing to see here.

Women of Australia, there is nothing to see here.

There is nothing broken inside the most powerful workplace in the land. 

You must have misunderstood.

There are no allowances made for the terrible actions of the powerful and the privileged.

There is no predatory behaviour tolerated by the men who run this country, nor by the men who work for the men who run this country. 

You've got it all wrong.

We have some women here too, you know. Look, there they are, standing alongside us.

They are not unsafe within these walls. 

There is no problem with a culture that plucks ambitious individuals and drops them here, where they are isolated from those who might hold them accountable - family, friends, partners, constituents - and asks of them only one thing: Win. 

There is no issue with all that drive meeting a 24/7 work culture with no guardrails, vertiginous egos, the young, the sheltered best and brightest, the demand of tribal loyalty.  

No. There's nothing unhealthy about that at all. 

Truly, there's nothing to see here. 

We’re so sorry if you’re confused about what happened to you, or what happened to your friend. 

We’re dealing with it. We’re listening. We’re having a long, hard look at ourselves.

We moved that person along. Please don’t make any more trouble. We'd hate to see you waste all that potential. 

You must be mistaken.

There are no issues at the schools that feed the steady stream of upstanding men into these corridors. 

Those young men are boisterous and healthy. Girls are so forward these days.

All those girls, the ones who are blabbing in their thousands about trauma and shame?

They just met a few bad apples.

Too much to drink.

Young people really do drink too much, don’t they? 

There’s honestly nothing to see here.

Oh, and there are definitely no dramas within the union movement that offers up its leaders to this house. 

Those are just domestic disputes. Private matters. You know how things can get out of hand. 

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It's nothing. Really.

Boys being boys. Blokes being blokes. 

We know you might have heard some stories. 

That woman who resigned from her seat after salacious untruths were smeared across her local area? 

Crazy. 

That one who slept with her boss and was demoted as soon as it was over?

Terrible at her job.

Listen: Canberra's not the only place with a 'Women Problem'. Post continues below. 

The ones who said we were "bullies"?

Weak. 

That one who went on TV and said some of us are not the nice, family men we say we are?

Bitter, vengeful, full of agenda. 

Get over it.

There’s never been a better time to be a woman.

Our wives told us that.

There’s nothing to see here.

You’re angry. We get it.

It must be terrible for you all. Walking around with this collective delusion that your lives, your experiences, your stories, your bodies, are worth less than ours.

We can’t imagine. No, really, we can’t.

But you’re wrong. We’re taking all of this very seriously. We're looking into all your complaints.

We welcome you into our spaces. We’re willing you success. You’re safe here. 

If anything happens to you, we will act with decisive justice. We will remove the threat while we investigate. We will never circle the wagons to protect our own. We will show empathy at all times. We will listen. 

We always do that. 

Can’t you see us doing that?

Women of Australia, you’ve got it all wrong.

There’s nothing to see here.

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.