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Attacking Rosie Batty? Mark Latham, you’ve sunk lower than anyone thought possible.

Mia Freedman has some powerful words to say to Mark Latham.

Mark Latham wants women to shut up. Shut up about your mental health problems, he insists. Shut up about the challenges of balancing paid work and family demands. Shut up about being victims of domestic violence. Shut up about your grief and your trauma. Shut up about anything you believe is upsetting or unjust. Shut up about your rights and about inequality. Shut up about your post natal depression and the murder of your children.

Just shut up.

Mark Latham.

Week after week in his column, paid for and published by the Australian Financial Review, Mark Latham tells women in no uncertain terms to shut their mouths, in the most disparaging, demeaning, insulting and derogatory ways.

He viciously castigated journalist and doctor Lisa Pryor for daring to admit she takes medication to treat her depression. He eviscerated journalists Annabel Crabb and Sarah MacDonald for writing with generous honesty about the realities of motherhood. And this week, astonishingly even for him, he derided Rosie Batty for speaking publicly about the murder of her son Luke in her bid to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Some of the women that Mark Latham has attacked. From left to right, Rosie Batty, Annabel Crabb, Mia Freedman, Sarah Macdonald and Lisa Pryor.

You see, Mark Latham believes we women should keep our thoughts to ourselves. And when we do open up about our lives, Latham seeks to bully and intimidate women by mocking us on the various media platforms upon which he leaps to launch his attacks.

Despite his incessant demands for brave women like Rosie Batty to shut up, Mark Latham flatly refuses to shut up himself. He has powerful platforms and multiple megaphones to amplify his bile thanks to the media outlets who employ him. He appears regularly as a contributor on Sunrise, on 3AW and he has a weekly column in the Australian Financial Review.

He has the right to his views, of course. Just as media organisations have the right to decide who they pay and to whom they give a megaphone. And as the public, we have the right to decide which media organisations to support.

I say it’s time. Let’s call out Mark Latham for what he is: a man who is hugely threatened by women who tell their stories, women who speak with honesty and authenticity, women who are brave enough to give voice to what many of us suffer in silence.

Mark Latham is a man who appears deeply disturbed by women’s voices, women’s opinions and women’s self expression.

Rosie Batty with her son, Luke.

Latham is a man who endlessly rails against feminism and feminists – terms he uses disparagingly about any woman who has the temerity to differentiate herself from a doormat.

Latham is a man who repeatedly writes of his longing for the olden days, when nobody spoke about their feelings and, presumably, women didn’t get crazy ideas in their heads about working outside the home, earning their own money and having a voice to speak up for themselves.

Just this week he wrote pompously: “There was a time, in the dignity of working class life, when grieving was conducted in private. In the 1960s, nobody tried to enlist the parents of Adelaide’s missing Beaumont children as celebrity speakers.”

Yes Mark. And in the 1960s, rape in marriage was still legal and children were routinely sexually abused by clergy in churches who thought it was fine to cover up their abuse. Just because something happened a long time ago, doesn’t make it right or better than things are now. What an absurd, reckless and fatuous argument.

Latham is a man who is constantly confused about why any woman would want to work outside the home; in Latham World, women should shut up and stay happily domesticated. Like household pets.

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Of the women of Western Sydney, he arrogantly asserts of these hundreds of thousands of women, “Financially, if they can avoid work, that’s their preference. Home life gives them the freedom to pursue their recreational interests and bond with the most important people in their lives, their children. Other than for money, why would anyone want to commute and toil long hours for businesspeople?”

“Latham is a man who is constantly confused about why any woman would want to work outside the home.”

You know why we work Mark? Some of us work because we enjoy it. And many of us also work to maintain our financial independence, so that we never have to be at the mercy of misogynists like you.

Oddly, Mark Latham doesn’t seem to have a problem with men speaking their minds.

I can’t recall him criticising comedian Tom Ballard or actor Gary MacDonald or broadcaster Craig Hamilton or former AFL players Troy Luff and Nathan Thomson or former rugby union player Ben Tune or former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett for talking openly about their depression – just as Lisa Pryor did.

Mark Latham has spoken at length about his testicular cancer and credits the ABC with saving his life because he watched a man interviewed about testicular cancer on The 730 Report. Mark Latham thinks his balls are an excellent issue to discuss publicly – but mental health and violence should be kept private.

Latham had nothing to say about the Morcombes who have selflessly and courageously used their profile to raise awareness about child protection after the murder of their son Daniel – just as Rose Batty has.

So it seems like the only people Latham wants to shut up are……women.

When we write about our lives, he derides it as “complaining”.

When we summon the courage to speak honestly and openly about the struggles we sometimes face trying to meet the demands of parenting, he calls it “the demonisation of children” and insists we “don’t like [our] children and don’t want to be with them”.

When we admit to seeking help for depression or anxiety, he calls us “cowardly” and irresponsible.

Have you listened to Osher Gunsberg talk to Mamamia about his experiences with his mental health? (Post continues after podcast.)

When Rosie Batty draws on every ounce of her remaining strength, takes 1000 deep breaths and stops crying long enough to stand in front of a crowd so she can speak about the loss of her precious son Luke, he sneers at her for allowing herself to be “wheeled out” to commercialise her only child’s murder and accuses her of using it as “entertainment”.

Rosie Batty is said to have been utterly devastated by his attack. How could she not have been? Has she not suffered enough without Mark Latham putting his ugly boot in? By taking on the mantle of Australian of the Year and fighting for the rights of her beloved Luke and all victims of family violence, Rosie is a national hero. A brave warrior with a reserve of strength and courage that Mark Latham could never hope to have. But she is human and she is reeling from this attack. Are there no depths to which this troll is not prepared to sink?

Apparently not.

What do you think of Mark Latham’s comments? Do you have any words of support for Rosie Batty?

If you want to read more on this topic, then you might like this…

Jessica Rudd has some very choice words for Mark Latham. And we applaud her.

“It’s more than okay to ignore Mark Latham on this topic.”

The one thing Aussie parents are doing wrong – according to Mark Latham.

Lisa Oldfield admits: “I’ve been a victim of domestic violence and I’m angry”

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