Abuse survivor’s Aussie Day clarion call to Governor-General
TASMANIAN abuse survivor Grace Tame has joined calls for the Governor-General to strip commentator Bettina Arndt of her recent Member of the Order of Australia honour.
Victoria's Attorney-General Jill Hennessy and Premier Daniel Andrews last month called for the men's rights advocate to be stripped of her award.
Ms Hennessy wrote to Governor-General David Hurley, saying she was alarmed at Ms Arndt's appointment and asked him to reconsider.
Ms Arndt was appointed an AM for "significant service to the community as a social commentator, and to gender equity through advocacy for men".
Ms Hennessy said the social commentator had defended child molesters, including former Tasmanian teacher Nicolaas Bester.
Bester was jailed in 2011 for sexually abusing student Grace Tame while teaching at St Michael's Collegiate Girls' school, and again in 2016 for bragging about the crime on Facebook.
Following his release, Bester gave a 17-minute interview with Ms Arndt that was posted online, in which Ms Tame was referred to as a "provocative teenager".
The video was pulled down after it was reported to police because it contained Ms Tame's real name and photo without her consent. In a statement released today, Ms Tame said while Ms Arndt was entitled to her opinion, both sides of the story needed to be told.
"The honouree claims to be an advocate for men and a proponent for gender equality yet she is deeply critical of women," she said.
"Supporting one cause does not mean devaluing and degrading another.
"To imply that all men are susceptible when faced with temptation of sex with a child is insulting to men.
"The upshot of celebrating individuals who minimise such heinous crimes as paedophilia and rape is the protracted perpetuation of victim-blaming and abuse itself."
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.