Replies to Darcey Browning's letter

Educating Darcey

I would like to make a few points in response to Darcy Browning’s letter (Courier-Sun, Nov 28).

I realise that this is an opinion page, and that is what we get from Darcey, his opinion. And that of his mates. Maybe Darcey needs to get out more, speak to a wider variety of people, and learn to fact check.

He could start with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, which takes its information from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Here he can read all about the gender pay gap in Australia, and the fact that, yes, it still exists.  And he might want to wonder why the pay gap is so big in the corporate sector, where the work isn’t dangerous, or why roles such as nursing and teaching, traditionally done by women, have historically had lower rates of pay. It’s called sexism. He could also look that up if necessary.

Here is my opinion. Women want to work when they’re at work. Men are destroying their own careers effectively by themselves by displaying poor sexist leery behaviour. Women don’t want it, even if men think they do. He could ask the women. I’m sure they would tell him they don’t dream of being harassed, at any age. And in terms of waiting years to report sexual harassment  (and ruin someone’s life), there are two things to consider. One is that when men are in positions of power, victims are not believed (for concrete evidence look up sexual abuse in the churches, there’s just been a Royal Commission). The other is that it takes a lot of strength and courage to speak up, and sometimes that can take a long time to muster. Because you have to fight to be believed, and you might even get death threats (see Brett Kavanaugh case in the USA).

I hope that 2018 does go down as the beginning of the gender revolution. For people such as Darcey who are comfortable in their identity there is nothing to be afraid of. Gender diverse and queer people have always, always, existed, and are finally standing up and asking for respect and an end to discrimination against them. Darcey might consider swapping out the term “respect for others” with “political correctness”. We are all worthy of respect, no matter our differences, as we all share our humanity. Darcy could attempt to educate himself on his straight white male heterosexual privilege to understand himself and the platform he is coming from more fully, and to have more compassion and understanding of others.

Elisa Hall

Bellingen

Some facts

Darcey, we need to talk. Your Jan 2018 letter on sexual harassment and male/ female inequality prompted an angry response from me. Now that I know you as a thoughtful, generous and kind man, I will respond to your latest one differently.

Did you know that the number of Australian women murdered this year in domestic violence has already passed sixty – much more than one per week. Most of these women were killed by their past or present male partner. Many of these women had Apprehended Violence Orders against  these men, put in place by courts and police. They died a terrifying death, often leaving young children. Women are almost 20 times more likely than men to be killed in domestic violence. Many more just have to endure a lifetime of violence within their marriage.

The recent sexual harassment court cases in the headlines involve women who did not want to be named. They were dragged into litigation by others and humiliated and exposed in the courtroom and media, against their wishes.

The new dominant homeless and poverty class in Australia consists of women over the age of 55. They mostly have poor divorce settlements, non-continuous superannuation benefits because of child rearing years and home duties and poorly paid  work. They find it difficult to find employment and live in cars, caravans and cabins, if they are lucky.

As for pay inequality, a plumber (mostly men) can charge $75 per hour to fix pipes. A cardio-thoracic nurse (many of whom are women) can earn $30-$40 per hour to save a life.

And finally, If you really dream of being harassed, Darcey, I’m sure that there are still pubs and nightclubs in Sydney or Brisbane where I could organise for a body builder to flirt with you and sexually harass you. That may give you a glimpse of what women endure throughout their lives. It is astounding how easily men understand consent when confronted in a gay bar.

Janine Harkness

Bellingen

Nothing to fear

I would like to respond to Darcey’s letter in the Courier-Sun (Nov 28).

As men, what is there to fear from equality in the workplace and equal pay? We’re not going to suffer from ongoing psychological trauma or anxiety if women attain what is rightfully theirs. We are fundamentally different beings on many levels but for men to be strong it doesn’t  rely on weakening women or who they are. We should celebrate women’s strengths and abilities. The two percent of the population Darcey mentions might be the men who are isolated in remote valleys of Australia. Has Darcey been out and talked to women who have been touched inappropriately in the workplace or the public sphere? Are there women who are campaigning to be touched when uninvited in society? Equality and diversity is gold.

Al Gibbings 

Dorrigo

And here’s the one from Darcey printed Nov 28

That playful touch or hello gorgeous in the workplace is destroying the career of an ever increasing number of men. Mud sticks. 

If as a lady I resented some flirtatious attention, I would quickly make it obvious. 

If he persisted and became aggressive, I would report the matter to my boss, or the police immediately, rather than wait years to lay a charge of sexual harassment and destroy someone’s life.

As a young man I would dream of being harassed, at 75 I still dream on. 

Men of means and holding positions of power should be nervous. This gender and inequality rubbish is out of control. 

Another much flaunted furphy that the fairer sex earn 23 per cent less than their male counterparts.

I’ve always been a strong advocate for equal pay for equal work, but the fact remains that most people work under an award system, and both men and women receive the same rate of pay, example secretary, nurse, teacher, police, etc. 

The imbalance would be that more men than women work in dangerous occupations,which often require the heavy lifting and attracts a higher rate of pay. Example secretary versus log feller. 

This is changing as machines and technology replace muscle power, but still a way to go on that one. 

I speak to virtually no one that isn't disgusted by so much of this rubbish, pushed by a minute minority and promoted by a voracious media, and our gutless leaders carried along with the tide, fearful of losing some votes. 

Masculinity and femininity were once regarded as an attribute, now they are sadly being eroded from both sides. The C.W.A. may have to become Country People’s Association.

We must resist this madness and encourage some exclusive women's and men's  only groups, because men and women are different. Thank God.

The year 2018 will go down in history as the beginning of the gender revolution and free speech being replaced by political correctness.

Darcey Browning 

Thora