Nice to have some good news, for a change. Poland has announced they intend to pull out of the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women. Poland ratified the convention in 2015 but with the election of traditionalist Andrzej Duda a few weeks ago, they have announced their intention to jump ship.
Naturally, this decision has been greeted by outrage, with women in Poland demonstrating clad in Handmaid’s Tale costumes and European politicians lining up to declare the decision a scandalous attack on women’s rights.
But as law professor Andrew Tettenborn points out in his excellent spiked-online article, No, Poland has not become a nation of wife-beaters, the new government has actually looked at the fine print of the convention text.
While the laudable purpose of the convention is to outlaw violence against women, prosecute it effectively and provide remedies for the victims, Article 12 requires the Polish state to:
‘Take the necessary measures to promote changes in the social and cultural patterns of behaviour of women and men with a view to eradicating prejudices, customs, traditions and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority of women or on stereotyped roles for women and men.’
According to Tettenborn this amounts to “a demand for the state suppression of wrongthink: an insistence that whatever the electorate might think, the state must take administrative measures to eradicate its existing customs, traditions and practices in so far as they do not conform to an official left-liberal ideology.”
There are additional requirements in the treaty for major intervention in education and the media. Article 14 demands ‘teaching material on issues such as equality between women and men, non-stereotyped gender roles, mutual respect, non-violent conflict resolution in interpersonal relationships [and] gender-based violence against women’.
Article 3 states that gender means ‘the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men’. So, the government is also committed to imposing the politically correct line in the gender debate.
Turkey is apparently also considering withdrawal and Tettenborn suggests that the UK, which is under severe pressure to ratify, might not proceed once it becomes public knowledge that there is so much to dislike about the treaty.
Meanwhile, back in Australia our official domestic violence policies reflect precisely the type of ideology that these European countries are now rejecting. And here too, most of the media and our education systems dutifully push the same party line.
Yet the fact that some countries are seeing the light is an encouraging sign that it is possible to loosen the stranglehold feminism currently has on this important social policy area.
Press council victory
I also had good news on the personal front. Last March I had a very lively encounter with the Press Council adjudication panel, which grilled me about statistics I had used on Sky News’ The Bolt Report, in an interview which was also shown on various News Ltd platforms.
At issue was the Australian Human Rights Commission’s survey on campus sexual assault and harassment. In my interview I pointed out that survey revealed the very low figure of 0.8 % of students experiencing sexual assault, even using a very broad definition which included being touched by strangers on a train to uni. Of course, the activists object to me promoting this reassuring figure, preferring instead to focus on the high rates of low- grade sexual harassment, which was the main finding of this million-dollar survey.
They made a complaint to the Press Council which decided to have their panel cross-examine me about the statistics.
It seems I came out on top. Next Thursday News Ltd is publishing the verdict from the Council which concludes: “the Council considered that reasonable steps were taken to ensure accuracy and fairness and balance. The Council also considered that reasonable steps were taken to ensure the writer’s opinions were not based on significantly inaccurate factual material or omission of key facts.”
I’m still awaiting news of another Press Council matter. Many of you will remember that the media pile-on which followed the announcement of my honours award was orchestrated by Nina Funnell, an End Rape on Campus activist. Funnell has been trying for years to damage my reputation due to my success in undermining her efforts to promote the fake rape crisis at Australian universities.
Within hours of the award being announced, Funnell was recruiting people to demand my award be rescinded and circulating heavily-edited videos and quotes from my articles designed to misrepresent my views.
At the time many of my supporters reported Funnell to the Press Council. I was then contacted by the Council and asked if I wanted to supply further information about Funnell’s misleading articles about me. I produced a very detailed examination of some of the key material she was circulating, showing exactly how she had edited the videos and articles to distort my views. Funnell’s material was included in denouncements of me by the NSW Attorney General and many other key figures. I’ve put all that on my website here. It presents solid evidence of Funnell’s unethical agenda-driven journalism which clearly breaches their guidelines and I hope the Press Council will take action against her.
Unfortunately, I am not going to be informed about any decision made by the Council in respect to complaints about Funnell – that information is only supplied to the complainants. So, this is a call out for those of you who made complaints to let me know if you have any news. And it is not too late to put in further complaints, if you would like to use my detailed information to expose the full extent of the Funnell campaign.
Depp versus Heard
Press coverage of the Johnny Depp/ Amber Heard court case has been interesting. I was particularly struck by this concluding paragraph in an article in The Guardian:
“If four weeks of courtroom investigations – aided by first-class lawyers examining CCTV recordings, text messages, photos and numerous witnesses – still struggle to establish the precise truth of what happened, then how hard must it be for family courts processing thousands of domestic violence allegations every year?”
The answer, not hard at all. My files are full of cases demonstrating many judges are taking the easy way out and just believing the women, without bothering to properly examine relevant evidence. That’s the reason false allegations of violence are now standard play in divorce battles – they work a treat giving women every advantage in family court proceedings.
Until next time, Tina
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