Well my only New Year's resolution was to have no hope the status quo would somehow miraculously change itself in 2016 — and it is a resolution that has proven all too easy to keep.
For instance, any hopes that changing the “five” to a “six” on the annual calendar would lessen the misogyny strangling decency in this country were pretty quickly defeated.
From a start that involved two government ministers caught up in serious sexist scandals, a state Labor general secretary forced to resign over sexual harassment allegations and a sports star creeping on a female journalist trying to do her job, things have only nosedived further.
The self-proclaimed “voice of western Sydney”, speaking out against “the elite” from his perch built out of a gold-plated parliamentary pension stuffed with cash from a seemingly endless supply of media appearances, ex-Labor leader Mark Latham decided to declare war on the example of “political correctness gone berserk” that is concern over high levels of violence against women.
In a teaser for a one-off Triple M radio special, the “battler's mate” asked “why the big national push” against violence against women, declaring: “A lot of it of course has come out of Rosie Batty's role as a spokeswoman for the feminist movement, the left feminist movement. That's the thing that worries me about the domestic violence campaign. It's being run for political reasons. It's left feminists pushing what they call the patriarchy."
Yes, the casual observer might think the “national push” has been spurred by shock at the fact that more than one woman a week was killed by violence in Australia last year and a 2005 report found half a million Australian women reported they had experienced physical or sexual violence or sexual assault in the previous 12 months.
Latham seems to think this does not matter, as he says there were similar rates of violence against women in the 1980s. I'm not sure Australian social reality in the 1980s is that much of a goal to aspire to. In the '80s, women were still fighting to outlaw sexual discrimination, homosexuality was illegal in most states and the nation was in the depths of a shocking epidemic of mullet hair cuts.
Or maybe using the past as a measurement is how all the world should measure social progress. The response to protests against police killings of African Americans should be that the rates of Black men being killed are quite favourable compared to 20th century lynching statistics.
Latham also managed an impressive attempt to explain away male violence against women as a “coping mechanism to get over all the crap in their lives”, insisting “I don't think it's about how men look at women, it's about how men look at themselves”.
Right. So many men lead shit lives and also hit women but, in Latham's considered view, that has nothing to do with how they view women. Which is presumably why we also have an epidemic of men roaming the streets randomly hitting little kittens while yelling “it's not you, it's me!”.
The target's irrelevant, so I guess men could be hitting anything: their spouses, possums, children's entertainers, overpaid ex-politician fuckwits given platforms to spread dangerous hate-filled apologetics for domestic violence. It is just pure coincidence it always seems to be women. Nothing to do with the feelings of possession and power over women that society teaches men is their birthright.
Latham says all this is “political correctness gone berserk”. Fair enough, because when the likes of Latham are given a microphone and huge wads of cash in reward for spreading vile hatred against the likes of Rosie Batty, it is pretty obvious we are living under the totalitarian boot of an out-of-control leftist feminist elite.