Mean Girls thrive because weak men do and say nothing

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Janet Albrechtsen March 19, 2022

Mean Girls thrive because weak men do and say nothing Janet Albrechtsen March 19, 2023 Penny Wong and her band of Mean Girls should stay away from Kimberley Kitching’s funeral on Monday. Far, far away. By turning up to pay their respects to the senator who died suddenly less than two weeks ago, the trio will expose themselves as Labor’s wicked hypocrites, clinging to the modus operandi of Mean Girldom: never apologise, feign hurt feelings, never apologise, feign cluelessness, dig in, and never, ever apologise. Wong uttered one of the most hurtful comments a woman can make to another woman. In 2019, Wong shamed Kitching for not having children. “Well, if you had children, you might understand why there is a climate emergency,” Wong shot back at Kitching during an argument over climate change protests. Wong apologised only after her comment was made public. Mean Girls are rarely that ­direct in their cruelty. Hence, Wong’s repugnant attack was only part of a bigger and sneakier campaign by Wong and other Labor women to ostracise, belittle, and bully Kitching by blocking her from asking regular questions in the Senate, removing her from the tactics committee, demoting her, and removing her from the Senate standing committee on finance and public administration in October last year. When Labor leader Anthony Albanese said that it was “astonishing that in 2022 I get a question using the term ‘Mean Girl’”, he was either being a complete dolt, with no understanding about human nature, or he was facilitating more nasty antics from high-profile Mean Girls within his parliamentary party. The 2004 Mean Girls movie resonates because there are still Mean Girls in 2022. Just as there were Mean Girls – and Mean Boys – in 1922, and 1822, and right back to when humans started roaming the earth. It is not some sci-fi nightmare to suggest that there will be Mean Girls in 2122 and 2522. Let’s put aside some of the more emotional claims of this story. Exaggeration of a claim that cannot be proven will only undermine what can be proven: Labor senators Wong, Kristina Keneally and Katy Gallagher – as the straggler wanting to ingratiate herself with the head Mean Girls – bullied the first-term senator from Victoria and belittled her achievements because she didn’t fit their mould. Mimicking the movie, Labor’s Mean Girls have their own set of rules, rules that guaranteed Kitching’s exclusion, rules that made Kitching their nemesis. Rule No 1: no making friends with Liberals. Kitching did that by joining the cross-party Wolverines group. Rule No 2: don’t defend a Liberal woman who faces sexist, abusive behaviour. Kitching did that too when she defended Nicolle Flint. Rule No 3: never work on a matter of national security until Wong does it first. Kitching did that when she pursued the need for Magnitsky-style laws well before it was fashionable to do so. Rule No 4: shun and shame girls who break the previous rule. Wong tried to take the credit for Labor’s eventual acceptance of Magnitsky laws, belittling everything Kitching had done. The Mean Girls have another rule: line up some male dupes and dolts who will embolden the power of the Mean Girls. Mean Girls have always relied on male toadies to stay quiet so that they can keep doing what they do. Men such as Victorian Labor MP Richard Marles who knew what Kitching was going through – because she asked him for help during a meeting in his office on June 22 last year. But nothing changed. Asked this week about the bullying of Kitching, Marles said he didn’t accept the allegations reported in the media. He accused journalists of being “offensive” and said: “I am not about to get into that debate now.” Labor’s Mean Girls could not have asked for a better toady, with Marles adding that it was too soon to discuss the matter. Too soon? It is too late, Mr Marles. Kitching is dead. Her very serious allegations of bullying should have been ­addressed when she was alive. At the very least, they should be ­addressed now. “When adult women bully each other, they are mostly indirect. They use weapons that are hard to detect and that leave wounds invisible to the eye,” Gare wrote. “The adjectives psychologists and bullying experts use to describe such shadowy methods are ‘covert’, ‘subtle’ and ‘manipulative’. The tactics are ostracism, exclusion, spreading rumours and playing favourites. “Information is withheld; ­secrets are kept; a victim’s contributions – to either a conversation or a workplace – are ignored. It’s bullying by stealth.” Given the public airing of Kitching’s allegations, how long will Labor’s Mean Girls be protected by men – and women – in the Labor Party? The test of fairness and integrity is simple: if a handful of men were accused of the same vile behaviour, making comments about Kitching being childless, there would be immediate and widespread outrage, including from Labor’s Mean Girls and men like Albanese and Marles There would also be an inquiry. Leaders would speak in sombre terms about women deserving better in the workplace. They would call on men to step up and be part of the solution to keep women safe. Here is another test of fairness and integrity for the ABC. Will Four Corners start work on a story called Inside the Female Canberra Bubble that exposes the grimy details of what the Jenkins report exposed: that women were more likely to bully people. Exposing the details of that piece of data, for example, the sordid hypocrisy of Wong, Keneally and Gallagher attending Kitching’s funeral, could be the swan song for outgoing Four Corner’s producer Sally Neighbour. What about Tanya Plibersek? She could be Labor’s next leader. Speaking to Kate Ellis for the former MP’s recent book, Sex, Lies and Question Time, Plibersek said that she regretted not calling out the sexist treatment of Julia Gillard. “We were toughened to it because we had gone through it ourselves. It was our view, and it was Julia’s view as well, that you just get on with doing a good job. I didn’t call it out in the way I should have.” That same attitude allows mean Mean Girls to thrive. 1/ Senator Katy Gallagher (left) Senator Kristina Keneally and Senator Penny Wong are seen prior to the Incoming Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia David Hurley’s swearing in ceremony in the Senate at Australian Parliament House, in Canberra, Monday, July 1, 2019. (AAP Image/Sam Mooy)



Dallas Beaufort

Change the date to 2022 befor

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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