Thursday, August 30, 2012

Walker takes offence at "'rape jokes"

A piece appears in the DomPost page 2 today about Holly Walker tweeting her disgust at "fellow MPs making rape jokes" prior to a select committee hearing. Her tweet included "#rapeculture #oldboysclub". She then laid a complaint with the speaker. Jamie-lee Ross subsequently put his hand up, apologised and the complaint was withdrawn. But he says his comments were misunderstood. And Walker won't repeat what she heard.

Now on one hand it's a nothing story because the complaint was withdrawn. But on the other the impression is left that Ross is a oafish, loose cannon....or that Holly Walker is particularly precious and humourless. Perhaps  there is a responsibility on her, having gone public with her strong feelings of offence, to explain what caused them.


brian_smaller said...

Having met her during the election campaign I would say that Holly Walker is a precious snowflake who will take offence at practically everything.

Anonymous said...

Deborah Coddington here. I saw this tweet when it first came out, or was published, and I thought it was way out of order. First of all, when you're waiting for select committee to begin, there are always clerks and officials there, mostly women, so it is highly unusual for MPs to say something way our of order, or make off jokes. If they did, the other MPs would come down on them really quickly. And if Jamie Lee Ross said something which really offended Holly Walker, ie a bad rape joke, why didn't she take it up with him right there and then? Next thing, there is a clear path for making complaints at select committee. You can complain to the chair. If you don't get satisfaction there - and you would otherwise the chair would probably lose that position, which carries extra salary - you can go to the chief clerk which is is a serious matter. You don't, DON'T, go public first. That is just a no, no. That's the tittle tattle way of doing things, and very unfair. First of all we were all wondering which male MP (ie, old boys' club) was making sexist rape jokes, and now we're all wondering what Jamie Lee Ross said. Of course the onus is on Holly Walker to come clean on what it was which offended her.In my three years in Parliament, despite going through some real shit with MPs, I never encountered any sexist shit. Abuse yes, and I slung it right back. But despite what people say, there's none of this sort of carry on, from any of the parties, their own heirarchy come down very hard on them if there's even a wafer thin whisper of it. So I'd be extremely surprised if there was a rape joke tossed around in front of MPs and select committee officials.