I would like to write you a letter as an Australian constituent. I would particularly like to write you a letter as a woman. Under normal circumstances I’d not principally define myself as my gender. There is so much more to me than that. But these are not normal circumstances. As an Australian woman I find myself living in a time where my circumstances feel extraordinary. In this instance my gender is central to what I would like to say.
I have never been a person invested in politics. I was one of those citizens who voted, left the polling booth and got on with my day. In fact, voting was something of an imposition. An obligatory task undertaken to not receive a fine. A day every few years where there was a sausage sizzle and a bunch of persistent people championing their parties by shoving ‘how to vote’ flyers in my face. I’d check off my identity at the front desk, take my sheets of paper and fill in the minimum obligatory boxes with the pencil provided. I didn’t give it much thought. Folded tightly, I’d post my contribution to the fate of the nation in the boxes at the exit door and be on my way.
Mr. Morrison that has all changed.
Because of you.
When you won the last election I took little notice. My life was trundling on and I was still ignoring politics. After all… what real difference did it make to my day to day who resided at Kirribilli? Politicians come and go. You were not exactly inspiring but I never really listened to you. You were just ‘ScoMo’. ‘Scotty from Marketing’. An underwhelming, average, middle aged white man chairing my country. I’d seen a parade of those like you in my half a century.
Now I see you are in fact extraordinary. I have a keenly awakened interest in politics borne of hearing you speak. In the last few months I’ve listened to your words very carefully because they matter. They matter particularly because I am a woman.
You see Mr. Morrison, I am one of the women at the heart of the Women’s Safety Summit you just addressed. That summit was about my past life and my future. I am one of the faceless, depressing statistics of family and sexual violence.
My years of walking past the sausage sizzle and putting pencilled numbers at the top of a ballot form have now ceased. I don’t enter polling booths any more because I am a silent voter. I don’t have a registered address on the roll. Women like me don’t wish to be easily located. We keep our heads down and we create a new life with as much distance between ourselves and a perpetrator as possible. We may refuse to be afraid and we may fully embrace the freedoms we have achieved escaping a past life. Yet, we don’t really have all of our freedoms do we? As I absorb your rhetoric as my Prime Minister it would appear that as a woman I am solely charged with the task of keeping myself safe.
I think the first time I really sat up and took notice of your qualities was when Brittany Higgins came forward with her allegation of being raped at Parliament House. Such a bright, brave young woman. Such a difficult thing for her to do knowing her story and her life would be dissected under a microscope. I can see she took that step both for herself and for all the faceless female statistics who are not heard. After all, if this could happen at Parliament House what does it say about the plight of an ‘ordinary’ Australian? Surely this would be addressed in a definitive way. A swift denouncement that this could ever happen within the seat of our government. Suddenly politics was less remote to me as a disinterested observer. This was relevant on a level I had never experienced. I waited to see what you would do. What you would bring to such a heinous circumstance. Your response provided enormous clarity.
You did nothing. Placed under a pressure you clearly resented you gave the whole mess some lip service. Empty words whilst desperately trying to deflect what this crime (it remains a crime) meant in real terms. You did what every corrupt entitled male I have ever known has done when confronted with an inconvenient woman. You buried her truthful narrative as hard as you could go and waited for her to fade. Waited until yet another victim, exhausted from screaming into an abyss, might just run out of fight. After all this crime was just a problem to you. Not the life of a young, bright, ambitious and intelligent woman. Not her health and her future torn apart. Her bravery belittled and mocked by your mindless arrogance.
Women marched on your seat of power to stand behind Ms. Higgins. Women like me. The faceless statistics. You did not come out to meet them. I realised at that moment exactly who you are. Everything that gesture encompasses.
Mr. Morrison, since that moment I have watched you with a very keen interest. You have not disappointed me. A myriad of circumstances have arisen affording you the chance to win back a modicum of respect from women such as myself. The Christian Porter episode was one that gave extra clarity to who is at the steering wheel of my nation. Someone only interested in their own power. Their own ego. The Boys Club. Someone who should not be.
Someone I placed there through my own apathy as an Australian voter.
As we enter what I hope may be a pivotal time in the journey of Australian women I take hope from power houses such as Grace Tame. Articulate, strong, determined women who will not be cowed by the gaslighting tactics of a man such as yourself. Grace Tame. The only victim survivor placed at the table of the Women’s Safety Summit. A summit to which Brittany Higgins was not officially invited but added as a last minute afterthought. Well of course. Who wants an extra problem at a table merely seen as an obligatory exercise to appease persistently vocal females? Women who are dissatisfied with how they are perceived as the victims of abusers. Women wanting to address what is blatantly lacking in our system to protect and support them. The gender who need to learn more efficient ways to keep themselves safe.
Mr. Morrison. Next time I fill out a ballot form from the tenuous safety of my unlisted address you and the LNP will not be on it. I finally had my political awareness raised by your extraordinary performance as the leader of my country.
To anyone who was once also apathetic – I would ask that you join me. Find your political awareness and your voice. We owe it to Katherine Thornton, Brittany Higgins, Grace Tame and every faceless woman victim survivor. Like me.
A Female Australian Voter
14 thoughts on “Dear Mr. Morrison”
So well articulated. So true and so sad. Please this must be shared as widely as possible.
Well said and eloquently put.!!
It is going to get better.!!
That is so excellent n bought an overwhelming sadness to me . I heard his speech , how does this man have the oudacity to do this . We can’t forget Kathryn Thornton but he wants to shove her life as if she will be forgotten . There has to be some just for that lady 🥲
Thanks for writing this.
I think you speak for many; many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Australian women who have been shocked to the core, and re-traumatised, when they learnt that the person who is (supposed to be) running the country views women with such contempt, and regards their tenuous hold on power as important above all else, that they choose to protect ‘alleged’ rapists.
The actions, or should we say inactions, of this person have shone a mirror on how unsafe women in Australia are.
They have shown, with blinding clarity, that justice only exists if entitled and corrupt males, males who believe they are above the law, don’t interfere with investigations into heinous crimes.
Powerful. Provoking. Penetrating.
Thank you, incisive and powerful
Absolutely fantastic and articulate. I find this to be one of the most indepth and honest testimonials I think I’ve ever read.
Thank you, and I also can now honestly say that he gave me reason to NEVER vote LNP!!
An excellent letter which echoes some of my sentiments
Never has the inequality in politics been revealed so well since Mr Morrison became our Prime Minister. He has shunned responsibility, he has divided Australia and more importantly I have become “woke” to his behaviour
Thank you for your letter. I needs to be shared
I ask who ARE you voting for? From my view this message applies to anyone in power, who relies on popularity over integrity to maintain the status quo, which if you are realistic, applies to all of them.
Good for you 🙂 We can only hope that come the next election, that there will be enough quiet Australians tp put Morrison and the LNP las on the ballot paper. Because unfortunately, the only people they are interested in hearing from, are from their financial patrons, not the average Australian…
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Just a heads up. The LNP will be on your ballot paper. It is the same for every candidate. This is such a damning appraisal of the myopia and apathy of the average Australian, who find democracy an annoyance, and say they are supremely cynical, when they are really just wilfully ignorant. “I’m alright Jack” they say. Morrison spent years torturing refugees, covering up for Reza Berati’s killers and dog whistling racism for votes. None of what is detailed here should come as a surprise. One can only assume the author has put the LNP on her ballot in the past. Unfortunately, despite there being a sudden sense of urgency about shutting the gate, it will come as a shock that the horse has already bolted. Morrison will be around for a very long time to come.
Hi Kieran and thank you for your comment. I appreciate what you are saying and always encourage constructive debate. Yes I did vote for the LNP for some time for all the reasons people often vote habitually. Family tradition, a lack of interest in politics and apathy. With respect – that is the point of my article. That such apathy leads to the position we find ourselves in now and it can take absolutely egregious behaviour to propel the the average Australian voter to take stock. I don’t think Morrison will just evaporate. These issues are entrenched. Yet each of us who wake up and vote with investment will push towards change.
Wow! Powerful personal and resonant words. May Scott Morrison’s decisive inaction be remembered always