Posted April 05, 2018 07:42:49Australian men have historically been known to call women “sluts”, and Australian women have been known as “slutty”.
But that is no longer the case, with a new law being introduced to legalise sex discrimination in Australia.
Key points:Australian women have long been known for being sexualised, and men have also traditionally labelled them as “bitchy”Australian law changes will allow men to be prosecuted for sexist languageMen have been able to say “sluttish” in Australia for centuriesBut the laws introduced on Monday will see men prosecuted for sexism, which includes “slitting, piercing or otherwise wounding the penis of a woman”.
“Australian men, and particularly men of Asian appearance, will no longer be able to describe female sexual characteristics as ‘sluttly’, ‘bitching’, ‘cunt’, ‘whore’, ‘slut’, ‘pervert’, ‘porn-star’, ‘prostitute’, ‘sex-crazed’ or ‘sexist’,” the bill states.
“In some cases, a person’s sexual preference will not be a factor in the determination of whether the person’s conduct is reasonable and in line with the general standards of decency in the community.”
In an interview with The Australian newspaper, Labor MP for Canberra, Linda Reynolds, said she believed “a lot of the time” men were still calling women “bitches” because “men are men”.
“It’s the language that we are taught as boys,” she said.
“I think that it is very important that we take into account the words that are being used by men.”
In a letter to parliament last year, Ms Reynolds said she was “deeply offended” by the use of “bastard” and “slashy” as derogatory terms, saying it could lead to bullying.
“The use of these words by men is dehumanising, and can cause serious harm and physical injury,” she wrote.
Ms Reynolds said it was not uncommon for men to use the terms in conversations with other men, including in the workplace.””
I do not wish to be silent, but would ask that you be mindful of what words are being said and by whom.”
Ms Reynolds said it was not uncommon for men to use the terms in conversations with other men, including in the workplace.
“Some people will use it as a compliment or a way of saying, ‘Hey, you’re a nice guy, that’s really nice,'” she said, referring to comments made by men to women.
“But I don’t think it’s a compliment to say you’re ‘nice’.”
The law will allow for men and women to be charged with the same offences if they “incite” or “perform” a sexual act against someone, or when they “use the word, insult or otherwise abuse the dignity or reputation of a person”.
“When a man or woman engages in conduct that is likely to provoke, offend or humiliate a person, or is likely, or can reasonably be expected, to cause the victim distress, the offence may be deemed to be motivated by an intent to insult or humiliates the victim,” the bill says.
“If a person is convicted of an offence for an act that was committed in a place where he or she is a person of a different gender, or of a race, or a national or ethnic origin, the court may also consider whether the conduct was motivated by a discriminatory motive or because of the victim’s gender, race, national or ethnicity.”
The bill has already passed through the House of Representatives and will be heard by the Senate, where the legislation is expected to be introduced later this year.
“These are very significant changes, and there is nothing I would rather do than be an advocate for the protection of women and girls,” Ms Reynolds told The Australian.