She does not need to be polite!

She does not need to be polite!

Grace Tame owes you fuck all Scomo

In Australia our official day of ‘celebration’ as a nation is on the 26 January.  Officially set down as Australia Day, but considered by many as Invasion Day (more on that another time), it is also the time of year that the Australian Prime Minister hands out many awards for recognition of service and contributions to our communities and to our country.  The most important of these awards being Australian of the Year.

Now, you may be wondering what Australia Day has to do with feminism.  Australia Day last year and this year is significant for two main reasons.  Last year our Australian of the Year was Grace Tame an Australian activist and advocate for survivors of sexual assault, particularly those who were abused by individuals within educational institutions.  From the age of 15, Grace was groomed and then raped multiple times by her 58 year old maths teacher.

As this occurred in Tasmania, Grace was bound by ridiculous laws that did not allow her to speak publicly about the abuse, despite her abuser and the media being able to do so.  Grace has fought hard to have these laws changed so that other victims do not suffer in silence as she was forced to do so for so long.

When you see Grace speak with so much raw emotion about what she went through during and after her sexual assaults, you know she is a warrior.

Despite her hard work over the last 12 months as Australian of the Year, the Australian government, a conservative government lead by Scott Morrison, has done little to nothing to improve the lives of sexual assault survivors or to eradicate sexual assault (or any assault on women or minority groups for that matter).

When a new Australian of the Year is announced, it is customary for the outgoing Australian of the Year to be at the nomination and awards events.  This year, Grace Tame attended a morning tea for nominees at the Prime Ministers residence, as is customary.  The 2022 Australian of the Year was later announced to be Dylan Alcott (read about Dylan here About Dylan - Dylan Alcott Foundation).  Not a single person I have spoken to has questioned the validity of Dylan’s appointment as Australian of the Year, and neither should they.  I have however heard people question the appropriateness of Grace’s appointment last year, only ever from those I would describe as conservative in political thoughts.

As we all clapped and applauded Dylan being announced as 2022’s Australian of the Year, the spotlight was shone brightly on Grace Tame for her ‘behaviour’ at the awards ceremony.  Many have been incredibly critical for how Grace ‘conducted’ herself.  Scathing reviews have floated around the press and from the community, again, from those I would describe as conservative.

What did Grace do that was so offensive?  She didn’t smile when our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison (Scomo or Scotty from Marketing as he is unaffectionately known by community opponents) shook her hand.  In fact if looks could kill, Scomo would be 6 feet under and we would no longer be subjected to the ramblings of Scotty from Marketing.

Those who have been judgmental of the way Grace responded to our fearless leaders handshake have argued that she should have been polite, smiled and shook his hand, he is after all our head honcho, our O' Captain My Captain, our Top Dog, our Prime Minister.  She did no such thing, and I for one believe she has every right to send daggers through her eyes straight into his self serving, unfeeling black heart.

‘But she’s a public figure, a role model as such’ I hear you say and shouldn’t those people conduct themselves in a professional way, whatever that means.

No, she does not have to smile for Scomo.  In fact, it would be extremely disappointing if Grace did smile and fake nice to the Prime Minister for several reasons.

Firstly, Grace Tame is diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.  By the very nature of her diagnosis, a neurological disorder classified as a disability that impacts communication and social skills, and emotional regulation, she is not likely to be naturally gifted at faking her emotions, although I'm sure she could.  So those telling Grace she should have faked nice really are being ableist and ignoring the very nature of her disability.  Telling her she must fit the world around her reeks of ignorance. 

Could she have faked nice?  Probably.  Did she mean to outwardly show her feelings?  Probably.  Should she have to fake nice?  Absolutely not!

Another reason Grace should not be forced or expected to fake a smile for Scotty from Marketing, is because he is known widely in the community to be a friend of Brian Houston. 

Who is Brian Houston?  Brian Houston is the leader of Hillsong Church, an evangelical extremely wealthy mega church.  He is a man who has been charged with allegedly protecting his pedophile father, the late Frank Houston.  Although the official charges are recent, Brian Houston gave evidence at the Royal Commission into Child Sex abuse that he learned of his fathers pedophilia in 1999 but that he thought it was up to victims to report this to the police.  As far as the public is aware, Scomo is still his mate, in fact Brian Houston is a thought to be a close mentor.  Although facing serious charges, Brian Houston is currently in the United States delivering sermons from state to state.  Apparently travel exemptions are easy to get if you have mates in the right places.  How did Brian Houston get an exemption to travel in the middle of a pandemic?  World leaders are literally working from home, yet the leader of an evangelical mega church is far more important and his travel is essential … allegedly.  It further brings into question the access this alleged pedophile protector has within our government officials and why he would get such special treatment when thousands of Australians are currently isolated from their own families, not just throughout the world but also within Australia.

So, for those so eager to tear down the female victim of a pedophile, for not smiling at the good mate of an alleged pedophile protector, just don’t!  We should not be polite to predators and abusers or the people who protect them, that includes those that are happy to continue being mates with and taking advice from, alleged pedophile protectors.

Grace’s unwillingness to bullshit her way through a photo opportunity for the Prime Minister was a golden moment for abuse survivors collectively.  A big 'fuck you' to this mediocre middle aged white man and his merry band of unbelievably mediocre stuffy old white men, for ignoring the plight of the abused.

It is also extremely hypocritical of supporters of Scott Morrison to tutt tutt their judgey little tongues towards Grace when their beloved fearless leader himself has ignored the hand of opposition political leaders and stared blankly at them, or turned his back on women who are speaking in parliament.  Not to forget the time Scotty forced a bushfire victim to shake his hand when they clearly had no desire to do so.  Scotty from Marketing famously flew off to Hawaii for a family vacation at the start of the Australian bushfire season and refused to return until public sentiment dictated he should.  Yet on his return, he couldn’t resist a photo opportunity so visited devastated victims who had lost everything when bushfires ravaged their communities.  These communities were angry that our country’s leader went on vacay while their homes and livelihoods burned.

So, from us here at FeministAP we say a big fuck you to Scomo.  He is a skidmark on the soul of Australia that we desperately want to wash away.  We look forward to a future leader who gives a flying fuck about sexual assault victims, women, the disabled and so many other minority groups that Scomo and his merry band of putrid shit stains continually ignore.

 Read more about Grace Tame here <br> Grace Tame <br> - Australian of the Year