The Order of Australia recipient blamed a dating guide for turning women into bitches. How dare she use this term to describe our women, says Frances Whiting.
The Order of Australia recipient blamed a dating guide for turning women into bitches. How dare she use this term to describe our women, says Frances Whiting.

No, Bettina Arndt. Women who want respect are not ‘bitches’

OPINION

Gosh, Bettina Arndt is just charming, isn't she?

I love the way she speaks to - and about - young women in particular; she's such a role model, exactly the sort of woman I want my 11-year-old daughter to look up to.

Consider her recent tweet in response to Griffith University's publishing a guide to dating for its students, a list which began with the phrase "I have a right to …"

Among these were "I have a right to refuse a date without feeling guilty."

"I have a right to be heard, and I have my feelings and thoughts acknowledged"

"I have a right to set boundaries, to say 'no' or 'yes' as I please"

"I have a right to refuse any activities, even if my date is excited about them."

Bettina Arndt pictured after her talk at The University of Sydney where the riot police had to attend after protesters attended the talk. Picture: Jonathan Ng / News Corp
Bettina Arndt pictured after her talk at The University of Sydney where the riot police had to attend after protesters attended the talk. Picture: Jonathan Ng / News Corp

To which the lovely and considered Bettina tweeted in response:

"Young women at Griffith University are being taught to be uncaring, demanding bitches. Take a look at this list of women's dating rights on the unis (sic) digital dating guide. It's all about me me me me me me me, my wants, my needs."

Oh, you are so right Bettina, how dare they?

There's just one teensy weensy problem.

The guide was for men and women, not just women. That's something you just automatically assumed, or overlooked when it clearly contained guidelines for the fellas as well … please see point 18: "I have a right to not act seductive, macho, or sexually interested."

Now Bettina, I don't' know if you remember but the Village People's big hit "Macho, Macho Man, I've got to be a Macho Man". I just want to point out it was "man" and not "Macho, Macho Bitch"

Oh, and here's another not-so-teensy problem. How dare you call our girls "bitches" in such a derogatory manner? How dare you use this term to describe our beautiful, thinking, brave young girls? How dare you use the phrase "Young Women" and "Uncaring, demanding bitches" in the same sentence?

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But you do dare, don't you Bettina? Because that's become your stock in trade - one that you've recently been awarded an Order of Australia for your so-called "Gender Equity Through Advocacy for Men".

But here's another teensy weensy problem, Betts, good men don't want your advocacy.

In fact, good men like my husband, my son, all his mates, the blokes I work with, and the father who raised me wouldn't touchy our advocacy with a ten-foot barge pole.

Because let's take a look at the men you have advocated for, shall we? Let's see, there was that doctor who admitted to repeatedly sexually assaulting patients, including a 12-year-old girl.

Now you said he shouldn't face criminal charges because he had apologised. You also said that what he did to those patients including the 12-year-old girl was "not an act of violence but rather an action that in another context would be loving and pleasurable".

Gosh, I'm glad you got that OAM.

Let's see, who else? Oh yes you did an interview with the lovely Nicolaas Bester and posted it outline, didn't you? That was the one where you defended Bester, a Tasmanian teacher who was jailed for repeatedly molesting a 15-year-old student, an experience he had described as "awesome"!

You helpfully pointed out that the 15-year-old's behaviour was "provocative" and that young girls needed to be spoken to about "exploiting their seductive power to ruin the lives of men." I'll be sure to teach my daughter that one, Betts!

There are more - so many more - examples of your gold standard work promoting health relationships between men and women, and after all, who better to listen to on this subject than a registered psychologist?

MORE FROM FRANCES WHITING: The beautiful secret my mum shared with me

Oh dear, that's another teensy weensy problem, isn't it? Because to be one you need to be registered as one, and you're not.

You may have studied it years ago, but you never registered, something you don't let bother you in the many, many interviews you do and writings you publish where this title is afforded to you.

You never correct it, do you? You just sort of let it slide and good on you, girlfriend!

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for all your help in raising my daughter.

I wouldn't want her to turn out to be one of those "uncaring, demanding bitches", now would I?

@franceswhiting


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