July 13, 2024

Allan said Richardson will “focus largely on the influence the internet and social media have on boys” and their “attitudes” toward women.

Australian politics is simply a gift that keeps on giving. Over the last years, several draconian measures have been enacted, from the pandemic to free speech restrictions, and now the time has come to establish a parliamentary role the focus of which will be to change people’s behavior.

Specifically – men’s behavior. This is happening in the state of Victoria, where Premier Jacinta Allan was proud to announce the role has been entrusted to MP Tim Richardson. Richardson’s official title is Parliamentary Secretary for Men’s Behavior Change.

It’s a first in Australia, and that’s another thing Allan was happy to point out. The result of Richardson’s work should make Victoria safer for women and children, the premier stated.

One of the snarky reactions to the announcement left on Instagram wondered if Richardson will, as part of his efforts to change men’s behavior, work to “teach men they cannot identify as women.”

But that is highly unlikely what Allan has in mind – instead she spoke about stopping “the tragedy of deaths of Victorian women at the hands of men” and building “respectful relationships.”

Yet, how is Richardson supposed to influence such things and do a better job than say, the police, or therapists? Apparently, he will deal with social media and the internet – that Australian authorities at various levels are positively obsessed with, in terms of attempts to control them.

Allan said Richardson will “focus largely on the influence the internet and social media have on boys” and their “attitudes” toward women.

The MP confirmed his appointment, opting for a statement strong on sloganeering that said, “We know that the time to act on men’s violence against women is now and it starts with us men and boys.”

Aside from the fact that “the time” to act against that and other types of violence is surely “always” – it remains largely unclear from these announcements how exactly Richardson’s activities will help with this matter.

What has been revealed is that the Victoria MP will work with the state’s Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Vicki Ward.

Australians must be hoping that Richardson will on one hand be successful – and on the other, that the “focus on the influence the internet and social media have” will not be taken as yet another formalized way for the Australian authorities to further crack down on online speech and communications.

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