Scott Morrison seemingly believes that it is only as a father of daughters that he could deal with the Parliament House rape allegations which made the news in recent days. Morrison said: “Jenny and I spoke last night and she said to me, ‘You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls?’ Jenny has a way of clarifying things — always has.” It was very pointed that in one press conference where he used the ‘as a father of daughters’ phrase, a journalist asked him if he should feel that way ‘as a human being’. Touché. In reply, Morrison mumbled something about being a father was part of his humanity. However, the ‘father of daughters’ schtick is a symptom of sexism, a reflection of the tendency to consider women only in the context of their relationship to men1.
Perhaps Jenny Morrison could remind Scott that he is actually a parent to two young humans who will be left to live on a devastated planet, large parts of which are likely to be uninhabitable2, unless we decrease our carbon dioxide emissions very, very quickly, if it isn’t already too late3. Maybe that lightbulb moment will make him think about doing something on global warming, other than making it worse by his inaction. In 30 years, it will be interesting to hear what his daughters think about his inaction, as the world they knew as children, collapses around them.