A protester holds a placard during this year's Women's March4Justice in Canberra (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

In the latest edition of Your Say, Crikey readers take Scott Morrison to task for his handling of Liberal MP Andrew Laming, express sympathy for Bernard Collaery and Witness K, and respond to our series about the future of the Me Too movement.

On Scott Morrison and Andrew Laming

Vanessa Fanning writes: I agree with every word in the article about the appalling trivialisation of Andrew Laming’s serial offences against women. The sequence of revelations over the past several weeks is breathtaking — but not surprising to any woman who lives a life outside her family.

The suggestion has been made that the Morrison government needs a dedicated cabinet minister for women’s rights. That would be a step in the right direction. But is there a woman in the government who is capable of understanding the role, and of standing up to her fellow ministers? I can’t think of one.

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Sylvia Ray writes: This group of people have demonstrated who they are over and over again. From one rout to another, from one scalpel to another. They consider themselves so elite that they do not need to be accountable for anything.

Morrison and the Liberal National Party have treated not only women but the entire nation with contempt. Their behaviour is outrageous.

My understanding is that the people elected to government are meant to represent and serve the Australian people. All I see is that they serve themselves and the billionaires who keep them in government.

Julia Weisz writes: How can we possibly support this lame duck prime minister in his decision to send this man to an empathy course, give him a month’s leave at taxpayer expense, allow him to stay on until the next election and keep him involved with normal duties.

Fire him, get him out!

I’m disgusted by Morrison’s transparent political decision-making. What a facile operator he is.

On Bernard Collaery and Witness K

Ian Harman writes: The immoral and inhuman treatment meted out to these two individuals as they fight for truth and decency leaves me angry and shattered. The self-serving duplicity of government officials and their corrupt pursuit of secrecy and personal gain in the guise of “national security” leaves me sick in the stomach.

Without the likes of Colleary, Witness K and Crikey, I would despair of any hope of exposing government malevolence on the scale it obviously feels entitled to operate on.

On the future of the Me Too movement

Kaye Beckwith writes: I’m almost 90 and I’ve been seething almost all my life. For eight years I held public office and know all too well the enormous toll on this tough woman, but the power meant good for my community.

Surely the time has come for women to smash the arrogant, white, male power structures and — with the backing of women like Julia Gillard, Kate Ellis and other retired politicians, plus all those other women experienced in the dark art of politics — to set up a new political party: Women4Justice, or whatever you want to call it.

If the sitting women in all three tiers of government deserted their present political allegiances and became one, surely that would put the wind up them. To be even more effective let all women withdraw their labour and go on a massive strike.

Vivienne Pearson writes: I think what we need to see next in the Me Too movement is men sharing their stories of perpetrating inappropriate sexual behaviour, including assault and rape.

The burden of disclosure is falling to women. Sound familiar? Women shouldering the emotional burden of the nation?!

As Amber Schultz writes, this can be cathartic but it can also be detrimental — to individuals if this disclosure is traumatic or not supported, as well as to society overall if there is no change.

If this many women have experienced sexual abuse, assault, harassment and rape, then there are more than a minority of men who have perpetrated this.

Let’s hear from them — even if it’s anonymously, and even if they honestly did not know it was wrong at the time. Let’s shift the burden of disclosure to those who have perpetrated the crimes.

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Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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