It’s been said that Tolkien’s ents are a gentle poke at the academic circles of Oxford and Cambridge with which he was so familiar: a cloistered bunch of fussy old bachelors endlessly ruminating. It might have been thought that that particular academic milieu was long past. But, reading the contribution of Emeritus Professor Ross Fitzgerald – author of 42 books! – to the feminist cat-flap gripping the Canberra bubble, I have to wonder.

Does this bloke know any women? His rose-tinted view of the fairer sex is a bewildering mix of fuddy-duddy chivalry and infantilising condescension. I’m willing to lay odds that he doesn’t think women fart.

It’s my observation that most women come at politics from a fundamentally different perspective than men – as they do with career, relationships, sex and even driving cars. Generally, they do it with less rancour, without abusing men and without sexist language.

He’s obviously never driven with my wife. Nor endured a single paragraph of Clementine Ford’s demented misandry. Word to the not-so-wise: a great many women are eminently capable of more rancour, abuse and sexist language than a group of builders on a rugby bus trip.

Fitzgerald’s white knighting for Victorian MP Fiona Patten is almost endearing in its cluelessness. It’s like Neil’s father, from The Young Ones, averring that Felicity Kendal “is sweetly pretty, just what a real girly should be. I mean, speaking as a Feminist myself I can safely say this; that Felicity Kendal is a wonderful woman, and I want to protect her”.

After recently casting her deciding vote to allow the Andrews’ government a further nine months of emergency services legislation, Victorian Legislative councillor Reason Party MP, Fiona Patten, was ruthlessly trolled by men on social media who claimed she was responsible for locking them up during Melbourne’s COVID crisis. Much of this was encouraged by male MPs via their social media accounts. The attacks spilled out onto the street where spineless men accosted Patten and abused her using the most sexually vile language. One particularly egregious case is now before the courts.

Patten would have had every right to demand police protection but she never asked for it.

Perhaps because she’s not a pathetic, fainting aunt? It’s politics. Big surprise, Ross: people get mad when politicians screw them over and sell them out. They don’t mind telling them so, in no uncertain terms. Patten should count herself lucky: a century ago, she would likely have found herself picking tar and feathers out of her immaculately coiffed hair.

One wonders if Prof. Ross had a similar attack of the vapours when Tony Abbott was regularly abused as a rapist, a woman-hater and a paedophile? Abbott was also targeted with a “Tony Abbott should be assassinated” Facebook page; where was the Professor then? What about the “Furiously Masturbating To Tony Abbott’s Daughters” Facebook page? Did Ross Fitzgerald say a peep about those?

Or anything about the even worse – hard as it may be to imagine – abuse on Twitter?

But let’s see, what really does get Ross Fitzgerald clutching at his pearls?

The sexualised abuse continued via Victorian Liberal backbencher, James Newberry. He tweeted that she ‘had more positions than the karma sutra’ on the emergency services laws. Angry women from all parties flew back at him on social media.

Hmm. A quick Google search shows that the identical phrase has been used recently to describe Jeremy Corbyn, Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer. Even in our woke age, I don’t think any of those identify as women.

It sounds a lot like the girls – and their pathetic, snivelling white knights like Ross Fitzgerald – can dish it out, but they can’t take it.

Then comes this howler.

In politics, virtue signalling is a very male way of conducting business.

Spectator Australia

Professor Ross Fitzgerald, may I introduce you to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern?

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Professor White Knight to the Rescue!

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...