Bettina Arndt protest becomes a chit chat

johnboy 9 June 2011 8

Yesterday there was a bit of kerfuffle around a speech at ANU by sex theorist Bettina Arndt, the ANU Women’s Department, and Liberal Senator Gary Humphries.

Rioter “Smeh” was actually there and sent in this report via the comments:

The protest involved sitting around in a circle half and hour before the event and talking about what we were particularly opposed to in Bettina’s work. Bettina came over twice wanting to talk to us. The first time was before we had even started and we asked her to come back later, but first we wanted to discuss the issues quietly amongst ourselves. The second time she sat down in the middle of the group and argued with us. Members of the protest did there best to ensure both Bettina and the group listened to each other as respectfully as possible. Then at the end, three members of the protest went into listen to the lecture and never disturbed it.

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8 Responses to Bettina Arndt protest becomes a chit chat
Grail Grail 9:14 pm 09 Jun 11

Hooray for the sensible people winning the day 🙂

Sure, the protesters and Bettina didn’t leave seeing eye to eye. It’s taken years for both sides to form their opinions, you can’t expect to alter those opinions in 20 minutes.

Sitting in a circle on the ground is not just a primary school thing! What matters is that everyone treated each other with respect and allowed the conversation to flow both ways.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 7:25 pm 09 Jun 11

Remarkably grown up really.

Fiona Fiona 6:39 pm 09 Jun 11

Yup, thought it was well handled by both sides.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 5:45 pm 09 Jun 11

Canberra Times now has story and picture:

“Arndt sat down briefly with 21 of the students six other protesters refused to meet her and walked out. After a 10-minute, at times heated, exchange, none of the parties expressed coming away satisfied.”

The “6 other students” referred to in the article who refused to meet her are those who (as I said in another post) later complained about the group being too civil and wanted a more fierce display of protest.

There’s something about the picture of a number of students all sitting on the floor in a circle with fluro colour signs that really lowers the tone of discourse to my mind. Probably because I haven’t sat on the floor in a circle since my final year of Primary School. I’d like to say that putting her views to the side, Arndt was more than generous in accommodating these protestors… so a win for open debate none the less.

Smeh Smeh 2:22 pm 09 Jun 11


Quite a few spelling and grammar errors in that comment.

Well my face is red.

alaninoz alaninoz 10:55 am 09 Jun 11

Well done to all concerned. Sounds like a good example of how differences of opinion should be explored.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:42 am 09 Jun 11

Was Gary Humphries there defending the right to free speech?

Chop71 Chop71 9:53 am 09 Jun 11

Don’t talk about it, DO IT!!!!

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