Is Katherine Deves the victim here?
She is trying to they represent one of Australia’s richest voters on behalf of the ruling party. She was chosen by Scott Morrison, the most powerful person in the country, out of the wishes of the grassroots Liberal Party members. Deves was even removed from the party to run for election despite her having been a financial member of the party for less than six months.
His candidacy was relentlessly covered in the media. Much has been negative – led by news.com.au reporter Samantha Maiden’s coverage of Deves’ thousands of transphobic tweets – but she has also received key softball interviews from News Corp, Nine newspapers and radio stations, and the SBS. The headlines of Deves who has been silenced, defending her right to speak, have been sprinkled without irony on the nation’s front pages for weeks.
Deves’ motivation for running for politics was his obsession with trans people. Apparently, these are trans women in sports but, according to her own comments, her real passion “gender identity ideology” is ending. She introduces herself as the advocate of a woman whose interest in the matter is specific to advocating for trans women.
Interest in Deves’ candidacy waned until a few things happened this week. First, Sky News’ Chris Kenny interviewed her about the violence in which she reiterated her view of her that trans people are mutilated and she made it clear that she did not apologize for what she said. So, Scott Morrison backed her up again at a press conference and said, “We can’t pretend this isn’t a serious and significant problem.”
Trans health is a serious and significant problem. Trans children who seek “gender reversal surgery,” as the prime minister wrongly termed it, are not. Nor is the problem of trans women in sport. Depending on where you look, issues like cost of living, the environment, health, aged care, federal integrity are all topics of interest to bettors. They do not ask for surgery accessible only to adults or to Sports competition problem that most female athletes support.
The only reason Deves is still getting attention is because the most powerful people in the nation want you to focus on her. Niki Savva of Nine reports that Deves’ campaign was exhausted from the prime minister’s office and that her interview with Sky that kicked off the news cycle once again was devised by her staff. Senior liberals fear Morrison is trying to use her candidacy to revive religious voters at the cost of moderate support in urban centers.
Today, a “tearful” Deves was featured in the Nine Newspapers – an interview that coalition spokeswoman Anne Ruston “seriously doubts” was organized by the government – in which she is centered as a victim.
This is what happens when power speaks the truth. Australia is facing a climate crisis. Accommodations are less affordable than ever. Inflation is rising, almost certainly beyond wages which have not increased in real terms in a decade. Our aged care and health sectors are under tremendous stress.
But don’t look at that. Pay attention to the promotion of the convicted candidate redundant legislation about an issue that few people care about or care about. Ignore the marginalized people you try to exclude. Instead, she observes Deves’ anguish at being judged, even criticized, for the comments she has made hundreds of times.
The Katherine Deves saga was created to distract you from the stories that matter. The only bright side is that it reveals the character of those who are coarse enough to try to exploit it.