CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled his hastily-reshuffled cabinet in the wake of an obscene amount of sexual assault/harassment/misconduct scandals piling up against the government. In doing so, he sprouted off the most random bullshit about Marise Payne being the new PrImE mInIsTeR fOr WoMeN, what ever that means.

Quite a few women got decent promotions in the cabinet shuffle, which ostensibly seems like a good thing, even if it is a knee-jerk reaction to people getting sick and tired of how the government has treated women so far.

But then Morrison said that all these newly-promoted female ministers would fall under the leadership of existing Minister for Women (and Foreign Minister) Marise Payne, who will now co-chair a new taskforce on women’s equality.

“Minister Payne will effectively become the leader of that group of women,” Morrison said at a press conference on Monday arvo.

“She is effectively, amongst her female colleagues, the prime minister for women.

“Holding the prime ministerial responsibilities in this area as the minister for women.”

That’s right: more, real-life work, but with a new, made-up and totally unofficial title. Very cool.

Sure it’s not as bad as the time former PM Tony Abbott anointed himself as the Minister for Women, but it’s still a bit of needless and patronising pandering that comes at a time when Morrison really could be doing more to address the multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations lodged against his own government, and the wider misogynistic culture in Parliament House more broadly.

Then there’s the implication that our existing, male PM was somehow not fit to oversee ministerial responsibilities affecting women. Although judging by how he’s handled the last couple of weeks, maybe he’s got a point there.

It’s as if Morrison thinks saying “ALL women are queens” is enough to absolve his government of all those inconvenient allegations.

It’s not, and people are getting tired of waiting for justice.


Help is available.

If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.

If you’d like to speak to someone about sexual violence, please call the 1800 Respect hotline on 1800 737 732 or chat online

Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.

Image: Getty Images / Sam Mooy