We hear over and over again that governments have no power to legislate when it comes to the way people use the Internet. Does that mean, then, that women simply have to put up with all the sexist, misogynist vitriol we see written about us every day?
At present, any woman who dares to assume a position of leadership or dares to express her opinion publicly on anything, is subjected to horrendous and degrading personal insults on the Internet. No one should have to put up with the sexually abusive vitriol that Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Premier Anna Bligh had to endure throughout their terms of office. Similarly, no one should be subjected to the degrading comments aimed at Anne Summers' appearance and sexuality currently appearing on Larry Pickering's website.
Often under the cover of anonymity, cowards spray their venom with impunity, and most of it is aimed at women.
By signing this petition calling on the commonwealth government to legislate in this matter, we are saying that we do not believe that governments are powerless to stem this tidal wave of hatred toward women. Free Speech is a very important democratic principle, but it must be available to all. For Free Speech to be universally free, it must be FAIR SPEECH.