Australian Chief of Army David Morrison has a issued a clear message to sexists: “Get out.”
Morrison addressed staff in a 3-minute-long video yesterday, after announcing that the Army had suspended 3 people over a series of “explicit, derogatory, demeaning and repugnant” emails involving about 100 Army personnel.
Fixing the camera with a steely stare, the chief asserted that his Army was a “band of brothers and sisters” and sexism and bullying was “in direct contravention to every value” it stood for.
He was equally stern to anyone who ignored sexism or bullying, telling personnel to “show moral courage and take a stand … the standard you walk past is the standard you accept”.
Here’s what he said:
“On all operations, female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian army. They are vital to us, maintaining our capability now and into the future.
If that does not suit you, then get out. You may find another employer where your attitude and behaviour is acceptable, but I doubt it.
The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others.
No one has ever explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others enhances capability or honours the traditions of the Australian Army.
I will be ruthless in ridding the army of people who cannot live up to its values and I need every one of you to support me in achieving this.
If you’re not up to it, find something else to do with your life. There is no place for you amongst this band of brothers and sisters.”
This isn’t the first time Morrison has spoken strongly against sexism. In March, he addressed the UN International Women’s Day Conference in what was later described in the media as “one of the most important speeches in Australian military history”.
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