If Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young carries through on her threat to sue fellow crossbench senator David Leyonhjelm over comments he made about her sex life, then it appears inevitable after Leyonhjelm rejected her demand this afternoon.
Hanson-Young’s lawyer sent the Liberal Democrat senator a “Concerns Notice” on Wednesday, giving him a week to apologise and pay compensation or she’d begin legal action to sue him for defamation.
Leyonhjelm said she does “not warrant an apology and his comments had generated an “important debate” about misandry, misogyny and “men’s supposed collective guilt” and that he’s had thousands of messages of support this week.
Here’s what he had to say in response to Hanson-Young’s demands:
“Senator Hanson-Young’s action is without merit. She is also wasting her time, money and endless reserves of outrage, because I will not be issuing an apology.
“Apologising in response to the outrage of a politically correct lynch mob would be insincere. Drawing attention to double standards and misandry is not wrong and does not warrant an apology.
“The thousands of messages I have received in the past four days, from both members of the public and my parliamentary colleagues, have made it clear I have a lot of support.
“It’s obvious I am speaking on behalf of many colleagues and members of the public who, quite frankly, are heartily sick of Senator Hanson-Young’s confected outrage, her gross generalisations, and her tendency to collapse in a flood of tears when those insults and gross generalisations are bluntly rejected.
“Society deems misogyny unacceptable and I completely agree. But let’s start being consistent here.
“Senator Hanson-Young has a history of saying derogatory and sexist things about men and implying that all men are collectively responsible for the crimes of a few.
“If I went about claiming Aborigines, Muslims or women were incapable of controlling themselves and referring to them as pigs and morons – as Senator Hanson-Young has publicly said about men – I would be howled down for making such deeply racist, bigoted or misogynist comments, and rightly so.
“Many Australian men are, like me, thoroughly fed up with being collectively blamed for the actions of a few sick individuals who assault, rape and murder. Many sensible women are fed up that the men in their lives face these kinds of accusations.”
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