ScoMo announces “primary minister for women” amid cabinet reshuffle

Marise Payne named “primary minister for women,” in cabinet reshuffle, as ScoMo blames social media for the lack of “respect in our country.”

Right, there’s a lot to unpack here. In a bid to recover from weeks of extensive political damage over the treatment of women in parliament, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced the newly reshuffled cabinet team.

In a sad twist, Peter Dutton has been named the country’s next Defence Minister and leader of the government in the House of Representatives, while Michaelia Cash has been named the new Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister.

Minister Payne and Scott Morrison
Image: @D_JervisBardy via Twitter

The current Industry Minister, Karen Andrews, will take on Dutton’s role as Minister of Home Affairs, taking a new position as one of the cabinet’s most senior women.

“These changes will shake up what needs shaking up,” he said.

“What we must do is address the government’s agenda with the changes we are making.”

In a maybe-blamey turn of events, Morrison said that improvements to women in Parliament would come from collaborative efforts, rather than pitting people against each other. Ok.

Morrison also announced a new cabinet task force on women’s equality, safety, economic security, health, and well-being. He will co-chair with Senator Payne, who took the apt title as “primary minister for women.”

Senator Amanda Stoker will become the assistant minister for women, and the panel will also include Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Finance Minister, Simon Birmingham, and all women from the ministry.

Now, if you’re wondering, ‘what the hell is a primary minister for women?’ – good luck, we have no idea either.

“Minister Payne will effectively become the leader of that group of women,” Morrison said.

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

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

Amid the fallout of rape accusations from Brittany Higgins and historical rape accusations against Christian Porter, ScoMo also took his opportunity to throw the obvious perpetrator of systemic misogyny under the bus – social media.

Yeah, you read that right. When Nine journalist, Chris Uhlmann, told Morrison that “social media” abuse is one of the main issues facing women, ScoMo couldn’t agree more.

“Respect is degrading…we all need to practice it more,” Morrison said.

“But it has to draw out of a well of respect in society which I fear is sadly depleting…and one of the key degraders of respect in our country is social media. It has some positives…but it can be a very dangerous tool in disrespectful hands. We have seen that in the trolling particularly of women.”

Sure, Scotty.

Speaking of awful behaviour towards women, Christian Porter will move out of the Attorney-General’s portfolio over concerns about any conflicts of interest, while he wastes tax-payer money in his defamation action against the ABC over its reporting of allegations of rape. Porter continues to deny the allegations.

Replacing Minister Andrews, Porter will become Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Why hasn’t Porter been dropped from cabinet completely? Well, over concern that dropping Porter would send a message that a minister could lose their job over a rape allegation. Yeah.

Linda Reynolds has also been demoted from her role as Minister for Defence and will transition into the Minister for Government Services.

Reynolds is currently on leave over a heart condition and was admitted to hospital in late February, a week after the alleged rape of Brittany Higgins in her office two years earlier. Reynolds specifically came under fire after she called Higgins a “lying cow,” following claims she did not get enough support after the incident.

Lastly, Morrison restored Defence Industry Minister, Melissa Price to cabinet in her existing portfolio, making cabinet consist of seven women – Senator Cash, Senator Payne, Senator Ruston, Senator Reynolds, Ms Price, Ms Andrews and Environment Minister, Sussan Ley.