Liberal MP Nicolle Flint gives final speech: 'This is a hard place to be a woman'

Liberal MP Nicolle Flint gives final speech: ‘This is a hard place to be a woman’

Nicolle Flint

Liberal MP Nicolle Flint has delivered her final speech to the federal parliament, using the opportunity to call out the “misogynistic abuse and dangerous behaviour” she experienced in her time in politics.

Flint, who is resigning from politics at the next election, said there needs to be better protections for women from offensive, insulting and intimidating behaviour.

“Women will continue to be attacked, abused, belittled, gossiped about and lied about until we have blanket protection that says it’s an offence to offend, insult, humiliate, and intimidate women,” Flint said in her speech in parliament on Wednesday.

“This is a hard place to be a woman, whether you’re a staff member, MP or senator,” she said. “We are one half of the population. I hope everyone here today, and especially those in the next parliament, can give this some consideration.” 

During her time in parliament, Flint has often talked about the harassment and abuse she’s experienced, and has called for action on gendered abuse, especially for women in politics.

Flint said she had been on the receiving end of harassment and online abuse from “men on the left” and “public figures of influence”.

“Men on the left, some of whom are public figures of influence, have done the following: they’ve stalked me, suggested I should be strangled, criticised the clothes I wear and the way I look, called me a whiny little bitch repeatedly, repeatedly called me weak, a slut, a dick-hole – and I apologise for the language – and much, much worse over email online, on YouTube, on Facebook and on Twitter,” she said.

“They’ve commented that I should be raped, grudge-f—ed, that I’m doing sexual favours for all my male colleagues, that I should be killed, that I should kill myself and many, many more things that I will not repeat.”

Flint also took aim at opposition leader Anthony Albanese, saying he should have called out the treatment she experienced.

“To the left, to GetUp, Labor, the unions, the left-leaning media – you know exactly who you are – you need to finally show some leadership and put a stop to this sort of behaviour… If they don’t, well they’re not really leaders, are they? And I say that particularly to the leader of the opposition.”

Last year, after Flint gave a speech explaining some of the abuse she’d received, Albanese said what happened to her “shouldn’t have happened, full stop”.

“So I stand with Nicolle Flint…It shouldn’t happen. It shouldn’t happen to anyone.”

On Wednesday, Flint also criticised big tech and social media giants, saying they were “enabling toxic sewage to spill into the homes and the lives of innocent hardworking Australians every single day”.

Flint was initially elected as the member for Boothby, in South Australia in 2016. She was re-elected in 2019.

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