Riot squad called over sex therapist talk
THE riot squad was called to the University of Sydney after commentator and sex therapist Bettina Arndt faced a storm of protesters.
Ms Arndt was invited to speak at the university on what she says is the myth of a rape crisis on campuses.
When police arrived, up to 40 students were blocking access to the event at about 6pm last night, The Daily Telegraph reported.
University security stood by while people attempting to pass through to watch the talk were pushed and shoved before police came to break it up.
During her talk, the controversial commentator said she believed universities were becoming unsafe places for both men and women.
"It is the most unromantic thing to ask 'Can I kiss you? Can I touch you?' Most women don't want a man to behave that way," she said.
She said young men should seek an "enthusiastic yes", noting: "I think particularly in this current climate, you can't afford to take that risk. You have to constantly make sure she is still on side.
"(Women have) been told on this campus that she can turn around later and say she changed her mind about consent, and that is absolutely appalling."
Ms Arndt faced similar issues when she was invited to give a talk in Melbourne's La Trobe University earlier this month.
La Trobe University initially denied its Liberal club to host the event, but then changed its mind on the condition that the club would foot the bill for any extra security.
The university then changed its mind, saying it would pay for the extra security itself, 2GB reported.
Ms Arndt told radio host Alan Jones she is still waiting to hear back from the University of Sydney on who's paying the extra security bill.
"We're trying to get an answer from Sydney University as to what we're paying for with regard to this $500 security bill," she said.
"Today's conservatives aren't interested in shutting down free speech, they're trying to promote it.
"And the left, amazingly, is all in favour of silencing people expressing views they don't like."
The protests were organised by the university's Wom*n's Collective as a way to "challenge her rhetoric".
"Bettina's 'Fake Rape Tour' across university campuses in Australia is a misinformed and harmful attempt to undo the work of generations of student activists and advocates in combating the issues of sexual violence on campus. We refuse to allow her rhetoric to go unchallenged," two spokeswomen for the group told Honi Soit, the university's student magazine.
In an opinion piece, the magazine said free speech was "not an absolute right".
"By allowing Arndt to claim that rape on campus is not prolific enough to justify a vigorous social and institutional response, we are further disempowering victims," the op-ed states.
"By condoning her claim that female victims have a culpable role in their rape by being intoxicated, we are impeding women's' ability to feel safe and supported when reporting sexual assault.
"By implicitly blaming the victim and forcing women to change their daily behaviour, we enable the actions of men who have raped and continue to rape women.
"Arndt's right to defend her claim does not supersede the right of these women to feel safe to be heard on campus. Universities are not only a theatre for debate; they are places where students learn, socialise and live.
"As a university, we must create a supportive space where we empower individuals who report sexual assault and work with them to build structural policies that provide ongoing support."
News.com.au has contacted the University of Sydney for comment.
Controversial right-wing commentator Lauren Southern was recently hit with a $68,000 bill after protesters targeted the Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux Live event in Melbourne on July 20, closing roads and assaulting officers.
The company behind the tour refused to pay the bill, accusing Victoria Police of "enabling the thugs' veto".