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How Workplace Sexism Is Roiling Australian Politics

People attend a protest against sexual violence and gender inequality in Melbourne on March 15. 

People attend a protest against sexual violence and gender inequality in Melbourne on March 15. 

Photographer: William West/AFP/Getty Images
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When it comes to judging someone’s words or deeds, Australians often resort to a casual barometer known as the “pub test.” If the locals are OK with it, then it’s deemed socially or culturally acceptable. By that standard, people across the country delivered a resounding verdict -- no -- in response to allegations of sexual harassment that reached into both the government and Parliament. The biggest crowds in decades -- tens of thousands of women and men -- rallied in March to demand greater female representation in politics and serious action against sexual violence and discrimination. Whether a tipping point has been reached in a long history of sexism in the workplace depends in part on how conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison handles the fallout.