Sexism and Vilification Through Federal Election Campaign Port Stephens Port Stephens News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - May 17, 2022May 17, 2022 Brooke Vitnell’s campaign signs were destroyed. THROUGHOUT her Federal Election campaign, Liberal candidate for Paterson Brooke Vitnell has had signage stolen and graffitied with abusive messages, and experienced ongoing attacks from trolls online. Vitnell’s appearance has been the target for much of the vitriol. “Traditionally when there is a woman in there they sexualise us with labels like the Liberal barbie – and that is not okay,” Vitnell said. “It is not okay to rip apart a woman on how she looks – talk about policy – the time for talking about women’s appearances is done. “What is really upsetting is the online trolling, that has been foul.” Vitnell holds concerns that her experiences will deter other women from entering politics, having been greeted with comments such as “Show us your tits, don’t talk to me about policy”. “What I am most concerned about is there are young people coming to me at pre-polling and they have said I will never ever consider a career in politics because of what has happened to you. “It is unbelievable…representatives at pre-polling are even concerned about their safety. Vitnell said she had 800 campaign signs go missing from the community. “Those that they could not rip down were graffitied with genitalia and emblazoned with the word ‘slut’,” she said. “We need more women in there fighting for the issues which are important to women, issues like child care, but we won’t get representation if women are going to be vilified. Brooke is due to appear on A Current Affair where she will be speaking about young women in politics. Member for Paterson Meryl Swanson has also had signage around Paterson damaged during the campaign. By Marian SAMPSON Brooke Vitnell’s campaign signs were graffitied.