New Zealand barrister and bioethicist Rachael Wong has been on the receiving end of xenophobic mail in Australia because of her pro-life and pro-women advocacy.
Ms Wong, who is managing director of Women’s Forum Australia, has been a prominent voice in the campaign against a radical abortion bill making its way through New South Wales state legislatures.
She has spoken at a public rally and has appeared on Sky TV and on the ABC.
But in a letter from a “Victoria” (surname hidden), Ms Wong has been told to “go back to Samoa and do whatever it is you do”.
Victoria stated she knew Ms Wong was from Samoa (which is incorrect) and studied in New Zealand before coming to Australia, where she was able to land a great job and lead a “very privileged life”.
“That is because of western values and structures”, “Victoria” stated.
“And now you are preaching to Australian women, and in many cases feminist women, that abortion is wrong. I and many other western feminists find it extraordinary that people like you can take full advantage of the western education system, become extremely wealthy and successful and then preach to western feminists that their values are wrong,” “Victoria” continued.
There were more paragraphs in similar vein, including several terms of personal abuse and one obscenity.
Ms Wong posted the letter to her facebook page on August 21. She stated that, for the record, she (Ms Wong) was born in Australia, and had lived in New Zealand most of her life. She added that she has a great job, but running a not-for-profit is “not exactly lucrative”.
According to the Women’s Forum Australia website, Ms Wong [in one of her previous roles] “worked with the Law Reform Commission in Samoa to bring about legislative reform to improve the lives of Samoan women and girls”.
In a reply to a comment — there were some 200 — under her facebook post, Ms Wong said she lived in Samoa for 8 or 9 months and “worked with some of the most incredible, kind, intelligent and talented people”.
“I’m flattered she thinks I’m Samoan! Her last email was implying New Zealand is backwards too,” Ms Wong wrote.
A family member stated in a comment that Ms Wong’s father is Chinese (born in New Zealand) and her mother is Scottish.
In another comment on the post, Rachel Afeaki Taumoepeau wrote “Holy moly. Preacher Rachael on point. After you go to Samoa, please come to Tonga and then New Zealand. You are an inspiration to many.”
Ms Wong responded to another comment that, “bigotry and ignorance aside, I thought it [the letter] was hilarious”.