“Ms Arndt’s views and activities diminish the devastating experiences of victim-survivors of family and sexual violence, promote division and encourage victim-survivors from taking steps to ensure their survival and safety.”
Ms Arndt on Wednesday night described the letter as “gobsmacking” and “absolutely hilarious”.
“What the hell, why is an Attorney-General buying into these half-truths?” she said.
Ms Arndt, 70, has been working to dispel what she has called the myth of a sexual assault crisis at Australian universities and residential colleges.
The citation for her honour mentions her 2018 campus speaking tour, which was called the “Fake Rape Crisis” tour, as well as her contributions to controversial academic Jordan Peterson’s website Thinkspot.
It also references her books and contributions to newspapers, magazines, radio and television, as well as her service on government committees.
Ms Arndt in 2017 interviewed Tasmanian sex offender Nicolaas Bester, who was jailed for raping his 15-year-old student, in a YouTube video posted under the title “Feminists persecute disgraced teacher”.
Last year, she apologised for her “relaxed tone” in the interview but maintained that Bester was being unfairly “hounded”.
On Wednesday night, Ms Arndt said calling the interview sympathetic was “misinformation”.
“I think it is extraordinary that an Attorney-General should rely on misinformation and muckraking,” she said.
“How hilarious is that? There’s no end to the madness. I love it.”
Ms Hennessy said Members of the Order of Australia should be dedicated people who serve and inspire their communities.
She said that meant victims advocates such as Rosie Batty and Chrissie Foster: “The fighters for what is right and just. Those who speak up for the victims when they can’t speak up for themselves.”
Support is available for those who need it by phoning 1800-RESPECT (1800 737 7320); Lifeline 13 11 14; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; and Mensline 1300 789 978.
Rachel is a breaking news reporter for The Age.