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Crikey says: Lambie’s comments not sexist

Like a Lambie to the slaughter: Rundle on package-gate. Are Australians really a bunch of boozers? Keane crunches the numbers. One hundred AIDS researchers on board MH17? How the media got it so wrong. Danby cries wolf on anti-Semitism. Jokowi’s challenge. Sandilands on the aviation rules being broken in Ukraine. Chainsaw Macfarlane reveals his soft spot for renewables. And Bill Shorten and the homophobes.

Destroy the Joint has its nose out of joint this morning over comments by PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie.

“Sexism is sexism no matter how it’s applied Senator Jacqui Lambie. If it’s not okay for men, it’s not okay for women.”

Fairfax’s Judith Ireland also reckons “double standards” have been applied.

“… just imagine if a male politician had offered a similar opinion, about say, a woman needing to be ‘really rich and have massive boobs’. It would be a career-ending, resigning offence.”

Yes, for anyone living under a rock, Lambie told Tassie’s Heart radio station yesterday that she was looking for a lover with a “package between their legs”. “They must have heaps of cash … And I don’t need them to speak,” she told hosts Kim and Dave.

Her comments rubbed some the wrong way, and the commentariat circle-jerk has gone into overdrive. We don’t blame them — amid the death and destruction of the last week, Lambie’s comments have offered some light relief.

But should men and women really be judged equally when it comes to talking about junk (or indeed, winking at a sex worker) on radio? Should we be as hard on Lambie as we no doubt would be on a middle-aged man for making a similar comment about a woman’s breasts?

Making that neat comparison assumes that men and women are equally sexualised and judged for their appearance in the media and in public life — and it assumes the power relationship between men and women is equal. They’re not; it’s not — and for that reason we say rubbish to claims that Lambie is sexist.

And with all the obvious dick and donkey jokes doing the rounds since Package-gate, ex-Crikey wunderkind Matthew Knott gets our vote for best use of puns in this article, including this editorial gold:

“It’s the stuff one could only dream of: an Apple Isle senator waxing lyrical about her map of Tasmania on live radio.”

10
  • 1
    zut alors
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Not sexist? But definitely crass.

  • 2
    Peter Evans
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Imagine Lambie’s Snapchat account, running hot.

  • 3
    paddy
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I also loved Matt’s parting para in that article.

    It’s probably of little comfort now. But Lambie can rest assured: she’s not the first person, and won’t be the last, to walk away from a blind date with feelings of regret.

  • 4
    AR
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Like her putative party Leader, Ms Lambie is blatant, indelicate, uncultivated,clear about what she wants and prepared to speak clearly.
    Well done, say I. I may not like her politics (if any)or views on a wide variety of topics but plain speaking gains my fullest approval.
    At all times.
    As a Senator for the Merkin Isle she seems to be taking her position seriously, unlike anyone who thinks FM brekky is meant to be a Socratean symposium.

  • 5
    Bill Hilliger
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    When it comes to sexism, males spent their capital decades ago, whereas given the past, females still have plenty of unspent capital to use.

  • 6
    Northy
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Great editorial Crikey. Your oh-so-valid point was nicely written. I had this same thought earlier today (which helps to explain why I agree with it!), but couldn’t possibly express it as well. Cheers!

  • 7
    peterh_oz
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    The comment was not sexist. The fact that she can say it, and I can’t: THAT is sexist! And so is Crikey for approving of that double standard.

  • 8
    Matt Hardin
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Of course it was sexist. Treating a person of the opposite sex as an object rather than a human being is the most profound sexism.

  • 9
    Posted Wednesday, 23 July 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Northy: this editorial makes an excellent point which is not often understood, even by Crikey commenters who apparently have read the editorial.

  • 10
    Posted Thursday, 24 July 2014 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Crass but cheerful.

    It didn’t seem shocking to me. She just blurted out what she was feeling, which is a lot different to a smarmy ‘wink, wink’ scumbag sneer.

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