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Crikey Says

Jul 23, 2014

Crikey says: Lambie's comments not sexist

Destroy the Joint has its nose out of joi

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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.”

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