Radio National on a Sunday morning is not where you would normally expect a debate over the Prime Minister's cleavage. But yesterday industrial relations consultant and media commentator Grace "how dare you call me right-wing" Collier was a guest on the Outsiders segment of Radio National's Sunday Extra, hosted by Jonathan Green, along with Crikey's Bernard Keane and sociologist and social commentator Eva Cox. The summary for discussion was "Blue ties, quail breasts and hairdressers: the Pandora's box of political s-xism has been opened again", and this exchange certainly lived up to the claim:
Collier: ... I can imagine myself already being burnt at the stake here for saying this but, you are, as an individual in public life, you are treated in a certain way and this is about relationships. The Prime Minister, in my view, has a dysfunctional relationship with the Australian populace and there is an element there of responsibility to fall on her shoulders ... I've never heard anybody attacking her for being a woman, to say how "how dare you Julia, you are a woman". Green: Grace, I think you should get out more often. Cox: Read some of the commentaries, read some of the stuff there. I mean, which male Prime Minister has ever been asked whether his wife that is actually having s-x with him at that particular time or having s-x with some other woman. I mean, they would not do it to a man. Collier: Well, also I agree with that but also, I don't think it is appropriate for a Prime Minister to be showing her cleavage in Parliament. It is not something ... Keane: Oh, for goodness sake ... what a load of ... Cox: Come on, Grace ... Collier: Well, I think it is inappropriate and unprofessional ... Keane: Grace, can you ... explain Collier: No, I ... No Bernard, I'm not here to explain to you. I think it is just ... I'm entitled to my opinion. Keane: Just explain ... just explain Green: One at a time ... Collier: I'd like to finish my point. Keane: ... is somehow not related to the fact that she's a woman. How can you ... Collier: Well, I'd like to finish my point please. Keane: ... calling her barren. Or George Brandis bagging her for not having kids, or Janet Albrechtsen bagging her for not having kids. How is that not related to her being a woman? Collier: Well, I'm not going to defend any of those comments, all I'm saying ... Keane: But you just said she doesn't get criticised for ... Collier: Excuse me, let me finish please ... Green: Hang on, Bernard. Collier: I'm not here to defend the Liberal Party, I'm not here to defend people you perceive as right-wing. I am not one of the Right. OK? What I will say, and this is my opinion, and I'm not speaking for women and I'm not speaking for anyone other than me. In my opinion, as an industrial relations consultant, it is inappropriate to be in Parliament, it is disrespectful to yourself and to the Australian community and to the parliament, to present yourself in a manner that is unprofessional. In every Australian workplaces we have certain standards of presentation and conduct. It is not just about personal presentation, it is about conduct. Cox: I think you're showing a considerable prejudice against a woman who normally dresses very conservatively, very reasonably and I think criticism of her dress ... Collier: Well, I'm sorry Eva but there's a number of ... Keane: Why is the Right so obsessed with the Prime Minister's body? Collier: Well, who says I'm right-wing? Excuse me. How dare you ... Keane: If it isn't her thighs, it is her breasts ... Cox: You are coming across as being ... Collier: I just think it is inappropriate. I don't want to see any politician's flesh in parliament. Green: Let's move along from body parts. Cox: Men don't have breasts to show.
Host Green steered the discussion to other matters but somehow the panel wasn't finished with the PM's breasts and Collier's comments quite yet.
Collier: I am firmly behind the Prime Minister on this. Unless she decides ... Keane: ... except when she is showing cleavage. Collier: I made that comment. I don't think it is appropriate, okay. I would never show cleavage in my workplace. You'll never see that from me. Keane: I am just amazed that the Right is so obsessed with the Prime Minister's body. I can't get over it, it's just astonishing ... Collier: Bernard, I'm amazed that you see me as a Right person. You wouldn't know me or my politics. You are actually incorrect.
The start of Collier's crusade (for want of a better term) against the Prime Ministerial cleavage seems to begin on Twitter on May 4. Click here for the original tweet and some illuminating comments.

The picture comes from The Weekend Australian's Inquirer section from  May 4: