Just when you thought ABC’s Q & A programme couldn’t get any lower, it did.
For International Women’s Day, Australian feminism advocate Germaine Greer – who previously told former Prime Minister Julia Gillard that she had a “fat arse” – was invited back on the show for an all-female panel discussion hosted by Annabel Crabb.
I appreciate that the ABC dedicated a show to celebrating female academics and politicians, but it was a complete disaster.
Whilst answering a question about teenage girls posting topless pictures online as part of a feminist campaign, Greer interrupted to ask Foreign Minister Julie Bishop if she would bare her breasts in the name of foreign diplomacy, referring specifically to the current controversy over the Bali Nine duo facing execution in Indonesia.
“It’s not something that I’ve ever had the desire to do online,” Bishop said.
“What if it got you the computation of life sentences for two Australians?” the author of The Female Eunuch posited.
Is this the most misogynist, offensive and disrespectful question asked on the show in its history? I believe it just might be.
Women should not be trivialising the authority of other women’s political power – that is a step back for the feminist movement.
Bishop responded with grace and integrity by asking Greer to please “not go there”, but I think the nation would have forgiven her for walking off the set.
On the issue, Tony Abbott asserted that “We ought to be conducting ourselves like a mature adult country, making appropriate representations on behalf of our citizens abroad.”
Am I the only one who agrees with him? Are we really okay with being a nation that laughs at one of the most powerful women in the country being ridiculed and sexualised on state-funded television?