There was a sexist gem in the Sun Herald yesterday: Love’s Labor loser, Latham gets lashed:
MPs across the political and gender divides have condemned former Labor leader Mark Latham’s ”absurd and cruel” remarks that people who choose not to have children are unable to love.
Actually, that’s not true. The journalist Jessica Wright had quotes from three female MPs, one female ABC news presenter, one female former MP and a single male MP. That’s not crossing the gender divide – that’s saying that talking about children, thinking about children, and looking after children is still something only women do. It’s not like there aren’t many male politicians around to interview for this story: men hold 53 of the 76 Senate seats and 112 of the 150 House of Reps seats.
In a scathing column for The Spectator Australia about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s performance during the flood crisis, Mr Latham wrote ”she is not a naturally empathetic person – displaying, for instance, noticeable discomfort around infant children”.
Lots of people display “noticeable discomfort” around babies belonging to other people and it’s got fuck all to do with their capacity to love. I wouldn’t hold my friend’s newborn in case I did something wrong, and I certainly wouldn’t go picking up someone else’s child, as politicians often do.
The man who wanted to be prime minister says ”the femocrats will not like this statement, but I believe it to be true: anyone who chooses a life without children, as Gillard has, cannot have much love in them”.
Femocrats? Ah right, because if someone disagrees with you, then you can just call them dismissive names. Classy.
Latham’s piece for The Spectator doesn’t seem to be online so I can’t go through it line by line, pointing out how stupid his argument is. Besides, Latham does more to ruin (what’s left of) his credibility every time he opens his mouth than anything I could write.
Back to the Sun Herald article. When it comes to sexist language in journalism, this is a cracker:
There is rarely love lost between Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce and Ms Gillard, but the father of four came to her defence against Mr Latham.
Came to her defence. How gallant of him. You’d never read: “There is rarely love lost between Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce and Mr Prime Minister, but the father of four came to his defence against Mr Latham”.