Sexist reporting and Mark Latham

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”.

16 responses to “Sexist reporting and Mark Latham

  1. Latham is a bitter twisted man who hates Rudd and Gillard for doing what he never could. Win an election to become PM.

    As for being uncomfortable around babies so what? Most people only like their own babies. Smelly little shit factories that whine and cry all the time babies are pretty bad as well.

  2. the only way the grubby little turd Latham gets any publicity is when he sprouts this complete load of shit. If we ignore the fuckwit his publicity will die and so will he. (before he gets a job on talk back radio)

  3. If this was anyone else my reaction would be rage, since it’s Latham my reaction is just http://uvtblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/picard-facepalm.jpg

  4. What a twat! As if that idiot has any right let alone ability to judge people based on their marital standpoint?!

    But you see it all the time – the idea that anyone who’s past 35 and single has done so out of choice and out of a selfish rejection of having children. It never occurs to such self righteous morons that they might be introverted, unlucky, or simply had a run of bad partners. Or that beneath the surface they’re quietly suffering.

    • Hi Andrew, welcome to the News with Nipples. The dickheads who go on and on about Gillard not having kids really piss me off. We don’t know if she chose not to have them and it’s none of our business. Besides, male politicians who dedicate themselves to work and not family are praised for their work ethic.

    • Some people are unable to have children due to medical reasons and if this was a male politician such information would never be revealed. Gillard has already been accused of being barren.

    • Yeah, real nice calling someone female-like as an insult on a feminist blog, Andrew. Reel it in, buddy.

      • Hi Clara_Sabell, you mean calling someone a twat? That doesn’t bother me because I see that word as being about stupidity rather than vaginas. But that’s just my opinion, so I’m glad you pulled him up on it.

      • “It is a vulgar synonym for the human vulva, vagina, or clitoris,[1] but is more widely used as a derogatory epithet, especially in British English. The word may originate from Old Norse þveit meaning cut, slit, or forest clearing.”

        I stand corrected. Mark Latham is obviously a not a vagina or a forest clearing. But he is worthy of a derogatory epithet or two.

  5. thefirstJanineonthisblog*

    Although not really the topic of the blog….
    He never ceases to amaze. But, for some reason I am more surprised: I thought they were mates (as much as you can be in politics). Nasty, nasty behaviour considering this; something seriously personal has gone down. Oh, that’s right….

    *a new and hopefully inspired name to follow

  6. Janine is that you? Are you starting a blog?

  7. thefirstJanineonthisblog*

    Exactly. And the channel nine election campaign stunt – what a super public slap down.

    Thanks NWN but no blog. Wish my gob was not so big, otherwise I would try it grog’s gamet stylie. Now just trying to protect the integrity of my own contributions here considering another ‘Janine’ has appeared. The new Janine has good politics … I just need a good name. Maybe this will be it.

    Lexy – let’s catch up real soon. Thinking of you loads and keen to see you and the new addition again xx

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