If you haven’t read about Hillary Clinton’s “alternate-nostril breathing” technique, do it. Now. Quickly. Because you’re going to need its anxiety-busting powers to make it through this catalogue of rage-inducing sexism.
Yes, ladies and gents, it’s that time of year again. The Ernie Awards have been held, and in the words of award-founder Dr Meredith Burgmann, the winners for the most sexist remarks of 2017 were “depressingly excellent”.
Among them, a judge, a couple of journalists, car dealers, a community leader, and yes, a familiar face or two.
Ready? Deep breath.
SILVER ERNIE (MEDIA): Andrew Bolt
Remarking on a Human Rights Commission Report that found that 51 per cent of students were sexually harassed last year, the conservative social and political commentator wrote, “Yes, we should be shocked and visibly upset…that the Commission perpetrated such a hoax. We should be shocked and upset that not one university boss had the guts to call out this fraud of a study.”
SILVER ERNIE (JUDICIAL): Christopher Ryan
You may have blocked this from your mind, but last November the County Court judge was reprimanded by the Victorian Court of Appeal for referring to a 14-year-old sexual assault victim as “nubile” and “a very worldly young woman”. He also described the offender’s decision to have sex with her as “readily understandable”. Yep.
SILVER ERNIE (INDUSTRIAL): Ford dealers
When the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched an investigation into transmission fault that affected 70,000 Ford cars, it heard from multiple women who said dealers had dismissed their complaints as being an issue with “their driving style”.
THE WARNEY (SPORT): Dale Simmons
You’d be forgiven for not having heard of the county AFL club president before May this year. But then he went ahead and called AFL umpire Eleni Glouftsis “a dopey mole” [sic] and “a stupid bitch” and said that she would change her mind on umpiring decisions because she was female.
Don’t worry, the Cervantes Tiger Sharks ditched him.
THE FRED (CLERICAL/CELEBRITY): Keysar Trad
The Muslim community leader raised plenty of eyebrows back in February when he referred to domestic violence as “a last resort”. After being questioned on The Bolt Report about a verse of the Quran that deals with spousal conflict, Trad said it is designed to have a “calming effect”, that before a man even considers raising his hand against his wife he should “bring her a box of chocolates” or take her out to dinner to resolve the issue.
Speaking to Mamamia amid the backlash, he conceded, “Look, maybe I should have said, ‘Look I’d rather not comment on this topic’, that may have been the wisest answer”.
THE ELAINE (For remarks least helpful to the Sisterhood): Louise Roberts
The News Limited columnist took out the title for her piece The Gender Pay Gap is a Myth, in which she wrote, “If I’m getting paid less than a man for doing the same job, it’s not his fault. It is mine, through life choices I have made for myself.”
In case you don’t believe Ms Roberts’ stance on the gender pay gap… here are some finance tips. (Post continues below.)
THE GOOD ERNIE (For boys behaving better): The Australian Cricketers’ Association
The one genuine pat-on-the-back trophy went to the ACA for holding out in negotiations with Cricket Australia, and scoring the biggest pay rise in the history of women’s sport in this country. The budget for female player payments increased from $7.5 million to $55.2 million – for international team members that meant a jump in base rate from $40,000 to $72,076 in the first year.
THE TRUMP (For Habitual Offender): Mark Latham.
OK, OK, specifics. Umm, when he railed against gender quotas for NSW firefighters, and wrote: “If you are overcome by smoke inhalation in a burning building and need to be carried out, you want a strong man for the job — not someone hired on the basis of having a vagina.”
Good. But not good enough to secure the top award…
*peeks through fingers*
The GOLD ERNIE: Bruce MacKenzie
The former Port Stephens Mayor may have pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner, but that didn’t stop him from having a domestic violence refuge established in his name.
The ‘Bruce MacKenzie Centre for victims of domestic violence’…
Critics of the decision could “jump in the creek”, MacKenzie told The Daily Telegraph in November.
“Yes, it’s named after me and I am very, very proud of it,” he said.
“Domestic violence is a shocker.”
We’ll just leave that there.