real life

Is it sexist to compliment your wife's arse?

Karl Stefanovic with his wife, Cas

It was a weekend about bottoms really. First, the Royal Wedding scene-stealer, Pippa Middleton and then Karl Stefanovic’s wife, Cas, whose arse got a special shout-out when he accepted his Silver Logie for most popular TV presenter.

Offices and playgroups, watercoolers and dinner tables are buzzing about these two very fine arses and we are a country divided.

While I haven’t heard anyone complain about the rapture shown towards Pippa Middleton’s arse – it has its own twitter account and Facebook appreciation pages – some are upset that Karl mentioned how great his wife’s bottom is.

Amanda Meade, TV reporter for The Australian writes:

Representing the old style, typified by McGuire and The Footy Show, Karl Stefanovic may have taken home the Gold Logie, but he came away looking like a dinosaur. His crass speech accepting his first Logie displayed all the sexism of the old Channel Nine in all it’s blokey glory.

Calling fellow Gold nominee Swan “a good sort”, a compliment he also handed to his co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, Stefanovic said: “Lisa is not only a great sort, but has been a great calming effect on my life.”

Of his wife, Cas, sitting in the room, he said: “She has been a great influence on my life and has also got the best arse I have ever seen.”

I thought it was funny and not the least bit offensive. What did you think? Karl was trying to compliment his wife, his fellow nominee and his co-host. By mentioning that they were beautiful or hot or a good sort… that sexist? Offensive?

The Facebook page for the Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society

The first thing I said when I sat down at my table at the extraordinary Ultimate Girly High Tea yesterday (I’ll be writing more about that on Friday so check back for a full run down) was “So! How about Pippa Middleton’s arse!” and the conversation rolled from there. We had women of several different generations at the table including a 12yo girl called Abby and her mother. We were united as one in our appreciation for Pippa’s arse.

Was that sexist? Inappropriate?
When Jana Wendt came on TV last night to present a Logie for something-or-other, I tweeted: “Wow. Jana Wendt just made me feel better about growing older.” She was luminescant.

Was it sexist of me to not mention her accomplishments as a journalist? Or is it OK to sometimes just compliment people for looking beautiful? I thought the same about Best New Female Talent winner Chrissie Swan. She glowed. And it takes a lot of effort to get gussied up for one of those things – an awards ceremony, a wedding, a party…..surely compliments about the result of all that gussying are OK?

Luminous: Chrissie Swan

Sometimes, people question how we can run our red carpet frockwatch galleries here on Mamamia when we claim to be a site that cares about body image. I do often feel frustrated when women are reduced SOLELY to a description of their parts. Are compliments sexist however? I’m genuinely interested to know where you stand on this.

My belief on that subject is this: I think we should celebrate people for all kinds of things. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying someone wore a nice frock or discuss their choice of interesting hat.

Yes, fashion is entirely superficial. So are red carpets. That’s the point of them. Not rocket science. Not brain surgery. Not a damning indictment or raging endorsement of the kind of PERSON someone is.

I think it would be sad if we became afraid to compliment people. For all sorts of reasons, not just the way they look. I’m a big fan of the compliment  – they make people feel good and can that be bad?

Obviously, Karl is a friend. I’m not hiding that. I know the incredibly high regard he has for Lisa and his wife and the other women he works with. I also know Cas and she has some pretty fantastic thoughts on that subject herself (you can read about them here).

But I’d say the same thing about anyone else in the same situation.

What do you think? Should Karl NOT have said his wife had a great arse?  Is it insulting to describe someone a ‘a good sort’? And are you a facebook friend of Pippa’s arse?

To see all the red carpet looks from the 2011 Logies, you can view our gallery here