What began as a calling out of thoughtless, cringe-worthy, and perhaps even disrespectful, morning TV has moved to a bitter debate between two female TV presenter’s about the definition of feminism – and the definition of bullying.
Today, Channel 7 Sunrise host, Samantha Armytage, has hit back at veteran journalist and ABC TV presenter, Virginia Haussegger, for saying she “disgraced feminism” and for calling her a “mindless bimbo”, “daft” and head of the “bimbo brigade” in a weekend column in The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Whatever your interpretation [of feminism], it does not provide a license to attack — personally and professionally — another woman,” Armytage wrote for News Ltd.
“To use petty barbs such as “bimbo”, “dumb”, “ditzy”, “daft” to prove a point, does not make you a feminist. It makes you a bully.”
But does it make you a bully? And what does an embarrassing, thoughtless skit on morning TV have to do with feminism in the first place? Do all roads lead back to feminism? My feminism vs your feminism?
Haussegger argued that breakfast TV is revving up the whole dumb woman routine at the exact same time that women’s “knowledge, wisdom and expertise” on television has gone MIA.
“Their nonsense nattering does a major disservice to feminism,” Haussegger explained. “If Armytage and Co. don’t give a hoot about feminism – fine. But perhaps they should think about women like themselves – glamorous, privileged women who are in positions of power and influence – and how hard others have fought for such women to be taken seriously. To be heard. And to have their views considered worthy of prime time, serious discussion.”
Kristin Davis was in Australia last week as a guest of UNHCR to bring attention to refugees, in particular the daily threat to women and child refugees of sexual violence.
But all on-screen roads that morning at Sunrise led back to the show she starred in 11 years ago, Sex and the City and the Sunrise version of SATC complete with an unfunny skit and wigs that wouldn’t be out of place in 1972. To top it off the reel they chose to show of Davis’s work from SATC was from an episode where she had explosive diarrhea.
It was like a seven-year-old boy, who was the class legend for making fart noises with his underarms, had been the brains behind the morning TV operation.
Presumably Armytage, who was due to MC the UNHCR lunch the next day and interview Davis for it (her duties were cancelled after the segment), was well-versed on its mission statement and why Davis was in town and why, in fact, Davis was on Sunrise in the first place.
Was Armytage a “bimbo” or “dumb” for putting on a big curly wig to look like Sam from SATC and giggling with her workmates while missing completely how embarrassed her guest, Davis, was?