opinion

What everyone's thinking when they look at the photos of this One Nation candidate: What if this was a woman?

You might have noticed a certain One Nation candidate who’s started popping up in your peripheral this week.

Headlines like “Thor Blimey” and “Vote phoar me” have accompanied articles detailing member for Canning, Jackson Wreford’s, confidence in showing off his body on social media, a move he claims shows his “work ethic” in the fight for the West Australian seat.

But after looking at Wreford’s, erm, credentials via his Instagram profile, and witnessing the commentary the Australian media has chosen to run with after discovering them, we can’t help but feel a little uneasy.

What if this was a woman?

Side note: Here is what it would be like if a man lived like a woman for a day. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

We know this is a tried and tested path. We’ve had this fight many times over. But seriously, what if Wreford was a woman posting near-naked photos of her abs? Why do we sense she wouldn’t be given the same light-hearted attention?

It’s likely the powers around her (opposing politicians) would have demanded she step down for being ‘inappropriate for office’.

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The language being used about Wreford is quite stark in its comparison to how we talk about near-naked women who bare all on social media.

Take fitness mogul Tammy Hembrow for example. No, she’s not running for politics. But she does have washboard abs, and is constantly in the press because of her affiliation with the Kardashian sisters.

When articles crop up about her, words like “flaunts pert behind” and “sets pulses racing” dominate.

It’s not tongue in cheek fun, it’s sexualised commentary that gives an opinion on her appearance, instead of just stating the facts in a funny way which is what’s happening with Wreford’s near-naked snaps.

To give you some more background on Wreford, he works for a Perth fitness equipment company and he’s basing his campaign push around his desire to reduce Australia’s foreign aid budget by $4.2 billion, so it can instead be poured into helping Australians.

We could also tell you lots of things about his vision, his motives, and his opinions on politics and the upcoming election in general. Because that’s what’s being focused on.

The fact that in 2017 he posted a photo with his bum on display and the phrase “feeling a bit cheeky”, and there’s no major pile on in terms of commentary, says it all.

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If you scroll through the comments on the articles that have been posted about Wreford, the sentiment from a lot of the general public is that he’s “looking for his five minutes of fame” and is “a bit of a clown”. But that’s about as bad as it gets.

There’s a lot of “good luck mate” and “he has my vote,” and apart from some comical “at least there’s some eye candy in this election” there’s nothing overly demeaning, sexualised, or rude.

You only have to revisit the furore that ensued after AFL star Tayla Harris’ kick photo was posted on social media recently, to know that women are definitely not given the same privilege.

The iconic pose was posted time and time again featuring men and nothing happened.

tayla harris photo
This photo of Tayla Harris had to be taken down initially because of the sexualised trolling. Image: 7AFL.

When Tayla showed off her incredible skills with a ball, she was subjected to dozens of awful, sexualised comments.

Another example is elected Animal Justice candidate Emma Hurst.

She has made headlines for the fact she's a "former detective, psychologist and vegan bodybuilder".

Her Instagram is a mix of policy and competition photos, but nothing as overly "cheeky" as Wreford's.

But in February, she obviously felt the need to take a stand against the hate she'd been getting.

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"This one is for all the middle aged white men who felt the need to message me yesterday to let me know what I should and shouldn't do with my own body. Thanks for your thoughts but I think I'd rather stay true to myself - because I'm better than your sexism. I'm stronger than your hate," she wrote, along with a bikini shot from one of her competitions.

One Nation has had plenty of scandals plaguing its political campaign this year.

Steve Dickson resigned after footage emerged of him groping a woman, only weeks after he made headlines for trying to seek political donations from US gun rights group the National Rifle Association.

Ross Macdonald is embroiled in a scandal involving the groping of a topless woman in Thailand.

That's not to mention their leader Pauline Hanson, who is always it seems in trouble for some quip she's made in the media.

Compared to them, Wreford's Instagram snaps are a mere microscopic blip on the radar.

We just can't help but wonder what would happen if a female candidate uploaded a video to Instagram in which she was moaning and telling her acupuncturist; " Oh, you're so deep inside me Craig, it feels so good".

Thoughts? Do you agree with us? Or do you doubt a female would get more fallout?

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