Controversial radio and television personality Steve Price left the Q&A audience in shock on Monday night after saying Eddie McGuire’s recent comments about drowning Caroline Wilson were “a joke” and telling fellow panelist Van Badham that she was “just being hysterical”.
Appearing on this week’s edition of the often-controversial ABC show, the slow motion train wreck began when audience member Tarang Chawla raised the recent comments of Sam Newman and Eddie McGuire and shared that his 23-year-old sister Nikita was stabbed to death by her partner last year.
Chawla then asked the panel what the government and the media was doing to stop the epidemic levels of domestic violence against women in Australia.
Q&A questioner Tarang Chawla. Source: ABC.
Being invited to respond first by host Tony Jones, Price began, "I happen to know all of the people you've mentioned there; Sam, Eddie and Caroline Wilson very well. And, Eddie apologised immediately."
Outside of Price (and perhaps Newman), there'd be few who would agree that McGuire's apology was immediate.
Making his comments on 12 June, McGuire did not offer a full and unreserved apology until 21 June - a full nine days after his comments.
Steve Price on Q&A. Source: ABC.
Continuing, Price then said, "If you listen to that broadcast in context it was a bunch of blokes laughing about things they shouldn't have laughed about. When it was brought to their attention they'd said those things, all of them apologised," he continued before adding, "I think far too much was then made of it."
The Guardian columnist Van Badham was then invited to respond, who began by acknowledging Chawla's story was far too common in Australia and began unpacking the problem with Price's justification over the incident.
Columnist Van Badham on Q&A. Source: ABC.
“And it’s one of the reasons why we have to look at the cultural attitudes around the different treatment of women and the disadvantaged treatment of women in our society because what you see as jokes made by a bunch of blokes, you know, from the position of being one of those blokes is probably being in on some of those jokes I see as a woman who is part of a social world where violence is...,” she said before Price interrupted, saying “I hope you’re not suggesting I have been in on one of those jokes. I would like you to retract that.”
Q&A Steve Price and Van Badham. Source: ABC.
Trying to continue with her response, Price continued to interrupt and speak over Badham multiple times.
"Steve, do you know what you're doing? Do you have any understanding what you're doing? This man has given us an extremely upsetting story about something that's happened and you are defending yourself in a context where we have to have a conversation about cultural attitudes that treat women differently," a clearly frustrated Badham said.
"Just because you're a woman you're not the only person who can get upset about this," Price replied.
Chawla's response to Price's comments. Source: ABC.
"You're proving my point very excellently about the attitudes that create these kinds of problems," Badham continued.
"You’re proving my point very excellently about the attitudes...We have to stop creating these ‘binary men are this, women are this, masculinity is this, femininity is this, men have high status, women have low status’," she went on. "We can make jokes and it’s all jokes and oh yeah, they apologised and that’s fine but on the receiving end is the ludicrous proportion of women who do endure violence.”
To that, Price simply responded, “I think you’re just being hysterical.”
Looking irate, Badham responded, "It's probably my ovaries making me do it, Steve."
Sensing the conversation head into scrag fight territory, Jones then moved the question onto Tanya Plibersek for response.
So while Price was afforded the opportunity to speak freely and uninterrupted, he refused to provide the same opportunity to the woman sitting next to him.
But #notallmen, right Steve Price?