News

Watch: Australian politician caught “meowing” at a female colleague

Pin it

In case you were unaware that female political leaders still put up with rampant sexism, listen to what happened to Australian Labor Senator Penny Wong, the only openly gay member of the Australian cabinet. When told not to interrupt Wong during a heated debate, David Bushby, a member of the conservative Liberal-National opposition party, responded by meowing at her. Yes, meowing, the most blatant (and feral) form of harassment possible. Wong's response was amazingly calm and collected, considering the circumstances. She simply said:

"Why do you meow when a woman does that? It is just extraordinary. Blokes are allowed to yell but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It's schoolyard politics."

I'd have let out an unrestrainedly pissed, "Oh no you didn't!". But I guess that's why I'm not in politics.

To make matters worse, Bushby initially stood by his comment claiming that Wong really was acting like an angry cat —"male or female". Well, his petulant behavior is inappropriate, regardless of the sex of the cat. Besides no one's going to believe that feeble excuse when cat-hissing has a notoriously sexist connotation. He later came to his senses and issued a complete apology.