Federal PUP senator for Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie, has announced today that she has two requirements for a man: that they be wealthy and well-endowed. Oh, and they don’t need to speak much.
In an interview on the Hobart breakfast radio show ‘Kim & Dave For Breakfast’, Lambie said her requirements for a romantic partner were: “They must have heaps of cash and they’ve got to have a package between their legs, let’s be honest.
“And I don’t need them to speak, they don’t even need to speak.”
She later asked a 22-year-old man called Jamie who rang up for a potential date if he had “plenty of cash”, whether he was “well-hung” and if he had “any diseases”. She also said: “I can just see my 24-year-old son. He’d be cringing by now.”
Do her comments bring the parliament into disrepute? Do they reveal a double standard of sexism lurking in our society?
Maybe. The tabloids are already suggesting as much. And perhaps rightly so.
But I’ve got four more questions:
1. When was the last time you heard a male member of parliament being asked whether he waxed his back, crack and/or sack?
Actual question to Jacqui Lambie from Kim (only after Dave suggested Kim ask this question, which she protested, saying ‘Don’t stitch me up – you’re the one that asked Jacqui [this question]): “Hairy legs, bikini line, underarms – what do you do, Jacqui and who do you do it for? Yourself, other women or men?”
2. When was the last time you heard a male politician being asked whether he was single?
Dave: “In chats this morning, we found out something about you – you haven’t had a relationship for eight years?”
Lambie: “No, about 11, I think.”
Dave: “Eleven? 11 years, why’s that?”
3. When was the last time you heard a male senator asked if he would like a radio show to find love for him?
Dave: “Would you like Kim and Dave to find love for you, like the Bachelorette? We find love for Jacqui.”
4. When was the last time you heard a male senator asked whether he wanted to be a sugar daddy?
Dave: “Would you like to be a cougar, Jacqui?
When heard in full, the interview gives me the impression that Kim and Dave took Lambie for a fool and set her up to say outrageous things.
There is no doubt a federal senator asking a 22-year-old on air whether he is “well-hung” and then laughing that her 24-year-old her son says he’s “hung like a donkey” too is more than cringeworthy. There’s also no doubt that if a male politician said the equivalent of a woman (“She must have big tits and be prepared to iron my shirts”) we’d all be rightly outraged. I’m not condoning her comments, but I do think those comments should be taken in the context with which they were said: in an essentially sexist, patronising and demeaning radio interview.
But you probably won’t read that in the tabloids.
Listen to the interview here, and then let us know what you think is more shocking: the questions or Lambie’s answers?
Gabrielle Jackson was interviewed on ABC Radio Gold Coast about the questions Jacqui Lambie was asked. You can listen to the interview here.
*Gabrielle Jackson is a staff writer for The Hoopla. Her work has appeared in the Village Voice, CNN, the Sydney Morning Herald and New Matilda. She has lived in Sydney, New York, London and Barcelona. Apart from reading and writing, her passions include politics, travel, cooking and eating. She also has a penchant for kebabs, but that’s another story. You can follow her on Twitter: @gabriellecj.