MARR ON ABBOTT. BELOW THE BELT?
Breaking news: Tony Abbott has a small penis. That is, according to David Marr.
Media coverage of his Quarterly Essay, Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott, is dominated by claims the Opposition Leader punched the wall next to the head of a woman who beat him in a student election in 1977. But one small sentence is diverting attention from the big issues raised in the essay.
“Even so, it can be said that never in the political annals of this country have so many seen so much of so little.”
“Is David Marr saying what I think he’s saying here?” tweeted Matt Cowgill.
“New angle on Tiny Tories,” responded Possum Comitatus.
“Politest way to say Abbott has socks in his undies!” from another.
It’s a clever line. David Marr is a brilliant writer. He’s challenging the Mad Monk’s masculinity.
But what if a journalist alluded to Julia Gillard’s breasts being too small?
There was an outcry from left and right when Germaine Greer – twice – commented on the size of the Prime Ministerial posterior. At the time, I said Ms. Greer had left common sense behind.
Women can’t complain about being judged on our physicality, if we do it to others. If we’re up in arms about commentary on a female leader’s body parts, we should also be angry if the subject is male. There are myriad ways to belittle men and comments on their endowment, or lack of it, are up there with the worst insults women cop.
Abbott in Iron-Man mode. Image via smh.com.au.
It is well documented that I am no fan of Tony Abbott. I maintain he has a problem with women. His hyper-masculinity does nothing for me, but comments like Marr’s are the politics of the playground.
We constantly complain about post-truth politics, personality trumping policy, and the race to the bottom. How can we fight this if we’re too busy sniggering behind our hands? You might think I’ve lost my sense of humour. Fortunately, I have a 7-year-old son who makes me laugh every day with his fart, bum and – yes – penis jokes.
But he’s not a distinguished writer dissecting the character of a man who could be Australia’s next Prime Minister.
“What makes people so uneasy about Abbott is the sense that he is biding his time, that there is a very hard operator somewhere behind that mask,” David Marr writes.
Based on his thorough and eviscerating analysis of the Opposition Leader, we should be asking the following questions: Did he intimidate a female colleague at university? Is he still a divisive brawler? And should such a man lead this country?
Or perhaps we should, in the words of Labor Senator Doug Cameron, focus on his “lack of policies, the bad policies he has, not what someone’s done when they were 20”.
Frankly, the size of his dick is irrelevant.
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Channel Nine and 10 news presenter and reporter; 2UE and Vega broadcaster; News Ltd. columnist; Sky News anchor …it’s been a dream career for the Brisbane schoolgirl with a passion for news and current affairs.
Tracey is a passionate advocate for issues as diverse as voluntary euthanasia, childhood vaccinations, breastfeeding, better regulation of foreign investment in Australia’s farmland, and curtailed opening hours for pubs and clubs.
She is an Ambassador for World Vision, ActionAid, WWF, the Royal Hospital for Women’s Newborn Care Centre and the Penguin Foundation, Patron of Cancer Council NSW and The National Premmie Foundation, and the face of the Garvan Institute’s research into pancreatic cancer, which killed her beloved mother Marcia 11 years ago.
But Tracey’s favourite job, with her husband, is bringing up two beautiful children – six-year-old Taj and five-year-old Grace. Visit Tracey’s website at www.spicercommunications.biz or follow her on Twitter @spicertracey