Lisa Wilkinson: Why ScoMo Should Apologise To Pamela Anderson. And Every Woman.
The Prime Minister Of Australia vs Ms Pamela Anderson? Ms Anderson certainly didn’t miss.
“Lewd” and “smutty” were just two of her allegations. And she continued, outlining her account of how an Australian Prime Minister appeared completely uncaring that an Australian citizen seems at serious risk of being thrown under a passing US bus, with an orange jumpsuit and a holiday in a little place called Guantanamo Bay thrown in for good measure.
I know, I know.
His comments that he had plenty of mates offering to be special envoy to Pamela Anderson were on FM radio -- that place where politicians with falling poll numbers go to try and appeal to millennials and show their “I-was-once-a-teenager-too” side. Hey, he might have even inhaled -- though in ScoMo’s case I don't think so.
And hey, let’s face it, Pammy did run on the beach in a red bathing suit for the cameras. So that makes anything she says irrelevant and her fair game for sexual innuendo, right PM? She is just asking for it!
And I know, too, that your comments were meant as a “joke”, and because YOU think it was a joke, we’re are all meant to laugh along with you, with a bit of a nudge-nudge wink-wink, we know what you really mean PM . . .
Because to do anything other than laugh along with your “joke” means being accused of not having a sense of humour. Particularly if we are female. We get it.
The problem is, we don’t think you get it.
Because for many women, when we hear these sorts of dismissive, “harmless” comments suggesting our ideas shouldn’t be taken seriously, mixed in with implied sexual innuendo, it’s not just your words we are hearing, Prime Minister. What we hear is every time we’ve ever been belittled simply because we are a woman.
We remember every time we’ve asked personally or professionally to be taken seriously, and instead been told not to worry our pretty little head.
We are reminded of every, single, time we’ve walked past a man and heard a disgusting comment muttered under his breath . . . usually from a man whose gaze we’ve never met, and a moment that’s impossible to pursue as it’s over before it began.
And what would you say anyway? “Oi, you, no, I don’t want to!”
No, we just keep walking, and chalk it up to being female.
We are reminded of every time any of us has found ourselves cornered by a man, been unsafe, and chosen not to report it because... for so many reasons.
I’m genuinely unaware if you are up to date with the latest figures, PM, but did you know that one in five Australian women has been a victim of sexual assault? And that is just the number that’s been reported.
By all reports you’re a committed family man, Prime Minister, with a fine wife and two young daughters of your own. And I wonder if this is how you would like men in the future to be talking about your girls? No matter what they choose as their career path.
We know what you’re trying to do, Prime Minister. The baseball caps, the pretend bus trips, the hostage videos, the dad jokes, all the fair dinkum talk about . . . being fair dinkum. You’re trying to be every bloke.
But Prime Minister . . . you’re the Prime Minister. We don’t want an “every-bloke” in that job.
We want a leader for a change, someone who sets the tone for a better Australia.
We want someone exceptional. We want someone who shows us the standard to live by. We want someone who, out of the 25 million of us, is magnificent enough in thought and deed to lead our wonderful nation. Someone who inspires. Who makes us want to lift our own game. Someone who makes us want to be a better man. And woman.
If not for us, Prime Minister, then at least do it for your two daughters. And for all the little boys who are watching you.
You should apologise to Pamela Anderson.
Catch the full interview with Pamela Anderson on The Sunday Project on Sunday 6.30pm.