You would think that some 40+ years after the second wave of the feminist movement, "cat calling" would rarely ever occur on streets, let alone during serious debate in government. And I'm not talking about a guy doing the age-old, "Whoo hoo, you're a hot piece of ass!" dehumanizing cat calling. I mean LITERALLY meowing at a female senator. An Australian politician named David Bushby did just that to his female colleague, labor senator Penny Wong.
Wong was merely trying to state her case without interruption, when Bushby mocked her with a very loud and clear "Rrrrrreerr!" Really?! Was this actually a sixth grade cafeteria or Parliament? Judging from Bushby's behavior, I can't tell!
Thankfully, Wong called it like she ... heard it:
Blokes are allowed to yell but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It's schoolyard politics.
Geez, Wong gave that Bushby jerk more credit than he deserves. His behavior isn't even worthy of being called politics! It's simply "schoolyard." It's a completely and utterly inappropriate, immature, and truly laughable action taken by any adult man, let alone someone who is supposed to be helping pass laws and run the government.
And aside from being flat-out childish, "meow"-ing at a female colleague -- particularly in this context -- is a direct reflection of blatant disrespect, sexism with more than a tinge of misogyny. As Wong points out, is there any way in hell the guy would have gone there if Wong had been a man? No way!
Although, that's what Bushby would have you believe. Check out his totally lame excuse for an "explanation":
Her reaction to the issue of the secretary's appearance was like that of an angry cat. It could have been a male or female cat. So I thought she was like an angry cat, the way they sometimes strike out. I like cats.
Wow! It's not even an apology; he's actually defending himself. Incredible, or, as Wong put it, "extraordinary," right? Sure enough, not long after -- and I'm sure once his colleagues didn't have his back on the matter, calling it "unacceptable" -- Bushby begrudgingly issued a more straightforward apology.
That's all well and good, but it doesn't really fix the overarching problem here that there's a ton of inappropriate, unprofessional, sexist behavior rampant among many male politicians in Australia (and you might argue here, too). Recently, one was caught repeatedly sniffing the chair of a female colleague, while another was caught surfing porn websites on a parliamentary computer.
Sounds to me like it's time for these frat boys posing as politicians need to start acting like men.
If you want to get even more enraged, here's the video of the incident ...
Do you think Bushby's behavior was totally out of line?
Image via YouTube