Apparently Australia is full of cats….. sexist tomcats!


Senator Penelope Wong of Australia

Who is Senator Wong?

Minister for Climate Change and Water

Penelope Wong is the current and first Australian Minister for Climate Change and Water. She has been a member of the Australian Senate since 2002, representing South Australia. Wong is the first openly gay member, and the first Asian-born member, of an Australian cabinet or ministry.

Wong ran for pre-selection for the Senate in 2001, and was selected for the top spot on the party’s South Australian ticket.

In June 2005 Wong was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation and Shadow Minister for Corporate Governance and Responsibility. Following the reshuffle in December 2006, she became responsible for the portfolios of Public Administration & Accountability, Corporate Governance & Responsibility, and Workforce Participation.

In November 2007, Wong was appointed Minister for Climate Change and Water. As a result of this promotion, she is the highest ranked politician representing South Australia.

Here is a contact form to write her an email directly.

You can also view Senator Wong’s statements on the Senate floor, read a real-time news roundup of stories about the senator, and share your thoughts on our community’s blogposts about Senator Wong.

If you want, you can set a watch on this senator to receive a weekly email with all of this Senator’s parliamentary statements and media appearances.

Pretty impressive, isn’t she?  It sounds like Australia has some solid feminist footing. 

But, alas, when we dig just a bit deeper, we find Australia still has sexist pigs who are allowed to run free.  Watch this video and get ready to feel shocked and enraged.

I was originally attracted to this topic because of the egregious behavior against a female senator – but how cool to find out that she is pretty, a lesbian, has a delightful accent!, and is a strong woman.

Here is a snippet of a newspaper account of what happened:

Australia’s politicians are “feral” and sexist – those are the claims being made against the country’s opposition party after a meowing incident disrupted a Senate meeting.

The “cat call” was emitted Wednesday during a heated debate between Finance Minister Penny Wong and Opposition Frontbencher George Brandis.

Following the general raucousness that accompanied a sitting of the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, Brandis had initially asked that he be allowed to finish his comment after Wong interrupted him early in the debate.

Wong soon demanded the same after Brandis in turn interrupted her, reports The West Australian.

That’s when Liberal Tasmanian senator David Bushby felt it was time to let a loud meow ripple through the crowd.

“Oh, yes, why don’t you meow when a woman does that? That’s a good idea,” pronounced an annoyed Wong.

“The blokes are allowed to yell, but if a woman stands her ground, you want to make that kind of comment. It’s sort of schoolyard politics, mate. It’s just extraordinary,” she added.

And here’s one more perspective on what happened – THIS guy wants to make her prime minister!

So in honor of this strong, professional female senator from Australia, here is one of her countrymates who may have inspired her one day long ago….

I’ll close with two things I noticed in the video: 

The first was that the senator didn’t miss a beat; she called The Sexist Pig right out on his ridiculous and childish behavior.   She didn’t stop to wonder if she wouldn’t get picked for the right committees or if she would be ridiculed by the press. 

 She did what was right.

 The second thing I noticed – the younger woman sitting behind the senator did not seem all that engaged in the display of sexism OR in her older, wiser colleague’s reaction to that sexism.  Matter of fact, she is looking down, then to the side, and then she begins to do something with her iphone. 

I wonder if Australia is going through the same disappointments that we are – the “older” women are still fighting the good fight, but the younger ones are busy texting their friends about where to meet the boys tonight….?

                                                           What say you?


66 Responses

  1. Hey nice job, Lorac.

    I’m sure the boyz in the Australian band have the very same insecurities. I would hope their third wave isn’t as dumb as ours though.

  2. I just realized – the female senator’s voice is a bit like Harry Potter’s! Not just the accent, but the tone or timbre (I don’t have a good musical vocabulary!) But I like it on both of them lol

  3. Another observation – their senate floor looks as deserted as ours usually does.

    There should be a law against that. Or their pay should be tied to a certain percentage of attendance. Or something. It’s just not right. More time spent on the floor, more legitimate work done, and less time spent floozing with lobbyists to help politicians line their own pockets or cut sleazy deals which are better for their pocketbook than for the country.

  4. Good one, mate! lorac rules!

    Now confess, lorac: you were inspired by the Hal “Catfight” comment and Upps’ calling down sexism on that, weren’t you? If so, it all goes to show that you’re a tinderbox of inspired essays, simply awaiting a spark from your audience.

  5. Yes, nice and Harry Potter’ish she sounded.

  6. Their senate chamber sucks. Tacky chairs.

  7. Attention blog owners.

    Check your USERS file in your dashboard and remove privileges for people who do not perform the purpose of the setting. I was talking to someone who got her blog deleted when one of her Editors’ PC got hijacked, suspected spurned boyfriend. Anyways, it is possible for someone like that to do this if they have access to a blog link and know or notice that they have privileges.

    If you have administrators and editors listed in your users file, remove them unless they are really performing the functions. For example, Freedom Fairy needs access to change headers here. Others do moderation work. If you have someone listed who doesn’t do those things, it is wiser to remove those privileges. The fewer people who are listed, the lower the changes of what happened to the person above being duplicated on your blog. You also have no way of knowing how secure someone else’s computer is. There are a lot of nasty people out there who don’t care about you.

    Please know an administrator can delete your entire blog and so can the person who uses their computer. An editor can wreak major havoc, deleting entire posts and comments, etc. if a person is not moderating for you, there is absolutely NO reason for that person to be an editor.

    An author can edit and publish their own posts only. A contributor can write and edit a post but not publish without going through you. If a person only writes for your blog, there is no reason the person should be an Editor or higher. If a person moderates for you, you need that person to be an editor. It is recommended that there only be one administrator on your blog. You. Just do it! Do not think about hurting someone’s feelings as real friends will understand.

    In the meantime, if any of you have me listed in your users file (and I can see your names on my dashboard) and I’m not helping to run your blog, you need to remove me as well. I will take NO offense. I would rather you be safe than sorry. I know I’ve helped some of you with your blogs in the past and, if necessary, I can do it again in future. All you will have to do is temporarily give me privileges. There is no need to give me access to your blogs full-time.I don’t moderate for you and I don’t even write for you. So just do it. Remove me. I will continue to love you.

  8. Nice post, lorac. Senator Wong is very refreshing.

    FWIW, uppity, I was not going to mention this just yet, but upon reading your 7:40 am warning, have had a change in mind.
    Just now I tried 3X to access pumapac and firefox failed to load the page. I”ll be out today, and if that continues, maybe someone can notify someone there.

  9. Pumapac has been attacked a number of times, and you can bet if it happened again, they know it. They do have that old board they use to meet when it happens, so if they are down again, the past tells me it can take a few days but they will come back up.

  10. Great find, Lorac. You may trash the place now and then but you make up for it.


  11. Speaking of sexist pigs…..John Edwards is expected to be indicted today.

  12. I saw this story on tv last night and was very impressed with the speed in which she reacted. I heard he apologized later so there must have been some negative feedback. Good for her.

  13. Edwards and Obama team up. I’m sure Obama had the goods on Edwards and Mr. Hair thought he would be VP.

  14. Oops, wrong link!

  15. DEVELOPING: A federal grand jury has indicted two-time presidential candidate John Edwards in a campaign finance investigation.

    The criminal charges filed Friday came after a two-year federal investigation into money used to cover up an extramarital affair during the 2008 presidential election.

    Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, said in a statement through his attorney in 2009 that he was confident no funds from his campaign were used improperly.

    Read more:

  16. breaking news they indited Edwards.
    no link yet 🙂

  17. So whose Corn Flakes did Edwards shit in for them to actually indict him.

  18. Hey UW how come there are no longer administrative options “Reply, Spam, Trash” in your comment page?
    All my other blogs work except for yours.

  19. I do so love Karma, she is such a bitch.

    they indicted edwards on six counts.



  20. Good question, DE. It’s a very weak case, from what I understand – prosecutorial overreach.

  21. Good one, imust. Those jackenappes, BO and JE, were incredibly irritating in that debate, ganging up on our grrrrl.

  22. I was waiting for somebody to ask, DE. I am experimenting with the differences in options. Please read my earlier post in this thread. Oh, and did you see our late night comments about you in the thread before this one? Heh.

  23. Well the case probably won’t go anywhere but it’s fun to watch him suffer. Sorry, but that’s how I feel.

  24. Talk about “losing your happiness and dignity,” a woman who wore a hefty trash bag and couldn’t leave the house without a male relative, be raped at age nine and get a nice clitorectomy for good measure, who would be killed for adultery or less, escapes the shithole of a country she ran from, comes here and writes a letter to the editor suggesting we turn the USA into the shithole she left behind. Priceless.

    That letter is so bizarro, I am not even sure it’s not a bad prank.

    The comments are great though. There should be more letters like this so Americans can wake up and see the shitbums we are letting into this country.

  25. Read this on the JRE indictment:

    The case smacks of political payback:

    The case opens a new front in how the federal government oversees the flow of money around political campaigns. An attorney for Edwards said last week that the government’s case was “novel and untested” and argued that the government’s theory was wrong on both the facts and the law.
    With one of Edwards’ former campaign rivals now sitting in the White House, the case includes a measure of political intrigue. Greg Craig, who was previously White House counsel for President Barack Obama, emerged as a leading figure on Edwards’ legal team just as Obama’s Justice Department was reviewing the case that prosecutors in North Carolina had prepared.
    Meanwhile, North Carolina’s two senators had asked to let Republican-appointed U.S. attorney George Holding stay on the job until he had finished the Edwards probe.

    Also, I’m outraged that the charge of false statements could be premised on his lies to the media — WTF, one has no duty to tell the truth to reporters! Seriously, karma or not, this is a bridge toooo far. We all have an interest in not having ridiculous criminal prosecutions — being an effin’ jerk is not a crime in a free society.

  26. Feh, NES, you a such a….a….lawyer!

    Can’t we just enjoy his suffering?

  27. Actually, UW, I’m outraged as a civilian libertarian, not a lawyer. (Lawyers get inured to miscarriages of justice — an occupational hazard, of sorts.)
    Not arguing against our having fun — the diehard Hill supporter in me may well be dancing a jig — but the power to jail is not one to be abused. Holder is a seriously flawed AG – he should never have allowed this to be charged.

  28. It’s just you, DE.

    seriously tho’, UW, you raise a legitimate concern. I’m expecting my mod access to be cut off any second now.
    HAAAAAAAALP, I’m being terrrrminnnaat………… Snip. (Silence.)

  29. Holder is a seriously flawed AG –

    an understatement if there ever was one…

  30. This comment to the crayzee slut-stoner sums it up succinctly:

    Posted on June 3, 2011 at 1:45am

    Islam, the religion of death, destruction and subjugation really sucks.


  31. Yes I was just getting to you, NES. Your wish is my command.

  32. Wow, a seriously flawed cabinet member/staff member in the Obama administration. That’s rare.

  33. Outrage over Holder is a little late. This is the same guy who didn’t see anything wrong with standing in front of a polling place wielding a billy club.

  34. I’m de-frocked now, Upps.
    Just one of the other mortals on the board.

  35. Did you read my earlier post, NES? Are we breaking up?

  36. I’m outraged at Holder’s exercise of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ virtually monthly.

  37. I did, UW.
    God giveth and taketh away. Allah is all-Merciful.

  38. NES there’s always still my underwear drawer.

  39. ROFLL, FF! I haven’t had my red-meat breakfast yet.

  40. NES I guess I’m not very ackbar.

  41. I might consider making an exception for DE if he throws a vase in front of me.

  42. Au contrarire, UW. None more AKBAR (great) than thou.

  43. FF are you here? I want to see if EDITOR allows you to change headers, so I can set you to that. That way if somebody gets to your machine, at least they can’t delete my blog. Of course, they could delete all the posts but……hey what the hell.

  44. Not the only thing you’d do if DE throws a vase in front of you, I’d warrant.

  45. maybe if more travelers did this the tsa molesters would be stopped. why are they afraid to have it filmed?



  46. oh hell uppity. DE is much sexier when he’s holding a fresh baked pie.

    i love this place.

  47. Oh hell Karen, ANYBODY holding a pie is sexy to you!

  48. Hey everybody, Dr. Kervorkian died. And noboby even had to help him. Maybe.

  49. Hey NES, If I went to PAK with you for a visit, would I live long?

  50. SCREETCH! You know the routine.

  51. ((((UPPITY’S)))))

    WoW lorac, great job, love this lady

  52. My old sexist pig buddy Merriam Webster defines catfight as:

    “an intense argument or between two women”

    Honestly, I was unaware of any sexist meaning, or it wouldn’t have appeared anywhere…wouldn’t have entered my empty mind. I respect all people here.

    To anyone, gay or straight, who was offended by the word, I apologize.

  53. That WAS a great post, lorac.

  54. Don’t be a member of DENSA Hal. Who gives a fast fuck what a long dead guy who has a dictionary named after him and who lived in a time when domestic violence wasn’t even illegal. You’d have to be under a rock not to know what MEOWWWWWWWWWWW means….. in tandem with Cat Fight…….Or be a guy who never had to put up with it. You KNOW how I just love to slap you around for the halibut.

  55. Gotta run gang. Hope DE reads the administration comment at top and throws me a vase. I’m off to buy paint.

  56. Love Penny Won! She gave a real woman’s direct response to obnoxious sexist behavior. Sounds like she deals with this a lot. Although Uppity, I disagree with your assessment of the younger gal behind her. She looks pissed. Busy with her texting, the meow calls her attention and she makes a furtive glance first front (her eyebrows furrow at 11 sec mark) then kind of rolls her eyes to the side. I wonder if she was just trying to control her emotions. Take a look again.

  57. Fembots I didn’t even notice a young girl in the video. I think i commented on the younger generation in general (too lazy to look) but I made no comment about anyone behind her. Now I have to go look at that video again.

  58. Different strokes for different folks, karen. Take our UW, e.g.: she wants to be stroked into an elegant delphic vase at DE’s hands.

  59. Brilliant comment on Dr. D’s death.

  60. Hal, chill man. It’s pretty much impossible to insult the strong egos here.

  61. lorac, great post. I like that woman. My older sis was married to an Aussie for a few short years. He was an asshole, massively sexist. We were all so relieved when she finally walked.

  62. All Penny said was” let me finish” …and she got the meow shit….unbelievable

  63. I am surprised he did not oink like a pig, as that’s what he is.

    Great response from the Senator. Could we trade her for the Iranian woman who wants to stone people? The latter could go stay with Senator Brandis. I am sure they would get along just fine.


  64. And this is completely OT. I believe Sarah Palin will announce on 4 July 2011. She has been running all along. Why do I say that? She resigned on 3 July 2009.

    I’d love to see PUMAs and libertarian Republicans working closely together again. I have more at my blogs – click my name and look around.

  65. Yes M Simon. I do remember you from 2008 and, though you and I probably don’t agree most of the time, I know you want to do what you believe is right. Unfortunately I don’t think you are going to see many PUMAs working in tandem with the far right. We weren’t afraid of John McCain. But the right’s lineup this year is something horrid. Most of us are women and progressive men (as opposed to the Regressive Kossacks). Some of us are moderates. We do not like what we see from either side. Extremism makes us sick. We reject Kos and we reject Drudge and Beck. Bleck on Beck. We are also pretty much pissed off at both extreme hijacked parties and their own personal media insulting and demeaning women, and we are pretty much tired of these two patriarchies using women as bargaining chips. We also do not like and do not forget the treatment of Hillary from both of these extremes. We firmlly believe she is a far better presidential candidate than all of what is in this mix put together. I see the Libertarians still sticking to live and let live and government out of everyone’s lives…….except when it comes to women. Or gays. So you see, we are NOT in a good mood. We demand respect and if we can’t get it then nobody can have our votes. The candidate who stands up to the religious right crackpots and says he or she isn’t in the business of running women and telling others what they can and cannot do with their own bodies, but instead is interested in running our run-down country, when that candidate shows up, let me know and I’ll be there. And there had best be a history there that says he or she is not lying just for our votes.

    I myself suspect I will be staying home in 2012. Sorry, but I am looking out for the best interests of women and what I see I do not like one bit.

Comments are closed.