You’d be hard pressed to find an opening news paragraph this week more ludicrous than “Tim Mathieson has apologised for making a joke about small Asian women and prostate examinations”.

Bummer… Image: Peter Nicholson

It’s not quite up there with the classic “Gordon Ramsay’s porn dwarf double eaten to death by badgers” from 2011, but as far as news leads go it’s pretty much got everything going for it.

Well in 2013 it does, anyway. There used to be a time when a story about the Prime Minister’s boyfriend saying something stupid might have raised a few eyebrows on the gossip pages. (Actually, in years past the fact that the Prime Minister HAD a boyfriend was probably a more exciting story to begin with, but I digress).

These days anyone in the public eye making a gaffe is the type of story that seems to send people into a frenzy of trumped-up outrage on the internet - over racism. No, sexism. No wait, misogyny. Discrimination against small-handed doctors!

If the poor fool is a politician the internet lynch mob immediately calls for them to be sacked.

If they’re Labor, their stuff-up is somehow always representative of the failings of the Gillard government. If they’re Liberal, they’re another example of Tony Abbott’s misogyny.

If no political parties are involved at all, someone will blame it all on Gillard anyway.

Invariably the social media storm of stupid turns in on itself and people start becoming outraged that people are outraged. What about free speech? It’s not even offensive! I’m offended that you’re offended! You shut up! No, YOU shut up!

Soon Twitter spammers start jumping on to the relevant hashtag to spruik Viagra, making more sense than those actually arguing the point, and the whole thing eventually washes away in a tide of pointlessness.

Such is the way “prostate-gate” played out this week.

Mathieson’s joke about female Asian doctors and their small hands was a bit tasteless, and if there were any such docs in the audience they may well have rolled their eyes. But surely all he was trying to say, albeit rather clumsily, was that if you’re going to have a rectal examination, you’d prefer a doctor with small fingers.

As far as I can tell there’s nothing racist, sexist or offensive about the generalisation that Asian women have small fingers.

The fact that some critics tried to draw parallels between Mathieson’s gag and the outdated stereotype of female Asian prostitutes says more about them than him, in my opinion.

As for claims the joke somehow made light of prostate cancer, give me a break. It wasn’t funny enough for that. Anyway, prostate cancer’s biggest fundraiser is Movember, and you’d hardly call that a serious affair.

Here’s what we should all be actually offended about: Somehow Australia has arrived at a point where we all seem to be constantly “offended” about pretty much everything.

It’s like we’re so confused about what’s genuinely offensive that our default reaction to anything vaguely controversial is wide-eyed outrage, just in case we accidentally offend someone by not condemning it.

Someone said something about race – is that racist? They mentioned gender – is that sexist? Not sure, better just tweet that it’s “inappropriate” so everyone thinks you’re modern and progressive.

Incidentally, is there a less appropriate word to describe absolutely anything than “inappropriate”? What does it mean? Inappropriate for what?

A fork is inappropriate for eating soup. A joke about doctors and bloke’s bums made to a room full of cricketers? Maybe not so inappropriate.

There’s been an avalanche of stories like Mathieson’s over the last 12 months, helpfully kicked along by the growing popularity of Twitter – a wide-open trap into which carelessly tweeting celebs and pollies constantly fall.

Schadenfreude must have something to do with it – we all love to gloat when someone other than us stuffs up and pays the price for it.

But the fact is people have been putting their feet in their mouth since before humans even knew how to stand up. Laugh and point fingers, by all means, but let’s save the national outrage for something genuinely offensive.

Comments on this post close at 8pm AEDST

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97 comments

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    • TimB says:

      05:16am | 31/01/13

      Ergh, how many times does this have to be explained? It’s not about the joke. No-one gives a flying toss about the joke.

      The real story is the Gillard government’s hypocritical response to said joke. An incident like this should have been enough for Gillard and Roxon to both simultaneously wince, look at each other guiltily, then tear up the ridiculously over the top ‘anti-discrimination’ laws they’re trying to push through.

      But that won’t happen. Because the ALP are hypocrites.

    • Tubesteak says:

      07:21am | 31/01/13

      Yes, and to emphasise: someone that said she’ll call out misogyny whenever she sees it should have been the first to pipe up against this.

      Especially, when the first instance of calling out that so-called misogyny wasn’t misogyny at all.

    • Tim says:

      07:33am | 31/01/13

      Actually the story is the right wing’s hysterical disingenuous hypocrisy. Read it again.

    • Fiona A says:

      07:49am | 31/01/13

      You know the old line from the ALP’s spin god, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”. They know this is reflecting correctly back to the queen of slander and they need to spin it away.

    • Sam says:

      08:01am | 31/01/13

      So no one should care about the joke, except Labor pollies who should care so much they should rip up proposed legislation? Right…..

      I don’t support the anti-discrimination laws, but you are drawing a huge bow.

    • Geoff says:

      08:06am | 31/01/13

      Close the thread. All that needs to be said has been said ^

    • v says:

      08:19am | 31/01/13

      Why close the thread Geoff? Is your natural need to censor any airing of the gross ALP hypocrisy stirring.

    • Marcus says:

      08:52am | 31/01/13

      What “incident like this”? I thought no-one gave “a flying toss”. You’re being “ridiculously over the top”.

    • TimB says:

      08:53am | 31/01/13

      ‘Actually the story is the right wing’s hysterical disingenuous hypocrisy. Read it again. ‘

      It’s only hypocrisy if you (as the author did) work from the assumption that the reaction is to the joke itself. As has been pointed out repeetedly, this is not the case.

      Take your strawmen elsewhere.

    • Tim says:

      09:10am | 31/01/13

      It’s about the right wing’s hysterical disingenuous hypocrisy about an incident like this. Read it again.

    • AdamC says:

      09:17am | 31/01/13

      TimB, yeah, it is not rocket science. People get annoyed when holier-than-thou, confected outrage mongers do not apply the same standards to their own behaviour (or that of their de factos).

      Again, Tim is trotting out his pitch perfect impersonation of a Labor shill defending the indefensible.

      On Roxon, I think she has been surprised by the extent of the coverage her anti-free speech proposals have received. I imagine she had hoped to get the proposals through with limited scrutiny.

    • Peter says:

      09:33am | 31/01/13

      Geez, TimB, thanks for explaining it to us.  You are so smart.  I wish we had your perceptive brilliance to see the story that lurks beneath the non-story.  For a second there I thought it was just a pathetic beat-up but you’ve set us all straight.  It’s all about hypocrisy.  Yes.  A particular specialty of yours, I see.

    • TimB says:

      09:35am | 31/01/13

      ‘Read it again.’

      Alright.

      ...Nope. It’s still a strawman argument. Is it supposed to magically turn into something else after I read it a certain number of times?

    • Geoff says:

      10:22am | 31/01/13

      V was meant for TimB post. They just took ages to approve my post.

    • Tim says:

      10:27am | 31/01/13

      Nope. It’s still a story about the right wing’s hysterical disingenuous hypocrisy.

    • dovif says:

      10:39am | 31/01/13

      The problem with Roxon and the ALP seem to be a lack of thinking before announcing something or legislating on something. This incompetance had been shown time and again, yet the ALP does not think before doing something.

      The 2 most recent example is
      Roxon’s ill through out law
      Julia “Captain of the Titanic” announcing Nova Paris before telling the NT ALP, upsetting many in the AKO

      This government had already had a long history of stuff up, because they did not think
      From the dismantling of the Pacific Solution; to
      Announcing the East Timor solution before the East Timor parliament even know about it;
      Internet Censor
      Malaysian Solution
      Insulation debacle (Garrett did not read departmental report)
      Green loan

      This government just seem to blunder from catastrophy to catastrophy, Lets hope Australia gets off the Titanic before it is too late

    • Sheesh says:

      10:49am | 31/01/13

      The problem with dovif seems to be a lack of thinking.

    • SAm says:

      11:00am | 31/01/13

      Get over it TimB, for the record I dont think if anyone else said it there would be no story. Just you lot clammering to be offended at something, or clammering to be offended that someone else isnt offended because you think others would be offended if someone else said the ‘offending’ thing

    • Pelota says:

      11:12am | 31/01/13

      Oooh
      A story from the Australian.
      terrific, they aren’t biased and hypocritical at all.

      Timmie needs some new toys to occupy his closed mind.

    • Chris L says:

      11:56am | 31/01/13

      I think the response from the Labor side has been fairly consistent in this case. When Alan Jones made his offensive remark he was called upon to apologise. That was the extent of it.

      Mathieson has apologised.

      Where’s the hypocrisy?

      The only politician who has called for someone to lose their position over a charge of misogyny is Mr Abbott trying to remove Slipper.

    • Tubesteak says:

      03:16pm | 31/01/13

      ChrisL
      But where’s the pre-prepared supposedly withering speech about misogyny from Gillard that has to be discussed ad nauseum on Daily Life, Feministing and Jezebel calling out misogyny and sexism wherever she sees it?

      Until that happens it’s not the same

    • Steve says:

      05:16pm | 31/01/13

      Excellent comment TimB. Love your work mate (from an old friend)

    • Sherlock says:

      05:20am | 31/01/13

      This manufactured outrage about just about everything is making me outraged

      The first person who has the guts to stand up and refuse to apologise and tell the reporters to get over.themselves will get a standing ovation from me.

    • Bertrand says:

      07:27am | 31/01/13

      Indeed.

      Who or what is driving this confected outrage? It wouldn’t happen to be the media seeking to increase ratings would it?

    • Marty says:

      08:59am | 31/01/13

      @Bertrand

      No. It’s just the right wing whipping themselves into a frenzy.They can’t wait to be offended by something; anything. So then they can try to blame said thing on the Government. Sad losers.

    • Sherlock says:

      09:31am | 31/01/13

      what a load of crap

      this isn’t a right/left thing. It’s a media issue that’s gotten well out of hand. Create controversy anywhere you can. You can find someone offended by just about anything.

      If I said the sky was blue there would be someone offended by the fact that I didn’t say the sky was not in fact blue but just appeared that way

    • ZSRenn says:

      10:26am | 31/01/13

      Correct Sherlock but his dominatrix made him stand up and beg for forgiveness like a trained poodle!

    • Marty says:

      10:34am | 31/01/13

      @Sherlock

      Exactly. And then they’d try to blame the fact that you didn’t say the sky was not in fact blue on the Government with some lame hypocrisy about discrimination or free speech or something; anything.

    • dovif says:

      12:44pm | 31/01/13

      Sherlock

      The Sky isn’t blue, it is the sea that is blue

    • cheap white trash says:

      05:20am | 31/01/13

      Prostate gate doesn’t rate as an issue worthy of debate,No

      But if it was said by Abbott Abbott Abbott or even Alan Jones,all hell would break loose.
      One rule for some,and another rule for the chosen few,and we no who they are, don’t we.

    • Christian Real says:

      07:40am | 31/01/13

      cheap whit trash
      Prostate is a worthy issue to debate and it is of no real comparrison to what Abbott or Jones said.
      To blatantly attempt to put a serious men’s problem like prostate cancer in the same basket as to what Alan Jones or Tony Abbott said, or what the Prime Minister said about Tony abbott shows how out of touch you and others in these blogs really are to blatantly attempt to make mileage out of the off the cuff remark made by Tim Mathieson .
      One thing this incident did highlight though was prostate cancer and the need for men to have it checked out

    • Nathan says:

      07:47am | 31/01/13

      I don’t think there is anything to it but the biggest difference is that Abbott is an elected politician as such has a higher standard to keep. Now Alan Jones has been saying what he wants for a long time with ramifications what so ever so cry me a river, he has been called out for the comments about the death that is far far worse than a joke in poor taste.

      Alan Jones fuels the fires with lies and he is good at it as well. Those of you who are fans of Alan Jones i suggest you back to school, or hang out in the mens bathroom you might get a real one on one encounter with him.

    • Borderer says:

      09:41am | 31/01/13

      @Nathan
      So Tim deserves no punishment for not being an elected official but Abbott would as he is elected and though Jones is also not an elected official deserves punishing too because he’s mean?
      Your double standard is showing….
      Here’s the thing, I don’t give a rats what Tim said in jest, I actually think it’s benefiscial as he brought the issue of prostate examinations to national media attention and as they say any publicity is good publicity.
      I also don’t give a rats about what Alan Jones says, I think he’s a dimwit who like many in the media get their cash by fostering agitation.
      What I do give a rats about is when politicians, like our PM use PC crap like her mysogony speech to try and shut down debate in parliment and fools like Roxon write laws to silence public opinion.
      I tend not to look at the point scoring and see the big picture and I don’t like what the ALP are doing.
      I have a friend who’s a dyed in the hemp Greenie, pro-feminist (despite the plumbing) tree hugger, in my opinion he’s totally not in touch with reality, I still listen to what he’s got to say because amongst the guilt tripping communist mumbo jumbo he spouts there are occasionally valid points and I think that has value, shutting down the conversation pushes me towards groupthink and that’s just not smart.
      So take some time and think about what you’re supporting and the kind of people you’re backing, I used to vote ALP till the last election and changed due to what they were doing big picture wise and what I viewed as an utter lack of competance in governing, I’d like to have been wrong, sadly for Australia I wasn’t.

    • Chris L says:

      12:00pm | 31/01/13

      Um… no. When Abbott or Jones say something that is considered offensive they’re called upon to apologise… kinda like how Mathieson has apologised.

    • ZSRenn says:

      05:33am | 31/01/13

      Petra, great story and I agree with your sentiment. The outrage shown at this small joke over the last few days has been over the top. I don’t agree that a room full of cricketers is the wrong place to tell it. This is the perfect place for this joke, a room full of ball handlers, perfect!

      In the last week I have read many articles from journalists telling the reader just what you have said. Basically; Nothing to see here, it’s just Timmy being a bit silly, move along. They are correct, there is nothing to see here, Mathieson’s or Gillard’s reputation will not be lessened by this story.

      Mathieson’s profile might have be lifted a bit among male voters and if he had any smarts he would do something similar again.  Gillard obviously doesn’t get that point or she would not have made him stand like a trained poodle and beg for forgiveness. “I must save the female vote” she would be thinking.

      However, when Tony Abbott had his name dragged through the mud with obvious lies about him being a Misogynist, I can’t remember one female journalist coming to his defense.  It was left to his female staff members and his wife to stand up and try to get the point forward that Tony, is a good family man and colleague, who gets on well with women. For their efforts they were lambasted.  Tony has been around for a long time in politics and I am sure many female journalists were aware of this fact but none spoke up!

      By this hypocrisy I am offended!

    • Kim says:

      07:38am | 31/01/13

      I am offended by your hypocrisy.

    • egg says:

      08:59am | 31/01/13

      @ZSRenn, I don’t know how many people need to point this out, but… Tony Abbott is a sexist moron. He has made numerous comments regarding women’s health, the role of women in society and the value of women in the workplace that prove this. Whether you want to argue semantics over the word “misogyny” or not, he thinks women are lesser people and thoroughly deserved to be called out for it.

    • ZSRenn says:

      09:16am | 31/01/13

      @ Kim I am offended by your hypocrisy to being offended by my alleged hypocrisy!

    • ZSRenn says:

      10:10am | 31/01/13

      @ egg you just don’t get it do you.

      Here is a family man with three daughters all who are achieving well . He has a female 2 I.C. He has been in politics for many many years. When confronted with a son, he did not know, he put his hand up and said, “yep I take responsibility’ only to find out this was not true.

      If he truly was, as you describe, by now there would be a plethora of articles by female journalists telling us their horror stories about interviewing Tony Abbott or working with Tony Abbott.

      Check out Nikki Sava who was the one of the leading members of the Canberra Press Gallery and her biggest complaint regarding Abbott “As a former journalist he has a tendency to regard himself as his own best speechwriter”

      Now surely a journo who new Abbott so well would be writing everything she has, to back the claims, of Abbott being a Misogynist but no nothing, zip, nadda!

      Today’s challenge is for you to find one link by one female journalist prior to the Gillard’s name slurring Misogyny speech where a female journo complains about Abbott and her treatment of him.

      Unsubstantiated reports, third hand from disgruntled university students because they lost a student election to him 30 years ago do not count!

    • Huh says:

      10:46am | 31/01/13

      @zsrenn

      Why would a journalist complain about their own treatment of Tony Abbott?

    • Tubesteak says:

      11:52am | 31/01/13

      egg
      Have a look at the quotes gof pulled out yesterday.

      None of those quotes show Abbott to be sexist or misogynist. All he did was state a few facts or predictions (some from 40 years ago, mind you) and the usual handbag hitsquad have come out with their usual “you can’t say anything against me cos imma girl” argument.

    • visual says:

      12:39pm | 31/01/13

      @John, 1+.  totally pewned ZSRenn.

    • Levi says:

      06:37am | 31/01/13

      “As far as I can tell there’s nothing racist, sexist or offensive about the generalisation that Asian women have small fingers.”

      - I bet you everybody would be up in arms if it was Tony Abbott who said it instead of Tim Mathieson.

      Australian media and Labor and their double standards are sickening.

    • acotrel says:

      07:14am | 31/01/13

      So Tony Abbott is not a misogynist ?

    • Jack says:

      07:41am | 31/01/13

      I love how this has somehow become a story about Tony Abbott’s misogyny. He should be offended.

    • Mr Sam says:

      08:43am | 31/01/13

      No acotrel, Tony isn’t a misogynist but Julia is a liar.

    • Robert Smissen says:

      11:35am | 31/01/13

      Acotrel, you got it in one, my what a clever person you are, you are absolutely right, Tony abbott is NOT a mysogynist! ! !  But as Mr. Sam says, ”  No acotrel, Tony isn’t a misogynist but Julia is a liar.”

    • Kim says:

      12:25pm | 31/01/13

      @Robert

      You need to learn what a question mark is for.

    • Charles says:

      06:54am | 31/01/13

      You are right, this is the most stupid outrage over nothing really, and you can lay the blame for this idiocy entirely at the feet of Julia Gillard and her media advisor John McTernan. 

      Most of it has stemmed from Julia Gillard’s confected abuse of Tony Abbott over perceived misogyny.  She has been well and truly hoist on her petard.

    • Duh says:

      09:03am | 31/01/13

      But you’re the one expressing stupid outrage over nothing. if you don’t like it, stop doing it.

    • Peter says:

      12:12pm | 31/01/13

      Charles’ inane comment sums it up really.  “We agree this is stupid outrage over nothing but we can’t help ourselves because the PM has forced to act like this”.  Charles, mate, nobody believes you lot for a second.  Only you and your fellow supporters.  The rest of us can see this for what it is: pathetic hypocrisy.  Spin away, my friends.  Spin away.

    • Don says:

      07:09am | 31/01/13

      As the commenters are mostly pointing out it was not the gaffe, we can forgive that, but the fact that the proposed laws could mean that such mistakes have a chance of ending up in court. That is where the outrage is and rightly so.

      The fact that you have not mentioned it either means you are a bit dull or are deliberately missing the point. I think the latter which is disappointing.

    • As if says:

      09:05am | 31/01/13

      What has Tim been charged with ? ICB

    • Christian Real says:

      07:22am | 31/01/13

      Tim Mathieson has done a wonderful job highlighting the need for men to get examined for Prostate Cancer.
      Unfortunately Liberal supporters and others in these blogs blatantly attempted to make mileage out of the off the cuff remark Tim Mathieson made about small Asian women and prostate examinations.
      If I had an examination for Prostate Cancer I would probably prefer a doctor with small fingers to exam me,rather than a doctor with huge hands and bulky fingers.
      Tim Mathieson was only making a bit of light humour about a serious problem that men get and it cannot be put into the same catagory as the Prime Minister’s speech about Tony Abbott, which some bloggers were attempting to do in yesterday’s blogs.
      I do believe that what is said about Tony abbott and Women is true though in one aspect, that being that Tony Abbott dislikes and hates wome who get the job ahead of him that he sincerely believes should have been his.
      At Sydney University Tony Abbott showed that he disliked,was against and purely hated women who defeated him in the student elections.
      In Federal Parliament it is quite obvious that Tony Abbott dislikes,and purely hates Julia Gillard, not because she is a women, but because she defeated him and became Prime Minister,a job that Tony Abbott truely believe was rightfully his.

    • Mr Sam says:

      08:53am | 31/01/13

      Gillard has shown her dislike for Rudd (a real ALP PM), Wilkie, family values, Senator Crossin, Australian voters who don’t want a carbon tax…......she actually believes she is too legit to quit and we all know what happened to MC Hammer.

    • Borderer says:

      10:43am | 31/01/13

      @Christian Real
      Wow, that exceeded my quota of partisan longbow BS for the morning….

      Here’s a scoop, people don’t like Julia because she’s a double dealing, incompetant two faced liar who uses minorities to further her political goals and attempts to shut down debate by both restricting free speech in the house through over application of PC and attempting to legislate against it with Roxon’s ridiculous laws. She has done and promised anything to gain power at great cost to us all, a dyed in the wool opportunist I find her leadership a daily exercise in insecurity for the whole of the country. There is a litany of macroeconmic and fiscal ineptitude the likes of which I’ve not wittnessed before and if Tony Abbott was mean to a girl once is all you’ve got as a come back, thank you and good night….

    • Stephen T says:

      10:46am | 31/01/13

      @Christian Real:  I can agree with the first part of your post Christian however I will call you out on the following:

      “I do believe that what is said about Tony abbott and Women is true though in one aspect, that being that Tony Abbott dislikes and hates wome who get the job ahead of him that he sincerely believes should have been his.”

      I think its poor form and a lack of character on your part to attribute feelings to a person that they obviously don’t feel, Tony Abbott may be competitive but he doesn’t evidence hate in any of his dealings.  That you keep repeating this bespeaks more for your poor character in making the assumption and repeating the slander as if it were fact.

      “At Sydney University Tony Abbott showed that he disliked,was against and purely hated women who defeated him in the student elections.”

      Once again a slander, you are presenting as fact something that is not supported by credible evidence, in this instance your statements are malicious, false, and defamatory. 

      “In Federal Parliament it is quite obvious that Tony Abbott dislikes,and purely hates Julia Gillard, not because she is a women, but because she defeated him and became Prime Minister,a job that Tony Abbott truely believe was rightfully his.”

      You’re presenting your opinion as fact and in the process contradicting your earlier comments, as you offer no evidence to support your opinion we can only assume it is based on how you would feel if faced by the same situation, once again it speaks more to your lack of character than anything else.

    • Chris L says:

      12:09pm | 31/01/13

      I actually agree with Stephen T. How the hell did that happen?!

    • JimBob says:

      07:43am | 31/01/13

      (a) Some of the debate stems from the fact that it highlights the proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws and whether it would have been unlawful in light of that. (b) If Abbott had said it, we would have heard even more vociferous clamouring and he would have been labelled misogynist to boot. (c) As always, the biggest factor in this was the *media* and their reporting of it. That would be you and your mates, Petra.

    • Keith says:

      09:13am | 31/01/13

      Don’t forget us commenters, Jimbob. We’re clamouring too !!!!

    • Gregg says:

      07:47am | 31/01/13

      Yep, not worth debating and as for the ” If it was Tony Abbott etc. “
      Well, Tim is not a politician and nor is Tony’s wife Margie.

      Isn’t the ” if it had been Tony ” a bit like Margie airing a view of life that may not be acceptable to some and that being put on the LNP stage and then and Libbers saying ” if it had been said by Julia “

      All kind of gets a bit messy doesn’t it?
      I’m not even sure if Tony and Margie have a pooch that could be looking a bit down in the mouth!

    • Claire says:

      08:00am | 31/01/13

      But, the media and the ALP told me it was sexual discrimination for Abbott to look at at watch when a boring ALP female MP was droning on, but it is ok for the ALP people to joke about Asian Female Doctors. I am confused. Please explain the media’s blatant bias.

    • Geoff says:

      08:13am | 31/01/13

      Another hypocritical article from obviously a Labor journo. Where were these articles when lies were being told about Tony Abbott?

    • Hamish says:

      10:40am | 31/01/13

      @Geoff

      What lies?

    • Huonian says:

      08:17am | 31/01/13

      Tim demonstrates the utter stupidity of Labor’s move to make it and offence to offend.  The following day, Roxon admits the offence bit in her draft bill is, er, offensive and drops it.

      Well done Tim.  Front page publicity for prostate checks.  And killing off a stupid idea about discrimination law.  A good day’s work.  So, why the hell did you apologise?

    • jg says:

      08:23am | 31/01/13

      Still waiting for Gillard/ Roxon/ Plibersek/ etc to come out in the press and call Mathieson a sexist, racist, misogynist.

      Any time soon…

    • Huh says:

      09:15am | 31/01/13

      Why ? Why don’t you just say it?

    • Vince says:

      09:35am | 31/01/13

      Why don’t you have bex, lie down and we’ll call you when it happens.

    • John says:

      08:36am | 31/01/13

      Absolutely agree, Petra.  Political correctness gone absolutely mad. It has come to the point where we cannot make any kind of numerous comment. The shortest book in history will be the one titled “Australian Humour of the 21st Century”. Give me a break all you people - get a life for God’s sake. (Oops, can’t say “God”, I’ll offend someone)

    • John says:

      08:36am | 31/01/13

      Absolutely agree, Petra.  Political correctness gone absolutely mad. It has come to the point where we cannot make any kind of numerous comment. The shortest book in history will be the one titled “Australian Humour of the 21st Century”. Give me a break all you people - get a life for God’s sake. (Oops, can’t say “God”, I’ll offend someone)

    • Mr Sam says:

      08:58am | 31/01/13

      Apply the PC rule or not apply the PC equally to everybody. This whole situation has highlighted the hypocrisy of Julia Gillard and why she isn’t of good standing. We have a life - one that is filled with goodness knowing that JG and friends will be gone soon and we will have heaps of telemovies to remind us of what kind of person she is.

    • Emilia says:

      09:05am | 31/01/13

      Totally agree Petra!

    • Slothy says:

      09:10am | 31/01/13

      I gotta say, I find that cartoon significantly more offensive than the original comment. Imagine that with the genders reversed - a male politician advancing on his terrified girlfriend, indicating that she was about to receive some form of punishment through penetration.

      But ha ha ha, men don’t like fingers up their bums ha ha ha.

    • Robert Smissen says:

      11:27am | 31/01/13

      Right on the button! ! !

    • Mitch says:

      09:21am | 31/01/13

      “You’d be hard pressed to find an opening news paragraph this week more ludicrous than “Tim Mathieson has apologised for making a joke about small Asian women and prostate examinations””

      You don’t have to look any further than stories about Gillards “hipster” glasses yesterday, that seemed to take precedence over the story of her calling an election.

    • Jaqui says:

      09:48am | 31/01/13

      Another hypocritical leftist journalist who would be gleefully driving the knife into anyone who wasn’t a leftie who had done the same.

      But this is what we have come to expect from leftist filth.

    • Millsy says:

      10:25am | 31/01/13

      Go back to Stormfront Jaqui, the other 88 tattooed people miss you.

    • Jaqui says:

      01:26pm | 31/01/13

      @Millsy: You seem to be the racist crazy that knows all about them, I hadn’t heard about them until I was accused of being a member yesterday.
      From looking it up I can assure you those people more closely represent your views than mine.

      Remember it was your beloved Labor party who championed the white Australia policy.

      Perhaps you can take your own advice and keep your offensive personal attacks to yourself.

    • Samson says:

      10:14am | 31/01/13

      Some of you (not all of you) sound like broken records. The same comments over and over again. It seems to come more from the right than the left too. I’m surprised, I thought it’d be the other way round. I’ve always thought the most anger, offense, repetition of comments and jumping up and down tends to come from the people with the most to prove. Seems about right.
      Cue: offended rants at this comment.

    • John says:

      11:14am | 31/01/13

      @Samson
      It’s alright if you start with “how many times does this have to be explained” or “I know this was said yesterday, but it bears repeating”. Remember those toxic bores we all used to avoid like the plague who would try to corner us at parties and in pubs with rants about how much they hated some PM or whatever their tedious obsession was?

      Guess where they spend all of their time now.

    • TimB says:

      12:27pm | 31/01/13

      @ John/AASQ,

      IMO the worst people are the ones that change their names repeatedly to try and avoid being held accountable for their words, or shore up their position with ‘numbers’

      Unfortunately for you, you’re not paticularly bright so you usually give yourself away. That’s the same reason as to why we have to repeat things to you. You were too thick to understand it the first time around.

    • John says:

      01:03pm | 31/01/13

      @Samson

      See what I mean.

    • Samson says:

      03:59pm | 31/01/13

      @ John

      I do.

    • Zack says:

      05:39pm | 31/01/13

      Reading John’s comments clearly shows he is likely as bright as poor old acotrel.

    • Robert Smissen says:

      10:57am | 31/01/13

      Tim the Bogan was stupidly rude, Just like Julia’s Misogyny Speech” defending “rude boy” Slipper

    • Warwick says:

      12:51pm | 31/01/13

      Hey Petra,

      this is a superb piece. Balanced, interesting, relevant and full of common sense.

      If only we had more writers like you.

    • Fed Up says:

      01:15pm | 31/01/13

      Normally i would agree with you Petra except for the fact the PM opened this line of debate on other issues.
      Whats good for the goose is good for Juliar.
      I say Julia because her live in hair dresser is a neville nobbody and this whole incident reflects on the PM whom i must say looks smashing wearing her new glasses.

    • marley says:

      04:08pm | 31/01/13

      You know, Petra’s correct.  For a country that prides itself on it’s rough, tough, egalitarian ethos, Australia seems to be full of delicate flowers who can’t deal with hearing anything disagreeable,never mind offensive.  I don’t care whether you’re getting hot and bothered over men speculating about the number of women in engineering or commenting on the finger size of Asian women:  it’s all penny ante stuff.  I thought Julia’s attack on Abbott as a misogynist was unwarranted on the evidence, and I think the attacks on her bumbling boyfriend are just as unwarranted. I really don’t care who started it:  I just wish both sides of politics would start acting like adults instead of sulky teenagers.

    • Luc Belrose says:

      04:11pm | 31/01/13

      I am surprised at the brouhaha raised by Tim Mathieson’s joke about prostate examinations and massage etc. While the remark was well intended and refers to an important male health issue, we should have been thankful to Tim.
      But the subject must be a very sensitive one judging by the number of comments from readers. However, I do not find insulting or racist the mention of Asian women with small fingers; on the contrary it’s a compliment.  We should not worry about or pander to the new fashion on the block ie the need to not cause offence or hurt feelings. We should continue calling a spade a spade!

    • Swamp Thing says:

      04:44pm | 31/01/13

      Not when i was a kid Marley (late 1980s) These delicate flowers have appeared & gained dominance in our society with alarming speed.

    • marley says:

      05:58pm | 31/01/13

      @Swamp Thing - I don’t mean to be disrespectful of Australia, but the “sensitivity” here to anything that is even slightly distasteful or disrespectful is pretty amazing. It’s no wonder Roxon, surrounded by people of that mindset, thought she could get that Human Rights bill through to ban offensive speech.  What happened to the forthright, “I don’t give a damn” Aussie of legend?

    • Ben says:

      04:56pm | 31/01/13

      Certainly the gaffe wasn’t as bad as looking at one’s watch while the Prime Minister is talking - now that’s pure, unadulterated misogyny, you ask Christian Real.

    • Pete says:

      05:06pm | 31/01/13

      Political correctness gone mad !

    • stephen says:

      06:58pm | 31/01/13

      I can’t see my prostate because my belly is sticking out.
      (Out of sight, out of danger.)

 

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