Even the prime minister of Australia is not immune of objectification and body-snarking: at a political fundraising dinner Julia Gillard was reduced to the significance of the quail served up for dinner with an absurdly offensive menu item listed “Julia Gillard Quail – small breasts, huge thighs, and a big red box” as the main entrée.
The candidate behind the fundraiser, Mal Brough, apologized and stated that the menu was written by a non-party member who thought making sexual references to the prime minister’s body on a menu would be “humorous.”
This incident is abominable on so many levels. First, it commits the age-old offense of commodifying women’s bodies as literal meat. It reduces someone who is powerful and well-known for her ideas and her intelligence down to individual parts of her body, including her genitalia. Body shaming is unacceptable to begin with, but the assumption that an important function of a female Prime Minister — the first in Australia’s history, mind you — is to be physically pleasing is something worse.
If Mal Brough’s main political argument is comparing his opposition to a dinner platter, he should really reevaluate his campaigning tactics.
Contact the author at Mary.Odell@TheFrisky.com.
[Image of raw chicken via Shutterstock; image of Julia Gillard via Getty]