Tuesday 12 July 2012
I really couldn’t let this pass. You know when you are watching someone make a fool of themselves and you find yourself cringing.
Such a time was while in bed on Monday night Q&A. My wife was so affronted I had to quieten her down because our dog started going off its head.
Steve Price “radio and TV something or other” had been upsetting her for the entire program but at the very end of the program he displayed why he is what he is. A misogynist self-righteous belligerent sexist twit of priceless unthinking insensitivity.
Andrew P Street writing for Fairfax put it this way:
“he’s become so used to people criticising him that he pre-emptively expects it, to the point of hearing it when it doesn’t even exist.”
Anyway I had better get to the point.
The last question of the night, a genuinely heartbreaking one came from audience member Tarang Chawla.
“Male violence is a leading cause of death and disability for women under 45 in Australia. My sister Nikita was stabbed to death by her partner in January last year, with a meat cleaver. She was 23. How will politicians and the media play a better role in bringing about long-overdue cultural shifts, so tragedies like what happened to my family are not normalised?”
Priceless jumped in first:
“I happen to know all the people you mentioned there, Sam, Eddie and Caroline Wilson, very well,” he explained, before criticising people for overreacting to “a bunch of blokes laughing about something they shouldn’t have laughed about,” especially since they (sort of) apologised. “Far too much was then made of it… As for Sam’s comments, who happens to be a very good friend of mine, I think he should regret those comments that he made when going back into defend his great friend Eddie.”
The questioner was implicitly enquiring about men’s flippant attitude towards violence against women and all Priceless could offer was a defence of his mates for about drowning a Melbourne female journalist. Whoops, he said too much was made of it.
Guardian columnist Van Badham was having none of this.
With a sincerely quivering voice she let Priceless have it all guns blazing. She started by offering unpretentious sympathy for Chawla and his family, “and it’s one of the reasons why we have to take this seriously, and why we have to look at the different treatment of women, and the disadvantaged treatment of women in our society.”
Then she suggested that Priceless might have a rather different perspective on the hilarity of the joke from his position as one of the blokes compared with her, as one of the potential victims, Priceless got a little upset with her.
“Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you’re the only person who can get upset about this,”
It was at this moment that the audience showed its disdain and the look on Tarang Chawla’s face was priceless.
“Men can be just as upset about these things.”
“Steve, you’re proving my point very excellently, about the attitudes that create this kind of problem,”
She really had the audience on her side at this point and the cringe factor was insinuating itself on the audience.
Like many men of his vintage like Newman, McGuire and others of their ilk who have never really grown up he failed to see the point.
“I don’t think I’m proving anything,” He gratuitously responded. “I think you’re just being hysterical.”
The camera went back to Badham who seemingly is never lost for a word. She paused with great dignity. The audience had just watched a middle-aged bigoted old fart dismiss a women for being “hysterical” while giving an explanation about how the dismissive attitudes of men feed into a culture of gender violence.
Then she delivered what must be one of the best put downs of all time.
“It’s probably my ovaries making me do it, Steve.”
All in all it was absolutely priceless.
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