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Grace (Un)Tame(d) Provokes Conservative Outrage

The media has made much of ‘that photograph’ of 2021 Australian of The Year Grace Tame glaring daggers through The Lodge Occupant. The Good Dr. Jennifer Wilson has penned a great piece for this website about the photo and the amazing cultural subtext, and I encourage you to check it out here. I want to focus on the media reaction, and discuss the breathtaking hypocrisy on display from those on the right. I also want to look at an excellent piece by Samantha Maiden on news.com.au (of all places). Maiden rightly puts Tame’s critics in their place.

The response from the media, by and large, has been to condemn Ms Tame as ‘uncivil’ (consider Peter Van Obsolete as Dr Wilson called him). Essentially, this photo-op is a yearly tradition and Ms Tame ruined it by refusing to be a good girl and ‘give us a smile, sweetheart’. It is worth noting that neither Ms Tame, nor anyone else, is obligated to give Scotty from Marketing a good photo-op. She, like most people, has a political stance, specifically an opinion on The Lodge Occupant. She conveyed that opinion and it is somehow a problem.

First, Have No Standards: The Hypocritic Oath, Part One: Free Speech

Many of Ms Tame’s most vocal critics on the right (including Miranda Divine) are part of the ‘free speech’ crowd. As is becoming increasingly clear, the conservative definition of this ‘right’ (which Australia does not have by the by, we never quite got to the whole ‘bill of rights’ thing) is ‘we get to say what we want and the rest of you fall in line’. In other words, for me and mine, not thee and thine. Standard practice? Maybe, but it still reeks.

Ms Tame expressed her political opinion of The Lodge Occupant in the most public and viral way possible. As we will see in the Samantha Maiden piece, Ms Tame knew exactly what she was doing. But back to the point: Ms Tame does not have ‘muh freeze peach’? Or does that sacred concept only apply to certain opinions? That consistency has never been the strong suit of the right is well known, but this gives whiplash.

First, Have No Standards: The Hypocritic Oath, Part Two: The Media and The Office of The Prime Minister

The Murdoch Media Menagerie has made much in the last day or so of ‘respect for the office of The Prime Minister’. The idea here is that even if you dislike the occupant, you show respect for the office. Anyone inclined to make such a suggestion regarding Ms Tame I direct to the following image, borrowed from the Facebook page of a Mr. Kevin Rudd:

Seems the ‘respect’ due to the office of The Prime Minister changes according to whether or not the occupant is from the right party. The brass b*lls it takes to bellyache about ‘disrespecting the office of The Prime Minister’ only when your guy is in there is something to behold. There is a real sense of ‘know your role, shut your mouth’ here that is most unbecoming. Now, am I suggesting that, as a sexual assault survivor and advocate that Ms Tame is insulated from any and all criticism? No. But of all the things to criticise someone with her past about, smiling? Seriously?

But Why So ‘Untamed’?  

It should be clear that Ms Tame’s actions do not need ‘justification’ from me or anyone else. But I thought it might be useful to look at history for some motivation for her giving The Lodge Occupant the evil eye. One possible explanation for her ‘icy’ demeanour toward The Lodge Occupant might be his utter lack of action around sexual assault and family violence, specifically his defense (before the facts were known) of Non-Christian Porter around the rape of Brittany Higgins. A little detail here worth recalling is The Lodge Occupant discussing the rape of Ms Higgins with his wife, who encouraged him to think about the incident as ‘the father of two daughters’. Ms Tame rightly obliterated this nonsense when she said:

It shouldn’t take having children to have a conscience

Ms Tame does not evidently understand how the conservative mind works: something has to affect them before they care.

Now, this is but one incident, and it is not the whole story of course. But sexual assault advocacy was her issue. The Let Her Speak campaign was what brought her to prominence in the first place. Of all the issues for The Lodge Occupant not to act on, this was likely to poke the bear

Play it Again, Sam: Samantha Maiden to The Rescue

In a fantastic piece for news.com.au, actual journalist Samantha Maiden eviscerates the right wing narrative around this incident. She notes the hypocrisy of the government by pointing out (with photos) times when LNP cabinet members were playing on their phones while turning their backs on Tanya Plibersek as she addressed the House. Maiden also notes the utter non-issue that was Justice Kenneth Hayne of the Banking Royal Commission saying ‘nope’ when asked to shake hands with Treasurer Josh Frydenburg in 2019. But Grace Tame is the issue because she refused to ‘be a good girl and give us a smile, love’ to The Lodge Occupant? Spare me.

Maiden notes that the critics of Ms Tame are actually attempting to control her behaviour, a harkening back to the abuse she suffered as a child. I had not thought of it this way, and the suggestion is intriguing. But what is the most interesting part of Maiden’s piece is the comment that, through her facial expressions, Ms Tame has taught us something about activism.

The suggestion seems to be that activism comes in many forms, and this was a powerful one for Ms Tame. Her knowledge of how much The Lodge Occupant loves his photo-ops doubtless made this a tempting target. Maiden comments that Ms Tame ‘knew exactly what she was doing’ and I am inclined to agree. She hit The Lodge Occupant where she knew it would hurt him: public image. His obsession with marketing (despite his seeming incompetence at it) made him vulnerable there. She exploited that.

Conclusion: Nous Sommes Grace Tame

The lesson from this is that activism need not be bricks through windows, or even fiery rhetoric. Through her simple facial expressions and the fire in her eyes, Grace Tame has conveyed the outrage of the considerable segment of the population that has, to put it mildly, an unfavourable opinion of The Lodge Occupant. As much as her critics like to complain about her ‘lack of civility’, it is precisely that lack of civility, the idea of not being ‘the good little girl’ that makes her statement so powerful.

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18 comments

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  1. OldWomBat

    While one can respect the office the incumbent must themselves earn respect – yet another thing morrison has resoundingly failed at.

  2. Lawrence Roberts

    Say little to a misogynist
    Scowl on the photo-op
    Grace is a zen master

  3. Fred

    Unbridled hypocrisy by the “offended” conservatives which doesn’t deserve media coverage. Good on Grace for finding a chink in the polished gleaming image of the Pompous Marketeer. If only the offended looked closer at what the lodge occupant is made of, they might finally see what is obvious to most, that the base material has been garnered from a septic tank.

  4. wam

    Je suis Tame.
    On-selling has been a long term zealot for following rupert’s rules under a personal cloak, and is a home grown
    ps
    I have been reposting women in WW2 the latest was joan fletcher.
    Amongst other things she repatriated the women and children from japanese camps. (some years ago I read a book about such internment camps forget the name something like forgotten women?). This was in the Indonesian autonomy uprising against european rule. She enlisted the japanese military as protection and transport. She was so powerful the japanese saluted her.
    The series shows the power of women and the society of the time both needed and used that power.
    Tame reflects that power but the society has reverted to men and there is no longer the need for women to do or be seen to succeed at ‘men’s jobs’. In the 73 years since the return of pig-iron women who have succeeded in liberal politics are few.
    pps
    35 years ago my wife was asked to take an exchange student from a south african school. She accepted on condition that any of her students would be accepted as an exchange. This was not accepted, Aboriginal students, so she refused the SA student. For this she was depicted in jackboots, a whip and nazi dress but she stood firm and later was sent on an overseas ‘federal scholarship’.

  5. Johnyperth.

    When Justice Hayden gave his report to the Jose and Justice Hayden looked away where was the Murdoch media?
    No way to be seen, so, why was the Murdoch media?
    Or is it because it was a women?

  6. Kathryn

    WAY TO GO, GRACE TAME – GOOD FOR YOU!

    The overwhelming MAJORITY of intelligent Australians (with the emphasis on “intelligent”) fully support your justifiable condescending contempt for this incomparable political parasite, Sloth Morrison!

    I hope Grace Tame counted her fingers after she shook hands with this disreputable, repulsive, smirking, pathological LIAR and totally corrupt political psychopath! Morrison is the worst, most shameful, internationally condemned and arrogant, non-achieving political parasite since the last ones the LNP vomited up: Tony Abbott and John Howard. The ONLY reliable thing about the unconscionably corrupt sociopaths in the LNP is that they will continue to lie, lie and lie and continue to THRIVE on division, conflict, racism, misogyny, homophobia, hate, fear and WAR!

    Morrison’s delusion and megalomania knows no bounds. When Grace Tame – who became Australia of the Year in 2021 for her work to alleviate the suffering of victims of sexual assault – clearly displayed her justifiable contempt for this misogynistic grub who did NOTHING to curtail the skirt-lifting misogyny by the hard-lined predators in his party, naturally Tame is going to treat the revolting Morrison with the contempt he richly deserves!

    When Grace Tame gave him the cold shoulder, Morrison had the stratospheric HUBRIS and arrogance to put it down to the ridiculous assumption that she was dazzled and intimidated at meeting him by saying: “It’s not every day one gets to meet the PM of Australia, eh?” – what staggering arrogance by an insignificant, non-achieving, blood-sucking political parasite who was totally ignored, avoided and justifiably ostracised at the G20 Summit in Rome recently! Everything Morrison and his government touches turns to sh*t in rapid time; he and his depraved regime have achieved absolutely NOTHING to benefit the lives of ordinary Australians and they have PROVEN that they will only pander to the greed of the Top 1%. The LNP have achieved NOTHING but destruction, environmental vandalism, the continual defundment of EVERYTHING Australians value, bible-thumping hypocrisy and cringe-worthy embarrassment on the world stage! It has become clearly evident that only the most stupid, Murdoch-manipulated, self-serving, racist and/or callously inhumane people in the country cheer on and support the diabolical Morrison regime right now!

    Wake up Australia! The ONLY way to STOP THE ROT with the Morrison regime – the worst, most corrupt and inept in our history – is to VOTE IT OUT at the next federal election!

  7. Terence Mills

    It seems that those who get to know Scott Morrison close-up form an opinion of the man that is not particularly favourable.

    Apart from Tame, I’m thinking of the French President Macron who didn’t hold back and of course Morrison’s previous boss, Malcolm Turnbull who accused Morrison of being deceitful while he was in the top job and saying he had “a reputation for lying”.

    He appears to be a particularly unsavoury character not suited to high office and who uses his religion as a shroud.

    We can do better than this, Australia !

  8. Henry Rodrigues

    Grace Tame said and did to the liar and cheater and pompus oaf, what many ordinary citizens would give their right arms for, to denigrate and shame the most unworthy person to ever occupy the Lodge. a person who is there only to line his pockets ($550000) and never to be answerable to the people. A person who cares nothing for about serving the people or leading the nation but only about pandering to the billionaires, the corrupt media the so-called christians, and who works to further the aims and goals of the conservative dickheads to continue the unequalities and priviledges that they enjoy. Of course the conservatives are outraged, their hypocrisy been exposed by their support for this fuckwit.

    So to those conservatives including the ‘obsolescent’ murdoch maggot, get used to it, Your outrage is infantile puerile and putrid.

  9. New England Cocky

    I stand with Grace Tame.

    Grace Tame in the thankful absence of Scummo.

  10. Henry Rodrigues

    NEC,,, never has a picture spoken a thousand words more eloquently. Thanks you and Grace, for brightening my day.

  11. Canguro

    C’mon Grace, a smile
    if you will, for your P M
    it means so much to me

    A little smile, please
    be kind, be gentle, be sweet
    don’t be hard on me

    What? A scorpion, eh?
    Me? An awful stinging thing?
    Jen and co. say no!

    How can you see me so?
    Or am I the blinded one?
    A mere fool, and now undone?

  12. Pagnol

    “The Lodge Occupant”, love it.

  13. Michael Taylor

    How about “The Lodge squatter”?

  14. Brad Black

    Or the ‘artful dodger’ lodge squatter.

  15. Kerri

    If we must show deference to the Prime Minister, just because he/she IS the Prime Minister, then who else should we show deference to? Trump? Johnson? Duterte? Bolsonaro? Modi? If we have learned anything from the last ten years of scandals it has been that your “position” your “power” does not make you a person worthy of respect. Two words. Prince Andrew!

    Excellent article Tim Jones!

  16. Josephus

    Women who rally in their thousands should feel grateful that they don’t get shot. That comment alone should have sunk the bastard.

  17. New England Cocky

    During my time in the Australia Army we were surrounded by self-important officers expecting to be saluted at every passing by every lower rank. Our unit had a rule, Respect is earned and given freely. If you want respect then you must earn it.

    Now, would somebody be so kind as to tell me exactly what Scummo has done to earn respect since he stabbed Turdball in the back and Became Prim Monster?

    All suggestions should be written on a [postage stamp.

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