“Get a life”

Former Prime Minister John Howard has told anyone offended by Tony Abbott’s controversial comment that a Liberal Party candidate had “sex appeal” to “get a life”

“Really, that’s all I say. Really. Come on. He said what he said and I think the reaction of some people who tut-tutted about it is out of proportion and ridiculous . . . Get a life.”

Personally, what Abbott said didn’t hugely bother me and I think that many people who were critical of him were so because they don’t particularly like him anyway. I actually find what Howard said to be far more offensive. Offensive, and ignorant.

But he probably has a horde of followers happy to say the same thing. And I can’t work these type of people out.

What is it with some people that gives them no capacity whatsoever to appreciate how other people might feel? Or that those people have a right to hold whatever belief that they want to.

Australians are so ethnocentric. So many believe that their owns views and opinions are the only ones that matter. Feminists, Aborigines, non-Christians, gays, immigrants – to name a handful of groups as examples – hold different beliefs and people like John Howard have it set in their mind that those beliefs are inferior. Because John Howard finds nothing sexist in Abbott’s comments. he is quick to ridicule those people that do.

If someone were to tell me to “get a life” simply because I hold different values to them, well, I would find it very insulting. I can’t help but imagine how insulted feminists might feel after Howard’s public and much publicised outburst.

And naturally, The Daily Telegraph was quick to sink the boot in as well to those who were offended:

HAVEN’T we all had enough of the confected outrage over Tony Abbott’s attitude to women?

But the Hawker-Britton zombies were out of the gates at lightning speed yesterday to denounce the opposition leader for saying that his comely candidate in Lindsay, Fiona Scott, had “sex appeal”, among other attributes.

Renowned bearded feminist Kim Carr and Penny Wong were scathing.

Honestly. This sort of flim flam might play well on twitter and mummy blogs but in the real world it’s a joke. Especially in marginal western Sydney seats like Lindsay, where Abbott was speaking.

Disgraceful, isn’t it?

Mind you, I can’t disagree that much of the outraged might be confected, but I will maintain my outrage towards the people who criticise and ridicule those who ‘dare’ to hold values different to their own.

I’d like to say it’s un-Australian, but sadly, it’s not.

So many people mock Aborigines for not being as dark-skinned as they expect them to be. So many people mock immigrants who wear different clothes. So many don’t think gay people have the right to marry, and they mock them too. They mock feminists who fight for women’s rights in what is deemed a man’s world, and so on and so on.

Really, who needs to get a life?

John Howard tells people offended by Abbott to 'get a life'

Photo credit: the Australian Woman’s Weekly