Australia’s male PM gave a perfect demonstration of misogyny in politics when he interrupted a female colleague who was talking about... misogyny in politics.
Before we go any further, some context is required to illuminate what is possibly the most Australian-sounding political scandal of recent times.
Its name? The “Bonk Ban”, obviously.
The Bonk Ban was a ban on sexual relationships between Australian ministers and their staff, following an affair between then-deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and a former worker.
The scandal caused a political storm and led to Joyce’s resignation. The Bonk Ban was implemented in an attempt to rein in the behaviour of what was a succession of toxic and highly chauvinistic governments.
It was in this context that the following conversation occurred between a reporter, families minister Anne Ruston, and Australian PM Scott Morrison.
Reporter: “Miss Ruston, can I ask you, as a woman in the government, your reflections on the culture inside? Has it got better, worse or no change since the ‘bonk ban’ era?
Ruston: “Well Phil, the only thing I can....”
Morrison: “Can I just stop you there. How this ban is referred to is quite dismissive of of the seriousness of the issue,” he said as he dismissively interrupted the serious issue Ruston was about to address.
Twenty seconds later, Morrison did finally hand the mic back to Ruston, who continued: “Well, I can only reflect on my own experience since I’ve been in this place since 2012, and I have to say I have always felt wholly supported while I’ve been here.
“And I particularly note that, since becoming a member of the cabinet, [...] there’s nobody that’s shown me greater support and shown greater respect towards me as an individual than the prime minister.”