On Sunday morning’s Sunrise program Guardian Australia columnist, Van Badham, was verbally attacked as a selfish feminist leftist anarchist by former federal Labor leader, Mark Latham. He also accused her of not knowing anything about working class families and social equality.
In a perfect demonstration of how men talk over, at and for women, he and host Andrew O’Keefe argued loudly between themselves. Fellow conservative panelist, Miranda Devine, was also not able to get a word in for several minutes during the heated exchange.
Speaking about the gender statistics of university graduation, Latham suddenly veered off to make another attack on Badham.
“When you get away from Van’s debate about women like her… because left feminism is essentially selfish,” he ranted.
Having heard it all before, Badham met this with a great, sweeping eye roll. She paused briefly mid-roll, as if looking to the heavens for strength.
After multiple attempts, Badham managed to re-enter the debate to defend herself and tried to convince Latham that she was well aware of social inequality and gave the example of her latest column, “This election will be fought on class lines – not good news for Turnbull”.
However, Latham continued to chip away at her with snide interruptions.
“You’re trying to speak over us as ever,” he remarked, speaking over Badham.
“You know for a fact that I’m from a working class family from the suburbs of Sydney and I write about that in my work all the time,” she explained.
Sunrise co-host Angela Cox tried to calm the debate down by insisting that all personal attacks cease.
The debate did get back to discussing ideas such as female only train carriages and women only reserved parking spots. However, it descended into accusations again as Latham described what a female only train carriage would lead to.
“If you’re on the 11:30pm train out of the city, and there’s a womens’ only carriage, and you’re a bad bloke who wants to do damage, well, you go straight in,” he opined as Devine guffawed loudly.
Both men ended on a bad note with Latham telling O’Keefe to “get out of your limo” and to act like a “proper professional host” on next Sunday’s program.
Van Badham told NoFibs that she was the exact opposite of the high society persona Latham was trying to deride her as.
“I am very proudly state school, grew up in Sydney’s suburbs and was still working as a waitress five years ago,” she said.
“I am, in word and deed, a big bogan, and precisely the opposite of what Latham is trying to paint me as.”
The most heated moments of the debate:
The full fifteen minute discussion can be watched here:
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) April 30, 2016