Courtney Act challenges the logic of Senator Bridget McKenzie

Drag star Courtney Act has questioned Senator Bridget McKenzie’s logic on the latest edition of the ABC’s Q+A program.

During a discussion on how female politicians appear to be held to a higher level of standards than male politicians the conversation rolled around to the belief that women should support each other on key issues regardless of their political beliefs.

“If you want to stand up and be loud and proud about women’s rights and be a feminist in this space you better be a feminist and stand up for all women, and that includes women’s whose beliefs you don’t agree with – like Nicole Flint, like Amanda Stoker, like me sometimes, because we should be I think about galvanising about the things that unite us, rather than again dividing, because then women end up losing.

Courtney Act quickly pointed out that McKenzie’s senate colleague Amanda Stoker was not someone who stood up for all women.

“Amanda Stoker doesn’t stand up for all women though does she, she has an anti-trans petition.” Courtney Act responded.

“But Courtney – that’s the whole point,” McKenzie responded. “Women are diverse, as are any other cohort in this country, and you can’t say that we only stand up for the women we agree with us, you have to stand up for all women. So I would be standing up with my Labor colleagues in the senate against sexual violence against women irregardless if they’re a card-carrying member of The Greens, whether its Pauline Hanson and One Nation.”

“But not if they’re trans women.” Courtney Act interjected. “Amanda Stoker has an anti-transgender petition.”

“Well I’m not Amanda Stoker.” McKenzie said. “I’m Bridget McKenzie, and I’m here saying that only people who miss out when we politicise this are women.”

Senator Stoker’s views on transgender women have been called into question since she was appointed to the position of Assistant Minister for Women in the recent cabinet shuffle.

Following her appointment Senator Stoker undertook several media interviews in print, radio and television where she described her desire to give a voice to “normal women” in Australia.

Appearing on Ben Fordham’s show on Sydney radio station 2GB Senator Stoker said “normal women – for want of a better term” were going about getting their work done, thinking about paying their bills, and raising their kids and making sure they were getting what they needed out of school and education.

“When I’m at the school gate, I find women with the full spectrum of person experience, from women on the career and leadership path who want to now nothing is closed to them, to women who are equally smart and capable who have made the decision that they want to focus on leadership in their families and communities.” Senator Stoker said noting that the government had a obligation to represent the “full range of women’s experience.”

Senator Stoker repeated her description of the school drop off, as a location that features the diversity of Australian women, when he appeared on the Sky News program Credlin later in day. Critics have suggested that Senator Stoker might need to look further than the school gate to find the “full spectrum of experience” of women in Australia.

OIP Staff


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