Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese have faced off on primetime television, with the debate going as well as anyone could have expected.
It all started to fall apart for the Prime Minister and Opposition leader when journalist Deb Knight asked the leaders one very straight forward but also sort-of curly question: "How do you define a woman?"
Albanese responded with: "An adult female."
Morrison ‘shussing’ the female moderator Sarah Abo, turning his back whilst putting his hand up to her is classic Morrison— DarrenWheels (@DarrenWheels) May 8, 2022
He doesn’t ‘have’ a women problem, he IS the women problem#60Mins #auspol #LeadersDebate pic.twitter.com/wkS8s9nSEw
The Prime Minister said: "A member of the female sex."
Knight tried to press the pair on gender and identity, before landing a few brutal blows on the Prime Minister and his track record with the female population.
"Prime Minister, do you have a problem appealing to women, do you think?" she asked Morrison.
He responded by listing off statistics on domestic violence and government funding for women's health - some of which was only announced a month ago, with an election looming.
But the Prime Minister was then pressed on whether he thinks the issue of women's treatment in parliament has been fixed.
Jizzing on desks.— Van Badham (@vanbadham) May 8, 2022
Alleged rape in a senator’s office.
Alan Tudge allegations.
Christian Porter allegations.
“Do you think you have a problem appealing to women, Scott Morrison?”#leadersdebate
"No I don't believe it has been resolved," the Prime Minister said.
But it wasn't just a classic Scott Morrison pile-on; Albanese was also questioned as to why he wouldn't investigate allegations of bullying of the late senator Kimberley Kitching.
The Labor leader described her death as a 'tragedy', adding that his party would implement the recommendations handed down in the Kate Jenkins [email protected] report to improve safety for women at work.
With polls opening for early voting as of today (May 9), the safety net has been pulled out from underneath the two leaders.
This may explain why it didn't take long for the leadership debate to descend into chaos, with the two men shouting over each and ignoring host Sarah Abo as she tried to stop the pair from taking swipes at each other.
Morrison stumbles badly as he starts to talk about the murder of women in domestic violence, then mentions wife Jenny, then stumbles as he pivots to talking about IVF. Clueless. 😠#60Mins #LeadersDebate#ausvotes #auspol— Peter Murphy (@PeterWMurphy1) May 8, 2022
The pair also battled it out over China, Medicare, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and the economy.
It was hard to tell who had won over the female voters on the night, with the Leader's Debate criticised heavily for being a hot mess.
Over the years, Scott Morrison has been repeatedly criticised for his handling of women’s issues.
Throughout his tenure as Prime Minister he has failed to act on sex and rape claims in parliament, and referred to his wife Jenny for helping him put the issue into perspective for him.
In February 2021, Morrison told reporters he had spoken to his wife about an alleged rape at Parliament House in 2019.
"She said to me, ‘You have to think about this as a father first. What would you want to happen if it were our girls?'
Why is it that Scott Morrison can never answer any question about women without mentioning Jenny #leadersdebate— Michele O'Neil (@MicheleONeilAU) May 8, 2022
"Jenny has a way of clarifying things; she always has," news.com.au reported.
While seeking clarity our sound-boarding work ideas off friends or family can be a useful tool in the workplace, many women took the PM’s admission as rape needing to be explained to him.
Meanwhile, back in a more recent period in 2022, Anthony Albanese has vowed to close the gender pay gap if Labor wins the federal election on May 21.
The politician also noted that while female workers had a ‘tough’ few years due to the pandemic, he pledged to improve their working conditions and increase pay.
Featured Image Credit: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo. ManWithaCamera Melbourne / Alamy Stock Photo
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