Peter Dutton’s hair loss condition shows that looks are not relevant in politics

A vile comment comparing Peter Dutton to Lord Voldemort this week brought back many flashes to the dramatic Oscars slap – and shows we didn’t get any of it.

Earlier this week, Labor politician Tanya Plibersek said Peter Dutton, who appears to be the next Liberal Party leader, looked “a little like Voldemort”.

On the Brisbane radio 4 BCPlibersek said: “I think there will be many children who have watched many Harry Potter movies that will be very scared of what they see on TV at night, that’s for sure. “

It was a jab, an insult, and an under the belt remark that frankly reminded me of the kind of comment Giulia Gilard he had to put up with everyone from Alan Jones to Germaine Greer when he was Prime Minister. Remember when Greer said Gillard had a “fat ass?” Sure, insulting someone’s politics, but appearances should always be out of the question. Why? Because a person’s appearance reveals zero about a person.

In reaction to Plibersek’s frankly mean comments, dutton then revealed he had autoimmune alopecia, which made him early, which then, let’s face it, made Plibersek look like Chris Rock and Dutton a lot less responsive Will Smith. Flashback of Oscar slaps, anyone? Clearly, Plibersek didn’t get the reminder that people’s looks are not to be used as a joke.

Plibersek has since apologized, for Voldemort’s remark, and ours The Prime Minister Antonio Albanese denounced his comments. He said: “I think that in politics we must treat each other with respect.” But the general vibe in the air, and particularly on Twitter, is that what Plibersek said was funny.

I’ll be honest, as a Labor supporter and someone I’m not a fan of Dutton’s policy, I’m tempted to laugh together, but the truth is, making fun of someone’s appearance is never good. It’s cruel, rude and, let’s face it, totally irrelevant.

There is so much worth discussing about Dutton; Why should we let his looks eclipse the conversation? I’d rather hear Plibersek criticize his policies on refugees or the economy. Likewise, when Gillard was in charge of the country, I was frustrated that there was so much focus on what he was wearing rather than what he was doing, you know, as our real prime minister. Or even if you want to look farther overseas, I didn’t understand why Hillary Clinton’s trouser suits were so noteworthy: all of her male peers also wore suits and she didn’t make the news.

I think it is essential to recognize that these appearance-based blows are something that women politicians have always endured, and it is something that women politicians are constantly rallying against. Sure, maybe it’s refreshing to see a man having to endure the same kind of physical control, but ultimately that doesn’t make it right.

The reality is that it wasn’t good when I read a tweet calling Penny Wong too masculine, it was not good when Julia Gillard’s body shape was considered worthy of criticism, and it was not good when Julie Bishop’s love was seen. for heels as indicative of his inability to lead the country.

I grew up in a country where the appearance of political women was torn apart, mocked and eventually used to undermine them, and I hated every second of it.

The truth is that none of us can choose how we look, but we can choose how we behave or which policy to push or which policies to support. If women in politics start hurling the same kinds of insults at men, it only gives men the power to continue commenting on women’s bodies and appearing in disguise that everyone is doing it.

Michelle Obama said: “When they go low, we go high”. It is important that women do not resort to the same bullying tactics employed by men in politics.

Mary Madigan is a freelance writer

Originally published as “Peter Dutton’s insult to Plibersek’s” Voldemort “shows the ugly side of politics”