“I would believe the Prime Minister’s condemnation of the obscene and demeaning Liberal fundraiser menu if she had shown equal outrage over a similar situation 18 months ago,” FamilyVoice research officer Ros Phillips said today.
“When Channel 7 first announced plans to broadcast a US program called Good Christian Bitches, many women – especially Christian women – were deeply upset. The words Christian bitches are at least as offensive as the Ditch the Witch signs Ms Gillard has complained about.”
Petitions were launched, gaining thousands of signatures. Seven was deluged with complaints, but initially claimed the title of its new series was justified because ‘bitch’ can have a positive meaning(!)
“I contacted the office of Kate Ellis, then federal Minister for the Status of Women, to ask her to speak up for women on this issue. No result,” Ros Phillips said.
“Ms Ellis was replaced by Julie Collins – who declined to take any personal action. Broadcasting minister Senator Conroy did not respond to our concerns. The only federal MP who responded positively was from the opposition – broadcasting spokesman Malcolm Turnbull, who took the trouble to contact Channel 7 on our behalf. He received the same non-committal response we did, but at least he tried.
“It was six months before the Australian Communications and Media Authority finally announced that the term ‘bitch’ was coarse language that could only be used in TV advertising after 8.30 pm. This would limit station promos, so Seven capitulated, changing the name to GCB.”
Mrs Phillips said the Gillard government seems highly selective in its sexism concerns. “Women want to believe you, Ms Gillard – but it’s getting harder,” she said.
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