It’s our responsibility to challenge any cultural suggestion that the performance of force or control against women is somehow ‘masculinity’
Victorian MP Tim Smith represents wealthy Kew, one of the most reliably conservative electorates in Australia. He thinks living under a democratic centre-left government is – somehow – “suffering”. Two years ago, I laid into Smith when he insisted that a feminist conspiracy was plotting to neuter Thomas the Tank Engine.
His reactionary positions on the weary theme of “political correctness gone mad” are those commonly echoed with far less subtlety among the rightwing social media mob. Smith’s hardly the kind of politician those people denounce as a “feminazi” or a “fag” – and two days ago, the rightwing social media mob denounced Smith as a “feminazi” and a “fag”.
Van Badham is a Guardian Australia columnist