Messed Up Things That Have Been Said To Our Female Politicians

The sexist comments and actions towards Australia's female politicians.

'Stop shagging men'.

Those words were said to Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young by fellow politician David Leyonhjelm in parliament.

Then on Sky News' program Outsiders on Sunday, an on-screen tag line read "Sarah Hanson-Young is known for liking men. The rumours about her in parliament are well known" during a segment involving Senator Leyonhjelm.

These comments are nothing new or even as shocking as they should be given the vitriol female politicians have had to deal with, simply by being in politics.

Hanson-Young has said she would be seeking legal advice following "reprehensible" comments made by Leyonhjelm.

Let's take a look back on some of the more disgusting, forgotten and more memorable sexist comments and behavior made about or towards our female politicians, many from fellow politicians.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard. Photo: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Julia Gillard 2013

During a Liberal Party dinner our then Prime Minister was reduced to a menu based on her looks.

Items included a 'Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail- Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box'.

Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong. Photo: AAP

Penny Wong 2011

In the midst of a Senate hearing, then-Finance Minister Penny Wong was meowed at after asking for interruptions to cease.

Then Liberal Senator David Bushby meowed at her.

Joan Kirner, Former Victorian Premier. Photo: AAPwomen

Joan Kirner 1990s

You may not remember her, but you should.  Kirner was Victoria's Premier from 1990-92.

She was mocked by the media and often portrayed in polka-dot dresses by cartoonists. She was portrayed as a 'harassed housewife' not as a Premier. So much emphasis was put on her look that she was called 'Spot on Joan'. 

Just five years ago Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, spoke about sexism within her own party.

“It was pretty lonely. I would be sitting in a cabinet with 19 men and me,” she said when speaking at the Women’s Weekly Women of the Future event in 2013.

"Halfway around the room, a guy will say exactly what I said. Exactly my idea, exactly my initiative, and the others will say ‘Brilliant, what a genius idea’.” Bishop told the audience.

Hanson-Young has said she would be seeking legal advice following "reprehensible" comments made by Leyonhjelm.

rhabib@networkten.com.au