I really loved the ‘60s and ‘70s when life
was so simple and you could slap a woman
on the butt and it was taken as a compliment,

not as sexual harassment (1) I think it is time for us
alpha males to stand up and refuse
to apologise for our gender (2)  Women are just

an interest group (3) You have got this bunch
of basically frustrated women who have decided
that if somebody is nude and she is on a poster,

well it’s offensive (4) Men should be trained for war,
women for the recreation of the warrior. All else
is folly. (5) What do you think you’re looking at,

sugar tits? (6) I will not be harassed by journalists,
even by pretty ones like you. Nick off (7) I don’t
have an adverse attitude to women, except

those who are bitches, including my ex-wife…
When she left me she took all the furniture
except the marriage bed. When I woke up in the morning

the first thought I had was, ‘Who’s going to get my breakfast?’ (8)

Melinda Smith



  1. Kirk Pengilly (former INXS band member), 2018
  2. Sen. David Leyonhjelm, during an appearance on Sky News’
    Outsiders program, interviewed by Rowan Dean and Ross
    Cameron, 1 July 2018.
  3. Mark Latham, Federal Labor MP, 2002. This and the quotes noted below are all public statements nominated for Ernie Awards for Sexist Behaviour ( in their respective years. Full details in The Ernies Book: 1000 Terrible Things Australian Men Have Said About Women (Meredith Burgmann and Yvette Andrews, Allen & Unwin 2007)
  4. Mark Patrick, Advertising Agent, 1997
  5. John Justice, President of the Campbelltown Branch of the Young Liberals, 1997
  6. Mel Gibson, actor, 2006
  7. Paul Keating, former Prime Minister, 2007
  8. John Phillips, Pensioner, 2002, who unsuccessfully sued the NSW Attorney General for harm inflicted on him by up to 100
    women in government departments.


Melinda Smith is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Goodbye, Cruel (Pitt St Poetry 2017) and Members Only (with artist Caren Florance, Recent Work Press 2017). She is a former winner of the Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award for poetry and her work has been widely anthologised and translated into multiple languages. She is based in the ACT and was poetry editor of The Canberra Times from 2015 to 2017.

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