Lessons from Lawsy
"The gap between being an outspoken woman and an opinionated man in this country is so wide, you’d be forgiven for thinking Don Draper was PM."
Charlotte Dawson and John Laws have a lot in common.
They’re both on the media frontline, they both like a tipple and they both have strong opinions.
However, while humourous memes were made of Laws sipping on a cocktail on 7.30 just imagine if Dawson was to do the same thing with a glass of Chardy in one hand, a pair of designer specs on her face and saying “who cares what [insert male commentator’s name here] has to say”?
Humorous memes appear to be making Laws more lovable. Source: memegenerator.net
The gap between being an outspoken woman and an opinionated man in this country is so wide at the moment, you’d be forgiven for thinking Don Draper was PM.
“Women are not highly valued in Australian culture. Since the appointment of Julia Gillard as Prime Minister there has been a wave of attacks against women,” Curtin University’s Professor of Cultural Studies, Jon Stratton, said.
Professor Stratton has found these attitudes exist within both his research and his lecture theatres where he says young female teachers have a significantly harder time than their male counterparts.
Charlotte Dawson was treated with vitriol when she opined recently - could she learn from Laws?
“The attacks on Charlotte Dawson are a part of this similar pattern. She is consistently told to become more like a man and ‘toughen up’.
“If [Laws] had been a woman there would now be a vitriolic outpouring against him - ‘how dare she appear on television without make up and not well dressed’, ‘how dare she come on television drinking’ and ‘why can’t she lose weight?’ would all be common trains of thought. However, Laws is not criticised for this, it makes him lovable,” he added.
Radio and TV presenter Carla Bignasca agrees with the academics about the perception of loud-mouths who just so happen to possess both ovaries and opinions.
“The attacks have most certainly increased because as women, we strive so hard to break through that glass ceiling which may force us to behave or conduct ourselves in order to fit into ‘the boys club’, unfortunately I believe that this has been the downfall,” the co-host of Canberra’s Mix 106.3 breakfast show said.
“Unfortunately in the media there exists a whole bunch of sexist Luddites unable to see that women can be powerful and have powerful jobs and not care what they look like if they wish.”
Dawson, as the acid-tongued media commentator, throws mud and the word “mole” around more than most and has been on the receiving end of many of jibe about Botox, weight gain and divorce.
More recently she’s been labeled a “bitch” for bagging out the birds of the AFL’s night of nights.
“They hated it. They really ragged us out in Melbourne. They were saying we were bullies and that I was unfit to host a TV show, it was full on, like really bad feedback and the Brownlow girls have said they are going to boycott it if we’re there again,” she said.
“It was pretty hard as it was my first gig going back there and then I got shit canned by all those footballer wives for being a bully.”
Was she really saying anything we wouldn’t have said in our own living rooms or muttered to ourselves?
Fast forward a week and Laws is now flying high on a wave of renewed popularity since flirting with Leigh Sales over a drink, sorry, interview in which the only interesting sound bite he offered was the clicking of ice cubes.
Both commentators then went on to appear on the Kyle & Jackie O Show this week.
Dawson used her segment to discuss the issue of bullying.
Laws asked co-host Jackie Henderson if she was wearing a dress and told her twice he “likes feminine women who just know their place in the world”.
Should Dawson rethink her approach to getting her point across and just channel Laws to protect herself against criticism? She’s done away with Twitter so what harm could some TV appearances sprinkled with comedy and no real comment do?
Bignasca thinks so.
“Anyone that appears on national television wearing a smoking robe, sipping from a brandy balloon and sitting ostentatiously in front of a vista that only the mega-rich can only afford is supremely confident in who they are and what their purpose is in life.
“We could all take a leaf out of his book and revel in our ability to ignore the haters and appear on TV like a complete loon.”