Q: You're a politician. When asked about the positive traits of another politician running for office, you answer that the person in question:
A) Is intelligent and driven B) Is qualified for the job C) Is passionate about the issues D) Has sex appeal
Did you choose answers A, B, or C? Good for you! Not so good for Australian member of the House of Representatives and liberal opposition leader Tony Abbott, who chose D when discussing Fiona Scott, a liberal candidate running for a seat from New South Wales. Here's what he said when comparing Scott to Jackie Kelly, the former liberal MP for the seat:
"They're both good, young, feisty — I think I could probably say have a bit of sex appeal — and are just very connected to the local community,"
Abbott's been accused of sexism and misogyny before — Remember prime minister Julia Gillard's vehement smackdown of Abbott that went viral last year?— and these recent comments are drawing additional fire in Australia. A spokesperson for the Australian Liberal Party said Abbott's comments were "entirely a matter for him." (I don't know what that means). Abbott himself said his comments were "a bit exuberant." (Again, I don't know what that means, especially in the context of an obviously sexist remark).
Scott herself, who was present when Abbott praised her "sex appeal" apparently laughed the comments off. I don't think I would have the grace to do so, especially if I were running for a political office. I understand that Scott and Abbott share a party, but if I were trying to gain a position of political power in my country, I think I'd be pretty offended to have my qualifications reduced to "good, young, feisty."