The Spectator on Hanson-Young: “You Don’t Win A Debate With Your Boobs Hanging Out”


The online version of Spectator Australia has posted an article this afternoon featuring a cropped image of Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (removing her head and zeroing in on her breasts) under the headline ‘Sarah Hanson-Young’s credibility gap’.

The story was apparently in response to a searing speech by Ms Hanson-Young in parliament yesterday about sexism and misogyny. In it she calls out some of her male colleagues, including Senators Fraser Anning, David Leyonhjelm, Barry O’Sullivan and Cory Bernardi.

The text of the brief Spectator ‘article’ reads: “Watching Question Time and ABC analysis and wanting to pull my eyes out. If SHY wants to be taken seriously why is she wearing a dress in the Senate that looks like she’s on her way to a Christmas party?

“Any woman with anything upstairs knows you don’t win a debate with your boobs hanging out.”

It’s not entirely clear who wrote the article – Sky News commentator and Financial Review and Courier Mail columnist Rowan Dean is listed as the publication’s editor, and the only staff member. The site does list an online editor, known simply as “Flat White”, but that’s also the name of a section in the magazine. New Matilda has written to Mr Dean asking him to clarify the author of the article. We’ll let you know if he responds (UPDATE: See below).

For his part, Dean – one of the more extreme conservatives in the mainstream media landscape – did, until recently, co-host a program on Sky News called The Outsiders with another extremist, former Liberal Party MP Ross Cameron.

We say ‘until recently’ because Cameron was sacked in early November after describing Chinese people as “slanty-eyed” during a discussion in which, ironically, he was lauding Chinese culture.

Sky’s ‘The Outsiders’ has had a difficult run when it comes to hosts – Mark Latham was sacked from the program last year, after speculating that a school student involved in a campaign in support of International Women’s Day was “gay”.


* UPDATE: The offending story has been removed from The Spectator’s website, following this story being published in New Matilda. Also, Mr Dean has responded to questions from New Matilda, claiming that he’s NOT the online editor known as ‘Flat White’. However, Mr Dean did not answer specific questions about whether or not he was the author of the article, nor has he yet disclosed who ‘Flat White’ is. We’ll keep you posted….

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.