Big part of problem is type of man attracted to politics

Big part of problem is type of man attracted to politics. By David Penberthy, husband of Kate Ellis, a politician who returned after a few years in politics and writing a book about sex problems in Canberra politics.

Part of the problem, I believe, is the type of man who is attracted to politics. Most politicians are well-adjusted people with a commitment to public service.

But there is an over-representation in politics of people who can fairly be described as weirdos, male weirdos, be they trade union bovver boys in Labor who can’t get through a sentence without calling someone a c..t, or the Young Liberals who stammer when talking to girls. There is a recently cleaned desk in Parliament House that proves my point. …

The thing that should concern us all is that sane people who would otherwise have much to contribute will be repulsed by the toxicity of it all, as the recent and regrettable departure of Nicolle Flint confirmed. For women, the rumours and abuse they endure are different from those faced by men, in that they are so sexualised. For all the flak John Howard and Kevin Rudd attracted, I am pretty sure they never faced stories that went to their reproductive capacity nor, heaven forbid, their apparent decision to have themselves vajazzled [a practice whereby the ladyfolk decorate their private parts with gaily coloured rhinestones] for the Midwinter Ball.