It’s the best time of the year, my friends: the annual Ernie Awards for Sexist Remarks have been handed out once again, and it’s yet again another 12 months of utterly fucked stuff being said publicly by people (read: mostly men) in positions of power in Australia.
Over the last year, huge conversations around sexual harassment and workplace sexism have exploded with young icons like Brittany Higgins, Grace Tame, and Chantel Contos putting the pressure on for things to change. Sadly, but not surprisingly, that also brought on some commentary from full-blown idiots with the privilege of a platform, landing them with a prime nomination in this year’s satirical awards.
After taking out the Political Silver Ernie back in 2019, Scott Morrison came back in red hot this year with three (3) nominations for the Gold Ernie, which may actually mean he’s now overtaken Mark Latham as the frontrunner for the awards this year.
Interestingly, Kyle Sandilands landed himself a nomination for the Good Ernie – awarded to “boys behaving better” – for objecting to NSW Premier Dom Perrottet‘s opposition of same-sex marriage and abortion right to his face.
Without further ado, here are your winners (read: losers) of the 29th Ernie Awards, so please prepare yourselves as your eyes may just fall out of your head from rolling too hard.
Political Silver Ernie
UPDATE October 26: This year’s award was re-awarded to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, also landing him the coveted Gold Ernie for 2021. Congrats, you half-sprouted chia pet.
Celebrity / Clerical Silver Ernie
In a rare turn of events, this one was a dead heat between two parties – the Dean of Science and Engineering at Macquarie University, and a Christian grammar school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Sharing this year’s Silver Ernie is Professor Magnus Nyden, who doesn’t think there should be more women in sciences, because “a woman is biologically wired to be more concerned about people, and men about things”.
And St Luke’s Grammar School, for asking its male students to choose the qualities they would look for in a girl which gave more points for virginity, looks and strong Christian values than for generosity and adventurousness.
The female students were given articles on the importance of virginity and how Satan provided opportunities for fleeting sexual encounters. Christ alive.
Judicial Siver Ernie
Awarded this year to Judge Robert Sutherland of the NSW District Court for wishing “good luck” to former Knox Grammar student Nicholas Drummond after he punched a woman in the face in September.
He also said Nicholas made “a lewd and completely inappropriate remark towards someone he didn’t know but whose dress might have been perceived by a former student of Knox to be provocative.”
Industrial Silver Ernie
Chief of Defence, General Angus Campbell, took out the gong in this category for telling incoming female ADFA cadets, they should avoid making themselves prey to sexual predators by being aware of the “four A’s – alcohol, out after midnight, alone and attractive”.
Media Silver Ernie
South Australian radio host, Jeremy Cordeaux, was handed the Media Ernie this year for commenting on the Brittany Higgins allegations by saying: “I just ask myself why the Prime Minister doesn’t call it out for what it is – a silly little girl who got drunk.”
The Warney (For Sport)
Taken out this year by Canberra Raiders coach Ricky Stuart, who said that if he can’t have tough conversations with his better players, “I might as well coach netball.”
The Elaine (For Remarks Least Helpful To The Sisterhood)
Another tied award this year, with the judging panel finding themselves stuck between the Minister for Defence, and the federal Liberal Party’s Vice President.
Taking out either side of the Elaine crown this year was Senator Linda Reynolds, for calling Brittany Higgins a “lying cow”, and Teena McQueen (the Liberal’s VP) who commented in a meeting that she would “kill to be sexually harassed at the moment.”
The Good Ernie (For Boys Behaving Better)
Our third dual winner of the year, which feels like a real hat trick at this point, is split between a Liberal MP, and an ABC Sport reporter (not Tony Armstrong, put it away).
This year’s two very good boys are Lib MP Russell Broadbent, who asked the Prime Minister to create a national gathering of women and that all cabinet submissions, new policies, and legislation have a gender impact statement. He stressed that politicians “need to be quiet, listen, and learn”.
Joining Russ is Richard Hinds who, when talking about Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle, said “I’m 100% certain women in power are still held to a much higher account than men.”
Atta boys, you give us all a bit of hope.
The Trump (For Repeat Offenders)
While it’s been a quiet year for Mark Latham who really used to clean up in the Repeat Offenders category, it’s our own Prime Minister who’s taken out the gong with three (3) entries this year.
First, for saying “Not far from here, such marches, even now, are being met with bullets, but not here in this country” during Question Time, when talking about the Women’s March4Justice.
Second, after Brittany Higgins made her public allegations of rape within Parliament House, said he spoke with wife Jenny Morrison, who said he “had to think about this as a father first.”
“What would you do if it were our girls?” he said she told him. “Jenny has a way of clarifying things”
And finally, after Grace Tame gave her speech at the Australia of the Year ceremony where she detailed her harrowing experience of child sexual abuse, he quipped “Well, gee, I bet it felt good to get that out.”
Congratulations to all these Ernie Awards winners and/or losers, thanks for setting the bar so bloody low for yet another year.