Pauline Hanson‘s One Nation party is using a meme started by a 23-year-old Asian woman from Sydney’s western suburbs to fundraise, without giving either credit or financial compensation to the original creator.
In August, One Nation released a stubby holder reading “This one’s for the girls” alongside one which said “This one’s for the boys” and a third, enbyphobic one which mocked so-called “gender neutral wankers”.
The origin of this phrase is from a video of Hanson reeling in a big fish off the Sunshine Coast in 2016. That particular snippet from the video was first made into a meme by the ironic stan account Pauline Hanson Updates in May, 2019, after which it clocked over 170,000 views from its use as a reaction clip in queer circles.
“She’s said horrible things to many, many people, and obviously my friends and I making her into this camp queen was kind of a reclamation of sorts,” Celeste Dao, the creator of Pauline Hanson Updates, told PEDESTRIAN.TV.
— Pauline Hanson Updates (@paulinehupdates) May 10, 2019
Dao, a 23-year-old Vietnamese-Australian uni student and muso, is as far from a Pauline Hanson supporter as you could get.
In making her meme page, she meticulously scours footage of the Senator for awkward moments, similar to how a pop music stan might track their favourite artist’s every movement.
She said she finds it finds it “kind of ironic” that people are “profiting off a joke that an Asian girl from the western suburbs made in the first place.”
Two months later in July 2019, the clip was posted to the Miss Double Bay Instagram account (which has over 33,000 followers compared to 1,000 followers of Pauline Hanson Updates) with the caption: “Me when I order large fries for the table.”
The white, 25-year-old admin behind the page told P.TV that she found the meme through one of the Memebo Facebook groups, and hadn’t actually heard of the Pauline Hanson Updates account on Twitter.
The phrase has since become a bit of a catchphrase for Miss Double Bay, and the clip itself has been reshared in different contexts since then, such as with the Shooting Stars meme.
“She’s obviously seen how myself and other Aussie meme pages have turned it into this running joke and thinks she can join in,” the admin, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
“Like no, Pauline, we’re laughing at you, not with you hun.”
In August 2020 – roughly two years after the meme first blew up – the new stubby holders were announced on Hanson’s Instagram page.
“Inspired by @missdoublebay I’ve got some new stubby coolers about to come out,” the post read.
In the comments, there was a bit of a back-and-forth between Hanson’s office and Miss Double Bay, who ultimately responded by state she didn’t want to be associated with “a flaming racist.”
Hanson’s camp never did reach out to send anything to Miss Double Bay, and the admin confirmed to P.TV that they wouldn’t have accepted anything from her anyway.
A spokesperson for Hanson told P.TV that roughly 3,000 of the newly-released $7 stubby holders have been sold so far, but they weren’t able to provide a breakdown for the different slogans.
If we consider the other two slogans as derivates of the original quote, it’s not unreasonable to assume that One Nation potentially raked in tens of thousands of dollars off the meme.
“Instead of allowing herself to be bullied, Pauline takes ownership of the criticism and turns it back on the critics,” the Senator’s spokesperson added.
“Pauline also appreciates good satire and is prepared to embrace that too.”
This isn’t the first time Hanson – who infamously said Australia risked being “swamped by Asians” in her 1996 maiden speech – has made the news with her stubby holders, of all things.
Back in 2020, Hanson’s office sent out a bunch of stubby holders to residents inside the Melbourne public housing towers that were locked down right after she referred to them as “drug addicts” and “alcoholics” on TV.
Since 2019, the “This one’s for the girls” meme has taken on a life of its own as it’s travelled down the meme food chain from young (and mostly queer) people on Twitter to, well, One Nation staffers.
Dao said that while it’s understandable for Hanson to riff off a quote from her own video, it’s quite awkward that One Nation clearly had no idea who originated the meme. At the time of writing, Hanson’s official account still follow’s Dao’s ironic stan account on Twitter.
If you’re keen to have a further snoop around her painstakingly curated archive of Hansonisms, she suggested the following clip as a good starting point:
— Pauline Hanson Updates (@paulinehupdates) October 7, 2020
After years of hard work on the meme front, a bit of credit wouldn’t go astray.
Dao added: “I would be content if Pauline did credit me and send me a pack of stubby holders but life is life, hey.”