This week’s most pointless political drama comes to us courtesy of the upcoming Queensland state election. A profane tweet (but one that’s literally a Mean Girls quote) has been dredged up to paint a female Greens branch secretary as sexist ahead of polling day, and now it’s snowballed into a huge debacle.
Earlier in the week, it was reported that the Greens’ South Brisbane branch secretary had posted the following tweet back in September 15: “This party is the nastiest skank bitch I’ve ever met. DO NOT TRUST THEM. they are a fugly slut!!!!!”
The quote, taken almost directly from Mean Girls, was posted over a media comment from former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, who called the Greens “obsessed with themselves” and said they were “putting at risk out state’s economic recovery during a global economic downturn.”
The account itself is now private, but screenshots of the tweet are floating around.
It was a tweet parodying something the MP had said to the Courier Mail and it’s been taken out of context so many times now. There’s a reason the tweet didn’t even appear in the article – because in context, there’s no controversy. pic.twitter.com/brDLVjhxe3
— Sinéad Canning (@Sinead_Canning) October 11, 2020
It’s almost a word-for-word quote of the Mean Girls scene where Regina George pastes a photo of herself in the burn book.
The quote, when put in context, appears to parody Trad and refer to the Greens as the “fugly slut”, not Trad herself.
While a Greens spokesperson explained that the tweet was actually a pop culture reference rather than a sexist attack, Trad herself told the Brisbane Times the “origin of the quote isn’t the issue” and that it was still sexist and derogatory language.
Meanwhile retiring state Labor MP Kate Jones said the language was “a direct attack on Jackie Trad” and called on the branch secretary to be sacked. Keep in mind, it’s is an unpaid minute-taking roll.
Trad currently holds the seat of South Brisbane, but has faced increasing pressure from Greens candidate Amy MacMahon in past elections.
Everyone would agree it’s not the most professional thing to post online, but the quote’s now being used by Labor to paint the Greens member as sexist and abusive.
At best it’s an embarrassing misinterpretation, and at worst it’s a deliberate misconstruing of a movie quote that’s not even directed at Trad.
Even federal Labor MPs Terri Butler and Josh Burns have picked up the comments, with Butler calling on Queensland Senator Larissa Waters and Greens leader Adam Bandt to condemn the personal comments of a branch secretary in a state election campaign.
.@larissawaters there’s a few people defending this behaviour— your silence is emboldening them. Please make clear to your supporters that it is wrong to deploy this sort of language against women in politics. https://t.co/yBS0YvOrti— Terri Butler MP (@terrimbutler) October 11, 2020
I'm not sure what's worse, the nastiness directed at @jackietrad or the justification by the @Greens.— Josh Burns (@joshburnsmp) October 10, 2020
Doing politics differently…#auspolhttps://t.co/fp24t5Yezn
There’s nothing new about using candidates’ and staffers’ online posts as scandal fodder ahead of an election.
However, taking Mean Girls quotes out of context – rightly, if there’s such a thing, or wrongly – is certainly a new development.
More Stuff From PEDESTRIAN.TV
For The First Time In My Adult Life, I Actually Think A Progressive Australia Is Possible
It’s A ‘Greens-Slide’: Greens Celebrate Best Results In History And Massive Lower House Gains
The Top 6 Election Gossip Points Ya Need To Know Before Work On Monday
The Greens Have Picked Up Two (2!!!) Seats In Qld So Adam Bandt Will Finally Have Some M8s