How I wish this were satire: the Melbourne Uni Liberal Club is copping it after it’s emerged that president Xavier Boffa (whose name has apparently been lifted directly from a Fry & Laurie sketch) decided not to invite a female member to an event because, and I quote: “a couple of the guys were a bit uncomfortable about inviting a chick.”
Fairfax spoke to Boffa, who confirmed that he had sent the message in question to a female club member, but refused to comment further. Other members of the Liberal Club said that the event in question was held in November at a bar in the city, and only open to current and former club members.
The folks Fairfax spoke to appear to be a bit pissed off about this most recent spot of terrible publicity – but not particularly surprised:
“It’s a boys club and they don’t recruit female members. There is a bad culture at the club with how women are treated, they are sometimes referred to as token females.”
“The event this woman got excluded from would have been a perfect event to ingratiate themselves in the club and its alumni.”
Look, you can quibble over what counts as a wage gap and dismiss women’s lived experiences as frivolous if you really want, but please don’t attempt to defend a club president disinviting a female member of his own club because she might, somehow, make the menfolk “a bit uncomfortable“.
It’s indefensible, not just because it’s so appallingly sexist as to make Don Draper go “Jeez, that’s a bit much,” but because it’s astonishingly stupid. These are supposed to be our future political leaders (god help us); don’t they know anything about maintaining good public relations?
Moral of the story: for god’s sake, don’t join the Young Libs. A finer example of tedious, backwards nerdery there has never been.
Source: The Age.
Image: Getty / Nina Dermawan.