Conservative commentator Steve Price has accused left-wing columnist Van Badham of “being hysterical” while she passionately called for a change to men’s sexist attitudes toward women during a discussion about domestic violence.
During one of the most combative and argumentative Q&A programs in recent memory, Ms Badham condemned the “blokes culture”, which led to AFL commentators joking on-air about drowning journalist Caroline Wilson in June.
As Ms Badham tore into men who made those kinds of jokes, she arguably addressed Mr Price as one of them, which did not please the broadcaster.
“It’s one of the reasons why we have to look at the cultural attitudes around the different treatment of women and the disadvantaged treatment of women in our society, because what you see as jokes made by a bunch of blokes, you know, from the position of being one of those blokes is probably being in on some of those jokes,” she said.
Mr Price interjected: “I hope you’re not suggesting I have been in on one of those jokes.
“Don’t tar me with their brush, please … Don’t twist stories where you shouldn’t.
“Just because you’re a woman, you’re not the only one who can get upset. Men can be just as upset.
“I think you’re just being hysterical.”
That comment drew immediate disapproval from the audience, social media and the panel.
“It is probably my ovaries making me do it, Steve,” Ms Badham ironically responded.
The original questioner from the audience, whose sister died due to domestic violence, was also furious with Price.
Watch the terse exchange:
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) July 11, 2016
He wanted to know if the culture of men’s disrespect to women, perpetuated in the joke made by Eddie McGuire on Triple M in June, would be better addressed by politicians and the media.
The questioner, Tarang Chawla, said to Mr Price following his outburst: “Steve, I find some of the comments you made rather offensive considering that you’re essentially sticking up for people making misogynist comments and passing them off as banter.
“Do you not see yourself as having the ability to normalise views around gender equality, if so, how would you do that?”
Mr Price responded: “I was stating fact that they were having a joke and it got out of hand.
“We can go too far. I feel sorry for your personal circumstances, but we can go too far in taking someone like a media personality and stringing them up.
“Eddie McGuire apologised it should have been the end of the matter. I don’t think we needed to drag it further down the track once he did that.”
Shocked viewers expressed outrage at Price’s behaviour:
Steve Price: @vanbadham should stop being hysterical about violence again women
Australia responds: pic.twitter.com/w2ij63X7jp
— DarrenWheels (@DarrenWheels) July 11, 2016
Hello, I’m Steve Price. I’m small and angry and deprived of relevance, so now I’m going to say something controversial I don’t really mean.
— Rohan Connolly (@rohan_connolly) July 11, 2016
— Jenna Price (@JennaPrice) July 11, 2016
So good our taxpayer funded broadcaster gave Steve Price a platform thanks @QandA
— maddy (@maddydell) July 11, 2016
— Louise Milligan (@Milliganreports) July 11, 2016
— Nakkiah Lui (@nakkiahlui) July 11, 2016