Conservative commentator Steve Price has refused to concede he demeaned a female columnist while she spoke about domestic violence on Monday night’s Q&A program.
On Monday, Price accused left-wing columnist Van Badham of being “hysterical”, as she answered a question about correlations between men casually demeaning women and Australia’s domestic violence problem.
But on Tuesday evening, Price appeared as a guest on Channel 10’s The Project – where he regularly features as a panelist – and told host Waleed Aly he would not accept he acted inappropriately.
“Do you accept it’s an inappropriate way to respond to a woman who is speaking, particularly when they’re talking about attitudes prevalent in society and in media that belittle women and limit their ability to speak?,” Aly asked.
Price responded: “No, I don’t.”
Prior to that response, Price claimed he was “ambushed” during Q&A, that he was “an easy target” for women displeased with men and that Ms Badham “had clearly an objective to make me the bad guy”.
During Q&A, Ms Badham seemed to take offence at Price’s response, where he defended Eddie McGuire who joked about drowning prominent AFL journalist Caroline Wilson on Melbourne radio in early June.
Price then became offended with Ms Badham, because he believed she accused him of being a man who would make a joke like McGuire’s.
Price’s response instantly outraged the audience and he was subsequently slammed by media and the public on Tuesday.
The “drowning” saga had been brought up by audience member Tarang Chawla, who asked what politicians and the media would do to eradicate men’s casual demeaning of women in a society riddled by domestic violence.
Mr Chawla’s sister was killed by her partner, he told the panel.
‘I’d use the same word again’
Price refused to accept that “hysterical” was an inappropriate word even when Aly told him about its 4000-year history as demeaning to women.
He then said “I would have used the same word about you or Carrie [Bickmore]”, Aly’s co-host.
Previously, Bickmore said she was “surprised” that Price had defended McGuire and not even acknowledged the questioner’s loss.
“The second chance you had the opportunity to acknowledge this man and his experience you still brought it back to defending Eddie,” Bickmore said. “I think the issue is this is not about Eddie or you and that’s the point she was trying to make”.
Price defended his record of advocacy against domestic violence, and said he was going to meet with Mr Chawla and the Victorian Minister for Family Violence in the coming days.
However, Price still stuck by his actions on Monday.
“I will describe things as I see them. I don’t need to make judgements about whether it’s a man or a woman,” he said. “If that’s the way the person is acting I’ll call it out every time. I don’t need to change my behaviour in that area.
“I won’t be verballed by an aggressive woman sitting next to me that thinks you can only be upset by domestic violence if you’re female.
“That was the point I was making. Men can be just as upset about this as anybody else.”
Watch the interview:
— #TheProjectTV (@theprojecttv) July 12, 2016