Happy Birthday Julia Gillard – Here’s Some Bogan Trash

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#auspol #ausmedia @juliagillard

Are you ready, dear readers? This is what the Tony Abbott/Rupert Murdoch/Alan Jones led politics of today have created, justified and fostered in the Australian public. This is what the scum of society fap over in the absence of real love and joy. This is a slap in the face to a politician who, love her or hate her managed to implement incredible progressive change that serves all of humanity while clinging to power within a hung parliament.

Happy birthday Julia Gillard. Despite the emotive power of this post, hopefully you will be warmed knowing that those that despise you are no more than the bottom feeders of a society which is built on fear. Those with half a brain appreciate much of what you have done and stood for.

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Vibewire: Enter at Your Own Risk: Misogyny, Politics and the Australian Boys’ Club

Above Image Credit: 1llustr4t0r.com

July 2, 2013
By Marie Bellino

When I grow up I want to be a pop star. If a pretty young girl uttered these words, few would question her career choice, as it’s perfectly acceptable to pursue an occupation that capitalises on her physical beauty.

Conversely, if another girl proclaimed: When I grow up I want to be the Prime Minister, her statement would probably provoke looks of bemusement or mockery, considering ‘saviour’ Rudd’s return as leader of the Labor party.

It is only in recent history that an Australian woman has assumed this role of great national importance, but it is an unenviable spotlight to be in since it invites its fair share of controversy and disdain. As a journalist wryly observed in the UK Guardian, the “slaying” expected by women who dare occupy high office in Australia, is comparable to the impending doom of a “recently-deflowered teenage girl at an abandoned summer camp in a horror movie.”

There’s no escaping the unflinching criticism directed at women who take on influential positions traditionally held by members of the exclusive ‘boys’ club.’ Recent events in politics and the Australian Defence Force highlight the imbalance of power that threatens to derail women’s continued progress in Australian society.

Australia was once synonymous with Crocodile Dundee, Sunday barbies and a fiery Kiwi thespian we like to claim as our own, until that speech; an unexpected, explosive commentary on misogyny in Australian politics, delivered by none other than Prime Minister of the time, Julia Gillard.

The impassioned speech attracted thunderous applause from women around the globe, as Gillard challenged Tony Abbott and his party’s attitude towards women and disrespect for her leadership role. She recalled an interviewer’s question about the under-representation of women in institutions of power, to which Abbott replied: “what if men are by physiology or temperament, more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?” His comments suggested gender equality in leadership positions was of no consequence, and by extension, underhandedly questioned Gillard’s suitability for the top job.

Image Credit: Troy Constable Photography

Every time Abbott undermined Gillard’s authority as a woman, the nation experienced a dangerous flashback to the 1950’s, when women’s rights were suppressed by dominant patriarchal values, and work life was largely an extension of their role in the domestic sphere. Mid twentieth century mores have no place in 2013 politics, yet degrading, female archetypes are still a part of everyday vocabulary. Who can forget Gillard’s disgust when Abbott stood next to signs outside Parliament that characterised her as a “witch” and “man’s bitch?” His sentiments were bolstered by outspoken talkback host, Alan Jones, who has been given a substantial platform to espouse misogynistic ideals, once implying Gillard needed to be silenced by “putting her into a chaff bag and hoisting her into the Tasman Sea.” But there was no greater blow than Jones’ personal attack at a Liberal party function, when he attributed Gillard’s father’s passing to “shame” over his daughter’s questionable leadership. Abbott later played tag team with Jones, echoing his stinging remarks in Parliament.

Julia was the butt of many a Liberal party joke during her leadership; the most juvenile being an LNP donor’s unsavoury ‘mock’ menu for a party fundraiser, which crudely likened her body to a “Kentucky fried quail.” Whether or not Liberal MPs were aware of the menu, the restaurateur’s description of the incident as a “light-hearted” joke intended for him and his son reveals the inherent sexism in Australian society, which reduces intelligent, capable women to mere bodies exposed to harsh judgment and ridicule. Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the blatant objectification of women continues in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The effect on victims of this gross violation is no laughing matter.

Women in the Australian Defence Force Image Credit: MATEUS_27:24&25

The recent scandal involving the circulation of emails containing degrading, explicit images of female ADF members and others, along with offensive commentary, has rocked the foundations of the institution. According to Chief of Army Lieutenant-General David Morrison, the seriousness of the incident surpasses the 2011 ADFA “Skype scandal.” Three officers have been suspended, while more than 100 other personnel appear to have had some connection to the incident. What makes it particularly problematic besides the sheer number of people involved, including high ranking leaders, is the conniving way the details were disseminated. Lewd material was not only distributed across Defence computer systems, but also over the internet for millions of people to view and scrutinise, thereby exacerbating the humiliation. The act sends the message that women don’t belong in the army, and objectification is acceptable.

The dark side of machismo has long cast a shadow over the male dominated ADF. Dr Ben Wadham, a former infantry soldier, received death threats after leaking denigrating comments on the RAR buddies Facebook page, which described all women as “filthy, lying whores.” Similar pages created by members of the Australian army have emerged. Despite the obscene behaviour of the culprits, these beliefs are not formed in a vacuum. Identifying their employer and posting photos of themselves in official uniform connotes pride in their actions, alluding to the normalisation of misogynistic beliefs in army life. Wadham affirms sexism is a major characteristic of the culture, revealing details of a 1990’s book published out of the ADFA known as the Lexicon of Cadet Language, which included roughly 200 derogatory terms for women. Although initiatives have been implemented to address inequality in the Force since the publication was released, recent events demand a more systematic approach to stamp out misogynistic views entrenched in army culture.

A deep-seated patriarchal belief that women play the supporting role, rather than the protagonist in the public domain is at the heart of the gender power imbalance. According to the 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership, Australia has the lowest percentage of women in top executive positions compared to countries with a similar corporate structure like New Zealand and the United States. Dr Jennifer Whelan, Research Fellow at the Melbourne Business School, attributes the slow progress to a common view that “gender diversity and inclusion” is not a “crucial bottom line endeavour.” Women’s voices are often drowned out by the supposed authority of their male counterparts.

Destroy the Joint, an anti-sexism organisation, garnered attention for their commentary on Gillard and Morrison’s exposure of the culture of misogyny in politics and the ADF. They maintain that Gillard was “mocked and trivialised” in Australia, while Morrison was “hailed a hero.” The great divide between two leaders’ essentially congruent messages about gender inequality reiterates the rational man/emotional woman dichotomy, which attributes women’s words and actions to feeling, rather than logic and intellect, thereby questioning their validity. The dismissal of her concerns as emotional rhetoric suggests it takes a man in a leadership position to render it a legitimate issue.

Misogyny will continue to infiltrate social institutions as long as we turn a blind eye to it. As Morrison asserts, “the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” Despite the controversy that marred her leadership, Julia Gillard’s fierce conviction and drive as PM will facilitate the empowerment of aspiring female politicians to come. The leaders of this country have a responsibility to take a stand against misogynistic values and practices as she did, raising the level of respect for women and supporting their integral place in the public domain. On a micro level, families and educational institutions have the ability to instill confidence in young women, thereby teaching them self-worth.

Goddess Graduates is an initiative that empowers female university graduates entering the workplace. It aims to shift restrictive thought patterns and foster trust in their abilities, which its founder, Lisa Camille Robertson, identifies as a major inhibiting factor for women pursuing leadership positions. The workshop will be taught throughout 11 universities in NSW and include a mentorship program, equipping women with the resources required to achieve their career goals.

It is high time we started focusing on the quality of the contribution we make to society, rather than the combination of chromosomes that partly constitute our DNA. Equality is crucial to the prosperity and health of the nation. It is every woman’s right to aim high without fearing her safety or dignity will be jeopardised. The glass ceiling only exists if we allow it to. It is time to destroy it.

Source

Gunsmoke (and mirrors) on Twitter

Recent violent crimes, particularly those committed  against women, have excited the small but aspirational  gun-loving community. Take this exchange on Twitter for instance between two people we will call Gunna, who is a fervent gun fancier, and T, his target.

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Now y’all just hang on a minute Gunna. Surely the maintenance of  liberty and protection primarily lies with the judiciary and the police.

And it is about feminism because in stranger rapes it is overwhelmingly women who are set upon and sexually assaulted by predatory men.

In fact Gunna’s desire to be able to own and carry weapons would not have done one thing to protect Jill Meagher from her attacker. But a better probation and parole system would have ensured a dangerous predator like Adrian Bayley was not allowed onto the streets.

Gunna’s attitude to women

Gunna was rather peeved with author and commentator Anne Summers after her appearance on the ABC’s Q&A.  So no doubt lovingly clutching his hard shiny weapon, he decided that the “remedy” for her was…you guessed it.

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Gunna may care to note that Summers has lived happily with a man for over 20 years so does not require his advice. She does not require his advice anyway.

So Gunna STFU.

But then again Gunna does have his tools to play with.

Now here he is probing into T’s personal life. He suggests an online dating site, an activity with which he is obviously very familiar. That is usually what certain men on social media do when they are losing the argument.

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When Nigella Lawson was allegedly assaulted by her husband Charles Saatchi

Gunna decided to put the Shadow Minister for Communications, a high-profile politician, barrister and millionaire, in his place.

After all Gunna is such a roaring success because he spends hours on Twitter, and is a renowned expert on women.

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Hates refugees and asylum seekers

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Capitalises on the tragic murder of Jill Meagher to score points

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Gunna happily boast he is a former engineer, implies he is married, and states that he has represented Australia in shooting events.

We only have his word for all this.

He is also a climate change denier. Funny how all the far right obsessions seem to coalesce in him. Gun-lovers tend to be a bit like that. Just look at the Shooters & Fishers.

You can catch Gunna if you are really all that interested, or at his blog here

We think we know what ails him.

Unlikely feminist hero: Army chief’s video message draws plaudits

canberratimesnationaltimes

June 14, 2013 – 11:32AM

Rachel Olding

Reporter

In full: Army chief's scathing warning
 Chief of Army David Morrison sends a stern warning to Australia's armed forces on Thursday regarding unacceptable behaviour.

His organisation is in the midst of yet another internet sex scandal but the Chief of Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, has emerged as the unlikely poster boy for feminism.

If that does not suit you then get out

Following revelations of further “demeaning, explicit and profane” behaviour by his army members, the tough-talking army chief released a powerful video message on Thursday night telling defence members who degrade women: “We don’t want you.”

Steely stare: Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The three-minute “smack down” has earned him the tag of “feminist hero” on social media and even suggestions that he should run for prime minister.

With a steely death stare, General Morrison vowed to ruthlessly rid the army of sexist men and told defence members to “find something else to do with your life” if they couldn’t uphold the values of the organisation.

“No one has ever explained to me how the exploitation or degradation of others enhances capability or honours the traditions of the Australian Army,” he says in the video posted on the Department of Defence website.

“Those who think that it is OK to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have no place in this army.”

“On all operations, female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian Army. They are vital to us maintaining our capability now and into the future.

“If that does not suit you then get out. You may find another employer where your attitude and behaviour is acceptable but I doubt it.”

The video was posted on YouTube, where it quickly amassed thousands of views and more than 300 comments.

It followed a week of accusations of misogyny, including an attack by Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the Coalition’s ranks of “men in blue ties”, the emergence of a menu comparing Ms Gillard’s body to a cooked quail and the suspension of a Perth radio host who repeatedly questioned her partner’s sexuality.

In response to the General Morrison’s video and the week’s events, feminist commentator Jane Caro said: “Feminist heroes turn up in the unlikeliest places, that’s what keeps my hope alive.”

She tweeted: “Quick, can we organise a series of leadership seminars run by the ADF’s David Morrison for all our politicians before Sept 14?”

The feminist group Destroy The Joint shared the video on social media and said that General Morrison has emerged from the week as “someone who’s got their marbles”.

Others said his performance was a remarkable show of “real leadership” that is all too rare in Australian public life.

“I’d almost forgotten what a true leader sounds like,” said political commentator and author George Megalogenis, who called the general “a gun”.

TV host Marc Fennell called it the speech of 2013 to which another Twitter user replied: “I can’t stop fist pumping. That’s f–ing leadership right there”.

General Morrison finished the video with a stern warning to Defence Force members that it was up to them to make a difference.

He called on innocent members to “show moral courage” and take a stand against those who displayed degrading behaviour.

“If you’re not up to it find something else to do with your life. There is no place for you among this band of brothers and sisters.”

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Source

Hey Facebook, rape is not a punchline

dailylife
May 28, 2013
Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford

Writer

And it’s a great big ‘thumbs down’ from us to Facebook.

One of the downsides of the world’s largest social networking site is its facilitation of hate speech, misogyny, homophobia and racism.

Facebook has more than 1 billion users, a demographic so large that it stands to reason pockets of it would exist to entertain the worst of humanity’s bottom-feeders. While you can’t blame an organisation that provides a free service for attracting rape apologists, racists, homophobes, misogynists and hate-filled bigots, you can hold them to account for knowingly facilitating this kind of behaviour, hiding behind the banner of “free speech” to defend pages with titles like “I kill bitches like you”, “I love the Rape Van” and “Raping Babies because you’re f—ing fearless”. And if they still refuse to address it, reasoning that their reach and influence is so great that not even a bunch of panty-twisted feminazis can dent their huge success, then you attack their bottom line.

It’s exactly the motivation behind the #FBrape campaign currently being run by a trio of online feminist activists. Jaclyn Friedman from Women, Action & the Media (WAM!), Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, and writer Soraya Chemaly have joined forces to urge Facebook to take seriously the bilious swill that masquerades as humour on their website, and that so often makes the rape, assault and even murder of women and children their punchlines.

There’s an absurd irony in the fact that Facebook seems to take a zero tolerance policy to the uploading of breastfeeding photos (many users have been reported and even temporarily banned for sharing images of them feeding their babies), yet it took weeks and a Change.org petition with more than 100,000 signatures to get Facebook to remove a “humour” page called “What’s 10 inches and gets girls to have sex with me? My knife” and that they continue to respond to images urging the rape of women with tepid excuses like this (after the jump).

The #FBrape campaign began with an Open Letter to Facebook and continues by asking people to notify advertisers when their ads appear on pages promoting misogyny and violence. The algorithms of Facebook mean that ads appear dependent on the users; an ad for Samsung might appear on a page urging its users to “Kick a Slut today” simply because a user happens to have a fondness for both violence and photographic composition (or perhaps even both, given by how many photographs and videos of women and girls being raped have made their way onto the social network.)

But while a company mightn’t elect to advertise on a page that tries to pass off the trauma of rape as “controversial humour”, knowing that it could appear that way without their permission is what underpins the #FBrape campaign. Since the campaign launched last week, companies have already begun pulling advertising, a trend that will hopefully gather momentum as more organisations realise the value in defending women against what representatives from Facebook have referred to as “rude jokes”.

Look, I love a rude joke. I don’t even subscribe to the view that jokes about rape can never be funny. But as Molly Ivins once said: “Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful … When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel – it is vulgar.”

The reason misogyny runs so rampant online is because it’s completely facilitated by our culture. As a woman, I find jokes that make fun of rape culture hilarious. What I don’t find funny is a joke that relies upon the sexual degradation and torture of a woman to raise a laugh. I especially don’t appreciate the minions of Mark Zuckerberg, whose media empire began as a way for Harvard students to minimise the worth of the women in their community by rating their attractiveness, telling me that the real problem here is political correctness and sensitivity.

Male rape “humorists” of Facebook, you try living in a world where one in five of you will be raped in your lifetime; where safety is never guaranteed because even if you haven’t been raped yet, you still could be; where it is common and not rare for your friends to confide in you the stories of their own sexual assaults, some of whom have been victimised multiple times; where when you are raped, you’re reminded of all the ways it was probably your fault; where the leading cause of death among women aged 15 to 44 isn’t heart disease or cancer, but domestic violence; where less than 1 per cent of all sexual assault charges will result in a conviction, because no one wants to ruin the promising futures of young men who “made a mistake”; and where the biggest concern in all of this is not how the perpetuation of these kinds of jokes tell women that they’re nothing, but whether or not a person’s freedom of speech is being threatened.

But more than that, more than the violence, more than the blatant misogyny – you try living in a world where you are reminded at every turn that you’re not allowed to complain about the joke, because you are the joke. And when you’ve come close to experiencing what that feels like, to be marginalised as fodder for juvenile male humour, to be treated as a punchline in more ways than one, and to be expected to laugh along with it so as not to spoil the fun for all the boys who find the idea of kicking you in the vagina “hilarious”, then you tell us to stop being so goddamn sensitive about everything.

Petulantly arguing for your right to unleash violent misogyny free from persecution or criticism doesn’t just misunderstand the concept of free speech, it also betrays an ironic sense of entitlement. Women are expected to endure attitudes whose logical conclusions result in them being beaten, raped and sometimes killed, with any complaints thrown back in their face with a specially tailored threat to accompany it. But tell any one of these so called freedom fighters that their jokes are a hideous insight into their own warped minds and it’s like Stonewall all over again.

This is what the #FBrape campaign is revealing – the insidious, nasty entitlement of cultural misogyny and its skittish reaction to anything that threatens its absolute right to continue unchecked. It’s also why I’m lending it my full support. Like Friedman, Bates and Chemaly, I’m over it. I’m tired of being expected to applaud the continued degradation of my people, to marvel at the cleverness of juvenile, angry sexism, to laugh along as these men show me in every foul, unimaginative, aggressive way possible that they think I’m nothing more than a series of holes for them to violate as they please. You should be too.

NB: Men are the victims of rape and violence too – most often at the hands of other men. And while their trauma is real and far reaching, it has yet to be further compounded by a culture that continuously reminds them of how little control they have over their own bodies and safety. Male rape jokes revolve around the threat of prison issued punishment. Female rape jokes are about ownership. In both situations, it’s about the dominant patriarchy wielding masculine power. This isn’t a fight between men and women. It’s a fight between people who respect women as equal human beings and people who don’t.

Source

Read more

#FBrape

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Facebook’s hate speech problem

Facebook’s big misogyny problem

Update

Online protests prompt Facebook to crack down on pages promoting violence against women

Facebook has responded to the campaign in this long and somewhat typically self-serving post.

Misogyny Justified by Defence of ANZAC Day? (The War On Catherine Deveny)

#auspol @CatherineDeveny

Catherine Deveny has been at the centre of the most vile misogyny ever seen in this country, topped only by the vitriol directed at females in politics.

The reason for the hate mail/rape threats/death threats/slander/defamation/appearance judgement?

In the tweets which sparked the outcry, Deveny wrote that “Days like #anzacday are simply a rewriting of history to stop the sucked in and ripped off burning down parliament and killing politicians.”

She added: “I would like to see parades, medals and glorification for survivors of domestic violence, mental illness and sexual abuse #anzacday.”

Deveny is suggesting that;

* ANZAC Day is overly glorified and less of a remembrance day than a day of celebrating and getting trashed. Agree?

* ANZAC Day is a welcome distraction for politicians who are slashing the guts out education, health, transport etc and finding new and inventive ways to ensure you continue to be oppressed. Agree?

* As a nation we glorify war and we pay absolutely zero attention to survivors of domestic violence, mental illness and sexual abuse. Agree?

Here is the backlash. Screenshots taken from here

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And from Facebook, joining Baulkham Hills-based serial Twitter stalker and misogynist supremo Peter Tolmie are some other members of the 101st Right-wing Keyboard Militia.

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Greg Jessop -Twerp the Twitter twat

Our Twitter feed has recently been visited by an unwelcome intruder calling himself “Greg Jessop”.

Just for now we will pretend it is theoretically his real name, though he does share it with some character in the British soap opera East Enders.

We also wonder why any dumb troll would be foolish enough to use their real name anyway when they post stuff like this one does.

But to show our scepticism we might just call this one Twerp, especially since it apparently gets extremely butt-hurt if its (fake?) name is mentioned anywhere though it quite happily trolls Twitter and serious forums such as Whirlpool.

Typical bogot behaviour.

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So eager is Twerp to get its anger off its puny chest it even accused our female Twitter admin of being a …wait for it…paedophile (gasp!).

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The chances of that being true are one in several billion.

And it is defamatory.

You see unlike Twerp, we didn’t get our legal knowledge out of a cornflakes packet

So Twerp is definitely someone who craves attention. No matter if it is of the kind it will come to regret.

Look at moi, look at moi, look at moi -with apologies to Kath and Kim

Strangely enough (or maybe not so strangely) our contacts in the mining industry have never heard of Twerp. There is someone with the same surname, same location and the same alleged profession on Linked-in but that is where it ends.

Twerp could be an avid Centrelink client for all we know. Or awaiting Her Maj’s pleasure in a house of correction.

Of course we at TAB include in our number a nuclear physicist, a Nobel Prize winning evolutionary biologist and a three-hat chef who nevertheless doesn’t swear.

See, you can say just about anything about yourself on the Interwebz

And  Twerp’s attacks are not confined to our Twitter feed. Take a look at these.

No one knows why anyone would pick on comedian Corinne Grant but there you go. Anyone who has insights into the bizarre behaviour of nasty misogynist sociopathic Internet trolls like Twerp would make a fortune writing a psychology textbook.

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In fact we could probably append that weighty tome to our own star-studded CVs and add the Booker Prize to our list of achievements 😉 .

Not to be outdone in the shock and awe stakes, Twerp then tackles journalist Joe Hildebrand. Not sure what Twerp has got in for Joe, but it could have something to do with Joe’s recently successful Dumb, Drunk & Racist TV series.

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And there’s more

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You see, Joe will tell you himself that people who are dumb, drunk and racist take themselves very very seriously. And we can attest that Twerp is definitely the first and last. As for Twerp’s sobriety, we don’t know and we don’t care. It’s his liver.

This could allegedly be Twerp’s liver. Allegedly. Note there is no bacon. So it’s not Strayan.

And here’s more Twerp showing his misogyny.

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And just to add the icing to the cake of hate, here’s some homophobia.

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If you have a strong stomach you can catch more of Twerp here.

You will note that Twerp’s pose as Twitter’s own self-appointed moral compass and judge of others is not backed up by one of his images of choice. In fact that picture has been passed around the Internet by every Tom and dickless Harry like a lascivious bawd in a Restoration comedy.
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But if you want to know the provenance of the image, TAB is happy to provide it. It is part of the collection left by one of Australia’s greatest photographers, Reynolds Mark “Rennie” Ellis who died in 2003.

Man with Australian flag draped over his shoulders. © Rennie Ellis, 1985, courtesy of the Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive

So we wondered why Twerp was so eager to take TAB to task for exposing the utterances of racists, bigots, homophobes and misogynists to public scrutiny and criticism yet was happy to misuse the work of an iconic Australian photographer as Twerpy trolls, tweets and twats his ponderously humourless way across the Internet.

Whirlpool Forums doesn’t get many trolls but that does not stop the Twerp. Here he is taking the flat earth climate change denier stance, typically without evidence.

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And there’s a heads-up for the UN, chief demon of the far right. Foil hats anyone?