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1-min read

Australian Senator Accused of 'Slut-shaming' MP During Pepper Spray Debate

David Leyonhjelm made the derogatory remarks about fellow senator Sarah Hanson-Young during a heated debate in parliament's upper house last week about legalising pepper spray to protect women.

AFP

Updated:July 3, 2018, 12:18 PM IST
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Australian Senator Accused of 'Slut-shaming' MP During Pepper Spray Debate
File image of f Australia's Parliament House. (REUTERS)
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Sydney: An Australian senator has been accused of "slut-shaming" a fellow parliamentarian after telling her to "stop shagging men" in a grubby dispute that on Tuesday saw the prime minister demand an apology.

David Leyonhjelm made the derogatory remarks about fellow senator Sarah Hanson-Young during a heated debate in parliament's upper house last week about legalising pepper spray to protect women.

He reportedly told her to "f*** off" when she confronted him over the incident.

Leyonhjelm, who does not dispute what happened, repeated his comments and aired other rumours about Hanson-Young in a weekend television interview while refusing to apologise.

Hanson-Young, who is divorced, is threatening to sue him and Sky News, the network that aired the interview.

"David Leyonhjelm is suggesting — because he can't win an argument, he wants to bully — that I am sexually promiscuous," Hanson-Young told broadcaster ABC on Tuesday.

"He is slut-shaming me. That is what he is doing."

Sky News has since apologised and suspended a producer for allowing the "appalling comments" to be broadcast.

Leyonhjelm has defended himself, claiming his comment was "legitimate" and that prior to his outburst Hanson-Young claimed "all men are rapists", a remark she denies making.

"I am opposed to misandry, just as I am to misogyny and I am also entitled to call out double standards," Leyonhjelm said.

"So arguing on the one hand that all men are evil, the enemy, they're rapists and sexual predators. And on the other hand having normal relationships with men, obviously is contradictory and I can call it out."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on Leyonhjelm to apologise.

"David Leyonhjelm's offensive remarks should have been withdrawn the moment they were uttered," he said.

"It is not too late for him to withdraw and apologise, that type of language has no place in parliament and it shouldn't have a place in any workplace."

| Edited by: Puja Menon
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