Senator David Leyonhjelm has denied that he targets women saying that he calls people “bitches” and “bastards” regardless of their gender.
The politician has been at the forefront of backlash following his comments towards Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young earlier this week. However, he has now denied that his comments were of a sexist nature.
Mr. Leyonhjelm told Ms. Hanson-Young to “stop shagging men” earlier this week during parliament and was immediately met with criticism for making such a sexist remark. In response to the backlash, Mr. Leyonhjelm has told the media that “it’s just abuse”.
He continued to say that he did not “discriminate between men and women” and that he was simply “a normal Australian…and normal Australians call people bitches…various things of that nature”.
Interestingly, the Liberal Democrats Senator didn’t stop there in his defence and was evidently eager to get on the attack saying that Ms. Hanson-Young “is a misandrist, she is a sexist.” His attack on Australian politicians didn’t stop there though.
Following David Leyonhjelm’s comments in parliament, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came out and condemned the comments made, which Ms. Hanson-Young subsequently praised. However, it appears that Leyonhjelm didn’t take too kindly to Turnbull’s condemnation saying that he should have also addressed misandry and that by not doing so he is “a doormat”.
There has been mounting pressure on the Senator to apologise for his comments with some calling that he is not fit for parliament. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the comments seem to have Leyonhjelm walking on thin ice regardless of his intent when making the comments.
Many have said that the type of language used by David Leyonhjelm in parliament is unnecessary but he has come out and responded saying that Ms. Hanson-Young is just as bad if not worse in parliament.
He continued to stress that he does not discriminate between men and women when it comes to the type of language that he uses towards them saying “I will tell them both equally if I think they’re wrong.”
Ms. Hanson-Young has been firm when talking about the comments and the general nature of sexist behaviour towards women following the backlash.