Culture

Clive Palmer Is Starting 2016 With A Bizarre Feminist Awakening On Twitter

Yay?

Though Clive Palmer has previously called for the government to put more women in cabinet and criticised Tony Abbott’s sexist remarks after the Prime Minister stumbled through what seemed to be his first interactions with human women, he’s not really considered much of a feminist luminary.

In 2014 he was widely criticised after making a “sexist” and “inappropriate” comment unfairly suggesting Peta Credlin was going to get pregnant and manipulate the paid parental leave scheme. Despite Credlin being offended by the comment — it was a suggestion made more personal by the fact she’d had well-known trouble conceiving via IVF — Palmer refused to apologise. Instead, he defended himself on 7.30, swore at Walkley Award-winning journalist Sarah Ferguson, called her “madam” — a better alternative to “my dear” which he regularly calls other female reporters — and stormed out of the interview. This led Fairfax to suggest he had “a problem with women”.

Any of his attempts to stand up against discrimination and sexism since then have generally been viewed as a little hollow. Though all definitely worthwhile (particularly in a political climate rife with casual misogyny and against a government that routinely subjugates the needs and status of women), they seem like less of an authentic crusade against systemic inequality and more like a blind shot at approval. It’s as though he’s filling out a Mad Lib, trying to find the exact words that might bring down the government.

Pictured: Prime Minister Clive Palmer.

But for the past week or so, Palmer’s been trying something slightly different on his social media accounts. Since around December 29, the leader of the Palmer United Party and person who almost set himself on fire on national television has been getting real deep.

Vastly different from his regular updates, which include outright criticisms of other politicians and photos of him Just Being An Average Bloke With The Punters, the tweets which have flowed in the days since have had an explicit and relatively selfless focus on feminism.

It’s unclear if he got high over New Years and someone explained what feminism was for the first time or if he just finally got around to seeing Suffragettebut the results are kind of lovely.

So true, Feminist Clive Palmer, so true. You show ’em how it’s done.

h/t @tahliaxchloe.