A Liberal candidate in Western Australia has said one of the skills that a politician has to learn to be elected to the Australian Parliament is to determine a person’s gender. More specifically to point “who’s a woman and who’s a man.”

This incredulous claim was made by Kristy McSweeney, the Liberal candidate for the electorate of Swan, on former Senator Cory Bernardi’s podcast on Sky News last FridayMcSweeney, a former journalist and SkyNews commentator, is hoping to retain the marginal Western Australian seat held by the Liberal party. 

What Is A Woman?

Bernardi asked McSweeney about her take on Britain’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper declining to answer the question “What is a woman?”.

The question has been used as a wedge issue by the conservative media to air transphobic rhetoric.

McSweeney had no qualms about answering the question, adding she had no difficulty pointing out men and women. 

“Cory, as you know, I’m a liberal candidate for Swan. I’m running as a backbencher not a leader. But of course everything starts with leading your community and your community is made up of men and women,” McSweeney declared. 

“And I don’t have any problems going around the electorate of Swan and pointing out who’s a woman and who’s a man.”

‘A Small Minority’

McSweeney seemed to acknowledge the existence of trans and non-binary identities, but brushed them aside as a “small minority”.

“Of course, there are people who identify as otherwise. That’s a very, very small minority. And we shouldn’t make overarching rules or not be able to answer public statements to cater to very, very small minorities,” the Liberal candidate claimed. 

McSweeney then held forth on the skills politicians have to learn before they aspired to enter the Australian Parliament. The Federal elections are due later this year.

“We have to respect minorities, but overwhelmingly, I’m pretty sure Cory, if you and I walked down the street, particularly in the electorate of Swan, I could just about tell you who was a woman and who was a man. It’s pretty basic and if you want to sit in the Australian Parliament, that’s probably a skill you have to learn first.”

McSweeney’s answers won Bernardi’s approval. “I reckon that’s exactly right,” Bernardi gushed. “And I can hear people at home shouting, hallelujah. Finally, we get someone to say it,” he added. Bernardi was a former Senator and leader of the now-disbanded Australian Conservatives party. In 2019, Bernardi had claimed that legalising same-sex marriage had led to advocacy for bestiality and paedophilia.


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