Sarah Hanson-Young certainly isn’t one to bite her tongue when it comes to speaking her mind, and her latest book is no different as she targets the “dark and angry” Australian media.
Speaking openly about her experience in politics and being in the media spotlight, the Greens Senator said she wasn’t prepared to say goodbye to her private life.
In an extract of her book, En Garde published by the Sydney Morning Herald, Hanson-Young said while she was up for a challenge when she first entered parliament in 2008, she was shocked by the events that followed.
“I knew it would be tough and I knew I’d have to be strong. What I didn’t know was that, due to my age and my gender, I would have to brace myself against abusive ridicule of my private life, constant public body shaming, and an immediate campaign of sexualised rumours whipping through parliament and the press gallery,” she wrote.
Mentioning a number of specific publications and reporters, the 36-year-old said there were times when she almost gave up as she was made to feel she didn’t belong.
“The continual humiliation, innuendo and insults coming from the mostly male voices in the conservative media nearly had their desired effect,” she added.
Hanson-Young went on to explain the “slut-shaming” she was victim of in parliament and the effect it has had on her career.
The release of her book follows Hanson-Young’s decision to sue Senator Leyonhjelm for defamation over over derogatory comments he is said to have made about her sex life.
The Senator for South Australia claims statements made by Leyonhjelm, including telling her to “stop shagging men”, have done considerable harm to her and her family.
“I’m calling this out because it is wrong. No woman, whether she be working behind a bar, in an office or in the Parliament, deserves to be treated this way, and it needs to stop,” Hanson-Young said in a statement to Starts at 60.
“The defamatory statements Senator Leyonhjelm made and continues to make are an attack on my character, and have done considerable harm to me and my family. It was always my preference that Senator Leyonhjelm apologise and acknowledge how hurtful, defamatory and damaging his comments were, however he refuses to do so.”