Let’s Talk: ‘If you ban the burka, ban make up and dresses as well’

The new secretary of the ACTU Sally McManus has been in the spotlight since her comments about unions breaking "unjust" laws, and now some other comments she made about the burka have come to light.
The new ACTU secretary has raised eyebrows over some comments she made a few years ago about the burka. Source: ABC730/Twitter

You might remember Sally McManus from her now infamous comments earlier this week about unions breaking the law?

The new secretary of the ACTU said she didn’t think there was a problem breaking the law “when it’s unjust”.

Those comments prompted a swarm of criticism from all sides of politics, and now some comments she made in the past have come back to haunt her.

The Australian reports that Ms McManus gave a speech back in 2010 at a protest against proposals to ban the burka.

What she said has angered many people on social media.

“We can’t on one hand say, well people have got a right to do silly things like wear dresses and wear high heels… even have breast implants… and on the other hand say well they can’t wear certain things including a hijab and including a burka,” she said.

The women’s rights advocate and unionist told the protest that breast implants, plastic surgery, diets, solariums and television shows that “degrade and stereotype women” should be banned before the burka.

“Why is it that women today in our society want to be mutilated,” she reportedly said about breast implants.

“It’s in order to make them more attractive to men… I say that’s internalised patriarchy or internalised oppression.”

She also described botox as “poison” and said the expectation for women to be “hairless beings” was “bullshit”.

Aside from her comments, Ms McManus is also make headlines today after some comments the Prime Minister made about her.

In an interview with 3AW, Malcolm Turnbull said she represented a “culture of thuggery and lawlessness”.

“She believes that unions only have to obey the law if they agree with it,” he said.

“On that basis if people thought taxes were too high they wouldn’t have to pay their tax or if they thought the speed limit was too low they could speed with impunity.”

She’s also been described as a “lunatic” by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, while Bill Shorten came out after her union comments and said he disagreed with her.

What do you think about Sally McManus’ comments about the burka and unions?


  1. Dianne Evans  

    I think you take away freedom when you outlaw dress and it can follow on to other bans so I can understand she is allowed to that view it is still supposed to be a free country

  2. Cynthia Power  

    Technically she is right. Derryn Hinch saw a law that was unjust and broke it.

  3. Loz  

    She needs a reality check. The reason these head coverings need to be banned is the same as motorbike helmets have to be removed when entering banks and such…… so they can be IDENTIFIED on CCTV if they break the law.

    • Mhs  

      When you need to check for security, that’s ok. But doesn’t that mean you are NOT allowed to put your helmet on, again?

  4. She is a total joke. For a start even if women do wear make-up, dresses, high heeled shoes, and have cosmetic surgery done, you can still see their faces, it their choice to go under the knife, and not necessarily to look attractive, sometimes it is for health reasons, so her argument there is ridiculous. Banning the burka is for security reasons, who knows who really is under that or what they may be concealing. And as for the Unions been a law unto their selves, that is ludicrous. I think she really needs to look at some of the rubbish she has been spouting off about, befor she makes anymore comments like that.

    • Phil  

      Totally Agree with you I cannot go in a bank wearing a Balaclava or even a hoodie

  5. Kevin  

    STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. Why do we allow stupid people to be in jobs of importance where they run off at the mouth and create problems for all.

    • Mary  

      I agree. She has chosen to live in Australia which means you obey the laws of the country or leave. We dont want anarchy. Who voted this pwrson into this role? What am embarrassment to the Union

  6. Tom0Hawk  

    If she is at loggerheads with (Paleo) Dutton I’m ok with that.

  7. Moira  

    I think it would be good if the news was up to date. didn`t it say 2010 ??. Anyway , I think she is out of touch. And shallow.

  8. Marcus lewis  

    Another femist that will not be around if the Muslims had their way

  9. Diana Ross  

    Ban topless men, esp old ones; ban pants that show underwear; ban long sox with shorts; ban sandals worn with sox; ban balding men with pony tails; it’s getting stupid…

    • …what about men wearing fake tan/makeup, huge rings and lots of gold chains round their scrawny necks?(with their socks and sandals of course) Let’s ban them…please? They make my eyes water, and my mascara run!

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