In 2013, former police commissioner, Ken Lay said family violence is located within a wider culture where vulgar attitudes to women are common. He further noted that when violence towards women is unchallenged, such violence is normalised.
It is in this context that I found the incident between Steve Price and Van Badham on Q&A so disturbing. Tarang Chawla asked what media and politicians could do to support long overdue cultural shifts so violence against women is not normalised. Price had his say without interruption; when Van Badham answered, Price interrupted her 12 times. He clearly feels entitled to speak, but no obligation to listen.
This was an opportunity for host Tony Jones to show what the media can do to support women who are experiencing violence. He could have intervened and told Price: “You had your turn. Be quiet and listen to Van.” Instead, Jones stayed silent while Price used traditional silencing techniques. He interrupted, talked loudly, and then finally mocked, playing the “hysterical” card to discredit Van’s views.
First published as a letter to The Age on 15 July 2016