Remove Mark Latham’s offensive and derogatory articles about female writers and cease publishing any more of them in the future.
This petition had 1,567 supporters
No quality news organisation should publish dangerously personal, underhanded attacks on female journalists and pretend they are legitimate comment.
But that's exactly what the Australian Financial Review has done.
Over the past fortnight former Labor leader and columnist Mark Latham has launched unprofessional, unfounded and degrading attacks on female writers Lisa Pryor and Sarah MacDonald.
Mr Latham attacked Lisa Pryor for her honest account of parenting and mental health, callously asking, ‘Why do people like this have children in the first place?’
Shaming and mocking someone who had the courage to publicly admit to taking antidepressants irresponsibly prioritises newspaper sales ahead of individual and community wellbeing.
More recently, Mr Latham dedicated a column to a personal and cruel attack on Daily Life writer Sarah MacDonald — and her children. ‘[L]eft-feminism is breeding a generation of shirtless, tone-deaf, overweight, pizza-eating dummies,’ he wrote.
Mr Latham has a long-standing problem with women who participate in public debate. In 2004, he infamously referred to conservative News Ltd columnist Janet Albrecthsen as a ‘skanky ho’.
More recently he has also attacked Mia Freedman and Jane Caro.
It’s tempting to dismiss Mr Latham’s articles as the pitiable ramblings of a political has-been desperate for relevance. But publishing his repugnant views on the pages of the AFR legitimises sexist, offensive commentary that is designed to attract outrage and readers — but contributes nothing to public discussion.
And this from an organisation that purports to "support and promote" women through its annual "Women of Influence" competition.
We call on the AFR to remove Mr Latham’s offensive and derogatory articles about female writers and cease publishing any more of them in the future.
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