The Karmic Challenge: Week 28: Who will stand up for Slippery Pete?

THE CHALLENGE. A man (Captain Savage).  A woman (Rose). A quest. To earn enough karmic points by Christmas to be reincarnated as Something Nice.  A mussel, perhaps? With mayonnaise?

Hi Peter,

I just wanted to let you know that I support you in relation to the text messaging furore. God, if most of our private conversations were scrutinised in this way, who among us would come out looking perfectly politically correct. I’m a woman and I don’t feel that you particularly insulted women, any more than many men do down at the bar on a Saturday night. Toughen up, ladies – we’ve all heard the fish analogy, get over it. I think what you say in your private texts, unless illegal, is your business and should stay that way. I will say as much on my blog.  I hope things go well for you in future!


Rose of butimbeautiful

Yep, this week’s ‘good deed’ is a letter.

But who the hell is this Peter Slipper, you ask? If you’re not Australian, that is.  Well, until yesterday he was the Speaker of the Aussie House of Representatives.  His gay staffer, one James Ashby, had accused him of sexual harassment (a story in itself), and during the court case, some texts they’d sent one another became public.  And THEN..all hell broke loose.  Pollies competed to see who could be MOST shocked, MOST horrified, at the ghastly and misogynistic contents.



In response, Slipper resigned.  In fact, the guy almost cried.  Call me soft-hearted, but I wanted to hug him and say ‘there there, don’t you listen to those meanies!’

Mr F and I, watching all this on tv from our mountain eyrie (we were on holidays at the time) looked at one another and said, simultaneously, ‘So what did these texts actually SAY?’  Because we’d heard how loathsome they were, how they were a call to arms for women everywhere, etc etc – but no tv station seemed to want to repeat them.  Maybe they were just SO bad pregnant women everywhere would abort if they heard them.  Maybe, we speculated, Mr Slipper had texted something like ‘Off home to beat wife. Again. LOL!’  or ‘Women’s bits make me puke. Lets give Sophie Mirabella a clitoridectomy. ROFL.’

So as soon as we got home, we googled what Slipper had actually said.  Turns out it was MUCH worse than even we imagined.  For one thing, he apparently thinks women’s bits look like mussels.  Peter, how could you! You must be in a minority of, oooh, about 50%? (Besides, you’d NEVER catch a woman comparing a guy’s dong to an uncooked pork sausage, now would you!)

And THEN he called MP Sophie Mirabella (renowned for her brainless nastiness) a BOTCH.  What?  Well if he’d called her a bitch that would’ve been bad enough, but a botch! What is he implying? That she should never have been born? That she was one of the Creator’s horrible mistakes? Thank God I’ve never called a colleague a botch (or bitch) in any of MY private conversations!  THAT would have been a world first.

THEN, he texted his gay staffer to the effect that one ‘Lucy’ was hot, ready and willing (tell me you’ve never heard THAT in a pub on Saturday night) – and finally, he threatened to SMACK the said staffer.  Was the staffer suitably indignant?  Oh YEAH.  ‘I might like it’ he texted back.

I don’t particularly like Peter Slipper. He may be guilty of other misdemeanours (we don’t know yet, the court case isn’t over).  But this is thought crime.  If you can’t call someone a botch (sic) and say that women’s bits look like mussels in PRIVATE conversation – what’s the world coming to!  Does anyone really think that you can’t be a neutral ‘chair’ if you think some of your colleagues are as loopy as a centipede?

So I think Australians should fight for Peter Slipper’s right to say what he damn well likes about women’s bits, to his friends.  Fight for his right to have a private conversation.  Fight for his right, and everybody else’s right, to think and say stuff that not everybody agrees with.  I may not like his politics, I may not like seafood, I may not even like HIM – but the growing climate of virtuous indignation and Right Speech appals me.  Much more than Mr Slipper’s opinion of my c**t could ever do.

If you think forcing a public figure to resign over some silly – and private – locker-room talk is a bit 1984, speak up for him and facebook it! (Or not)


  1. There is a fine line, I think, when a person is in the public sphere, but like you, I feel a bit sorry for the people who have their private conversations made public. I wouldn’t want some of the private and text conversations I’ve had made public.

    1. I strongly believe that just because a person is in the public sphere doesn’t make their entire life public property. Plus, I don’t think it was really that bad. Silly, yes. In bad taste, probably. But then, men can be like that, when they get together with the boys (is that sexist? women can be awful too).


  2. As you know, we have our fair share of this in the US. It’s one thing to say something un-PC in a public speech, but when you’re having what you think is a private texting conversation, it seems one would get a bit of leeway. Just goes to show that when you’re in the public eye, nothing is apparently private. It’s a whole new world, isn’t it?

      1. Just don’t disrobe. On second thought, that would certainly draw more attention to your protest…

  3. I agree the reality is different when you’re in the public arena. However these particular messages I think fall within personal opinion rather than slander!

    1. True. And are they that bad anyway? So the guy doesn’t like vulvas (which is slightly strange given he’s got a wife and 2 kids). To each his own. Why do all Australian women need to have hysterics? Not that they are.


      1. I know why. It’s because we love seeing people in the public eye suffer and fail, that feeds our insecurities. ‘You thought you’re that successful, eh! There you go, you dirty m$^^£$fT$^$£r!’ That’s why we watch reality TV.
        Yeah, it’s not me that is that smart, it’s my guru Brene Brown.

      2. That’s probably it! Although, I wouldn’t miss it personally if we never heard personal stuff about pollies and ‘celebrities’. I always read about it when I’m in the doctor’s office (2 years out of date) but I never buy the mags. Really, I don’t care, do you?


  4. Eh, he’s a politician. As long as his public work is good, I’m inclined to cut him slack.
    Except for the fact that no other politician would say anything about slack until they got busted…

    1. That’s true, about the slack. But it’s not like the guy broadcast it. He just texted it to someone he thought was his mate. Better choose your mates a bit more carefully. If I ever went into politics, the dirt file would be a mile high.


  5. Kudos Rose, I agree that what he has said (texted) in private is his own business… although I think he is a bit of a dick wad. P.S. Mirabella is a focking cow, rather than a botch 😉

    1. I don’t know him but he seems like a bit of a dick wad to me too. And totally agree on Sophie Mirabella. But he sure isn’t the first man in history to comment thus on female genitalia, I was expecting something WAY more exciting. What next, anyway – wrong thoughts?


  6. Well, Rose. I’m confused. Why would a straight guy say women’s parts look like mussels? And why would the gay guy care? I thought Ashby was the gay guy? Why was his texts being audited? AND, wtf do i care? I don’t know.

    Did you make points this week? And who said his girlfriend smelled like a fish?

    My answer: Go find a man, MAN, if fish bothers you. That’s part of the package. Heterosexuals find that smell part of the eroticism. Think about that fish hater/woman smell-disliker!

    1. Lots of straight guys reckon women’s bits look like mussels, or liver, or whatever, but they like them anyway. It’s like, if many women had to describe penises, generally, they probably wouldn’t go overboard about the aesthetic aspects, but your OWN man’s penis, well, that’s a masterpiece, frankly! I agree it’s a bit weird and crude, but lots of men are like that (and many don’t like the smell – guess it’s weird modern ideas about hygiene and what things should smell like and look like and so on). Why would Ashby care? No idea. It’s PS trying to be all blokey and matey, and Ashby playing along. Completely stupid and puerile, but if you ever hear tapes of policemen or politicians when they think they’re off air, they’re usually like that. Anyway, it doesn’t matter, just that if our private texts can be legitimate causes of public outrage, then so can our private conversations, what we do in bed with our partners, and ultimately our thoughts.


    1. Exactly! One thing an aspiring pollie should never do is keep a blog. Not even when you’re young and not in the least interested in politics. Social media will make future privacy invasions so much more interesting.


  7. Britain seems awash with bumph like this – a footballer loses his temper on the pitch, the speaker of the house of commons loses it with a policeman, we all lose it once in a while, and as long as an apology is made and accepted, that should be the end of it. posting stuff in public is different – when you type you have time to think, and it is clearly intended to be public. People don’t see the difference between the two, and there is a lot. Many thanks for this thoughtful post. .

    1. Thanks Barb. Yeah, my ex husband was just saying the other day that here we are, people dying in Syria, Iran on the brink of war, and the front page story is Peter Slipper’s opinion of vaginas as expressed in his private text messages to someone he (wrongly) thought was a mate.


  8. This is brilliant, Rose – brilliant in that you give me a take on this I have not read before: anywhere. Must say, I wasn’t full bottle on it as I tend to put on the TV news only ‘just in time’ and then go to the kitchen & chop vegies etc. But you are SO RIGHT – no newspaper etc republished them. What an uncooked pork sausage he is…

    You are DEFINITELY correct that they were private texts, & I’d never thought of ‘it’ as a mussel but now will never fail to, & ‘I might like it’ is clear flirtation – & hopefully not stringing someone along when you’ve no actual interest, or it just gives you a hard-on to be able to do. Damned good on you for this, Rose. Cheers.

  9. I do think private texts in your personal life should remain there–in your private and personal life. But if he was texting people he worked with and saying these things, he was guilty of poor judgement. You can’t get away with saying this stuff at work in the US. Those kind of texts at work could land anyone in hot water. It’s one thing if it’s your private phone and they are personal friends–leeway away there.

    1. It was poor judgement. He’d known this guy for a while though, before he employed him as a staffer I think. But then, I’ve had some email and face to face conversations with friends I work with, that I wouldn’t want in a national newspaper.


  10. I like your approach to public life. I think if more MP’s or whatever you call them there, ( I’m a Brit ) stumbled round in the chamber, drinking canned larger, saying they couldn’t be bothered to vote today and farting recklessly, at least it might all look a bit more like real life to us, and we would start to take politics more seriously

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