Karl Stefanovic: The Invisible Man

Congratulations are in order for Karl Stefanovic regarding his social experiment which has drawn attention to the serious problem of casual discrimination which sadly remains prevalent throughout the modern western world.

To highlight differences in the treatment of sexes, Stefanovic wore the same cheap suit on the Today show every day for a year. The aim was to contrast the feedback with that of his female co-host, Lisa Wilkinson, who regularly receives criticism (and, one assumes, compliments) for her attire by some viewers with clearly too much spare time on their hands.

His feedback? None. Nobody even noticed.

Stefanovic’s social experiment has reached a global audience and been commended by millions, all of which have totally missed the point.

Stefanovic’s achievement was to successfully demonstrate that even when on live national television for 3½ hrs a day for a whole year a man can still go completely unnoticed.

Given this paradigm, it was inevitable that refugee advocates who wanted to promote their cause while Australia were on the global stage in the lead up to the G20 meeting would emote about some 729 women in detention, most of whom are housed in modern onshore facilities or in residential or hotel style community placement, while ignoring 3780 men imprisoned predominantly in the worst available conditions.

I was glad to notice some small disquiet to this tactic, but the overall trend remains. For the most part unquestioned.

This perspective is gloried on the government’s immigration website. Re: Immigration Detention Centres (ie. prisons), ‘This type of facility provides accommodation for high risk detainees and the majority of the population are single adult males’. The second part of the sentence wasn’t necessary, except to reassure the public that women are receiving special treatment. It effectively reads, ‘Sure the conditions are inhumane, but it’s for men.’

Detention & Processing Centres
Total Population: 3765
Men: 3313 (88%)
Women: 285 (7.6%)
Children: 167 (4.4%)

Community/Residential Style Living
Total population: 1470
Men: 467 (31.8%)
Women: 444 (30.2%)
Children: 559 (38%)

Our society is so gynocentric that protesters even managed to omit the innocent children from their statistics. The message is clear, if you want attention, sympathy and results: talk about women, they are the only ones that matter.

Yet, somehow, Stefanovic’s social experiment became a global exposé of female oppression. Reality is precisely the opposite.

One of the minor inconveniences of this prioritisation is that female celebrities occasionally face fashion criticism (primarily from their fellow women) over optional stylistic choices. It is worth noting that there is nothing preventing a female presenter from wearing the same generic black dress (or suit) day in, day out. I know I wouldn’t care. It could even be argued that such a stand would be beneficial to their cause. Either way, they should own their decisions and their consequences instead of deflecting blame onto others. Grown women are not helpless preschoolers, although it appears many find it beneficial to project that image.

To the credit of both Stefanovic and Wilkinson, neither actually labelled the situation ‘sexism’. That was merely the conclusion drawn by a global army of hypocritical, deluded, first-world harpies, otherwise known as feminists.

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