A 2019 photo of the man who led the royal commission into the banking sector posing with Josh Frydenberg has re-emerged following widespread discussion of Grace Tame’s most recent photo with Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Former High Court judge Kenneth Haye refused to shake Frydenberg’s hand and refused to smile during a photo opportunity with the Treasurer as he prepared to release a damning report.
At best, the interaction was described as “brutal” and “awkward” in a handful of media reports.
Meanwhile, the 2021 Australian of the Year sparked national debate following her unsmiling photo with Mr Morrison, with conservative MP’s and male journalists describing her behaviour as “ungracious and rude” and “childish and embarrassing”.
Journalist Julia Baird quickly pointed out the double standard on Twitter.
“A quiet reminder that when Justice Kenneth Hayne, head of (the) royal commission into banking misconduct, refused to smile or even shake the hand of the Treasurer during a photo op in 2019, it was considered the stuff of national calamity,” the host of ABC’s The Drum wrote.
“Grace Tame is making a similar point.”
Such a clear example of when men are considered principled and women are called petulant – for the same behaviour. And yet Tame shook the PM’s hand, stood quietly and in place for the photos. https://t.co/h2dINgsTCO
— 💥Dr💥 Julia Baird (@bairdjulia) January 25, 2022
The Project’s Lisa Wilkinson agreed, sharing Baird’s post and adding commentary of her own.
“True @bairdjulia,” she wrote.
“Not was there uproar when Scott Morrison turned his back on Tanya Plibersek & played with his phone as she addressed him in fed parliament.
“Nor when he refused to shake Bill Shorten’s hand at Bob Hawke’s funeral.
“Not sure why the rules are different. Oh wait…”
Man, that Grace Tame chick was outta line, right?…
— Brent Hodgson (@BrentHodgson) January 25, 2022
Wheelchair racer and Paralympian Kurt Fearnley spelled it out even more clearly while sharing a 2017 photo of an unsmiling Pope Francis alongside former US President Donald Trump.
“Not one bloke, from me to the Pope would’ve been told to ‘smile more’. #justsayin,” he added.
The debate even spilled onto Wednesday night’s episode of The Project, with Carrie Bickmore asking co-host Peter van Onsolen about his own column criticising Ms Tame’s behaviour and claiming she was “acting like a child”.
— The Project (@theprojecttv) January 25, 2022
“Why do you feel the need to tell Grace how she should have behaved?” Bickmore asked. “But second of all, why should she stand there and smile and pretend it’s all okay when there is an absolute catastrophe on the cards here?”
“I don’t think she should stand there and smile and pretend it’s all OK, I just thought she shouldn’t go. If you can’t be polite in some form, then don’t go,” van Onsolen replied.
“But why should she have to be silenced and quiet? Why can’t she go and make a statement in her behaviour about how she feels over what has happened in the past year?” Bickmore shot back.
Ms Tame received the national honour for fighting to legally tell her story as a victim of child sexual abuse and grooming and in overturning a Tasmanian law preventing victims from identifying themselves in the media.
During her tenure she pushed the topic of child sexual abuse into the national spotlight and conversations around the country.
What exactly did they think would happen when they organised this photo op?
Grace Tame is not the type to lie about how she feels. And nor should we ever put her in a position where she is expected to.
— Nina Funnell, journalist & #LetUsSpeak manager (@ninafunnell) January 25, 2022
Nina Funnell, the journalist behind the #LetHerSpeak campaign that allowed Ms Tame to speak out, asked on Twitter, “What exactly did they think would happen when they organised this photo op?”
“Grace Tame is not the type to lie about how she feels. And nor should we ever put her in a position where she is expected to.”
Image: @bairdjulie (Twitter)
This article first appeared on OverSixty.