In August, Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton speedily catapulted to cult status as Australia’s most lusted after silver fox. The married professor was fetishised by a wet mess of Aussie feminists who described Sutton as a CHOttie while publicly drooling over him online.
Fans could purchase an array of homewares adorned with Brett Sutton’s face, including a kitchen apron, a bedspread, a pair of coffee mugs or some stretchy Sutton socks. If that sounded too creepy, the fan club could turn it down a notch and become a #gluttonforsutton by liking the Brett Sutton is HOT Facebook Page.
After the past 48 hours, some of the lustre — if not the lust — surrounding Sutton has diminished. The COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry has requested him to supply new information about the veracity of his earlier testimony about when he became aware that private security companies were guarding the state’s quarantine hotels.
Is he still a pin-up? We’re dealing with Victoria and the #IStandWithDanBrigade, so reason and rationality don’t matter much.
But one thing is a certainty, if Victoria’s Chief Health Officer was a woman, this cringeworthy sexualisation by well-known media commentators would prompt a wave of outrage across the country. Not only would manufacturers be boycotted but illegal protests would take place on the streets.
This massive double standard begs the question: Why isn’t it considered harmful to sexually objectify men?
A study conducted on the effects of objectified media images by the International Journal of Social Psychology revealed that the objectification of men decreases their well-being and mental health. If this is indeed a fact, then why aren’t we taking male objectification seriously?
Dive into the cesspit of online articles about why it’s okay to sexually objectify men and you will uncover a legion of vindictive women whose only intent is to level the playing field.
In a column published in The Conversation back at the height of the frenzy, Meagan Tyler argued that because men are not historically oppressed, sexual objectification is apparently not damaging to them. The author is making an assumption because unless you’re the male victim being objectified, how would one go about measuring the internal damage of another’s lived experience? You can’t.
Now granted, these are anxious times and the adoration of Sutton could be viewed as just a playfully cathartic form of collective stress relief for a certain subset of progressive women who obviously have enough time on their hands for such idolatry bullshit rather than fretting over their increasing debts, decreasing job prospects and catering for cooped-up kids.
Let’s get real, those who would unbutton for Sutton are those who, several months before, were sharing sourdough photos on Twitter, for God’s sake . It would seem that the less essential the worker, the more enamoured they are with the CHO.
Certainly, Sutton appears to have taken fetishisation in his stride, displaying a coy humour towards much of the nonsense thrown his way (let’s not talk about those photos of his younger self that appeared on line and, among the collective have not left a dry seat in the house).
But what else could the poor bloke be expected to do other than grit his teeth and hope that somehow, the embarrassing lusting helps gets the COVID message across.
Brett Sutton appears to be a thoroughly decent man and is undoubtedly “woke” enough to appreciate that his female colleagues have worked hard for their positions and that they should be treated with the respect that their expertise deserves. It is also quite likely that he has previously nodded sagely when reading the screechy pieces delivered by feminists deploring the misogyny displayed towards women of a professional standing.
How must he have felt when, after an arduous night of crunching numbers and formulating policies that have the most crucial of outcomes, he was treated like a member of One Direction by a gaggle of aging adolescent school girls who should know better.
I’ll bet you an artisan crafted Brett Sutton tea cosy that these same feminists would beat into online submission any man who happened to remark that Jacinda Arden was looking rather fetching when she made a Coronavirus announcement.
It is true that the impact of the virus has shone a light on the failings of the health system in Victoria. In the case of the fetishisation of the CHO, it has also revealed the hypocrisy of modern Australian feminist ideology. When Sutton ordered that we all put masks on, it appears that some have taken theirs’ off.
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