Fiona Scott’s story represents, at the very least, a clear calling out of sexist behaviour by some sections of the Liberal party in 2017.
Fiona Scott had a sinking feeling the moment then Liberal leader Tony Abbott opened his mouth and described her as having “a little sex appeal” during the 2013 federal election campaign.
“I was in a bit of shock and I went home and I thought ‘this is going to really hurt tomorrow’,” Scott recalled. And it did. The “sex appeal” label made her life a misery on the campaign trail. “It served to frame me in a way that gave people open slather to talk about my looks,” she told Crikey. Punters threw the word back at her. But that was just the beginning.
After winning her western Sydney seat in the 2013 Abbott-slide and heading to Canberra, Scott found the label had stuck within the party and the parliament. “I was starting a long way back because of predisposed views,” she reflected.