Fellow travellers, I'm sure you have all heard of this latest appalling act by the Opposition, in which the vile David Bushby meowed at sassy sister Penny Wong. Of course the right-wing knuckle draggers in the Liberal Party have argued that it was a comparatively minor insult, and that Labor politicians are capable of vile attacks as well. Their media apologists cite Mark Latham's use of the insult "skanky ho" against Janet Albrechtsen, and Julia Gillard's description of Christopher Pyne as a "mincing poodle". But let's have a little context, please!

Regarding the Albrechtsen example: It was widely seen as an insult at the time. And certainly Mark Latham was being critical when he used it. But remember, he was a man of the left. And as all of us on the left know, so often it's society, not the individual, that is to blame for a person's behaviour.

Latham was acutely aware of the social forces that create the world's "skanky hos" (immoral sex workers), and that is why he chose this particular epithet. In doing so, he was alluding to Ms Albrechtsen's unfortunate upper class social conditioning, and the blind allegiance to the Liberal Party that this brought about. Therefore his choice of words was actually a sign of his compassion more than anything else, and he was certainly not being sexist in anyway.

Now, to the Gillard-poodle-Pyne matter: Some have argued that it was offensive because it was bordering on the homophobic. But how can it be homophobic when Christopher Pyne himself is clearly not gay, and is actually a member of a political party determined to oppress, degrade and demean this social group at all costs?

Also, it should be remembered that a poodle is still a dog. And a dog is "a man's best friend". So this choice of words actually confirmed, rather than deconstructed, one of the dominant masculinist discourses that perpetuate the patriarchal paradigm.

Then there is the fact that sassy sister Julia Gillard said it. She is a woman, and therefore a member of an oppressed minority. So she was actually subverting this dominant paradigm. This made it not only not offensive, but undeniably laudable. And empowering.

Now, contrast this with Bushby's hateful "meow" at the impressive and substantial Penny Wong. Women have long been equated with cats in a way that is not only sexist but speciesist as well (and as someone who has fought tirelessly against such discrimination with my feisty feline fellow traveller Jocelyn I have a lot to say on this societal scourge, too - just not right now).

Meowing at a woman is actually akin to using the "n" word. Actually, I think it's probably worse. African Americans have only suffered centuries of slavery and oppression, but women have been second class citizens for countless millennia. Callously meowing at a woman distils this arrogant sense of ancestral male privilege and sends it crashing down upon the victim's head. It is without a doubt a crime against humanity.

The fact that Bushby pretty much got away with what he did after offering a mealy-mouthed apology to Wong shows just how deeply misogyny is entrenched in the Liberal Party and the media at large. Really, he should not just have been made to say sorry. He should be cooling his heels in a cell in The Hague with Ratko Mladic. Only then would there be some justice in the world!