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PM's Partner makes bizarre 'Asian Doctor' gaffe

Posted by: 3AW Online | 29 January, 2013 - 8:29 AM
Tim Mathieson

The Prime Minister's partner is in hot water for making a joke about Asian women during a reception at the Lodge.

Tim Mathieson was addressing the West Indian Cricket Team on the importance of getting their prostate checked when he joked a digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading, preferably by a small female Asian doctor.

*Scroll down and watch Tim Mathieson's bizarre comment*

READ HERE: Tom Elliott says the fallout out from Mathieson's comment is 'ridiculously over-the-top'

"We can get a blood test for it, but the digital examination is the only true way to get a correct reading on your prostate, so make sure you go and do that, and perhaps look for a small Asian female doctor is probably the best way," Mathieson said. 

Julia Gillard appeared visibly uncomfortable in the background after the comment was made.

AMA President, Doctor Steve Hambleton says Men's health shouldn't be joked about, especially when the information Mr Mathieson has given is incorrect.

Mathieson apologised this morning, admitting 'poor taste.'

"My comments last night were trying to raise awareness about prostate cancer and the need for men to have regular checks and the importance of early detection.

"It was meant as a joke and on reflection I accept it was in poor taste. I apologise for any offence caused."

Meanwhile, Legal expert Justin Quill says Mathieson's comments might be in breach of proposed anti-discrimination laws.

"There is a very good chance he'd be in breach of the offence provision, which states that you can't insult someone," Quill said.

"If someone feels offended or insulted, you're in breach and you need to see if one of the defences applies to you."

Neil Mitchell does not think Mathieson should be punished by law, but agreed with the general consensus that his comments were entirely inappropriate.

"This is the sort of thing that should be said in a locker room or the pub," Neil said.

"This is the spouse of a Prime Minister who rallies against sexism and misogyny, who talks about the degradation of women and here he is talking about a small female Asian doctor doing a rectal examination.

The Prime Minister said Mr Mathieson did the right thing by apologising for the joke. 

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PLAY: Legal Expert Justin Quill says Tim Mathieson might be in breach of the proposed anti-discrimination laws

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'Ridiculously over-the-top reaction'

Tim Mathieson TOM ELLIOTT: Now this joke about preferred prostate doctors having small hands is as old as the hills. It’s only ever intended to add a bit of levity to what is generally accepted as a very serious subject.

Blog comments Your Say

  • Major over reaction to an old, old joke. What I found of most interest in the entire saga was a certain cartoonist whose work appears in a major Australian daily newspaper. For weeks afterwards, every cartoon published under his name included a caricature of Mathieson with an asian woman behind him asking "You want it now Mr Mathieson?" to which Mathieson replied, "Not now Ting Tong, not now!". Where was all the righteous indignation and wails of "Racist, Sexist yarp yarp yarp that usually accompanies any public caricature of a non-white person???

    Ian Monday 13 May, 2013 - 6:19 PM
  • Neil I have had 3 rectal examinations by both male and female doctors, uncomfortable yes, hurt no, besides that orifice is elastic, and I could not tell the difference between the male and female doctor.
    As for the PSA test, that only tells them there is something wrong, not always cancer, the digital exam tells them wether or not the cancer has reached the surface of the prostrate and about to jump to the bladder.
    A worse test still is the biopsy, but I won't go into that here, that really does hurt.
    Timo's joke has got to me as the last female doctor was Asian and she wondered why I had a smile on my face.

    gez Wednesday 6 February, 2013 - 6:39 PM
  • What is he trying to say, our own doctors are not good enough and we should go to Asia for treatment?

    oxxie Friday 1 February, 2013 - 7:03 PM
  • I don't really like to denigrate someones views but...you're an idiot Justine. Everyone is different...no 2 people are the same (even twins are not 100% identical in every facet)I bet you're the type who gives dolls to boys to play with and wonder why they grow and don't know who the hell, or what, they're supposed to be.
    Your comment is one of the reasons this country is going backwards at an alarming rate....socialist ideology rubbish...thought police, who needs them!!

    Graeme Thursday 31 January, 2013 - 9:51 AM
  • Asian women may have smaller hands than western men but you cannot say that. Everyone is equal, same size hands, feet and same build. Every person regardless of ethnic background or religion are identical in every way.

    Justine Thursday 31 January, 2013 - 1:23 AM
  • The wheels have gone flat on Australia and there is nothing we can do. If you suggest a woman changes the tyres then that would be sexist. If you suggest a man change the tyres then that is a slap in the face to woman and suggests they can not do it. Political correctness has destroyed what was once a great country. People are living in fear of speaking and this is no way to live. Give me back my country the way it was before the minority took control.

    Monica Wednesday 30 January, 2013 - 9:39 PM

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