Each year sees the awarding of “Ernies” to deserving public figures.
What are the Ernies?
This explanation is from the Ernies website:
Welcome to the Ernie Awards for Sexist Remarks. This strange institution is now in its 23rd year. Each September 300 women come together at a splendid dinner in NSW Parliament House to judge the most sexist remarks by public figures during the previous year.
The nominator of each winning quote carries home a silver Ernie (handsome silver pig on a plinth). The overall winner gets the Gold Ernie (sheep rampant on a golden orb). The winners are chosen by whichever nomination receives the loudest boos. In tight contests, a boo-off is required.
Why are they called the Ernies?
It is named after former Australian Workers' Union secretary Ernie Ecob, who was known for his misogynist remarks. One of his best-known remarks was "Women aren't welcome in the shearing sheds. They're only after the sex," which is why there is a sheep on top of the Gold Ernie. The inaugural awards night was in celebration of him resigning from the Labor Council of New South Wales.
What categories of Ernie are there?
The categories have changed over the years. Examples of categories:
the Gold Ernie;
the Warney (for sport, named after Shane Warne);
the Media Ernie;
the Political Ernie;
the Judicial Ernie;
the Anon (for boys behaving better, formerly called the Gareth after Gareth Evans);
the Elaine (for females making comments unhelpful to the sisterhood, named after Elaine Nile);
the Clinton (for repeat offenders).
Previous Gold Ernie winners:
Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt:
for saying 'Can the ADF afford this social engineering, in which gender becomes a qualification - and a fault line? What will this do to the tight mateship so critical to a fighting unit? Does a woman turn her male colleagues from warriors to escort?'
2GB radio broadcaster Alan Jones:
for saying 'Women are destroying the joint, Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here, honestly there is no chaff bag big enough for these people.'
Wesley College, University of Sydney students:
for distributing stubby holders bearing the words “It’s not rape if it’s my birthday.”
for claiming that increases in uni fees won't disproportionately affect women because "women are well-represented amongst the teaching and nursing students. They will not be able to earn the high incomes that dentists and lawyers will earn".
The 2015 winners:
The annual dinner and awards night was held on 24.09.2015. The winners are:
The Ernie for Politics:
Tony Abbott who, when asked to nominate his greatest achievement as Minister for Women replied the scrapping of the carbon tax, because women are heavily affected by household bills.
The Ernie for Media:
The Australian for beginning its obituary for Colleen McCullough: "Plain of feature and certainly over-weight..."
The Industrial Ernie:
Soho Nightclub for running an ad a week after the owner's son, Luke Lazarus, was sentenced for rape, the ad showing a young woman, passed out “with her legs slightly spread and her fingers gesturing a peace sign.”
The Elaine - the Ernie for the unhelpful remarks to the sisterhood:
Miranda Devine for saying "Feminism is now well past its use-by date. It has just become an excuse for unhinged individuals with Daddy issues to indulge a mean streak."
The Judicial Ernie:
Detective Inspector Michael Hughes who, speaking after the brutal daylight murder of Masa Vuketic, said women needed to take precautions not to be randomly attacked - including not walking in a public park by themselves.
The Good Ernie:
Luke Ablett, who said "Another woman killed by a man and we are talking about why women shouldn't walk in parks. What is wrong Australia?"
The clerical Ernie:
A dead heat where the boo-off couldn’t determine a winner:
Fred Nile for describing childcare centres as "daytime orphanages," and School Principal Omar Hallak, who banned female students from participating in running events because it may cause them to lose their virginity.
Repeat Offender Ernie:
Also a dead heat that couldn’t be separated by a boo-off:
Tony Abbott and former Australian Financial Review columnist Mark Latham, the latter having said about Rosie Batty (anti-family violence campaigner and violence victim) “Australian of the Year dividing the nation on the basis of gender. You owe my wife daughter and mother a massive apology.”
The Football Federation of Australia, for the gross pay gap between male and female soccer players that sees the Matildas paid below minimum wage - just $21,000 per year, and no maternity leave. In contrast, the Socceroos receive a $6,000 base payment for every international game, while the women get just $500. Earlier this month, the Matildas pulled out of their US tour when the FFA refused to increase their pay to a living wage and include maternity leave. The pay dispute is still unresolved.