South Australia’s Sex Industry Network (SIN) sparked controversy in parliament with the Tweet of a relatively benign depiction of a vulva, pictured above.
Well, it wasn’t so much SIN’s Tweet that caused the controversy. Speaker of the SA House of Assembly Michael Atkinson saw SIN’s tweet and decided to include two of his parliamentary colleagues, Liberal MP Michelle Lensink and Greens MP Tammy Franks in the reply. Neither were happy about being included in his reply, in which he claimed that SIN were specifically Tweeting the image to hurt Christians more than a month out from Xmas. He said that SIN’s tweet was, “calculated to be offensive as possible about Christmas, to Christians.”
SIN Manager Sharon Jennings wrote a Facebook post, apologising to anyone who might’ve felt offended by the vulva depiction and connection to the holiday season.
Ms. Franks has said there is a ‘toxic culture’ in South Australia’s parliament and according to the ABC, both MPs have called on Mr. Atkinson to resign from parliament, “I believe that the Speaker of the House should resign or be sacked by the Labor Party and Jay Weatherill.” Mr. Atkinson has decided to take a ‘long vacation’ from social media and has unreservedly apologised to both women.
Mr. Atkinson is a former chancellor of the Traditional Anglican Communion and over his years in parliament has stood against reform of video game classification, which was seeking the addition of the R18+ category, a classification that already exists for other content. As the South Australian attorney-general, he also introduced censorship laws on internet commentary.