Why Pretty Girls should shut up

Tracey Spicer

Tracey Spicer Photo: Natalie Pilato

Sometimes it takes a man to tell it like it really is. Today, that man is Geoffrey Barker. Boy, does he have big balls.  And brains.  

Professor Barker has developed an algorithm for calculating intellect based purely upon physical appearance. Of course, any work of great genius has teething problems.

At the moment, the algorithm can only be applied to women: specifically, young women. Their brains are so small they make a perfect sample size. Put simply – for any of our female readers - the algorithm works like this. Starting from an initial input, the computations proceed through a finite number of successive states, eventually producing an output.

OK, let me dumb it down for the fair-haired out there:


Input A: blonde hair tumbling artfully onto the shoulders.
Input B: eyes, usually blue, sparkling brightly.
Input C: teeth, arctic white.
Input D: breasts, pert and perky.

Occasionally there are random inputs, such as “micky-mouse* diplomas in media studies and communications” from “undistinguished universities”.

The output is nothing short of extraordinary.

Each time, the experiment results in “urgent and empty chatter”, “barely coherent sentences”, and “little competence in collecting, assembling, and interpreting information”.

It appears to be impossible for an attractive female journalism graduate to perform her duties as a television reporter.

Interestingly, Professor Barker finds no such correlation with blond, bleached-teethed, pert-peced male journalists. Next year, he hopes to complete his PhD in why men are smarter than women, based on the size of their brains.

This will reference the work of English psychologist Raymond Cattell who, in the 1930s, considered blacks to be naturally inferior on account “of their small skull capacity”.

Admittedly, there is controversy about this line of research because of its links with the practice of eugenics in the Third Reich. But Professor Barker is not one who stumbles at minor hurdles.

His book, Sexing it Up: Iraq, Intelligence and Australia, was pilloried by the Australian Public Intellectual Network for, “containing factual errors: the Bush Administration came to power in 2001, not in 1999; the no fly zones were imposed on Iraq when Saddam savagely thwarted Iraqi uprisings following the 1990-91 Gulf War, not after he expelled UN inspectors in 1998”.

Frankly, this is an outrageous slur. After all, he isn’t female, blond or blue-eyed. How could he possibly have “little competence in collecting, assembling, and interpreting information”?

For what it’s worth (probably not much, as a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, previously-pert-breasted TV reporter) I think the Professor is a victim of the tall poppy syndrome.

Some critics point out the proliferation of talented journalists with the same inputs who trawled through the sludge of commercial television to forge stellar careers: Juanita Philips, Helen Dalley, Deborah Cornwall, Rosemary Church, Lara Logan, Alex Crawford, to name but a few. 

Others – who shall remain nameless – are calling him ‘Mr. Misogynist’.

Clearly, he doesn’t hate women. He works with them, right? I think he might even have daughters. Fortunately, there’s one thing we all agree on: News and current affairs on commercial TV is sh*t. Unless you’re one of the millions who tunes in. Then, it’s ace.

Anyway, I’d better be off.

Time to give a speech at my alma mater (*tumbles hair artfully over shoulder*).

The title is, “Why Pretty Girls are Dumb B*tches Who Should Shut the F*ck Up”.

It’s dedicated to Geoffrey Barker.

What a man.

*I’m sure the venerable Professor wrote ‘Mickey Mouse diplomas’ in his original column. Must have been an incompetent, blonde, pert-breasted sub who changed it to ‘micky-mouse’. Oh, the humanity!

Tracey Spicer is a Sky News anchor, talkback radio broadcaster, www.thehoopla.com.au columnist, and Ambassador for the Learning Potential Fund at the Queensland University of Technology. Inexplicably, she had no trouble forming coherent sentences or collecting, assembling and interpreting information in her white-teethed, bright-eyed, pert-breasted youth.




  • Although he totally stuffed up by blaming the poor state of TV journalism on the presenters, he makes a good point of how lame and shallow TV journalism now is. You did of course mention this main point in 3 lines out of 150 in your article, only to point to the ratings to try and dismiss it. Well over a million people tuned in to watch celebrities do belly flops the other night, that doesn't mean it's quality.

    Date and time
    May 02, 2013, 3:57PM
    • Thanks for that response Tracey- it was an abominable article.
      It is just unfortunate that the dire state of commercial news and current affairs programs is indeed as he suggests. However, totally unfair to equate the stereotypical 'beauty' of young female reporters and journalists with a lack of intelligence.

      Date and time
      May 02, 2013, 4:19PM
    • While it does seem unfortunate for the female journalists, he must be right. It says so on the internet after all.

      Date and time
      May 02, 2013, 4:20PM
  • Tracey is obviously bright and is not, I imagine, the target of Barker's article. Tracey may succeed Gerard Henderson with her impressive fact-checking of Barker's own flawed book.

    Tracey is wrong to blindly attack Barker as I imagine there are millions of Australians who watch commercial TV and lament just how low-brow it is and how stupid some of its 'leading lights' are.

    The sad fact is that Barker's narrow point is correct - commercial TV is moronic, especially what purports to be news. I am a conservative and yet, despite the Left leanings of the ABC and SBS, I much prefer the Virginia Triolis and Leigh Sales, despite their barely hidden left leanings, to the endless idiocy of Sharons, Tegans, Karls, Kochie, Mel etc. The saddest one is Natalie Barr who I suspect is much smarter than the bimbette she is forced to play on Ch7. Commercial TV news is pretty much as Barker describes.

    I have lived in America where free to air TV regularly features smart women and men who have a serious education. For example NBC has Mika Brzezinski and Andrea Mitchell, neither of who would get a run here because they treat their audiences as intelligent, well read - and if not then it is up to the viewer to read-up and know more. This is as it should be. We should not pretend that everyone's view is equally interesting or valid. Here, sadly, we dumb down commercial TV news to the level of any bogan with a tattoo and a grievance. It really is up to advertisers, sadly, to demand that their product be targeted at a smarter, usually higher-income earning demographic.

    Robert Elliott
    North Shore
    Date and time
    May 02, 2013, 4:44PM
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