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10 Of The Most Sexist Things That Were Said In Australia This Year

The annual Ernie Awards for Sexist Remarks were held last night.

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The Ernie Awards for Sexist Remarks recognises instances of sexism perpetrated by public figures across Australia.

Past winners have included shock jock Alan Jones ("women are destroying the joint"), the students at Sydney's exclusive Wesley College ("it's not rape if it's my birthday") and Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne ("[women] will not be able to earn the high incomes that dentists and lawyers will earn").

Here are the winners of the 24th awards, held at NSW Parliament House on Thursday night.

1. When representing a taxi driver accused of indecently assaulting a female passenger, Melbourne barrister Ben Mallick suggested the woman played a role in the alleged attack.

Ben Mallick/Victorian Bar / Via vicbar.com.au

"She can avoid this happening by doing what other women do ... by sitting in the back seat," Mallick told the court.

When questioned over his comments he said it was an "inappropriate statement" but added: "the attack would not have happened if the woman had sat in the back seat".

2. Jailed pedophile Rolf Harris wrote a song from inside prison titled "Gutter Girls".

Niklas Halle'n / AFP / Getty Images

"Sleeping in the daytime, lying every night. She's scheming, screaming bloody rape and she's got you in her sight," the lyrics read.

3. "By attacking poverty rather than attacking men you'll get a far better solution than the nonsense we're hearing from Rosie Batty and the other left feminists," former Labor leader Mark Latham said.

Greg White / Reuters

Batty began campaigning against family violence in 2014 after her 11-year-old son Luke was murdered by his father.

Latham's comments about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who he blamed for her husband's infidelity, were also nominated for an award.

4. The NSW Department of Education proposed that experienced school teachers who take five years off to have children be downgraded to a beginner teacher salary when they returned to work.

Dragonimages / Getty Images

The NSW Teachers Federation claimed that a teacher at the top of the pay scale who took five years' leave to have children and returned to work part time for three years would take 13 years longer to work back up to their former salary compared to a teacher who did not take the leave.

5. Conservative media identity Andrew Bolt took out an award for his description of his appearance in a documentary with Indigenous MP Linda Burney.

Pool / Getty Images

"It was tricky because she is gorgeous and she's a woman and it's very difficult for a white male to debate an Aboriginal woman and not be seen as a bully or mean," Bolt said.

6. Eddie McGuire won an award for joking about drowning a female journalist.

Adam Trafford / Getty Images

"I reckon we should start the campaign for a one-person slide next year,” McGuire said about an event where celebrities slide into a pool of ice for charity.

“Caroline Wilson. And I’ll put in 10 grand straight away… make it 20. And if she stays under, 50.”

7. Queensland politician Pauline Hanson won the Elaine award for the remark least helpful to the sisterhood, which she made in her second maiden speech.

Greg Wood / AFP / Getty Images

"Women make frivolous claims and believe they have the sole right to the children... until we treat mums and dads with the same courtesy and rights, we will continue to see murders due to sheer frustration and depression and mental illness caused by this unworkable system," Hanson told the parliament.

8. Senator David Leyonhjelm earned a nomination for his criticism of women's sport.

Stefan Postles / Getty Images

But Leyonhjelm, who is unapologetic about calling former prime minister Julia Gillard a "mangy dog", missed out on an award.

9. Former AFL star Mark "Jacko" Jackson is not supportive of the code's upcoming inaugural women's league.

Dean Lewins / AAPIMAGE

"I respect women but I don't think they should be inseminated at the top level of Australian rules football," he said.

10. When NSW MP Eleni Petinos asked the state's roads minister Duncan Gay what the timeline was for an infrastructure project his response earned him an Ernie nomination.

Supplied / PR IMAGE

"Building a road is not like buying a handbag," Gay said.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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