This conservative politician slammed 'Wear a Dress Day.' It backfired. Big time.

This is Australian senator Cory Bernardi.

He's a conservative. That's putting it lightly.

Photo by Mark Graham/AFP/Getty Images.


Down Under, Bernardi is known for, among other things, pushing climate change denial, vehemently opposing LGBTQ rights, and calling proponents of abortion access "pro-death."

So, at face value, a tweet he published on Sept. 20 probably wasn't all that surprising.

In the tweet, which has since been deleted, Bernardi wrote, " One school in SA now has a 'wear a dress day'. This gender morphing is really getting absurd," Bernardi said, linking to a story about a school in South Australia holding a "Wear a Dress Day."

The first problem with Bernardi's tweet is that it's wildly transphobic. The second problem is that it ... sort of totally missed the whole point of what "Wear a Dress Day" actually is.

"Wear a Dress Day" has nothing to do with any sort of LGBTQ awareness campaign like Bernardi's tweet suggests. It's about girls' education.

Student leaders at Craigburn Primary School near Adelaide had chosen to support One Girl's Do It in a Dress campaign on their last day of term — a day in which students are typically allowed to wear casual clothes to class.  

Students who want to wear casual clothing can certainly still do so. But, in recognition of the campaign, students of all genders are also allowed to wear dresses — only if they wish to do so — to boost awareness of girls' lack of access to education globally, a blog post by the school points out.

In addition to wearing casual clothes or a dress, students were encouraged to donate to the campaign so the school could reach its $900 goal supporting One Girl, funding needs like scholarships and making schools safer for girls.

The senator's offensive, tone-deaf tweet didn't really add up. And people noticed — including Josh Thomas.

The prominent Australian comedian and LGBTQ rights advocate published a thread of tweets in response to Bernardi's remarks.

Thomas pointed out Bernardi's transphobic, "gender morphing" accusation was misleading, noting the actual intention of the students' campaign.

The comedian reiterated the fact Bernardi was exploiting a school's effort to raise funds — for charity — to reap the political benefits.

Thomas concluded the thread by letting fans know he was supporting Craigburn's Do It in a Dress campaign with a $1,000 donation.

As the backlash built, Bernardi went on ABC Radio on Sept. 20 to discuss his remarks.

Instead of apologizing or clarifying his intent, the senator doubled down, claiming the school was wrong for carrying out the campaign while marriage equality is a hot-button topic currently being decided at the ballot box.

"In the hypersensitive time where we’ve got same-sex marriage debate, we’ve got people concerned about gender ideological training in schools, I think this is entirely inappropriate," Bernardi said, continuing to draw lines between a campaign focused on girls' education and transgender rights.

The senator claims he's on board with the campaign's overall goal of helping girls in the developing world. But many Australians still weren't happy with his remarks.

People gleefully shared their support for the campaign online while mocking the senator's backward stance on LGBTQ rights.

Ironically, Bernardi helped boost the very same effort he initially criticized.

The school's initial fundraising goal was just $900. To date, Craigburn School has raised over $235,000.

In large part thanks to an "ultra-conservative rant" targeting LGBTQ rights.

"We are speechless," One Girl responded to the overwhelmingly popular campaign.

If the nonprofit's math checks out, that's over 780 girls in need who will now receive an education — all thanks to one school's fundraiser (with a little help from a bigoted politician, of course).

To support Craigburn's Do It in a Dress campaign, visit One Girl's website.

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I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

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WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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