For some, International Women’s Day is a time to confront persisting gender inequality and call for systemic change. For others, like Wentworth MP Dave Sharma, it’s an opportunity to hand out pink flowers at the train station.
The Liberal backbencher came under fire on Monday after tweeting a photo of himself giving away one of many pink flowers to a passing woman in his Sydney electorate to mark International Women’s Day.
Sharma told Guardian Australia that while “the merchants of misery on Twitter accuse me of crimes against the zeitgeist, the dahlias brought some joy and smiles to many faces – which is what they were intended to do”.
Sharma’s gesture was seen as further proof that the government was out of touch and out of step with women’s rights.
The picture quickly amassed thousands of angry comments and retweets that called Sharma out for failing to read the room.