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Julie Bishop asked if she’d free the nipple during Q&A

To coincide with Sydney’s All About Women Festival, last night’s episode of Q&A was fronted by an all-women discussion panel, with even host, Tony Jones, losing his seat for the night.

Annabel Crabb was in the hot seat for the all-women addition, with the likes of Germaine Greer, foreign minister Julie Bishop, author Roxane Gay, youth advocate Yassmin Abdel-Magied, and Best & Less CEO Holly Kramer taking to the panel.

Of course, all the expected topics came up for debate, like gender equality, sexism at work and the like, but the discussion took an interesting turn when a member of the audience directed a question to the panel about women who share photos of themselves topless and claim it’s feminism.

The question was directed in Greer’s direction, who pretty surprisingly said the size of the breasts has quite a lot to do with the impact of the political statement. That is, the bigger the boobs, the bigger the political statement. Here’s what Greer had to say.

“It’s always very strange, because you get the picture online of these women who’ve taken their tops off and are standing nobly in the street and there’s never anybody there — except the police who are going to arrest them, any minute,” she said.

“And they never have big breasts, have you noticed? If they actually had breasts, that would cause wonder and amazement, they wouldn’t do it. They’re always under-endowed… it’s another version of exhibitionism, and I’m not sure it accomplishes anything at all.”

Crabb then shuffled the opportunity to respond to Bishop, who said she was more familiar with emojis than the Free the Nipple campaign.

“It’s not something that I’ve ever actually had the desire to do online,” Bishop said. “I’m quite adept at my emoji language, but that’s about as radical as I get.”

And then things just got a whole lot more awkward when Greer piped up with, “But what if it got you the commutation of the life sentences for two Australians in prison?”

Bishop has been vocal of her support for the two Australian men, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, who currently find themselves on death row in Bali. But that Greer had the audacity to link some exhibitionism with getting the two men clemency, well, that was all a bit too much for Bishop to take in.

“Please don’t go there, Germaine,” Bishop pleaded. “Please don’t go there.”

The look of shock on Bishop’s face was mirrored by viewers’ responses on Twitter.

What do you think about Germaine Greer’s comments during Q&A? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

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