In an interview published in the May issue of The Australian Women's Weekly, the news presenter says the nasty criticism started to mess with her head, when she dared to take on feminists in a newspaper opinion piece.
In her Daily Telegraph article, entitled "Hey ladies, men aren’t the enemy", she wrote that she had never encountered any discrimination in her career and suggested that women should stop “blaming men” for their professional disappointments.
Fury ensued. "Twitter was ferocious," Natalie tells The Weekly. "I’m all for people having a different view, but what disturbed me was how personal it got ... They didn’t think I should speak because I have a decent pay packet, wear high heels and work in commercial TV."
Comedian Meshel Laurie posted on Twitter, "Oh Natalie Barr, the 80s called, they want their sassy opinion piece misrepresenting feminism back." The Age journalist Jill Stark tweeted, "Sunrise’s [Natalie Barr] says sexism isn’t a big problem and we should just get over ourselves. Until she gets axed for being too old for TV."
Many tweeted in support of Natalie, but she was also called, among other things, a "complete airhead" and "privileged arseclown". "I thought I was pretty tough, but I haven’t experienced anything like this," Natalie says.
The Weekly’s Susan Horsburgh canvasses a range of successful Australian women and discovers that Natalie has her advocates and opponents, including Studio 10 co-host Jessica Rowe who details the sexual harassment she encountered early on in her career.
Read more of this story in the May issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.