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Date: August 19, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on beauty and Australia.

THE ARTICLE

Australia mayor seeks ‘ugly’ women

The mayor of a remote Australian town has caused outrage among women across Australia. John Molony, the mayor of Mt. Isa, a mining town in the Australian Outback, has offended women by making sexist comments. He called on women who were “ugly ducklings” to come to his town to make its male citizens happy. Mt. Isa has a population of almost 25,000 and men outnumber women by a ratio of five to one. Mr. Molony proposed making the numbers more equal by saying: “If there are five [men] to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa.” He stated that “not so attractive” women were happy in his town because of a recent or upcoming date.

Many of Mt. Isa’s female residents are up in arms at their mayor’s comments. Patricia O’Callaghan from the Chamber of Commerce said Molony’s remarks were offensive and that "there are a lot of women who are furious”. Many women have hit back. Healthcare worker Catherine Willett said: "To be honest, there just aren't top quality men here….They are too busy drinking beer to notice the women and all they do is whistle or yell as you go past.” Anna Warrick, an occupational therapist, added: "The guys don't make much of an effort with the girls. There isn't much wining and dining going on.” Molony has refused to apologize, saying his comments were “twisted and warped” by the media. He insists he respects women.

 

WARM-UPS

1. BEAUTY: Walk around the class and talk to other students about beauty. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

mayors / outrage / mining towns / sexist comments / population / going on a date / being up in arms / hitting back / healthcare workers / whistling / wining and dining

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. OFFENSIVE COMMENTS: Are you easily offended? Write what you would do if someone made really about comments to you. Change partners and share your ideas.

Comment about…

What I would do

My looks

 

My body

 

My family & friends

 

My religion

 

My intelligence

 

My country

 

4. ROMANCE: Students A strongly believe being romantic is the man’s job; Students B strongly believe both partners have an equal responsibility to be romantic. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.

5. GUYS ‘N’ GIRLS: Are guys better than girls or is it the other way round? With your partner(s), decide if guys or girls gets the highest score out of ten for the following:

Guys      Girls

_____  _____  romance

_____  _____  intelligence

_____  _____  courage

_____  _____  sense of humour

Guys      Girls

_____  _____  honesty

_____  _____  punctuality

_____  _____  common sense

_____  _____  gentleness

6. FEMALE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘female’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

An Australian mayor wants to meet and date women who aren’t pretty.

T / F

b.

The mayor’s comments have upset many women in his town.

T / F

c.

There are five times more women than men in the mayor’s town.

T / F

d.

The mayor suggested women come to his town to find a boyfriend.

T / F

e.

Several women hit the mayor on his back.

T / F

f.

One woman said the town’s men were too interested in beer.

T / F

g.

A female resident said the town’s men rarely wined and dined women.

T / F

h.

The mayor has apologized for his comments.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

1.

remote

a.

hurt

2

outrage

b.

press

3.

offended

c.

furious

4.

proposed

d.

swears

5.

proceed

e.

isolated

6.

up in arms

f.

fury

7.

offensive

g.

romancing

8.

wining and dining

h.

go

9.

insists

i.

suggested

10.

media

j.

insulting

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

1.

The mayor of a remote

a.

more equal

2

offended women by

b.

much of an effort

3.

men outnumber women by

c.

back

4.

making the numbers

d.

a ratio of five to one

5.

a recent or

e.

making sexist comments

6.

female residents are up

f.

drinking beer

7.

Many women have hit

g.

and dining

8.

too busy

h.

Australian town

9.

The guys don't make

i.

upcoming date

10.

wining

j.

in arms

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The mayor of a remote Australian town has __________ outrage among women across Australia. John Molony, the mayor of Mt. Isa, a mining town in the Australian Outback, has __________ women by making __________ comments. He called on women who were “ugly ducklings” to come to his town to make its male __________ happy. Mt. Isa has a population of almost 25,000 and men outnumber women by a __________ of five to one. Mr. Molony proposed making the numbers more __________ by saying: “If there are five [men] to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa.” He stated that “not so __________” women were happy in his town because of a __________ or upcoming date.

 

attractive
sexist
citizens
caused
recent
ratio
offended
equal

Many of Mt. Isa’s female residents are up in __________ at their mayor’s comments. Patricia O’Callaghan from the Chamber of Commerce said Molony’s remarks were __________ and that "there are a lot of women who are __________”. Many women have hit __________. Healthcare worker Catherine Willett said: "To be honest, there just aren't top quality men here….They are too busy drinking beer to __________ the women and all they do is whistle or __________ as you go past.” Anna Warrick, an occupational therapist, added: "The guys don't make much of an effort with the girls. There isn't much wining and __________ going on.” Molony has refused to apologize, saying his comments were “twisted and warped” by the media. He insists he __________ women.

 

notice
 
offensive
furious
respects
dining
arms
back
yell

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

The mayor of a remote Australian town _________________ among women across Australia. John Molony, the mayor of Mt. Isa, a mining town in the Australian Outback, _________________ by making sexist comments. He called on women who were “ugly ducklings” to come to his ______________ male citizens happy. Mt. Isa has a population of almost 25,000 and men outnumber women _________________ to one. Mr. Molony proposed making the _________________ by saying: “If there are five [men] to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa.” He stated that “not so attractive” women were happy in his town because of a recent _________________.

Many of Mt. Isa’s female residents _________________ at their mayor’s comments. Patricia O’Callaghan from the Chamber of Commerce said Molony’s remarks were offensive and that "there are a lot of women _________________”. Many women have hit back. Healthcare worker Catherine Willett said: "To be honest, there just _________________ men here….They are too busy drinking beer to notice the women and all they do is whistle _________________  past.” Anna Warrick, an occupational therapist, added: "The guys don't make much of an effort with the girls. There isn't much _________________ going on.” Molony has refused to apologize, saying his comments were “_________________” by the media. He insists he respects women.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘wine’ and ‘dine’.

wine

dine

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • outrage
  • sexist
  • ducklings
  • ratio
  • proceed
  • recent
  • arms
  • furious
  • hit
  • busy
  • wining
  • media

STUDENT BEAUTY SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about beauty in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

BEAUTY DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘ugly’?

c)

What do you think of the mayor’s comments?

d)

Do you think beauty should be a factor in encouraging people to move to a town?

e)

Do you think John Molony should resign?

f)

What would people in your town say if your mayor made these comments?

g)

What do you think the mayor should do to make his town more attractive to all women?

h)

What do you think of Mr. Molony’s term “beauty disadvantaged”?

i)

What do you think Mt. Isa is like?

j)

Why do you think the men of Mt. Isa greatly outnumber the women?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

When was the last time you were up in arms about something?

c)

Have you ever hit back at someone for what they said?

d)

Do you think beauty is in the eye of the beholder?

e)

Do you think there’s a relationship between beer drinking and the quality of a man?

f)

What do you think of men who whistle at women?

g)

Do you like the idea of wining and dining?

h)

What does “beauty is only skin deep” mean? Do you agree?

i)

Do you think John Molony really respects women?

j)

What questions would you like to ask John Molony?

LANGUAGE

The mayor of a (1) ____ Australian town has caused outrage among women across Australia. John Molony, the mayor of Mt. Isa, a mining town in the Australian Outback, has (2) ____ women by making sexist comments. He called (3) ____ women who were “ugly ducklings” to come to his town to make its male citizens happy. Mt. Isa has a population of almost 25,000 and men outnumber women (4) ____ a ratio of five to one. Mr. Molony proposed making the numbers more (5) ____ by saying: “If there are five [men] to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa.” He stated that “not so attractive” women were happy in his town because of a recent or (6) ____ date.

Many of Mt. Isa’s female residents are up in (7) ____ at their mayor’s comments. Patricia O’Callaghan from the Chamber of Commerce said Molony’s remarks were offensive and that "there are a lot of women who are (8) ____”. Many women have hit back. Healthcare worker Catherine Willett said: "To be honest, there just aren't top quality men here….They are too busy drinking beer (9) ____ notice the women and all they do is whistle or yell as you go past.” Anna Warrick, an occupational (10) ____, added: "The guys don't make much of an effort with the girls. There isn't much (11) ____ and dining going on.” Molony has refused to apologize, saying his comments were “twisted and warped” by the media. He insists he (12) ____ women.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

remote

(b)

remotely

(c)

remoter

(d)

remoteness

2.

(a)

offensive

(b)

offends

(c)

offended

(d)

offending

3.

(a)

off

(b)

of

(c)

in

(d)

on

4.

(a)

of

(b)

by

(c)

at

(d)

to

5.

(a)

equity

(b)

equation

(c)

equality

(d)

equal

6.

(a)

incoming

(b)

oncoming

(c)

upcoming

(d)

coming

7.

(a)

elbows

(b)

arms

(c)

wrists

(d)

biceps

8.

(a)

furious

(b)

furiously

(c)

fury

(d)

furry

9.

(a)

to

(b)

at

(c)

for

(d)

so

10.

(a)

therapy

(b)

treatment

(c)

therapist

(d)

therapeutic

11.

(a)

whinging

(b)

whining

(c)

winning

(d)

wining

12.

(a)

respect

(b)

respects

(c)

respectable

(d)

respectful

WRITING: 

Write about beauty for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the Australian Outback mining town Mt. Isa. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MY TOWN: Make a poster about your town. Advertise all the good things about it to attract people to go and live there. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. OFFENSIVE: Write a magazine article about a meeting between Mayor Molony and the women of Mt. Isa. What happened next? Include imaginary interviews with the mayor and a woman from the article. What do they think of each other?

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are your town’s mayor. Write about one day in your life. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

remote

a.

isolated

2

outrage

b.

fury

3.

offended

c.

hurt

4.

proposed

d.

suggested

5.

proceed

e.

go

6.

up in arms

f.

furious

7.

offensive

g.

insulting

8.

wining and dining

h.

romancing

9.

insists

i.

swears

10.

media

j.

press

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The mayor of a remote

a.

Australian town

2

offended women by

b.

making sexist comments

3.

men outnumber women by

c.

a ratio of five to one

4.

making the numbers

d.

more equal

5.

a recent or

e.

upcoming date

6.

female residents are up

f.

in arms

7.

Many women have hit

g.

back

8.

too busy

h.

drinking beer

9.

The guys don't make

i.

much of an effort

10.

wining

j.

and dining

GAP FILL:

Australia mayor seeks ‘ugly’ women

The mayor of a remote Australian town has caused outrage among women across Australia. John Molony, the mayor of Mt. Isa, a mining town in the Australian Outback, has offended women by making sexist comments. He called on women who were “ugly ducklings” to come to his town to make its male citizens happy. Mt. Isa has a population of almost 25,000 and men outnumber women by a ratio of five to one. Mr. Molony proposed making the numbers more equal by saying: “If there are five [men] to every girl, we should find out where there are beauty-disadvantaged women and ask them to proceed to Mount Isa.” He stated that “not so attractive” women were happy in his town because of a recent or upcoming date.

Many of Mt. Isa’s female residents are up in arms at their mayor’s comments. Patricia O’Callaghan from the Chamber of Commerce said Molony’s remarks were offensive and that "there are a lot of women who are furious”. Many women have hit back. Healthcare worker Catherine Willett said: "To be honest, there just aren't top quality men here….They are too busy drinking beer to notice the women and all they do is whistle or yell as you go past.” Anna Warrick, an occupational therapist, added: "The guys don't make much of an effort with the girls. There isn't much wining and dining going on.” Molony has refused to apologize, saying his comments were “twisted and warped” by the media. He insists he respects women.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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