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Susan Mitchell: Gillard’s words changed politics forever

The Peter Slipper saga will be forgotten. What people will remember is a Prime Minister standing up for women and demanding sexism stop, writes commentator Susan Mitchell.

Yesterday our world changed.

It is difficult for many men to ever truly understand what it is like to be a woman who is forced to put up with sexist and misogynist remarks. Some of them are devious and sly. Some of them are openly hostile and aggressive. Rarely in the workplace do women ever call out men on these remarks.

Why is this? Because men usually hold the positions of power in most workplaces. Because to call out a man on sexist remarks is to be labelled a man-hating feminist or a troublemaker or not a “team player”. Those women who are brave enough to do this are sometimes punished in some way. And for this reason most women try to ignore the insults and just get on with their work.

My mother always told me “to rise above it” and not reduce yourself to the level of the abuser. Thankfully my father taught me to never be put down and to speak and write as an equal. It has not always been to my advantage to do so. But unless you do, nothing will change.

For the first time in our political history, we have a woman holding the power of the highest office in the nation. There are many men, particularly Tony Abbott, who have sought to rip that power away from her as soon as possible. But she has withstood them. Despite all the “slings and arrows” they have flung at her, she has tried valiantly to rise above it.

Yesterday in Parliament she could take it no more. And she let Abbott  have it. She had reached her tipping point and refused to be silent in the face of his hypocrisy.

Whether Abbott changes his manner, his language and his beliefs or just pretends to in order to become the next prime minister is up to him and the women and men of Australia to judge.”

Her first words were: “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not.” And with composure and passion she went on to list, with dates and times, the many acts of sexism and misogyny that he had performed against her.

She challenged him to confirm whether he still believed that “men by their physiology and temperament were more suited to the exercise of power”.

She stated that she was not only personally offended but was offended on behalf of the women of Australia when he stated that “abortion is the easy way out”.

She pointed out that no man would ever have been challenged in the manner she was, “to make an honest woman of herself”.

She underlined the double standard of Abbott standing in front of posters saying “ditch the witch” and naming her as “Bob Brown’s bitch”. Such hypocrisy, she said, could no longer be tolerated.

Abbott sat there unsure of how to shape his expression, knowing his usual stony, killer stare would not work. Looking decidedly uncomfortable at being forced for the first time to endure this personal attack on his own sexism, he finally looked at his watch, to check how much longer he had to endure. She even called him out on this, adding: “Apparently a woman has spoken too long. I have had him yell at me to shut up in the past.”

While most male commentators admitted that it was a “feisty” performance, they did not go on to discuss the hypocrisy and double standards of the Leader of the Opposition. Nor do they understand how important such a speech is to the women of Australia. This was not just one woman’s exasperated outburst on her own behalf. This was the Prime Minister of Australia saying to every Australian woman: we don’t have to take this any more.

When Peter Hartcher claimed in his column in The Sydney Morning Herald that Gillard had let down the women of Australia, he could not have got it more wrong. The hundreds of responses to his claim demonstrated that for the first time in our lives, a prime minister was speaking on our behalf. The fact he and most of the male political commentators have totally missed the point of her speech only serves to prove what she is saying is true.

Will her speech just drift off into the ether with all the other political hot air?

Why has her speech spread so quickly around the world? Why are women in many different nations reading it and commenting on how lucky Australian women are to have a prime minister who has the guts and passion to attack the kind of sexism that some of us face on a daily basis?

Few might remember the details of the Slipper saga but her words will ring in our minds and our hearts forever.

The Prime Minister’s message is clear. When confronted by relentless sexist and misogynist language and behaviour, women should: confront it openly, call it for what it is and never consider it to be acceptable behaviour under any circumstances.

Whether Abbott changes his manner, his language and his beliefs or just pretends to in order to become the next prime minister is up to him — and the women and men of Australia to judge.

Whatever happens, Gillard’s words in that Parliament will never be erased. They are proof that words can change the world.

*Susan Mitchell is a commentator and author of the book Tony Abbott: A Man’s Man

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  • 1
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Susan,

    The words may be remembered and the clip played often etc, but people will recall that 70 Labor, Green and Independant MP’s voted to support the ‘word’ and ‘texts’ of Slipper by retaining him in the Speakers role, albeit for a few hours.

    Look at Rudd’s body language during her speech, he never looked up once, was on the iPad and reading. That was interesting

  • 2
    jennatilz mckrackin
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Its not just male commentators that have missed the mark. Emma Alberici, Latika Bourke, Sabra Lane and Annabel Crabb are all doing the same. I cant believe it.

  • 3
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    What people will remember is Julia Gillard and the entire Labor Party voting for a misogynist and s3xist Peter Slipper.

    It’s now on the public record, every single Labor MP including Bandt, Windsor and Oakeshotte voted in support of Peter Slipper and his comments.

    Even Peter Slipper himself thought it was untenable for him to stay… but not this Prime Minister, so desperate she was to hold onto him.

  • 4
    Aliar Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Whatever yesterday was, today surely is a new low in the MSM, a new low tide mark for the slide into the toilet bowl beckoning aussie journalism.

    Anyone who actually watched and comprehended the speech understands precisely why this PM absolutely deserves the support of every intelligent Australian.

    That reality is not reflected in our sad sack idiot media today

  • 5
    Aliar Jones
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    GeeWizz demonstrates a very typical blinkered and bizzare lack of basic comprehension skills.

    I suggest you read the speech then you can come back and apologize for being an ignoramus.

  • 6
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Speaking as a male, I found the coverage of the PM’s speech this morning on 666 Canberra was very narrowly focused on whether she was a hypocrite. Then I watched her speech (posted on an American blog!) and it dawned on me how awful Abbott’s views are, but they were barely touched upon on radio. Unfortunately the usual morning host, Alex Sloan (female) was replaced by a male stand-in so there was very little female perspective.

  • 7
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Limited News,

    Gillard came off as precious. Yes she plays well to the handbag squad, but she really did come off as a precious petal yesterday.

    I mean the poor darling was screaming s3xism because Abbott looked at his watch… she’s really fallen off the perch this time.

    If this is all Labor have got left they are stuffed

  • 8
    Sue11
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    True, the only downside, was that PM Gillard chose to do this great speech to deflect attention from a man who seems to be as big a misoginist as she claimed Mr Abbott to be. It taints the occasion somewhat no matter how true it may have been.

  • 9
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    It certainly was a brilliant speech a put Abbott right back in his box, just a pity it came about on the issue it did as the MSM have had an excuse to miss it, hopefully the attention it is getting OS gets their attention.

    Geewizz - As usual you show your prejudice and inability to entertain a logical thought.

  • 10
    cairns50
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    a fantastic critique of a fantastic speech

    peter hartcher got it so wrong in his article

    but what else could one expect

    her speech yesterday showed in black and white who should be the prime minister after the next election

    and it sure aint tony abbott

  • 11
    Daly
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    When a matter is before a court it is correct for everyone to wait until the court hands down its judgement. In constitutional law it is known as ‘the separation of powers’; the courts and the Parliament operate separately. Therefore Tony Abbott was completely out of order to raise the Slipper matter in the Parliament before the court findings. That is why the Government won the vote. Nothing to do with the content of the Slipper case.

  • 12
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Daly - While you are 100% correct this seems to have been lost on the media, Emma Alberici (who is normally very good) made the comment that these texts were fact and therefore not related to the case - slippery slope that.

  • 13
    RoseL
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Why is it that Juliia Gilliard gets far more attention and favourable treatment by the international media than at home?!! Peter Hartcher, I don’t feel let down at all. Thank you for your article Susan.

  • 14
    Sharilynn Gerchow
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I agree - I was elated after watching this speech yesterday and shared the link far and wide. Then, reading the press this morning, I couldn’t believe the negativity being sprouted by people such as Peter Harchter (should he speak for me?). The cynicism displayed by those who see this speech as purely political and defensive of Peter Slipper (seriously? Were you listening?)depresses me. I might just go back to destroying the joint.

  • 15
    Gavin Mooney
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Great article on a great speech by Ms Gillard. It is not just the women of Australia who are fed up with Mr Abbott’s sexism and negativism but many men as well. How incredibly nasty and evil of Mr Abbott to use the same expression used by Mr Jones but here about the government, that it was ‘dying of shame’.

    Can we please have a social media campaign against Mr Abbott? Far more important that we do than against Mr Jones.

  • 16
    The Pav
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Furthermore Gee Whiz

    If Tony Abbott is not so against sexism and mysogyny then should he call for a fresh vote for his leadership[.

    After all he won it with one vote.SLIPPERS!

    There’s your mate in his job courtesy of a tainted vote.Something he says he wouldn never accept

    If Labour were wrong for a few months about Slipper it is nothing compared to how long the Liberal Party were wrong about him

  • 17
    geomac62
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Daly
    You got it right . Unfortunately this latest effort by the coalition isn,t the first time they have preempted the courts or in fact convicted before any charge has been laid .
    Truthless aka Alf aka whiz
    Handbags ? Maybe you mean purse or something else but handbags are something you see in old movies . I accept you wouldn,t appreciate how good the PM was yesterday or how uncomfortable the MM looked , truth hurt as we know . There was nothing precious about the PM but a lot of spirit and conviction backed up with dates of MMs misdeeds .

  • 18
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    When a matter is before a court it is correct for everyone to wait until the court hands down its judgement. In constitutional law it is known as ‘the separation of powers’; the courts and the Parliament operate separately.”

    This is the line the Labor Party and it’s hack use as an excuse of latching onto a proven misogynist and s3xist.

    You see the problem for the Labor Party is that the courts don’t decide who the Speaker of the House is, they do, so any pending c0urt cases are irrelevant. The Labor Party is not asked to make a decision on the case, they are simply being asked if Slippery Pete was the best man for the job after what has been revealed.

    Labor unfortunately failed the character test once again and we’ll see the results of that blunder in the next set of polling.

  • 19
    sebster
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your clear-eyed and rational takedown of Hartcher’s weirdness. Excellent article.

  • 20
    WiseGuy63
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    In years to come people will remember the first time that a female leader of government called out her opposite number on his own long standing sexist behaviour. We’ll all forget about Peter Slipper and Alan Jones and the background to her 15 minute tirade against Mr Abbott. The politics and the context of the day will be lost. If she never does anything again people will always remember that moment about her. She’ll forever be the poster “girl” for women standing up to sexist men.

  • 21
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    In years to come people will remember the first time that a female leader of government called out her opposite number on his own long standing sexist behaviour. “

    In days to come when polling agencies start showing Labor and Gillards support bombing, you guys will all need to remember you live in lala land.

  • 22
    Jara22
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Well said!

  • 23
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Gewizz - “In days to come when polling agencies start showing Labor and Gillards support bombing, you guys will all need to remember you live in lala land.” You’ve had Gillard sacked and an election called numerous times in the past few years, maybe it is your perception of reality that is skewed!

  • 24
    Stephen
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    The whole sleazy Slipper affair that was of Gillard’s own creation has suddenly turned into a PR triumph for her.

    Scarcely believable, but true nonetheless.

  • 25
    Julez
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much Susan for this important perspective on Julia’s speech and the landscape for women in Australia. I too was raised to believe I could be anything I wanted, but it just wasn’t true. I’ve been subjected to countless misogynist remarks and harassment in the workplace. I’m a contractor and many recruiters have put me forward for less money and openly have told me the “blokes” earn more. I get to the final two and a bloke gets the role. I check linkedin and see how much more experience I have and despair. Today, I feel hope. This speech I think will resonate forever. It will endure with Rudd’s sorry speech. Thank you Julia Gillard. Thank you.

  • 26
    Jack Robertson
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Watching the hypocritical farce of yesterday made me laugh even harder than I did listening to Erica Jong defending Bill Clinton’s right to shag a 20 year old employee at work (on the grounds that he was the American tribal Alpha Male and thus had a right to the tribe’s best pickings, or some kooky throwback nonsense…)

    Feminism’s apparent great flaw is that few feminists actually believe in it as a driver of political actions and choices. Every single time the crunch comes, and feminism is faced with the option of judging a nominal political ally’s attitude to women on their actions not their rhetoric…it seems to bottle it. And usually - as with Abbott As Feminist Whipping Boy now - instead vents its own awareness of that ideological timidness/tyre-kicking with superheated projections onto ‘safe’ targets of claims of vile sexism, women-hatred, etc. Does it really mean nothing to Julia Gillard that Abbott’s wife and daughters have explicitly defended him? What does that say about Gillard’s view of Margie Abbott and her kids? Silly breeders not worth heeding?! Is feminism now so frenetically obsessed with its own ideological rectitude that it can’t recognise this as a truly sexist - actually I would suggest bordering on authentically misogynistic - mindset? ‘I do not know your husband personally, but by golly, using my trusty Feminist-O-Scope I know his attitude to women better than you do…you’re wrong, I am right: he hates women.’

    Wow, good luck selling that one, ALP.

    Many men can’t take and won’t take feminism seriously until feminists start treating their own principles with respect when it costs them to do so (the ONLY time principles of any kind really are proven to be principles). Oh, and one last thing, out of this hilarious mess: when is feminism going to acknowledge that by far the most toxic cultural incubator of the misogynistic worldview is not conservative middle classland (ie Abbott’s stamping ground)…but the semi-subterranean gay male milleau of the Slippers and Ashbys? Jones’s vile hate of Gillard et al surely bubbles up out of THAT aspect of his personality rather than any expression of the white picket fence cultural-politics of the middle north shore. Abbott proofed himself against misogyny the day he chose mainstream, middle class marriage and family over the priesthood, rugger-buggery and/or DLP/libertarian-fringe uni politics. How the ALP or feminism generally can seriously think the woman-hater tag will stick - much less win net political mileage at a vote - simply escapes me.

  • 27
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    The whole sleazy Slipper affair that was of Gillard’s own creation has suddenly turned into a PR triumph for her.”

    Not what the left are doing is grappling onto the furniture of the Titanic.

    This is the only way they can spin what was 70 Labor MP’s voting for a guy who thought himself and his job untenable for the role of speaker.

    We’ll see what the public thinks in the next set of polling…

  • 28
    archibald
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Abbott’s choice of the phrase “died of shame” will earn him a well deserved place in the history books.

  • 29
    Mike Smith
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Spinning much, GeeWhiz? Careful, you’ll get dizzy.

  • 30
    sebster
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Jack - it’s the gays wot dun it. Right. OK then - keep taking the meds.

  • 31
    WTF
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Poppycock! Contrary to the self generated daily barrage of PR clap trap about the history breaking Labor achievements – this wasn’t one for the books either. It was an ugly angry outburst from an angry woman clearly spending way too much time with Christine Milne. It will not change politics and it will not deliver a single vote for Labor. Not because the majority of the country hates women but because they would prefer the government focus on the many challenges facing the country instead of this gender war blatantly fuelled by the handbag brigade. Clearly they are scared of Abbott hence the focus and attention on the man not on his policies. Would be better if Labor focused on its own policy failures … which all this crap is trying to take attention away from. Get back to governing if you want people’s vote.

  • 32
    Holden Back
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s a bit panicky in here - is that troll fear sweat I can smell?

  • 33
    MJPC
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article and excellent speech by the PM. This is something bigger that sexism, which I consider goes to the whole core of respect of the position of the PM, being they female or male.
    The rally posters the PM highlighted really were the basest example of Australian ‘culture”, and the fact that Mr Abbott would appear with them as a backdrop says something to the morals of the man and the mindset he appeals to. Would they have done the same to Bob Hawke, Paul Keating or Kevin Rudd, I don’t think so.
    Does this country need a, would be, PM who seems to consider anything is acceptable is a question yet to be answered.

  • 34
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Spinning much, GeeWhiz? Careful, you’ll get dizzy.”

    I don’t think I could spin 70 Labor MP’s voting for Peter Slippery to stay as Speaker, DESPITE knowing what he wrote in texts, DESPITE knowing about his past behaviour and then DESPITE Peter Slipper himself realising it was untenable for him to remain as Speaker.

    Labor spin-machine is going into overdrive because this event was hugely embarrassing for them… Slippers their man and he’s been caught out being misogynist and s3xist. Brilliant!

    BRING ON THE POLLS!

  • 35
    John64
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting watching people’s bias over this - and interesting seeing my own bias.

    Gillard’s words changed politics forever”, in my own opinion, they cemented Gillard’s own hypocrisy and destroyed her misogynist attack on Abbott for good. Because despite her brilliant attack - all on things Abbott said years ago (which is, after all, the defence used for Slipper’s remarks) - there was nary a peep about the comments that started this particular round of outrage (And are you outraged yet? Because apparently everyone needs to be outraged about everything this week).

    The fact is, this stunning, brutal and lethal performance against “that man”… was in defense of Peter Slipper. This is barely a week after decrying Alan Jones remarks which saw a campaign push to get him taken off of the air - IE: To lose his job.

    But the excuse profferred as to why we can’t do the same to Slipper? It’s a matter before the courts. A court case incidentally, which the Gillard Government has been publicy commenting about for months (“kabuki actor” anyone?). But now suddenly it’s “off limits” and it would be inappropriate to make any comment.

    To me - and as I said, perhaps this is just my own bias - it reconfirmed that Gillard is a “do anything to stay in power” politician, with very poor political judgement and that as hypocritical as it was for Abbott to raise Slipper in Parliament (which I thought was the point), it points out Gillard’s own blatant hypocrisy of the attacks over “sexism” and “misogynism” that are being used to score political points by her own Government.

    Now imagine if she’d stood up and said the same thing, but with the added difference “and that’s why I support this motion to remove Slipper from office”. Now THAT would’ve been something.

  • 36
    Student T
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    It is difficult for many men to ever truly understand what it is like to be a woman who is forced to put up with sexist … remarks.”

    You really must be kidding. I endure anti-male generalisation every singel day. The word “patriarchal” is routinely used as a pejorative term.

    Men by their physiology and temperament were more suited to the exercise of power.” What he means is that men are more agressive, determined, ruthless and brutal. On average. Undeniably true. Whe women who make it to the top tend to have these same “male” characteristics. These charactersitics do not make you better at exercising power. They make you fitter in the Darwinian sense.

  • 37
    John64
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh and I forgot to add, Gillard even going so far as to call Slipper “a man of distinction” on her own twitter account, after she was aware of her comments.

    If Slipper is “a man of distinction”, what does that make Alan Jones?

  • 38
    fredex
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    The Peter Slipper saga will be forgotten. What people will remember is a Prime Minister standing up for women and demanding sexism stop.”

    Absolutely.
    Spot on correct.

  • 39
    Diana Lubis
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Julia Gillard should have done this a long time ago…..it is a valid criticism of long-standing attitudes towards powerful women by men who mistakenly consider themselves to be “feminists”. In fact, they just don’t get it! The context is unfortunate, but let us not forget that the Coalition has supported Slipper throughout his political career, and today Pyne says that they are happy to accept his votes, should he choose to vote with them.

  • 40
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Now imagine if she’d stood up and said the same thing, but with the added difference “and that’s why I support this motion to remove Slipper from office”. Now THAT would’ve been something.”

    Bingo and he was gone in a few hours after falling own his own sword… but of course once again Dillard was on the wrong side of history… backing this guy to the hilt.

    So that Craig Thompson… a guy alleged to have ripped off poorly paid union members and Peter Slipper, misogynist and s3xist who takes cabs to the airport when he has no flights booked that Gillard has put her hand up for in support.

    Nice books won’t be written about Gillard once she leaves as PM

  • 41
    GeeWizz
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely.
    Spot on correct.”

    And she did that by voting for a proven misogynist and s3xist.

    Spot On. Correct. It’s in the history books now.

  • 42
    Brian Derum
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Bee Dee,
    Well said Susan and well said Julia. Every so often it’s good for everyone to hear a voice from the heart that simply says “Enough, no more .” Also was very impressed by Kate Ellis who stayed focussed on Q&A while Ackerman, Pyne, and most regrettably (Turncoat) Tanner, sniggered, talked over and ignored her throughout. And Tanya Plibersek on Lateline cooly and calmly despatching Emma Alberici’s unprofessional descent into commentary and away from questioning. Something fundamentally profound is happening in our public discourse and the men are struggling to go with it.

  • 43
    Frontal Laboratory
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Student T: are you serious?
    “The word “patriarchal” is routinely used as a pejorative term.” That’s because if you’re interested in an equal and equitable society, ‘patriarchy’ IS something deserving of disapproval and contempt.

    “Men by their physiology and temperament were more suited to the exercise of power.” What he means is that men are more agressive, determined, ruthless and brutal. On average. Undeniably true.”

    These things are only ‘suited’ to exercising one type of power. Who’s to say that power weilded by a softly spoken, understanding, kind-hearted person wouldn’t be better? What these qualities ARE better for is subjugating others. That’s not the same thing as being better suited to exercising power.

    Whe women who make it to the top tend to have these same “male” characteristics. These charactersitics do not make you better at exercising power. They make you fitter in the Darwinian sense.”

    I suggest you read Darwin before you start talking about ‘Darwinian sense’. If women who were ‘fitter’ in a Darwinian sense were those who exhibited more masculine characteristics then, well, there wouldn’t be much procreation, which would mean that they weren’t fitter in a Darwinian sense, which would mean that….

    And so on.

    I suspect that the reason you hear a lot of male bashing, if it is actually true that you do, is that people are trying to tell you something about yourself as a male, if your views espoused here are anything to go by!

  • 44
    Julez
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Alot of men here just aren’t getting it. This is the first feminist speech in Parliament. A landmark. My first experience of workplace sexism was when I was 18 when I was told to sleep with a client. The last experience was last week when I was put forward for less money than a male counterpart for the same job. I’m 46. We’ve had to take this sh*t our whole lives.

  • 45
    G E
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Susan, jennatilz mckrackin and others who seem to support Gillard’s behaviour - you seem amazed that ‘male commentators’ and others don’t share your views on Gillard’s bad judgement. Try getting in step with the populace at large, for your views are grossly out of step with the vast majority of people. Gillard’s message may ‘be clear’ but that doesn’t make it right.

  • 46
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Geewizz you are like a broken record. Allegations are not facts, Thomson has not been charged with anything but Howard and co. did start a couple of illegal wars.

  • 47
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    My my, we do have some misogynists writing here today. Interestingly, they appear to be supporters of the Coalition. Which has to say a lot about conservative thought processes-if they can be called that.

    JOHN64: “” Does it really mean nothing to Julia Gillard that Abbott’s wife and daughters have explicitly defended him? What does that say about Gillard’s view of Margie Abbott and her kids? Silly breeders not worth heeding?!””

    Rather than resorting to manufactured spleen you might look at the whole “Wifey scam” for what it was. The rancid rabbit was reacting-with considerable fear-to the knowledge that the female voter was ever so slightly underwhelmed by his presence. Strapped of female friends to speak up for him, he resorted to one of the oldest dodges in the political lexicon. Do a great big Dorothy Dixer. Utilise the fact that Rupert Murdoch owns seventy-five percent of Australian media and go for broke in the Herald sun-three full page full colour shots of the family.

    Since you exhibit outrage about sexism you might ask yourself why Tony Abbott used his wife in such a cynical and devious way? You imagine Gillard as mentally diminishing Abbott’s female family, yet you fail to reflect on Ms Abbott’s lack of brain power that she should allow her husband to misuse her.

    That you see yesterday’s performance in Parliament as being solely about Peter Slipper reveals a lack of ability to read subtext.

  • 48
    Barry Smith
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Seriously? This bickering over Julia????? As a bloke, I get overlooked for jobs in waxing salons and lingerie shops. Life isn’t fair, woman make great sandwiches and men put the rubbish out. Can’t we just agree on that much?

  • 49
    Jimmy
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    G E - “Try getting in step with the populace at large, for your views are grossly out of step with the vast majority of people” Over 35k polled on the SMH/AGe website and it’s running about 47-53 Gillard to Abbott, so basically along voting intentions and not as cut and dried as you make out.

  • 50
    Hamis Hill
    Posted Wednesday, 10 October 2012 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Is it an ignorance of history that obscures all this “Kirche, Kinder Kuche” Klaptrap of the extreme right?
    They continue to do a good job of obscuring that defeat of right wing exxtremism known as WWII to the point of ignoring the fact that Sir Roden Cutler won his VC in Syria.
    Where? No details available?Just as the deaths of Australians in Libya in the same war against right wing extremism was totally without comment or commemoration during the recent conflict until their war graves were desecrated. A revelation for young Australians.
    As for feminism, history records that women were accomplished household mamagers at all times, how are they then unqualified for leadership in wider fields?
    This LOTO might have chosen “Battlelines” as the title of his widely unread book but it was his fellow Romans who were dismayed to find themselves up against women in the battlelines of their wars against the Celts.
    This insidious,mysogynist attempt to re-enslave women is alien to Australian values, and it is about time the real men stood up to the politicised perverts who are propagating it.
    Perverts is used advisedly, for how safe are children while their mothers are being harried and persecuted?
    A deeper motive for all this misogyny that needs closer scrutiny? The ancient, alien perversions of Rome protected, promoted and at play in Australian politics?
    Just why are they so scared of women?

Womens Agenda

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