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Federal

Aug 6, 2012

'Unproductive old cow', say one-dimensional old men

The latest example of misogynist abuse of the Prime Minister illustrates how she angers a certain type of male.

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David Farley, CEO of Australian Agriculture Company, is only the latest middle-aged white male to have a problem with Julia Gillard. He’s the one who called the Prime Minister “an unproductive old cow” last week while discussing new techniques for animal slaughter.

Farley, evidently the real victim here, complained he was “taken out of context”, although what “context” would perform the rhetorical alchemy of transforming his misogynist remarks into something anodyne isn’t clear. Then again, “taken out of context” has become one of those all-purpose excuses when someone has been caught out. Next, Farley will “apologise to anyone who was offended”.

AACo isn’t exactly a reflection of modern Australian society. There are no women on its board. There are no women senior executives. Its annual report notes that women are 36% of the company’s employees. Farley evidently doesn’t see too many women when he’s at work, except at EAs’ desks.

But Farley isn’t unusual in that regard. When it comes to misogynist abuse of Julia Gillard, he fits a pattern.

Take two of the Prime Minister’s parliamentary critics. Bill Heffernan famously called her “deliberately barren”. George Brandis “SC”, as he likes to be called, also complained that “she has chosen not to be a parent … she is very much a one-dimensional person”. Brandis is from the Queensland Bar, where currently five out of 126 senior counsel are women (though, under Campbell Newman’s Back To The Moonlight State policy, they’ll soon be called Queen’s Counsel again).

And in the Liberal Party room where Heffernan and Brandis sit, just over one-fifth of their colleagues are women.

Then there are her media abusers. Ray Hadley and Alan Jones are two of her most vituperative critics, who level contumely at her entirely different in nature to the rhetoric they direct at male politicians and, particularly, Tony Abbott. Jones whined to the Prime Minister that she was late to an interview and called for her and Bob Brown to be drowned, the sort of comments that lead to Secret Service investigations if uttered about the president in the US.

Hadley and Jones are both from football backgrounds — Hadley was and still is a footy commentator, Jones was a rugby and league coach. Hadley is nearly 60 and Jones is in his 70s.

Then there’s Garry Linnell, 48, now at Fairfax but the editor of The Daily Telegraph when, for no readily explained reason, it ran a cover during the 2010 election campaign portraying Gillard as an old woman. Linnell’s a former sports journalist.

I’m not including Grahame Morris’ “kicking her to death” comment — that was surely just poor choice of words rather than any ill-intent. But to be complete, you might add the climate denialists responsible for the misogynist placards at anti-carbon tax rallies last year, invariably angry old white people.

Are we seeing a pattern here? This is nothing to do with intelligence or education. But middle-aged or old Anglo men, particularly from blokey environments, appear to be over-represented among those dishing out gender-based abuse of the PM.

It’s not the whole pattern, to be sure. A number of women have engaged in gender-based abuse of the PM. Sometimes it’s over her appearance. Kate Legge joined in what was an election campaign barrage of misogyny from News Ltd with a piece, which will surely adorn her CV for decades to come, on the Prime Minister’s earlobes. Germaine Greer reflected on the Prime Minister’s “enormous arse” (a comment that Tony Abbott explicitly endorsed). And Sophie Mirabella and the unfortunate Janet Albrechtsen are, like some men, hung up about the prime ministerial failure to breed.

And perhaps the most offensive piece of writing about the PM since she became Prime Minister came from News Ltd’s Patrick Carlyon, who’s only 40. He managed to both infantilise and mock the PM about her gender when he opined about Barack Obama’s Australia visit that the she was “a high school girl who has, finally, after much bedroom plotting, captured the gaze of the football captain”. Although, interestingly, Carlyon, who boasts a book about Gallipoli to his name, writes extensively on sport.

The abuse of the PM goes well beyond the usual double standard that every female politician, regardless of party, has to endure, with the focus on their appearance and family circumstances and the suggestion that they are somehow intellectually weaker and more easily influenced than men.

She seems to push the buttons of older white men who aren’t used to dealing with women professionally, as if their long years in all-male environments have rendered them unable to process the idea of a woman who isn’t a subordinate or in a domestic role. Interestingly, watch this interview with David Farley about Christine Milne and see how he’s at pains to emphasise that Milne is a mother, who accordingly will have natural empathy for people in the bush.

So, perhaps, having a vagina isn’t an automatic disqualification for office, but failing to use it for producing children may well be.

The subtext — although it’s rarely particularly sub — is that Gillard, with her apparent lack of interest in such allegedly feminine pursuits as marriage and children (men of course never want to get married or have kids), is thus both unattractive and unnatural. Hence the violent language from older men, in which Gillard is an animal, to be slaughtered or drowned, a crone, or that ultimate symbol of aberrant, transgressive womanhood, a witch. Some of the language of climate denialist protesters in fact sought to frame Gillard in what they evidently thought was a more natural role for her, as s-xually subordinate to a male partner in Bob Brown, in order to explain her carbon price policy.

All of which raises the question of whether it’s the Prime Minister who, to use George Brandis’ phrase, is “one-dimensional”, or whether that more aptly describes older men who can’t cope with women who refuse to conform to gender stereotypes forged in male working environments.

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80 thoughts on “‘Unproductive old cow’, say one-dimensional old men

  1. Karen

    @PW1969 – yeah, goes to prove my point about the ‘hate media’ whose job it is not to ‘let up’ on her. Ackerman is cringeing shocker.

  2. Hamis Hill

    @ DAVID OF FALCON, as in there are knuckle dragging cave men but he very concept of a cave woman is beyond contemplation.
    But the major problem in a sport like politics is that that man a mano verbal confrontations are always backed up by the threat of physical confrontation “outside”. Tends to reduce the level of vitriol.
    Remember the Age of duelling?
    When a man makes a verbal attack on a woman there is always the perception that it is being taken cowarldly on the understanding that the woman will not be taking the man out the back to punch his lights out by way of resolving the problem.
    So many of the attacks on Gillard are cowardly by obvious cowards.
    Even if Gillard had a “Champion” to defend her honour, outside now!, can you imagine how a real man would be revolted at dusting up the cowardly, simpering, fop eunuchs responsible.
    (No need for names, they are obvious, might be sued for defamation.)

  3. PW1969

    You forgot about Piers Akerman (although he is easy very forgettable). But in his article today, he referred to the Prime Minister as a ‘ganster’s moll.’

  4. Karen

    @ Patriot – just the sort of comment that I would expect from an intellectual pi gmy who has clearly never stepped inside the gates of a university. I was giving you a lesson in criminology concerning why aboriginal people are overrepresented in the prison population and why muslim extremists strap explosives to their chest. A crystalclear, distilled message.
    Attend any black letter law school and sit in on a similar subject and you’ll get a similar lecture. Hardly, a left wing rant. And in case you’re wondering, law schools like economics departments are not known for their left wing biases.

    Sorry, Captain Planet, I couldn’t help the rejoinder – this man is so lacking in insight, he doesn’t realise he’s sinking deeper into his own pit every time he opens his mouth on the subject.

  5. Captain Planet

    @ Karen,

    You fed the Troll.

  6. Patriot

    Karen,

    There was nothing worth learning in that incoherent leftist rant of yours. This piece by Bernard is nothing but age discrimination and Anglophobia from a self-hating, middle-aged white man.

  7. David of Falcon

    Cmon that’s pathetic ! I wont bother counting how often the word “misogynist” is used. Nor the continual attack on middle aged white anglo saxon men (“mawasm” whom happened to be the most racial abused group in Australia) on television in media by other cultural groups it’s a joke.

    In Australia its ok to stereotype, denigrate, discriminate against, make fun of etc “mawasm” as heck they should just take it as men !!

    If any woman has a go at a male politician whom she doesn’t like and/or disagrees with should she be labelled a “Male Hater” as well. Shit no, theres double standards all over this country due to the politically correct, brain dead hypocrites hell bent on screwing this country up!! And its already started.

    Gee that Gillard is picked on WHOOPEE DOO! OH MY GOD there isn’t any women on a certain board “SO FRIGGING WHAT”! most likely way more men have worked towards gaining those jobs, whereas women in the past have taken years and years off raising kids working part-time etc and mostly have not been interested in managerial roles. (A fact shown in primary schools with many female teachers not wanting to have to deal with parents as the Principle).

    Female models earn bazzillions compared to males but is there an industry of men yelling out how hard done by they are? No of course not ! Facts are most people want to see female models including women so they sell, its economics and its accepted. However with sport people want to watch the best hence, male sportsman are mostly paid more than women, however you often hear whinges about how this female team is discriminated against because they don’t get paid the same as the men etc…. its just no-one wants to watch them its economics too not discrimination.

    Have a look at the social pages of any magazine, newspaper etc mmmm whats the % of men in the photos?? Now no-one whinges about it but heck if it was the other way around that bastion of hypocrisy and the one eyed, drug f…ed hypocrite brigade would be up in arms…

    What I am pointing out above is known and agreed I believe by most men and women in this country, unfortunately a lot of idiots with absurd social agendas appear to push into politics and we currently have tax funded agencies trying to promote at all costs their groups interests while trying to paint mawasm as evil and nasty. Not many are, unfortunately I have to say Abbot is but he may get in due to Labors patheticness..

  8. Karen

    @ Dogs Breakfast – I understand what you mean – fire in the belly is an attractive quality because it shows passion, but it tends to sit better on people with that sort of temperament, like Hawke, or even Keating (although scathing was more his style).

    JG doesn’t have that personality – she’s intellectual, measured, controlled, even clipped in a hostile environment which, I agree, attracts the “wooden” tag or, alternatively, the “soft” /”not leadership material” tag, when she’s she shows her warmth in a friendly environment.

    On the other hand, if she starts throwing out clangers in front of journalists, like she can do in parliament – “mincing poodle” being one of them – she runs the risk of Jones/Hadley et al slapping the “neurotic/nasty woman, “nutter”, “can’t cope with pressure” tag on her.

    Perhaps, she can allow herself to get away with a few “off the cuff’ comments (say what’s on her mind, then and there) but time and place will be everything.

    Either way, the hate media won’t let her win.

  9. Karen

    @ Patriot – my post at 8.18am in response to your post has come out of moderation – learn.

  10. klewso

    And haven’t “Murdoch’s women” done their part in institutionalising this misogeny – and if women can do it, and get away with it, to “one of theirs”, why can’t men? Seems logical enough?

    [They used their vast resources and facilites for vilification for bagging Sandilands (for bad-mouthing a fellow/female journo) but not for turning on their own for their treatment of Gillard, or Leisel Jones? Why is “some misogyny more tasteless than others”? Because they’re “Journo’s – The best arbiters of Right and wrong”?]

  11. jennyt

    I think there is another point to be made about the widespread misogyny Gillard and other female success stories suffer from…that the only way women can get to the top is by sneakiness, lying, feminine wiles, cheating. Look at what happened to Bligh, Carmen Lawrence and others. This little piece of nastiness doesn’t however mainly come from men. It also comes from women, a kind of jealous attack on people whose politics don’t gel with the complainer. How else could ‘”Juliar” have such wide currency in the face of the fact that there was no lie…a lie requires intent to deceive. Unless she knew in advance about the tied parliament there could have been no intent.

  12. Dogs breakfast

    Aging white bloke here, although I count myself among the generation that just follows these buffoons.

    It is misogynist rubbish, and has flourished for not calling it by its name. There is no question that JG has had to put up with poison way beyond what is reasonable political debate, and way beyond what her predecessors met.

    Unreconstructed old white guys running these lines represent what I hope is a dying race, but who can say.

    All of these comments say more about the commentators than about JG.

    I admire her fight, I like her when she talks tough, like I’m a real human being. Once she goes into that constrained polly mode I just shut off. All I see when she talks outside of parliament is a bunch of nong PR people pulling her strings.

    She needs to get a little provocative. I hate what those PR clowns are doing to her.

  13. Pete

    One stat that Bernard misses: one can count the number of female Tasmanian Liberal Party members in Federal Parliament on no fingers at all.

  14. Hamis Hill

    You Know the very noble Wlliam The Bas–rd who brought his own Abbotts with him to destroy Alfred The Great’s English Church under a Pa-al Banner?
    Our noble one is in a cru-ade against the Inf–els is he not? That is the sub-text after all.

  15. Hamis Hill

    When you are defending an immaculate minority against the evil masses a bit of deceiving and oppressing the public is actually quite Noble n’est pas?

  16. Hamis Hill

    When you are defending the immaculate Liberal minority against the evil, atheist, communist masses
    lies/obfuscation and a bit of “deceiving and oppressing the public” (Adam Smith) is actually quite “Noble” n’est pas?
    It is how William the Bastard destroyed Alfred The Great’s Anglo-Saxon Church under a Papal Banner.
    Abbott is on a crusade, isn’t he, against the infidels? The consistent sub-text?

  17. Karen

    @ Patriot –

    “Could be worse. AboriginaIs are over represented in illiteracy, unemployment, criminality and imprisonment. Likewise for many nationalities of humanitarian visa recipients and other immigrants. MusIims are over represented in strapping on expIosives and blowing up perfect strangers. They all escape such generalisation but, because they’re protected species in the loony-left menagerie.

    If the worst you can come up with against us white men is that we call women names when we don’t approve of their conduct, then we can take a bow. It’s so hip to be white!”

    This latest appalling, unedifying post of yours rather proves the point about prejudiced middle/class, grey haired white men, such as you. And it seems you like to “play the man and not the ball” – calling women names when you don’t approve of their conduct. Rather than name-calling or making s*xist remarks, why not offer a critique of the offending conduct or the policy in question, backed up with logic, evidence and fact?

    And yes, Aboriginals are overrepresented in prison populations. Its not a generalisation that the “left” shies away from. On the contrary. Any specialist in the criminal justice area will tell you that. Ask, why, Patriot? The reasons are varied and complex but it basically comes down to systemic, decades old, social and economic disadvantage and discrimination suffered by these people. You’ll find other racial groups who are similarly represented in the prison sytem. The common thread: poverty, social, educational, economic disadvantage, mental health, which feed off each other. So spare us the r*cist and s*xist comments.

    And, as for strapping on explosives, these kind of terrorist acts, as a modus operandi, do tend to be overrepresented in the muslim populations i in response to perceived political abuses and oppression by the West (of which there are plenty of examples to note here) but they’re no more devastating than white supremacist acts such as Breijvik’s actiions involving the machine gunning down of left-wing school students on a school holiday for supporting policies that allow “coloureds” into the country. Heaven forbid! But, of course, being the crypto fascist that you are, you probably sympathise with Breijvik’s frustrations.

  18. klewso

    How come no one on the Right keeps a tally of “Abbott’s lies/obfuscation”?

  19. Damotron

    How come whenever there is personnel criticism of the PM, News Limited is never far away from the scene of the crime?

  20. CML

    I absolutely agree with you, Bernard.

    @ CITIZEN K – In my humble opinion, the comments of Carlton and Manne (and others on the “left”) are motivated purely by politics. In other words, they are realists who would rather the ALP was returned to government next year. Or at least that Labor retained as many seats as possible in the parliament. I don’t think they are concerned that our current PM happens to be a woman. It is ALL about winning! Especially in the Senate.
    To that end, I agree with that line of thinking. Our PM – for all her hard work and achievements – has a small problem: she has Caucus support of roughly 70%, and electorate support of 30%. Rudd on the other hand, has Caucus support of only 30%, and electorate support of 50%+. In fact, in recent polling figures, Rudd has double the “preferred PM” support in the community that Gillard and Abbott have.
    So, if the ALP wants to win the election next year (or at least save the furniture), their fate is sealed. It is now most unlikely, all the pundits say, that Gillard can achieve a winning position. Very few people are listening to her anymore. I don’t think our first female PM, or anyone else, has a right to wreck the Labor Party for their own selfish reasons. That is why I agree with the likes of Carlton and Manne et al.
    Abbott, and his motley crew, is the worst possible outcome for this nation – now, next year, or ever! Just take a good long look at what is happening in Qld. That is exactly what we can expect if the LNP are elected to the federal parliament at the next election.

  21. geomac62

    David Hand
    You call it a tax and others call it a price and the PM in her interview with the Australian said she would pursue a price on carbon . The latter part of your post reveals bombast and ignorance but so does the first part to some extent . Wasn,t it Abbott who made the comment , alleged , that he would sell his arse to gain office ? Bills are passed and Australia has triple A rating from all the relevant agencies , low inflation along with low unemployment . I very seriously doubt any government in the future will surpass the Howard government for outright deceit and weasel words . I can think of no other PM that used taxpayer funds to bail out a family member for malfeasance , can you ?

  22. David Hand

    So how do you criticise a prime minister who made a commitment before the election that, “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead”? And then sold the government’s soul to the greens? Any criticism is written off by the luvvies here in the Crikey Crypt as mysogeny.

    Fortunately, none of this is relevant at a general election. When the Australian voting public takes a baseball bat to the most out of touch, untrustworthy, incompetent government Australia has seen in a long time, bleating about how nasty everyone has been to a woman won’t change the outcome.

  23. geomac62

    Reminds me , sort of , of that twit who made a tearful apology for smelling a seat vacated by a woman in WA . No apology from the older twits though , not an acceptable one at least .

  24. Barbara Boyle

    those persons you named in your excellent and timely article,Bernard would have caused me to cringe with their smirking,cowardly nudge,nudge, wink, wink ejaculations,once.But, on reflection, each is a scared, weird little guy (or gal)

    Sad to see these orators old, but not yet wise.

  25. geomac62

    I found a pic of Farley and he looks like he has been in a good paddock for too long . Blood and bone the only value left in that carcass . Fertilizer from the mouth and fertilizer from the carcass .

  26. Penny MacDonald

    Can I say I have been waiting for someone to write about this for some time….I don’t live in Australia at the moment fortunately and have to say it will be a while before I come back. The attitude of a lot of Australians towards Julia Gillard is appalling, I am ashamed that nobody seems to be inclined to say….enough! Still one my favourite memories was when Chopper Read reminded Alan Jones about his public toilet incident in London….bless him. Pity it doesn’t happen more often.

    Are these white middle aged man about to die out soon….hope so

    Penny

  27. Liamj

    Farley: “I was taken out of context” – no you weren’t but you should be, taken out of your context and retired, before you say something else that could have come from Anal Jones and completely disgrace your family.

  28. Eva

    Brilliant, Bernard!! It’s about time someone put ignoramuses like Ray Hadley & Alan Jones in their places.

  29. Moira Smith

    Good on you Bernard.

    BTW ‘Next, Farley will “apologise to anyone who was offended”‘ – no I believe the usual disclaimer is ‘anyone who *may* have been offended’ or ‘IF I offended anyone’ or ‘anyone who *felt* offended’ (or combination of such weasel words ad infinitum).

    @JoanJett: well said. Many tears have been wept in private by those perceived to be ‘deliberately barren’ or ‘childless by choice’ but that’s a private issue for those concerned. Whether JG made a choice she has every right to make, or had one made for her is not the point, however what some of these commentators fail to realise is every time such comments are made about *her* she may not be the only one offended or upset.

  30. AR

    Well put BK and all the sane commenters above. Anal Jones in London is really becoming unhinged of late (might be the proximity of Leicester Square) with the spittle clogging the mike as he told his benighted audience that climate change was a cult and hoax on the world – must be strange to be in a majority of One.

  31. Steve777

    Patriot – if you have nothing intelligent to say, please bgr off.

  32. khtagh

    Bloody well said Bernard

  33. Godotcab

    Christopher Dunne, I too would cheer at Gillard giving it to her detractors in the manner of Keating.

    But then I would worry that, because she is a woman, her aggression would have a very different effect on much of the electorate.

    Julia Gillard is much smarter than me, fortunately.

    And I am a middle aged white anglo male who can’t understand why anyone would listen to that tedious prick Allan Jones. Everyone had one too many school teachers who delivered with that tendentious self righteous idiocy, so why would anyone willingly subject themselves to that tone from the radio?

    And I see Gillard’s leadership as something beyond the hero leader model that male PMs have cultivated.

    Maybe the future will be less about ‘leadership’ and more about contributory democracy.

  34. floorer

    she reverts to the constrained polly / spot on

  35. Patriot

    “…middle-aged or old Anglo men, particularly from blokey environments, appear to be over-represented among those dishing out gender-based abuse of the PM. …

    Could be worse. AboriginaIs are over represented in illiteracy, unemployment, criminality and imprisonment. Likewise for many nationalities of humanitarian visa recipients and other immigrants. MusIims are over represented in strapping on expIosives and blowing up perfect strangers. They all escape such generalisation but, because they’re protected species in the loony-left menagerie.

    If the worst you can come up with against us white men is that we call women names when we don’t approve of their conduct, then we can take a bow. It’s so hip to be white!

  36. CHRISTOPHER DUNNE

    No argument about it from me, I think she’s very clever and really nice, even gracious under the projectile fire she gets, but my only gripe is she’s too nice.

    Needs a bit of mongrel in her, a dash of the Keating acid fire. The reason these antiquated old white guys think they can abuse her is because she doesn’t hit back.

    On the floor of the parliament she can really show her mettle, but outside the house she reverts to the constrained polly, and I just wish she’d let fly a bit every now and again.

    My two bobs worth.

  37. fredex

    Thank you Bernard for raising this very important issue. It is very concerning and troubling that there are far too many instances in the public and political discourse which is reflective of the language of violence against women.
    Such comments and speech reveals a concerning acceptance of abusive tactics in public life. Language expressing sentiments which reflect violence against women is unacceptable.
    You may be interested to know that in consultation with feminists and activists WEAVE has composed an open letter expressing deep concerns about the use of such abusive language. The open letter has been endorsed by over 50 organisations from throughout Australia. The letter is on our website weaveinc.org.au if anyone is interested.

  38. joanjett

    I agree JIMD. There is, however, just one thing that all those angry old WASP men could have not taken into account with JG’s not having had kids. (NOT that it makes one iota of difference to me – disclaimer). Has anyone ever considered that she may in fact not be able to have children? That she may have tried in the past, or even just assumed that she’d get around to it one day and then time and fertility ran out, or that a willing man wasn’t there at the right time? Companies like Genea (ex Sydney IVF) are doing a roaring trade so it would seem that there are other infertile people out there. Not just the PM.
    What gets me really cranky is the assumption that all women (or men) want children anyway. Plenty of people have more than 2 kids per couple, why can’t some people not want any kids? Some people shouldn’t be having kids anyway, just ask DOCS.

  39. zut alors

    You’d expect these old white dudes to at least be impressed that the PM’s hobby is knitting.

  40. klewso

    Remember how the media came after Sandilands for his “gender slur” ……?
    How long will we have to wait for them to line up for Farley?

  41. David Redfearn

    This older white male couldn’t agree with you more, Bernard, and I think one outstanding quality of Julia Gillard is that she has borne an enormous amount of disgraceful misogynist bile with considerable composure and grace. I think she has gained a lot of respect for this; it probably won’t be enough to save her next year but she will have a legacy she can be justly proud of.

  42. jimD

    I must admit to sharing Ms Mirabella and Ms Albrechtsen’s concern that Julia Gillard has not reproduced: she is a smart person, and would raise productive and useful children. Ms Mirabella and Ms Albrechtsen have reproduced, it seems, but regettably this will not go any distance towards offsetting the valuable gene pool loss from Julia Gillard’s decision not to have children.

    Does that sound unduly unkind? I certainly hope so.

  43. gerri willesee

    Hear, hear!

  44. Anne Cooper

    And about time Mr keane. You needed to say this.

    But the point remains – the criticisms of Gillard are for the most part, based on her gender. She has been successful, she has been productive, she has used negotiation, consensus and conciliation to shape a govt which actually represents a wider array of voters than any majority govt could. So Mr Keane, Carlton etc etc start broadcasting her successes and triumphs to us all, instead of an apologetic yeh she’s doing alright but the polls don’t like her spiel. Sheis a great PM, just now warming to the task after a 2 year campaign of abuse and vitriol that would have shattered a lesser character.
    I feel sorry for Julie bishop, and indeed all female politicians, who now know the real cost of their ambitions and the punishment should they attempt to do what JG has done.
    I don’t believe those polls. She has garnered an enormous amount of respect. Let’s see what happens huh?
    in the mean time, judge all policitians on their actions.

  45. klewso

    “SC”? “Supercilious clown”?

  46. The Cleaning Lady

    Terrific stuff, Bernard. And bonus points for “rhetorical alchemy”.

  47. Aphra

    Well, Sharman, in 1939 (!) in Perth, Robert Menzies spoke of his admiration for Hitler, and when I was a student, I came across a book in the Baillieu Libary, Melb University, entitled, Why I am a Fascist, by none other than Sir Percy Spender.

    It’s all just history these days, as was the unions’ antipathy towards equal pay. I note that currently, it’s business which continues to re-inforce the glass ceiling and pay inequality.

  48. Madeleine McPherson

    I suspect the context of Farley’s insult was a room full of men who think denigrating women is funny. And every speech needs a joke. He (and they) probably can’t understand why it hasn’t been taken as such. The recent settlement of the Lindy Chamberlain case was a painful reminder of how long it is taking for the demonization of women to disappear from our public discourse.

  49. zachary church

    Sure you are not in Mars sharman or worse living in the past with Abbott…that is history. Have a check how many women are at the top in the Union movement today…sure its not the loner Rudd you think will challenge geeeeeeezus/?

  50. Karen

    @ Bernard Keane – very well said. Joe Ludwig also themed it succinctly when he said, “they don’t like women up in Qld”. He should know.

    Unfortunately, these old white rednecks are overrepresented in the swinging vote electorates. JG reminds them of what they perceived they have lost in terms of what was, for them, a very privileged economic and social status in Australian society, particularly in the ’50’s and ’60s.
    Pockets of real privilege still exist, but only for the very rich.

    Unfair, as it is, JG reminds them, unpleasantly, of a bygone era. To add insult to injury, she’s a pinko (in their eyes). Now, all that is left to fill their days is a miserable, negative sense of entitlement. What a one-eyed, boring, barren lot they are.

  51. sharman

    Comments are all very true but it is worth remembering that the union movement in Victoria (and probably the other states) opposed equal pay for women for a long time. If anyone is going to knife Julia it will be them especially Bill (I can’t even make my son a sandwich ) Shorten.

  52. SusieQ

    Well said BK.

  53. Bernard Keane

    I’m aware they’re different people Nicholas Bray

    http://www.penguin.com.au/contributors/2969/patrick-carlyon

  54. Pedantic, Balwyn

    Well sadly Ms Gillard will not have to worry about bad press or aging old rednecks after the election, cause they will have had their vile way with her via the ballot box.

    Then they will have their favorite sons Abbott and Joyce in power with their monarchist, right wing catholic, misogynist viewpoints taking the country back to the days of Howard or even more likely the halcyon days of the fifties, whatever they were.

    However the voting majority of our great nation appear to believe that Abbott’s way of running the country rewarding the greedy billionaires, commending liars and hypocrites like Bolt and Jones as honest men practising free speech, and removing any balance between the haves and have nots is preferable to any women, so be it!!

  55. John Anderson

    At last, someone has earnestly taken up this matter and highlighted who is making these very offensive, nasty and spiteful remarks. Sadly, I’m in this category – an aging white male. What all this says to me is: How does the Prime Minister tolerate/endure/cope with all this? She has to be as hard as nails as Swan keeps telling us. I also wonder what white male could have secured passage of the Fairwork Act in 2008/09, negotiated a now secure minority government against the odds, and implemented a range of economic, environmental, cultural and political reforms over the past two years against the vile headwinds emanating from a range of angry, white, aging men and a media that often trivialises much of what happens in politics these days. Hang in there Julia!!

  56. Lee Miller

    Does Julie Bishop have children or a husband?

    Are all the women in the Labor Party who DO have children and husbands therefore on the right track?

    Generally speaking I’d say that Tony Abbott has a willy but Julie Gillard has the balls.

  57. zachary church

    I await the usual Lib trolls to dump on us their garbage that the PM should grin and take it as Abbott does etc etc . Or perhaps even they are too embarrassed to support the misogynist comments that in his usual sermon this morning (written it appears by a news media person as opposed to a staff writer). Abbott would wish to see the media have a free hand in dishing out anything that they see fit, in the name of free speech.
    This country is on a very dangerous path the LNP and unelected persons would wish it to take.
    For all their support and protection of Abbott and his cronies, to get him into the Lodge, one day the cards will be called in. The MSM, commercial TV Channels, Scott and his ABC, Miners, employers and Pells church will all want a seat at the Lodge dining table. The cost of the meal will not be insignificant.

  58. citizen k

    Cairns50 is not completely correct in saying those in the wrong are mainly on the right. Commentators thought to be more left leaning may refrain from the extreme and obvious misogyny of some on the right, they still don’t get Gillard’s approach to the job.

    Mike Carlton in the SMH and and Robert Manne in The Age are among numerous commentators who’ve most recently called for Kevin Rudd’s return to Prime Ministerial office. The woman must go they say, because the opinion polls say so. Carlton says it doesn’t matter how she is ousted; she must quit the prime ministership or “be prised out of it.”

    How is it possible for Carlton to simultaneously suggest that the PM’s poor standing in the polls is at least partly due to the method by which she ascended to the leadership, whilst appearing to advocate that any means will suffice to ensure her demise and return Rudd to the role? How is it possible that he can acknowledge Gillard’s not insignificant achievements and qualities, yet quote the tired old view that she has failed to articulate a vision. The woman – unlike Rudd – has realised a vision of Australia – whether you agree or disagree with it – via policies like the carbon tax, the mining tax, the NBN initiative and, sadly, our appalling approach to those seeking refuge here. Her predecessor talked big and, despite all state governments on his side and a large majority in the house, did very little. Keating, to whom the “vision” criticism is attributed, certainly did things whilst also talking well. But it did him no good in the end.

    I’m no fan of Gillard or the Labor Party, but the likes of Carlton and Manne ought to know better. Like so many of their colleagues – on the right and on the left – they seem unable to understand that a female leadership style may be more about bringing people together to get things done, than about posturing, self promotion and hurling abuse from one bench to the other. It’s possible for politics to be less like courtroom drama and more like mediation.

    Perhaps the problem is less Gillard’s failure to “create a compelling narrative” than the commentariat’s failure to comprehend it. The likes of Manne, Carlton (and Grattan and some of the other women too) are so busy reading aloud to each other that they can’t hear or see a new kind of story unfolding. In the new story, the old leadership shoe doesn’t fit one who has, by Carlton’s own admission, “the intellectual and political heft” required to be PM. The wicked step-journos could be helping out with crafting a better-fitting one for this Cinderella, , instead of whining that the ol shoe fits one of their own kind. In her new shoes she might even be emboldened. She may take larger strides, confident that she will no longer be viewed as too big or too small for her boots.

    Bernard Keane is among the few journalists capable of acknowledging that there are less adversarial ways of approaching political strategy. He recently wrote about the depth of Christine Milne’s parliamentary experience and about her cross-party committee approach, a strategy he links to her background in community activism. He reports that Milne appreciates Gillard’s directness in being clear about what she is able or willing to offer in negotiations and what she can’t or won’t.

    When Carlton, Keating et al say there is a lack of vision, no compelling narrative, perhaps they mean there is no hero at the centre of this journey. Gillard is no gladiator, nor superhero, nor dragon slayer. She’s just a woman who knows how to get things done.

  59. Jimmy

    Oscar Jones – “No doubt the Hadleys and Jones of the world rail against what they perceive as “political correctness” which means anything they don’t like.” They won’t have to worry about that if their mate Tony get’s in now he is trying to rewrite the discrimination act to “protect free speech”.

  60. Oscar Jones

    Vance Jones: that really is a pathetic attempt to whitewash Farley’s comments.

  61. Oscar Jones

    Without a doubt many use misogynist attacks upon the PM and are probably quite proud of it.

    No doubt the Hadleys and Jones of the world rail against what they perceive as “political correctness” which means anything they don’t like.

    On the plus side, these attacks have warmed Julia Gillard to the women of Australia who overwhelmingly are proud to have their first female PM.

  62. Vance John

    CORRECTION CORRECTION CORRECTION CORRECTION CORRECTION :
    He said Julia had better watch out. Referring to the old cows he was going to slaughter. Insinuation is not the same.
    I am convinced you are a silly man for not reading the article properly, and then expanding it with more hogwash. I stopped reading this about halfway through….

  63. Nicholas Bray

    Bernard, the Gallipoli book is by Les Carlyon, not Patrick. They are very different people.

  64. Gocomsys

    Oops, moderation. (the Ly i issue)
    The underly ing problem (please copy and paste):

    independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-media-in-the-middle/

    Nicely explained.

  65. Gocomsys

    The underlying problem (please copy and paste):

    independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-media-in-the-middle/

    Nicely explained.

  66. Jimmy

    Also on Jones, media watch recently said that Jones apologised for his “chaff bag” comment and said it was a one off, off the cuff comment that he regretted, it then went on to play at least a dozen times since that he made mention to Gillard and the chaff bag.

  67. Jimmy

    This abuse is just one of the strategies the media have used to invalidate the PM and govt in general, the “shorten said F..k” rubbish over the weekend was yet another example.

    Anyone who cared to look would see a govt that has passed countless pieces of legislation which include 2 of the bigger reforms of the last decade, who has steered the economy through trying times while providing greater assistance to low and middle income earners and has plans for a NDIS and education funding reform.

    Unfortuantely most people would rather look at the outift Gillard is wearing or whether she “l i e d”!

  68. Daemon

    I still caqnnot get my head around that anyone listens to that fat ponce Jones, who at the end of the day would be better off sticking to his particular love interest- footy players, and leaving politics to those who are equipped with a brain.

    Here we are, members of the considerate intelligentsia, whose words will never be read by Jones et al, because we use a lot of big words, that he and his curly haired pals with their big robust bottoms, and short shorts, worrying about what that drivel have to say about anyone with a brain. Why? It isn’t as though Jones is particularly bright is he?

    Jones reaches out to those of his listenership who not only don’t question his twaddle, but wouldn’t know where to look, if someone asked them if they critique their news sources. Bit like Jones his own self really.

    Perhaps we would be better contemplating those who matter.

  69. daly carol

    Glad that someone finally and publicly detailed the names, comments and backgrounds of these ‘leaders of public opinion’ in the Australian media, particularly print.

    As the subject of their rants famously said, they should stop writing crap.

    Let’s see them defend themselves against Bernard’s opinion piece or will it disappear from public view without a splash? Like all the achievements of this government led by a competent woman who can negotiate more in 30 minutes than these blokes can in a lifetime!

    No wonder they hate her but why do they have to suggest that everyone else has to too?

  70. ernmalleyscat

    Yes, i agree with this.
    And it’s not just from the obvious opponents.
    Much of the criticism from within Labor and the broader left comes from tough-guy types who seem very uncomfortable with a leader who prefers negotiation to biffo.

  71. lindsayb

    Interesting that many (if not most) of those who work with PM Gillard say she is good to work with/for – intelligent, consults, listens, works hard, and is an effective leader. If you ignore the opinion of the rabble who call themselves reporters and the hysterial screeching from Lib/Abbott stooges, she has got a pretty good record for getting things done.
    I wonder how many of those who denigrate her would get the same praise from their employees. Most of them come across as being prize arseholes.

  72. drovers cat

    Fortunately, PM Powerfox is not swayed by such infantile, sexist utterings from, yes, old white males.
    Unfortunately, old white males still run most of our media – but this, too, shall pass
    btw Mr Brandis, ‘SC’ in your case stands for someone else altogether.

  73. Alan Wearne

    One particularly prominent PM-basher is far more interested in rough trade boys…

  74. Michael Rae

    Les Carlyon wrote the book on Gallpoli, not Patrick.

  75. Noodle Bar

    What strikes me is how revealing and honest those men are – making their hate spite and fear of women very clear. Women are seeing what they are in for and what they are up against as they move into positions of seniority.

    Having said that, whenever I read such things in the paper, I always wonder how much if any sex that particular fellow is going to get the next time (or ever again) he goes home to his wife/other female.

  76. paddy

    Well done with that excellent rant Bernard.

  77. cairns50

    you missed one important point bernard when describing in the main who were the main offenders with this despicable attacks on the pm

    99% could be be safely called

    RIGHT WING REDNECKS

  78. Mike Flanagan

    Well bloody said Bernard.
    It is about time someone looked at these attitudes with some honesty and clarity.

  79. Patrick Bowman

    Male politicians are usually pretty keen to depict themselves as “family men”. I’m wondering how many of our senior male politicians are unmarried, or married and deliberately childless.

  80. Gocomsys

    Hard working PM. Good policies. That’s all that matters. Anyone have a problem with that? Tough!

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