Therese always had more appeal than Kevin. And while we may struggle to warm to Tim, Margie is definitely growing on us. She’d probably beat her hubby in a preferred PM poll at this rate.

It’s easy to be cynical about the continuing media blitz from Tony Abbott’s unquestionably devoted wife. That Margie Abbott decided to, as one campaigning email from the Liberal Party last week quoted her, “address the Labor Party’s very deliberate campaign to personally attack” the Opposition Leader — independent of the political hacks in Abbott’s office being increasingly concerned about his standing with females — is a rather strange coincidence.

Many find it hard to swallow Mrs Abbott’s insistence that Tony is a feminist at heart. There’s some evidence — admitted and speculative — to suggest otherwise. But as Jane Caro argues in Crikey today, that’s not even the point:

“What has rocked the world on its axis, as far as this old feminism-watcher is concerned, is the claim should be made at all about an avowedly right-wing prime ministerial hopeful and, moreover, claimed proudly. Quite frankly, that’s bloody revolutionary …

“If Tony Abbott needs to be seen as a feminist before he can have a shot at being our next prime minister, then we’re winning.”

Does Tony Abbott hate women, as Labor hacks are keen to hint? Why not hear from his wife. And why not have the debate. The misogynist attacks from some on Julia Gillard were sniggered by gutless trolls and media bullies. Drag them all to the light and challenge prevailing attitudes towards women in politics.

As Caro writes, feminism was considered done and dusted a decade ago. In politics, at least, it needed new life. Welcome to an important debate, Margie.

Peter Fray

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