Oct 8, 2012

Jane Caro: why Margie Abbott is bloody revolutionary

Margie and Tony Abbott are more than welcome to join the ranks of the feminists. And the fact that they want to do so speaks volumes for the comeback of a movement written off by John Howard.

Jane Caro

Novelist, author and social commentator

I believe that feminism is a broad church (I have occasionally joked it is a broad’s church) and that almost any political, religious or world view is compatible with feminism, except a belief in restricting reproductive rights for women. That, to me, given that it hands agency over a woman’s body to others, is a bridge too far. It’s the equivalent of saying you are a Christian but don’t believe in God.

But, apart from that proviso, in the spirit of the more the merrier, I will cheerfully accept anyone who claims to be a feminist as a feminist.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

54 thoughts on “Jane Caro: why Margie Abbott is bloody revolutionary

  1. Karen

    Jane, this is a fantastic article and contains an astute analysis of current politics and of the changing political dynamics in this country. One thing I don’t agree with is your assertion that JG is no “great shakes” PM. I think she is very good PM and has the opportunity to be a great PM, particularly if she wins a second term to pave and cement the way for her policy agenda. I think the few political (political not policy) stumbles that she has made earlier on in Rudds and in her own term are beginning to be negated by her policy achievements. She’s a domestic doer, in a truly progressive sense. What other leader can compare to what she has actually done in a policy sense, with a hung parliament, no less. There is no way that Abbott would have been able to do that. JG is also scoring runs on the board as a better saleswoman for the govt’s policies (which is needed in her role as PM) as well as a more politically astute communicator and media performer more generally. Her communication strategies, including when to remain silent and when to come in, is beginning to pay dividends. She is not ‘personal’ and she handles herself with grace, unlike Abbott who can’t seem to be anything other than be personal (not a good look as an opposition leader, let alone leader of this country). Don’t write JG off, she is a force to be reckoned with.

  2. seriously?

    Jane – I’m inclined to agree with pretty much everything you’ve written. I’d like to think of something to add – but I think you’ve nailed it. PS i’m a bloke.

  3. klewso

    Is this what happens when one side lists too much to the Right, “for votes”?

  4. paddy

    Excellent piece Jane. The fact that women are benefiting disproportionately from the growing power of social media, is one of the things that make this particular revolution so much fun.
    I haven’t enjoyed watching heads explode like this since the late 60’s and early 70’s.
    Long may it continue.

  5. tripper

    ummm….”no great shakes as PM..? Really? Says who? The MSM? pfffffft

  6. Phen

    Surely the author is entitled to her view that the PM is “no great shakes”.

    You’d have to have pretty low expectations to disagree in my view.

  7. Karen

    @Phen – Jane Caro is entitled to her view that the PM is “no great shakes”. No quibble there. I simply don’t think the evidence supports her contentions, however, for the reasons expressed in my first post.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “low expectations”. I have high expectations of a PM, very high in fact. JG has pretty well met them, except for a few important areas in my view, including gay marriage, whole-scale pokies reform and boat arrivals. But, then, Abbott will be no better and, on top of it, we’ll also have to cope with regressive social policies and shocking transfer payments to the wealthy. Of course, I don’t need to say that we need those policies like a hole in the head – look at what’s happening in North America and Europe. The wealthy take their money off-shore and stick in tax havens where they pay no tax (and governments let them take it out), while the jobless poor and middle-classes are left to fight it out on the streets without money and public services.

  8. Venise Alstergren

    JANE CARO: First class article, thank you.

    I’m interested in your argument that the huge coverage of Ms Margie Abbott’s rant shows that Julia Gillard has got Tony Abbott rattled. Whereas I thought it was another of Rupert Murdoch’s well known political agenda’s broadsides.

    Thanks, once again.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    And Karen, she is a dreadful PM.

  10. Harry1951

    I think Julia Gillard has been on a steep learning curve and probably was not really ready for the job of PM when she moved into the top job. I think that she has gradually grown into the job and has faced many extremely difficult challenges and given more time should evolve into an increasingly effective PM.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details