When s-xism meets Australian politics

Judy Bamberger writes: Re. “Jane Caro: why Margie Abbott is bloody revolutionary” (Monday). Like Senator Sue Boyce, I’d like to see more qualified women in our Parliament. To make Parliament more attractive, Boyce suggests providing a more family-friendly workplace and better access to childcare.

If Parliament also reduced the name calling, point scoring, sound-bite spewing, dummy spitting, hairy-chest beating, and other exhibitions of petty juvenile behaviours and excess testosterone we’ve heard recently, perhaps more women might find Parliament an attractive career option.

John Shailer writes: Julia Gillard refuses to withdraw her support for Peter Slipper, despite his disgusting remarks about female genitalia etc. At the same time Nicola Roxon is continuing Labor’s smear campaign against Tony Abbott, implying that he is a women-hater.

I was a member of a service club with Tony in the ’80s, and he was instrumental in having women accepted as members against heated opposition. He has always held women in the highest regard, as demonstrated by his strong and loving relationship with wife Margie and his three delightful daughters; and also by his generous policy on paid parental leave.

Australian women have no better friend than Tony Abbott!

Hannah Rachel Bell writes: How ironic that, in defending his Great Leader from the claims of gendered disrespect by the “Handbag Bullies” in parliament, Christopher Pyne embodied precisely this disrespectful and contemptuous behaviour. Each time Kate Ellis responded to an audience question on Q&A, Pyne started up a banter with Lindsay Tanner.

At one stage this was so loud and disruptive that Ellis stopped talking altogether. Not once, but every time she spoke, Pyne interrupted or just turned away to conduct a broadcast-loud chat with others. Both women on the panel were intimidated and bullied into silence. He showed himself to be exactly the kind of disrespectful bully towards women that is the focus of attention right now.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey