It didn't begin well. The first memory I have of 2012 is of Prime Minister Julia Gillard being clutched to the bosom of a burly security man and being half carried, half dragged away from a group of irate demonstrators, who were baying for opposition leader Tony Abbott's blood. She had tripped while being hustled away and lost a shoe, hence the unseemly footage. It reminded me of the old movies I used to hate as a kid where the heroine tripped and fell when running away from the baddies so that the hero got to prove his bravery by rushing back into the teeth of danger to save her.

Gillard had another wardrobe malfunction later in the year and again it was her shoes that let her down, causing her to face-plant spectacularly.

The polls at the beginning of the year were hideous for Gillard, although they weren't much better for the opposition leader. And women like me were growing weary of the excessive vitriol and sneering that was being directed at the PM mostly, it seemed, for daring to be a woman and hold high office. Just like the lame (in every sense of the word) heroines of those old movies, a message was being sent to girls with every word of gendered abuse hurled at Gillard. The message was: Don't aspire to high office, girlie, because this is how we will treat you.