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Jun 28, 2013

Gillard's knifing had nothing to do with the patriarchy

The chattering feminists are out in force, conflating the ALP caucus with "men" and Julia Gillard with "women". They are not the same. May Gillard be remembered for more than her gender.


Julia Gillard

After Wednesday, the nation has a 100 Hz headache, and the pain of a night spent in front of the news was only compounded yesterday morning by Radio National guest Anne Summers, who presaged much of the morning’s written commentary in her conflation of “men” with “ALP” and of Julia Gillard with all women.

She proceeded in print: “It’s not just about her, it’s also about us.”

What? No, it’s not.

Here, here and here we encounter the argument that Gillard’s defeat was indivisible from the brutality of an entire gender; just as her victory was shared by all women. She’s every woman, apparently.

In an otherwise laudable speech, the former prime minister herself toyed with the Alien v Predator narrative when she said gender “doesn’t explain everything. It doesn’t explain nothing. It does explain some things.”

It does not explain nothing.  Gillard’s double-negative is called a litotes: an understatement that is negated to prove its opposite. Surely “it does not explain nothing” can now join Victoria’s “we are not amused” as one of the best examples of the form as uttered by a female principal. Litotes. It is a charming figure of speech — as is “synecdoche“, a minor crime of which Summers and Co are culpable. A synecdoche is when a part of a thing is used to refer to the whole of a thing, or, indeed, vice versa. Synecdoche is when we call our car our “wheels”, our government “Canberra” or a patriarchal system of social organisation “men”.

Well, it is either synecdoche or massively stupid. To conflate “men” with an economic, social and cultural order that reproduces itself by means far more devious and complex than even Kevin Rudd is just not possible. Nonetheless, Summers was earnestly synecdochic in an address she now calls the “Newcastle Speech“, where individual acts of awfulness became interchangeable with patriarchy.

Before Summers’ speech, I had no idea that unemployed cartoonist Larry Pickering still owned a pack of Derwents. Summers, however, used this piffling man’s piffling work as hard evidence of s-xism just as my colleagues Mia Freedman, Jane Caro, Van Badham and this terrible woman in The Conversation — who seems unable to build a sentence without taking a dump on the language — have taken Gillard’s dismissal as a testimony to the ties that bind a gender to its unfortunate history.

Synecdoche is appealing, but clear distinctions are also useful. Gillard is not all women and, the “Newcastle Speech” notwithstanding, the former PM’s treatment by cartoonists consigned to dusty corners of the internet is not broadly instructive. And, Gillard’s ousting by a slim caucus majority tells us nothing — not even something — directly about the patriarchy; nor does it tell us anything about the ALP that we didn’t already know: it is an organisation driven by polls, factions and focus groups. Not actually by the patriarchy.

Look. Gillard could have been a third-gender Wiccan made entirely of brie and the ALP wouldn’t have given half a shit so long as her “dissatisfied” rating had remained somewhere north of Satan’s. Personally, I liked the girl and I remain amazed that she pushed just and traditional Labor reforms to taxation, education and health through with a minority government. Oh, and she put a price on carbon, too. As Wayne Swan said, therein beat a great Labor heart.

But now, a good deal of the conversation by women — while it does mention these achievements — is focused on how Gillard’s dismissal is the dismissal of All Women. This synecdoche is broke.

In the hours before Wednesday night’s spill, a member of the (perplexing and hobbyist) Texas Senate filibustered on the pro-choice side of an abortion bill. Wendy Davis’ international supporters uttered variations on the “this is men making decisions about women’s bodies”  theme. No. This is not men telling women what to do; it is the state intervening in the individual’s body. Men are not the state, the ALP is not the patriarchy, and Julia Gillard is not all women.

The electorate IS an ass, though. I will give you that.

Vale Gillard. May this flawed but decent leader be remembered as something more than a great gender.


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56 thoughts on “Gillard’s knifing had nothing to do with the patriarchy

  1. Gerry Hatrick, OAP

    Just the article title of that conversation piece has me full of HURR DURR

  2. Harry Becher

    Wonderful article, Helen. You encapsulated my thoughts and arguments with a depth of class and insightfulness I could not hope to achieve.

    Anyone who believes her failure is a result of her gender has forgotten her large early 2PP lead in the polls in 2010. She was a woman then, too.

  3. suzanne baker

    I congratulate Ms Razer on her understanding of the complexities of grammar but regret the shallowness of her understanding of sexism.

  4. klewso

    What I find most intriguing in this saga is how Gillard is portrayed as the standard bearer for women’s advancement in politics and how her demise has set back that cause?
    But for a straw poll re “reality”, look to the recorded history? And what better record of attitude than recorded by “Murdoch’s trollops*” – women/sisters all, recording events since she took over?
    The ratio of those – how many of them have been more prone to give her an impartial run : how many were more inclined to bitch about everything about her persona; from her appearance, the way she dressed to the way she talked, seemingly intent on “scratching her eyes out”?
    To let her go : to run her down?
    Of course now she’s been deposed, they’ll be turning on Rudd – for the way he did her in, like they wanted too and were urging others too?
    Maybe the biggest glass ceiling to women in politics is to be “joining Labor” – if you heed his “harpies bizarre”?

    (* “lady trolls”?)

  5. Gavin Moodie

    Razer’s article is simplistic. Sure, the caucus dumped Gillard because she was unpopular with the electorate, but how did she become so unpopular? It is not sufficient to blame this on ‘the electorate’ being an ass.

    Sure, the prohibition of abortion is ‘the state intervening in the individual’s body’, but who runs the state and are any of those bodies male?

  6. Mr Tank

    Nice one Helen. But then again I’m a bloke and therefore a rapist so don’t take my opinion as meaning much.

  7. drmick

    Ms Baker is spot on. Its about humanity & there is not a lot of it around these days. There is however a lot of very jealous never wills who can never be, now, & they are piss#d. Suck it up princess.

  8. Gavin Moodie

    More simplistic argument. Not all women are feminists just as not all men are sexists.

  9. mikeb

    Why did JG become a Lady Macbeth whereas TA who did exactly the same thing to MT is forgiven? Firstly the “conservative” press never accepted the 2010 election result and decided to make that an issue. Secondly – there is indeed an entrenched sexism in evidence and JG was too much of a jump being unmarried & childless for a lot of people.

  10. Keith1

    Gillard’s double negative was not an example of litotes. She said, in an unrhetorical way, that an assessment of the impact of gender on her prime-ministership would require sophisticated analysis of the shades of grey between two extremes: the all and nothing positions. Give it a year or so – maybe then such an analysis can begin.

  11. Don

    excellent article, telling points, and nice (accurate) finale.

  12. prembrowne

    oh my god, razer accusing someone else of taking a dump on the language in an article!! hilarious…
    where was helen a few weeks back, and a few months back? julia could’ve used some ‘personally i liked the girl…. she pushed through some just reforms…. with a minority government etc etc etc’ commentary when the rest of the media were beating her into the ground.

  13. Haydon Manning

    Brilliant and pithy analysis – sits well alongside Carney’s piece in The Conversation
    [https://theconversation.com/the-political-tragedy-of-julia-gillard-15588] as the best I’ve read in recent times. And given my efforts yesterday to decipher that ‘terrible woman’s’ pondering, I am relieved – ‘it’s not just me’!

  14. shepherdmarilyn

    Too bad you never seek to mention her dreadful cruelty to some though Helen. I don’t like anyone who thinks it is marvellous to jail, trade and traffic kids for no reason.

  15. Patrick Brosnan

    Razer is a bit of a serial contrarian which leads her to leave out a lot so she can get to the conclusion that suits her. Do I sound sexist, I can’t be according to Razer. One man, or indeed many men, patronising a women does not patriarchy make. But of course many men denigrating women is sexism and that’s exactly what happened to the former PM. Most of the gender related invective came from men, Pickering may be on the fringe but his modus operandi is aped by lesser types who don’t have the stomach or the self loathing to go over the edge.

  16. Josi V

    What a smug and authoritarian approach this article (author) assumes.

    I’m with you, prembrowne.

  17. Gavin Moodie

    @ Patrick Brosnan

    Thanx for that observation, with which I agree with 1 qualification. The sex of the people denigrating Gillard is not so relevant as whether they were based on an understanding that women exercising power is less legitimate than men exercising power.

  18. @chrispydog

    Synecdoche! Phwoar! Love it when you talk dirty.

  19. Trelevn

    Within Tony Abbott’s privileged white male worldview the alpha male is boss. Yet in Australia in 2010 he found himself countered at the ballot box and then out-negotiated. His performance since then has been a 3 year scream such as is only heard when a worldview is threatened. What shames Australia is that this found such resonance, that crocodiles and troglodytes shuffled forward out of the swamp, all ready to cut down the “uppity woman”. Yes there were distractions onstage, bad mistakes, own goals, but the drums beating constantly in the background, undermining her legitimacy from the shadows, were unadulterated misogyny. “How dare she!”
    Well, she did dare, and they will dare, and not by-your-leave either. Julia I salute you, and I grieve for the current climate of Australia. But knowing where you stand is the first step to change. Michael James

  20. Venise Alstergren

    HELEN RAZER: I am no screaming feminist, BUT, when was the last time a male politician-Tony Rabbott- was asked if he was gay; if his wife is butch; does he dye his hair; are his suits acceptable to the No Idea crowd, or what is his preferred brand of nail varnish?

    The only thing he did cop was regarding his budgie smugglers. A subject dear to males who yearn for a big under-carriage.

    Nup, you can’t pretend there wasn’t a strong element of misogyny, both in the traditional male version of the noun, and in the female version of disliking everything another woman achieves.

  21. GF50

    Venise +++

  22. Venise Alstergren

    GF50: I sent you a ‘smile’ which was moderated. Cheers V

  23. klewso

    Phew Venise – I was wondering what you meant by “GF”.

  24. Serenatopia

    Ms Razer, you are all blade but no cut…

  25. shepherdmarilyn

    Venise, I had a short hair cut when I was 14 and was labelled a lesbian so I laughed and had it cut shorter.

    Gillard had no problem labelling all men in blue suits rabid anti-abortionists who want to silence women’s voices and steal our reproductive rights.

    It runs both ways and the tedious whining is grating on my nerves.

    There are much more important issues than some silly old fool asking if Mathieson was gay.

  26. Bronwyn

    Another instalment in Razer’s ongoing search for relevance. And as usual, the topic is “look at me”. As intellectually dishonest as ever – zero regard for (or understanding of) context, and a general assumption that Helen knows more about what others are thinking than they do. ‘Men are not the State”, ‘Gillard is not all women”….. Puerile. Does an editor read this stuff, or is Crikey a vanity press now. Really getting boring.

  27. Simon Mansfield

    >> There are much more important issues than some silly old fool asking if Mathieson was gay <<

    Yes there sure are – starting with what Gillard said before that question.

  28. David Hand

    What saddens me about this patronising tripe that Julia was dumped because she was female rather than because she had failed is that it builds the mythology around women in elite leadership that performance doesn’t matter.

    Surely the most emancipating position to take is that performance is everything and gender is nothing. Thatcher took this view and she won three elections. As a conservative, no less.

    This delusion about gender is possible because the left has decided that the electorate is too stupid to decide such things and is told what to think by the main stream media. Fools waving amateur placards at a rally or a restaurateur producing a crude sexist joke become a blanket condemnation of all those who think Julia Gillard seriously f*cked up her prime ministership with bad judgement and miscalculations.

    Keep thinking that if you like but such self indulgent excuses almost guarantees zero focus on the underlying causes of Labor’s deep unpopularity with the electorate.

  29. Griffiths Karen

    I really like what you write Venise. It is overloaded with accuracy. Also, to call angry, concerned citizens ‘chattering feminists’ is a typically sloganistic ploy of those who believe they are journalists!

  30. Josi V

    Marilyn. It was blue ties, if I remember correctly. There are many instances in our recent history that show some men (public figures) treating women badly and receiving a slap on the wrist or a small stint in purgatory, but then ultimately being welcomed back into the fold (limelight). If you find these instances as tedious whining then I suggest that it is more deeply ingrained than you or Razer dare admit. How long do you think that “silly old fool” will remain in ‘the outer regions’ before he’s allowed back?

  31. AR

    Razer – you were, just about, OK as a JJJ nutter but you can’t reason your way out of the proverbial wet paper bag and really should not embarrass yourself, and anyone who wastes 2 mins scanning your drivel, by pretending to have an opinion worth noting.

  32. Simon Mansfield

    Yes that’s right attack Helen as a person rather than her opinions or ideas. One of my favourites of the day was C Milne’s appeal for donations today lamenting the end of Gillard – despite the Greens only just a few weeks ago tearing up their agreement with Labor as some sort of reenactment of burning one’s draft papers in 1969. Though “Penny the Traitor” is probably the ultimate 2 dollar line of the day.

  33. Margaret Ludowyk

    What a stupid article. I wish I hadn’t wasted three minutes of my life reading it.

  34. shepherdmarilyn

    As Samantha Maiden said tonight on the Drum, no-one whinged when the same men in blue ties installed Gillard in the frigging job.

    She sure didn’t.

  35. Djbekka

    Hey Helen,
    Didn’t you study some social science at some time? Gender always explains ‘some things’. And don’t tell me that the ALP is in some separate universe where gender relations do not exist.

  36. wendybacon1

    I saw a tweet to this piece and have just read it . I heard Anne Summers interview. My memory was that she did not conflate the ALP with men, in fact she explicitly mentioned that women were not amongst those who had resigned their posts. So I listened again to the interview and found I was right. Helen Razor’s article is misleading.
    I don’t always agree with Anne Summer’s political position but this is beside the point. Feminism and progressive politics have always encompassed debates and conflict between positions. If you want to hear what she had to say listen to the interview.

    Anne Summers has played a major role in analysing and raising public awareness about the sexist strategies that were used to attack Gillard. We can thank her for that. She also played a major role in analysing our patriarchal history. This does not mean her work is not open to critique and revision, as it has been, but to falsely characterise her position and contribution to the debate last week is unfair. In the interview, she talks about the message that would be received by young women who have observed the vicious personal attacks on Gillard’s appearance and her status as a unmarried woman without children. This treatment has reinforced gender stereotypes and has disappointed and angered many women. I agree with Anne that the media treatment of her speech at a launch of a group of women supporting Gillard was ludicrous and again seriously misleading. It was certainly used to launch yet another attack on her position. She mentioned abortion at the end of her speech which followed a long list of what Gillard saw as policy achievements and Labor policies for women. What was she to talk about – men? I would have been disappointed if she didn’t mention abortion – abortion will always be an issue until it is safe, accessible and legal for all women.
    Anne also talked about how ‘bad behaviour’ in the form of bullying ,deceiving, undermining had been rewarded. That is certainly true. But it seems to me that this is just normal in the ALP – so now Rudd glosses away his recent lies with ‘the nation calls’ and we are all supposed to move on and be nice.
    In stating my views, don’t bother to accuse me of turning Gillard into a feminist hero. Many women pioneers who have been victims of sexism have not been feminists – although Gillard is a feminist, according to her own lights. I didn’t understand why Gillard didn’t support equal rights in marriage. I’m opposed to the transfer of single parents onto Newstart and appalled by the refugee and foreign policies of the ALP – she shares these policies with Rudd, Carr, Bowen, Plibersek,Albanese and the rest. I’ll continue to oppose these policies but at the same time, like Summers, I’m saddened that sexism remains so deeply rooted in this country. Our media both reflects and reproduces this sexism on a daily basis – hence the reassuring happy families back on the News Ltd front pages today. If you are a feminist, I would expect you to oppose sexism whoever and whatever the target.

  37. burninglog

    apologies to PJK

    ““That you Helen? Julia Gillard here. Just because you swallowed a f-cking dictionary when you were about 15 doesn’t give you the right to pour a bucket of sh-t over the rest of us.”

  38. akubi

    “Gillard could have been a third-gender Wiccan made entirely of brie and the ALP wouldn’t have given half a shit so long as her “dissatisfied” rating had remained somewhere north of Satan’s.”

    Well the thing about that is, Gillard was being white anted by Rudd and co from within her own party while having to put up with the popular press campaign against her, simply because they want Abbott at the helm. They worked to inflame less laudable elements of Australian society as it aided their cause. So Gillard was really never going to get those high ratings while this was going on.

  39. Milne Lance

    The change of leadership means Julia will now be remembered as Australia’s first female PM who introduced some significant legislation, but had her term ended early becoming a Martyr to her Gender rather than being remembered as a Failed leader who led her Party to an electoral wipeout.
    K Rudd will now be remembered as a Leader who took on and defeated the long serving PM Howard was dumped but was the only person prepared to lead his party into a lost cause election preventing Abbot gaining control of the Senate and holding a number of seats that would have been lost.

  40. Venise Alstergren

    MARILYN SHEPHERD: You have an unerring instinct for failing to read the sub-text so I’ll spell it out for you.

    “The disease that constitutes the present malaise of gossip column journalism-masquerading as serious content-is encapsulated by the hapless governments which the press have allowed to infect this country.

    When questioning a Prime Minister of this country any journo or shock jock feels empowered to question the sexuality of our PM’s partner in lieu of serious comment or question. This is Australian politics at it’s lowest ebb. To add to our woes we have the leader of the Liberal Party aspiring to becoming PM. A man consumed by ambition and devoid of honour, class, style or depth of mental reserves.

    The only person standing between Tony Rabbott’s Liberal Party is a mendacious little runt with grotesque self-absorbtion.”

    Get the picture, Marilyn?

  41. Venise Alstergren

    ….”Between Tony Rabbott’s Liberal Party and Australian politics, as we know it, is a mendacious little runt with grotesque self-absorbtion.”

  42. Venise Alstergren

    KAREN GRIFFITHS and SIMON MANSFIELD: Please see my comment (39-40) in answer to MARILYN SHEPHERD’S daft reply, (26).

    KAREN: Thank you for your understanding. Cheers V

  43. mattsui

    ““synecdoche”, a minor crime of which Summers and Co are culpable. ”
    I confess my mind was a little distracted – Helen’s bits tend to do that to me. But I read the above and just couldn’t help thinking of “Hey, Hey, it’s Saturday”.
    BTW Helen, those silly feminists are never going to sstisfy your desire for intellectual purity and brilliance in their arguements. Perhaps you should try ignoring them for a while, now they’ve lost their “wheels” it won’t be too hard.

  44. shepherdmarilyn

    So why do you think you have some god given right to denigrate Tony Abbott and yet no-one has the right to denigrate Julia Gillard?

    Come on Venise, you are really not that dumb.

    I am an equal opportunity denigrator, you should try being less partisan in yours.

  45. Bill Parker

    Gad. Here is the reason why I subscribe to Crikey. I just find the to and fro between Venise and Marilyn SO readable.

    As for Gillard vs Abbott vs Rudd vs anyone else sticking their hands up: if I do an opinion survey I always put when asked “who do I prefer” I put, the “least worst”. Is there some hope that we might induce somebody with charisma into this charisma free zone?

  46. Griffiths Karen

    Yes Trelevn-I endorse your comments, along with Venise (and so many others) who subscribe to the concept of discussing what is right or wrong, without the default of name calling and angry abuse. That is why I subscribe to Crikey-let’s keep discussing the issues and trying to work out what has happened to ‘media.’

  47. Henry

    OK Helen, who I can’t help but think of as the gliblet (oooooh, aren’t I sooo funny, like gliblet, like wow Helen I sort of nearly made a funny pun, guess that gives me Razer sharp cred or what?) – let’s just say that the ratfuckers ratfucked Gillard, and that the fact that most of them were male really is entirely irrelevant. Hmm no story there Helen, can’t be anything more going on because you said so. Julia Gillard may not be all women but neither are you. And you are far too middle class pseudo intellectual to be everyperson. Sorry if my term ‘ratfucker’ was an accidental synecdoche that describes you. Hope Helen’s middle aged middle class love of gardening previously professed in The Big Issue is less shallow than her opinion pieces otherwise nothing takes root in the garden either. She is quite the individual though, isn’t she?!

  48. klewso

    It is unfortunate that the only language some understand is “Troll” – a tribal media tongue, that evolved in such isolation for so long.

  49. Venise Alstergren

    MARILYN: I cannot believe you seriously think I am mourning for Julia Gillard. Politics is a rough business-but she copped the very worst that the citizens of Oz could hand out. This says more about Australians than it does Gillard.

    I think somewhere you give your occupation as ‘retired.’ In which case you are old enough to have suffered a large part of Tony Rabbott’s track record. His negativity isn’t just a recent phenomenon. He hero worshiped the infamous Bob Santamaria,(DLP) who was the black saint of negativity.

    Also his fundamentalist beliefs. Ie women are on the earth to be breeders, a true wife cares more about her ironing board than she does for national events and politics. He is against abortion and euthanasia and has a large collection of catholic parliamentarians around him; they squat there like cane toads whose only ability is to bully-Chrisy Wissy-Perm Wave-Pyne, or rally against progress Eric Abetz, Scott Morrison, George Brandis, Cory Bernardi being extreme examples.

    The fact that the Rabbott has female staff members is a no-brainer. As a devout catholic, he would rather see them all in multiple pregnancies.

    This same Tony Rabbott is a monarchist, for Chrïst’s sake. This puts him in the same camp-I use the word advisedly-as David Flint, FFS!

    HOWEVER, my real fear is the thought of a fundamentalist religionist of any sort getting into power. After all, what a sterling effort was put in by President George W Bush to screw America.

    As a person concerned with refugees I imagine you were charmed by George W Bush’s mandate that no aid of any sort was to be sent to any country advocating birth control.

    I rest my case.

  50. David Hand

    Venise, your outpouring of anti-Abbott bile simply demonstrates that there are fundamentalists on all sides of the political divide. Gillard was the source of most of the gender-war noise around her, something you don’t get from Abbott even though the fear and loathing such as your inaccurate and spiteful rhetoric is a constant fact of life.

    We even have the prime minister telling us that Coalition policy regarding boat people will lead to war with Indonesia! Abbott has been the victim of unrelenting character-assassination ever since he became leader. He gets blamed for events he’s been nowhere near and for beliefs he no longer holds.

    I expect the new parliament, in which Abbott is prime minister, will legalise same-s*x marriage. Won’t all you lefties choke on that!

  51. shepherdmarilyn

    Venise, Abbott is not a fundamentalist, that would be Fred Nile. Abbott is just a clown with big ears and a big mouth.

    And I know you won’t mourn for Gillard, neither will I but I disagree that her demise was sexist.

    After all she got the nod by the men in the right of the ALP after 18 months of undermining Rudd and she did that to 4 males leaders.

    Women only have the right to cry sexism if they themselves are not sexist.

  52. Liamj

    Razers blunt again: Gillards actual deposing was not SFAIK sexist, but the mostly-older-white-male haters employed by rich mens media definately are, and they had a little bit to do with JGs unpopularity.

    I too abhor JGs foriegn & refugee policies, but have to applaud 90% of domestic policy. Six months of Twofaced Tony will have us all in weepy reminiscence, i’m sure.

  53. Griffiths Karen

    Agree Liamj-very true. Also, sorry, but you are wrong David Hand, and your comment is what I am so concerned about with our media. On Thursday morning Rudd held a press conference and said he was ‘concerned coalition policy of turn back the boats could lead to conflict.’ He went on to talk about the possibility of diplomatic conflict. Chris Ulhmann[abc] asked, ‘Let me just ask, when you say conflict to you mean armed conflict?’ Nothing else mattered because everyone jumped onto the word ‘armed.’ Now we have people believing the coalition policy could lead to war with Indonesia! God knows what tomorrow will bring-maybe the Indo army are planning to invade NT, maybe we have bombed the Indo capital…who knows? Disgraceful, irresponsible behaviour by a so-called journalist. Also, the bile you comment on is surely a response to the bias and basic unfairness of what is supposed to be professional and balanced reporting of the facts. The last 3 years have been a snapshot of how ugly it can get for individuals if the media put their mind to it. A snap shot of how skewed facts become when those charged with reporting believe they are the power.
    It was relentless for 3 years

  54. Griffiths Karen

    Sorry, should read, “Now we have people believing the PM said coalition policy could lead to war with Indo.” Absolute rubbish-I never heard those words, but the media believe he might have been thinking it or he could have been hinting at it or maybe thats what he really meant without actually saying it! Not very professional.

  55. Zarathrusta

    This article raises several good and important points. I (a man) thought that Anne Summers made sense about Julia Gillard until the sacking was deemed to be something that “men did to women”. I would be the first to agree that the Prime Minister received a heap of fatuous, undeserved critisism which was delivered in a grossly sexist way. Some of that I think was pure misogeny, but I also think some of it was dislike of the person or what she stood for that was then channelled into meaningless, wrong and offensive sexist diatribe.

    It is outrageous to say that she was got at because she was a woman. She was ousted for exactly the same reason that Keven Rudd was ousted – terrible polling.

    I also know that politically she was so on the nose that she was just a flashpoint for any gripe that anyone had about the government or the ALP. Some of that was not deserved.

    She has one of the worst political noses I’ve ever known. Every time she put her finger up to the wind to measure the reaction of the electorate, she seemed to misjudge public reaction terribly.

    People didn’t trust her because they couldn’t make sense of her. Why would an atheist care about marriage being between a man and a woman??? If it is outrageous to say that women are unfit to be in parliament, why is it OK to say gays and lesbians are unfit to marry? And what was she doing knitting kangaroos for a royal baby – she is supposed to be republican not sucking up to the rich and famous who “oppress the working class”? There are plenty of needy poor babies in Australia. This made Julia Gillard dangerously unpredictable to the electorate.

    Keven Rudd on the other hand makes sense. Even those who dislike his behaviour can see that it is genuinely felt, however wrong, and understand why he is doing it.

    Julia Gillard made many mistakes and some great decisions. The least she deserves is to be judged on her merits and not as a token woman. And she and her former office are entitled to a presumption of respect.

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