On marriage and misogyny 

Helen Hooper writes: Re. “Gillard’s back in the limelight, with Kevin nowhere to be seen” (Tuesday). I think Margot Saville missed Julia Gillard’s point about same-sex marriage at her book launch.

To my mind what Julia Gillard is trying to say — in Teflon-coated politico-speak — is that it’s the institution of marriage that she opposes, not the two men, two women, two whatevers who want to tie the knot, or their rights.  She doesn’t believe in marriage as it is accepted in our culture, be it under secular or religious law.

This stance to me is very high-minded, an expression of core values, so easily eroded in political life, and I think it was judicious of her at the time to make it a conscience vote.

I’m interested that Margot Saville chose to highlight the gay marriage conundrum rather than the question Julia Gillard asked about the misogyny tsunami — “Where were the corporate mandarins at the time who could have stood up and said, ‘I didn’t vote for her. I don’t agree with her policies. I won’t vote for her in the next election, but this misogynistic vilification  demeans our country'”? Or words to that effect. That to me has more grunt than the semantics of the meaning of marriage.

Premier mistake?

Bob Smith writes: Re. “Australia’s premier” (yesterday). It’s not often seen here, but in other countries with prime ministers it is an acceptable variation to call a PM  a premier. Reference to some British political history texts will probably turn up a few. As in the US heads of state governments are governors, for a US paper not to see the reference as a problem that sticks out to us like mistaking the NZ flag for ours is not really surprising.

On burqas

Thomas Richman writes: Re. “Lifting the veil on the real reason for banning the burqa in Parliament” (yesterday). I really couldn’t give a rat’s if a woman wears a burqa or hijab when it’s her choice alone and unimposed by someone or a group of people misinterpreting the Koran so as not to deal with their own psycho-sexual inadequacies. Apologists coming from the ranks of feminists, and I count myself as one, is distressing!

Peter Fray

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