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Tansy Rayner Roberts

Australian Politics Offended By Sexism and Willing to Talk About it

October 11th, 2012 at 12:16

This is what I have wanted to see since Julia Gillard became prime minister: a woman in power calling bullshit on the way that women in public and private are treated so appallingly by our politicians and our media, and IN PARTICULAR the leader of the opposition Tony Abbott’s appalling track record of misogyny, sexism and hypocrisy. This is one hell of a speech and whatever her government has succeeded and failed at over the last few years, I want to cheer her on.

Now looking at his watch because apparently a woman has spoke too long, I’ve had him yell at me to shut up in the past…

Full text of the debate here.

Penny Wong, meanwhile, discusses the fallout from the speech and the general political climate, including the question of whether Abbott is misogynist, how comparisons with ‘masculine’ insults are examples of false equivalence, and the silencing tactics used to make women shut up about sexism.

Mighty women, both of them.

Mindy at Hoyden About Town talks about the other issues surrounding Gillard right now, and asks when is it okay to be angry about how Gillard has been failing women and the QLTBG community – can we still talk about that stuff while celebrating her majestic speech against sexism?

Ariane talks about the highs and lows of the day that Julia Gillard decried sexism and lowered single parent payments.

EDIT: some great analysis on the difference one good speech can make by Raivans.
And Ben Peek asks some necessary questions about the mainstream media’s response to all this.

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6 Responses to “Australian Politics Offended By Sexism and Willing to Talk About it”

  1. katec Says:

    While I have at times felt disappointed in Julia Gillard, I thought this speech was bloody magnificent.

  2. AnnieB Says:

    I am so disappointed in my own gender. Women have tried so hard for equality in the work place and when they get it they keep crying”sexist” whenever men are unpleasant or beat them in debate. Men are often very unpleasant to men and if women want equality they must meet them head on and STOP playing the gender card. It is demeaning to females. It comes across as if they can’t cope when things are difficult and are not going their way ——-when in trouble call the gender card. I am also fed up with the P.M. behaving like a spoilt school girl. This hypocritical woman holds the highest position in the land and she keeps letting us down by”flying off the handle”. A woman who wants equality must act as an equal. BY THE WAY WHO IS RUNNING THE COUNTRY ???? Nothing seems to be achieved apart from giving bucket loads of money away to places other than Australia. Can’t wait for the election.

  3. tansyrr Says:

    Sorry AnnieB but you obviously don’t have a clear understanding of the kind of concentrated, deliberate sexist bullying that has been directed at our Prime Minister over the last several years, and why this speech is so important.

    The speech was not “flying off the handle,” it was a clever and well planned piece of politics, and reflects the anger of many women in this country.

    If you want to be disappointed in your gender, I suggest you do it somewhere else.

  4. Galactic Suburbia 70! « Randomly Yours, Alex Says:

    [...] Julia Gillard and the Sexists of Doom The Speech (and bonus Penny Wong Interview) Commentary in the New Yorker @vodkandlime talks about the response [...]

  5. Sean the Blogonaut Says:

    @AnnieB,

    I actually can’t think of a time that Gillard has flown off the handle. If anything she is too constrained, too stilted in her delivery. I can only recall two occasions where I have observed her being natural, this speech and a special edition of QandA.

    This speech was well researched and well written.

    Having to put up with gendered slurs and comments referencing your fathers death is not being beaten in debate, it’s being abused. And I feel uncomfortable that you think the most powerful woman in Australia should have to put up with that. For that matter that any woman should have to put up with that. The only reason things have got better in Australia is because there have been women who have acted like Gillard.

  6. tansyrr Says:

    Well said, Sean.

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