Another response to a comment.

October 10, 2012

Sorry, I’ve felt like a rabbit-in-headlights with what’s gone on over the last 24 (or so) hrs.

I got a great comment that had a nice mix of argument – without delving into the pits of horrible name calling and highly emotional, negative regurgitation.

Gravitar wrote:

I kinda agree. The comments re: Julia’s father are disgraceful that is true. Abbott and Jones have won no friends, nor votes, from it. However, this is politics and it is a dirty, grubby game (don’t forget Alan Jones comes from the political sphere) and you need a thick skin to survive. I can think of other ex-PM’s who have been on the giving and receiving end of unjustifiable sexist, racist and inappropriate comments and while this is not excusable, it is a reality of modern politics. Julia’s speech was largely valid, but she is a smart woman who should have buried Abbott by now based on his policy vacuum. Use theatrics by all means, but her speech themed on “what offends Julia” is not what will make her memorable or electable. Admittedly, Julia has the uncertainty of a hung parliament haunting her which would make it difficult to be an effective leader, however she needs to have a significant policy debate with Abbott and she needs to win… repeatedly. That’s how she will win more support within her own party and with the general public.

My response:

I saw a woman who had simply had enough – and it was invigorating. I didn’t see a politician – I saw a person, a woman, who stood up and said E.NOUGH.

Look at her controlled pacing – she is pissed.

And then to have Abbott put forward a motion to get rid of Mr Slipper, KNOWING that Parliament shouldn’t be influencing the court case that must ultimately pass judgement, was a dirty blow because he knew Julia Gillard was damned either way. The court case is also now completely flawed due to the leaking of those texts. A government can’t sway the court case as that would be grossly unfair. Anyone would feel completely betrayed by the system if they were about to face a court case in the spot Mr Slipper is in now.

So Tony Abbott put her, again, in a very difficult position.

This last point, as to why Julia couldn’t express her great dissatisfaction with Mr Slipper’s sexist behaviour in THAT way, is interestingly ABSENT from popular news reports – so the reaction to Julia’s ‘double-standards’ is based on misinformation.

Do you know what I just noticed as I was writing this? That I keep referring to Mr Slipper – with a Mr, because that’s how he’s continuously been refered as, by the media. This is also true to a lot of comments I’ve read on the Internet about this issue – women included – lots of women, actually. It’s a Mister for the disgusting misogynist – but Julia and ‘her’ (and much, much worse – including ‘cunt’) for our Prime Minister.

Julia Gillard had been set up – and she let rip. Wouldn’t you?
So I say, “You go, girl!”

Julie Bishop said that Julia Gillard had set back the women’s movement by decades.
Shame on her.
When in fact, it is she who has set us back, by standing side by side a sexist boss and turning her spite on the woman on the receiving end, who said, “Enough!”.
So much for the sisterhood.
Why would ANY woman want to go into politics? Where we are so DESPERATELY needed.
The sad part is that a whole lot of women will listen to Julie Bishop.

Our female Prime Minister stood up to the behaviours that were targeted towards her as a woman and she said “No, I’m not having it.”
She just propelled women forward in a wonderful way. Why would it get such global attention if it weren’t?

If people don’t like a leader, don’t vote for them. Speak with intelligent argument about them, not signs that say “Bitch” refering to our PRIME MINISTER.
It’s so pedestrian. Such an unintelligent way to debate…if you can call signs, debating.

Is she perfect? No. Who is?

Did she find herself with her back against the wall with the Carbon Tax? Yes.

What would you have done in her position – male or female?

Do we know deep down that this is a good tax? – that it has its heart in the right place? Yes.

And yet we subject this woman to such venom.

And for who? Abbott?
The man, who as you say (and agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with), has a ‘policy vacuum’?

A man who has demonstrated unprecedented behaviour, that has only reared its ugly head since a woman has been voted in as Prime Minister?

You say you can recall ex-PMs being subjected to unjustifiable sexist comments. I’m only focusing on this one because yes, of course, there have been racist comments made.

But sexist?? I really can’t recall an equivalent – say, a woman opposition leader…oh, there hasn’t been one. OK, ANY female politician of influence standing in front of signs with the word “Prick” or doing an equivalent action. That would have made equally big news because it would have been a rarity…seeing as there’s hardly been any women in upper politics in the past.

The truth is that men have done it to each other because that’s the gender that’s always saturated parliament.

To say Julia ‘should have’ buried him by now, is not a reflection on her – it’s a reflection on our nation – a nation that swallows every bit of sensationalist (and sketchy) reporting, that’s starting to liken our news to a cheap soapy.

I wish Australia could just gain a little more sophistication in its conversation about politics. But the question I pose to everyone is:

Question #102: How did you expect Julia Gillard to respond – as a woman – knowing our daughters are watching?

Funnily enough, the WORLD has noted the significance of her speech. But not the journalists of Australia – ie the anti-Julia bandwagon that’s ‘popular’ with the general populace.

What a pity. Because yesterday, she was a legend.

Here is the transcript of what Ms Gillard said.

Thank you so much for your comment. As always.


PS This blog is 8 months old today! Woo Hooo!


4 Responses to “Another response to a comment.”

  1. Harls said

    Gillard could have taken the moral upper ground so easily, but her implicit defence of that rotten grub Slipper shows us she puts politics before principles. Forget “due process”, “sub judicae” etc. because Slipper admits sending this vile schoolboy garbage from his phone. This is a well reasoned and accurate article:

    • questionsforwomen said

      Again, we agree to disagree Harley.
      Abbott calling the vote (an equal grub) put her in a position where she had no option but to say, “PISS OFF” in a far more articulate matter.
      I completely disagree with that SMH article, which gives a half-factual, male opinion. He’s entitled to it, as are you.
      As am I.
      Whoever hates Julia Gillard will lap this article up and take it as Gospel because that’s what newspapers do, right? Present the facts.
      I want my daughters to see how our female Prime Minister (who was bullied into that corner of having to vote for or against Slipper) articulated a strong response – because I wouldn’t have it either. Not from him. And I wouldn’t want my daughters to ever feel they couldn’t stand up, out of the fear.
      But there’s a lot to be fearful of, when this is the reaction.

  2. Gravitas said

    Wow! I’m honoured to have a special post on your esteemed blog in response to my reply yesterday. You’ve told me what you’ve seen in the Prime Minister’s speech, I’ll tell you what I’ve seen. Yes it was someone who was pissed off, but I’m not sure it was for the reasons you outline.

    While it’s not good to generalise, politicians tend to try and make the best of opportunities when they arise. I think that the Prime Minister, a seasoned politician, used the debate to reinforce something that most of us already know – women have a difficult time relating to Tony Abbott (and maybe vica versa). As I mentioned in my previous comment, the Prime Minister should have buried Tony Abbott by now because frankly she is the better candidate for a PM. But the disposing of Rudd and a minority Government that is a hair breadth’s away from a by-election has meant she has had to deal with very difficult circumstances as a leader. Circumstances which are a distraction from what should be the priority of the PM – enacting policies that make life better for all Australians.

    People like to witness a good argument – not the annoying parliamentary catcalls we usually see – and my point was that while it was good for the PM to give it to Tony Abbott, I’d like to see an exchange with more substance that I’d expect the PM to win – not because she is a woman, not because she has a union background, not because she is a Victorian, but because she is the most capable person for the job. All of us want a leader that inspires us and I lament that the PM has, as yet, an unfulfilled potential to do this.

    The Slipper issue is a messy one, with both sides of politics guilty of grubbiness, but he’s out now and should never come back.

    So to answer your question, what would I have done if I were in the PM’s shoes? Depends if I wanted to play politics or not. If I were to play politics I would, after the speech, get a high profile supporter to launch a campaign called something like “Stamp out Misogyny” and get everyone to wear badges in parliament and then tighten the screws on Abbott to be accountable for his questionable remarks regarding women. But this is a distraction, I would shake of the shackles of a minority government and start taking it to Abbott for his lack of policy substance, I would invite him, one-on-one, to take part in a series of debates around the country to showcase his lack of any policy depth. The election campaign would start now.

    Thanks for replying to my message.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Esteemed blog! Thank YOU! 🙂
      I agree with you that Julia should pounce on his lack of policy substance – but I just feel like this nation wouldn’t notice it (wouldn’t they have noticed by now?) as it is entrenched in an anti-Gillard campaign that renders them blind from seeing the bleeding obvious!
      I thank you again for your great conversation.

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