Julia Gillard is the Australian prime minister who finally ran out of tolerance and delivered an amazing 15 minute speech on the sexism and misoygny of the Australian opposition leader. If you ever encounter anyone who says women can’t cope with the rough and tumble of politics show them this. I know little about her and her politics but think she is magnificent in this speech, a real role model.
Here’s an extract of what she said:
“Let’s go through the Opposition Leader’s repulsive double standards, repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism. We are now supposed to take seriously that the Leader of the Opposition is offended by Mr Slipper’s text messages, when this is the Leader of the Opposition who has said, and this was when he was a minister under the last government – not when he was a student, not when he was in high school – when he was a minister under the last government.
He has said, and I quote, in a discussion about women being under-represented in institutions of power in Australia, the interviewer was a man called Stavros. The Leader of the Opposition says “If it’s true, Stavros, that men have more power generally speaking than women, is that a bad thing?”
And then a discussion ensues, and another person says “I want my daughter to have as much opportunity as my son.” To which the Leader of the Opposition says “Yeah, I completely agree, but what if men are by physiology or temperament, more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?”
Then ensues another discussion about women’s role in modern society, and the other person participating in the discussion says “I think it’s very hard to deny that there is an underrepresentation of women,” to which the Leader of the Opposition says, “But now, there’s an assumption that this is a bad thing.” ”
Julia Gillard I salute you.
Photo courtesy of Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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Posted on October 11th, 2012 by Jane