They’re at it again – or still! Julia tap-dancing about between her support of a proven misogynist, and her abhorrence of derogatory remarks about females … and Tony with both feet in his mouth; and the other Tony, whom many of his voters have publicly declared a traitor … Even fellow independent, Richard Torbay, has criticised him for ‘tarnishing the independent brand’.
And then there’s Tania, who said, very piously, on radio, this morning, that the government doesn’t make judgements based on rumour. Oh, dear! Wash your mouth out!
True to my calling, I straight away think about the Suffragettes who laboured, suffered, and, in some instances, died for their cause. Someone like Emily Davison. What would she be saying if she had a living voice?
Possibly something like: “Why did we throw ourselves under horses, chain ourselves to palace gates, suffer imprisonment and vilification, starve ourselves to the point of death, when, a century later, a woman in the top position in the land (thanks to our efforts) has betrayed us, (and herself)?”
I say she hasn’t only betrayed women. Anyone with a feminine side (men, too), or the merest regard for female dignity, must be asking themselves this question.
Germaine Greer’s attack on the dress sense of the Prime Minister made me wince. I thought then, (and still do) that it was a distinctly unfeminist comment, a betrayal of all she represents to a generation of women. After all, the P.M. has far more important business to think about than a wrinkle across the back of her jacket. But maybe she knows more about her than we think. A sort of remark in kind, and not, as I had thought, a desire to be outrageous. (I don’t really find any excuse for it, but maybe there is. The jury’s still out.)
Sadly, until self-interest ceases to be the main driver of these, our leaders, we can expect more of these demeaning sessions in our parliament. When we find a public figure (man or woman) who puts the interests of the country before his/her own personal ambitions for power – that person will indeed be a Statesman.
Thank goodness, someone had the sense to pull the plug on the whole miry pool. How sad that it was not our P.M. who paved the way, but the man who should never have been elevated to the position of Speaker in the first place. The Suffragettes must be rolling in their graves!
I am sorry, Suffragettes, that even in the ‘enlightened’ world of the 21st Century, and after all you have done for us, you are still not able to rest in peace.
I like your take on this.
I have to admit that I did quite enjoy part of Julia’s speech—her having a go at Tony (the truth is I am not an avid fan of either of them). In isolation, her comments about him and his hypocrisy over having an issue with Slipper (when he is clearly a sexist himself) were strong; and she spoke quite well.
Unfortunately the whole argument was flawed, as you point out. Because she was being completely hypocritical on a few fronts: To criticise someone for being a misogynist when she is defending a misogynist is quite bizarre; and the sheer fact that she was pointing out to Abbott that he had back-flipped many a time on his political position to suit a ‘political agenda’ is a bit amusing. Carbon-tax anyone? Should I continue my list of back-flips?
The truth is, hypocrisy is a staple of political life. And that’s why we are all so exhausted of it, and simply have lost our trust in anything that is being said.
On a side note, there have been a wide variety of views on this in other blogs and public forums. Particularly with Julia’s speech and its relevance to feminism. Some feminists are jumping up and down with glee about Julia standing up to Tony, (http://www.mamamia.com.au/news/why-julia-gillards-smackdown-speech-was-brilliant/), and others point out, as you have, that her sentiments may have been great or powerful, if in fact she wasn’t standing up to a misogynist to defend a misogynist, (http://overland.org.au/blogs/lfmg/2012/10/on-that-parliamentary-smackdown/).
I think this whole point you raise is key. If she had been standing up to Tony Abbott about his sexist ways without it being made a segue from the Slipper situation, the power it yielded may have been completely different?
I’m glad you agree. Just a touch of irony there, wouldn’t you say?
There is one thing I have often wondered (in my impartial observation): Are sexist remarks the sole preserve of men? Or do women make them, too?
I look forward to hearing your opinion.
Until next time,
Absolutely. Anyone can be sexist, racist, etc., in my humble opinion.
It’s just that women have been at the butt-end of the vast majority of sexist remarks, historically.
Side note – didn’t necessarily agree with the usage of the word misogynist (by JG). By definition, I think both Abbott and Slipper are sexist, and perhaps pigs, but not ‘women haters’. But then, someone said, if you’re always at the receiving end of it (sexism) it might feel a lot like hate.
Good point! Yes, totally agree. The Jury’s out about putting those two in the same basket, though.