The Gender Card

Julia Gillard, Feminist Superstar

You have to admit, the world moves in mysterious ways. Overnight, Tony Abbott became an international laughing stock as  result of Julia Gillard’s big rant.

The most enthusiastic praise came from US women’s site Jezebel, which described Ms Gillard as “one badass mother—-er”.

“In an impassioned 15-minute smackdown in front of the House of Representatives, the country’s first female leader gave a scathing speech calling out opposition leader Tony Abbott’s extremely misogynistic comments, actions, views on abortion and single women, all while pointing in his face.”

Jezebel also highlighted some of her “choice quotes” including:
– “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The leader of the opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the leader of the opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion in the house of representatives, he needs a mirror.
– “I was very offended personally the Leader of the Opposition said abortion is the easy way out.”
– “I was offended when he stood next to a sign that described me as a ‘man’s bitch.'”

Online political magazine Salon said US politicians such as Todd Akin, who said “legitimate rape” did not result in pregnancy, and Allen West, who was blasted after telling a Democrat she was “not a lady”, could learn something from Ms Gillard.

“If only the US could borrow Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to take on Congress’s misogynist caucus,” Salon said.
“We wonder if Gillard takes requests: Todd Akin, R.-Mo., and Allen West, R.- Fla., to name just a couple, could certainly use a similar treatment.”

And so it went. Germaine Greer, eat your heart out, the world has a new poster-child for Feminism. And yes, Tony Abbott looked a right git toward the end of Gillard’s rant.

Shut Up ‘n’ Take Yer Medicine Tony

Of course today, Tony Abbott’s trying to come back at the rant, trying to characterise it as ‘playing the gender card’.

Mr Abbott said today he would not retreat from his criticism of the Prime Minister.
He called on Labor to stop playing the gender card.
”Just because the Prime Minister has sometimes been the victim of unfair criticism doesn’t mean she can dismiss any criticism as sexism or she can dismiss any criticism on gender grounds,” Mr Abbott said.

The staggering chutzpah of Tony Abbott is that he nary shows that he has to acknowledge he got beat by his own cudgel yesterday, good and proper. Maybe this kind of chutzpah is something admirable to a certain kind of conservative mindset, but I wonder if he’s going to ever overcome the international PR damage of being ‘that guy who had to sit there and take that 15minute rant from the first female Prime Minister of Australia’.

The sad (and decidedly ugly) point about the whole Peter Slipper affair is that Peter Slipper was indeed a one time friend of Tony Abbott, who got sold down the river by Tony Abbott. Peter Slipper – for whatever reasons of his own – made his move to accept the role of Speaker of House if for no other reason than the money and prestige. It certainly damaged the Coalition because it went against the overall aim of destabilising the fragile Parliament where the independents held so much power, however it really must be asked whether it was realistic of Tony Abbott and his front benchers to expect the apple of government to fall on their laps like some gift from the gods.

To this – mostly imaginary, partly mirage-like – end, Tony Abbott has bent his considerable effort at portraying the Prime Minster as a lying witch, bitch slut and whatever else, as well as hunted Craig Thomson into a kind of wilderness where he may never get a fair trial should he ever have to face charges. The utter lack of restraint and the most naked of blind ambitions has made him less of a candidate for the highest elected office of Australia.

Now, he might complain and call all this dressing down he got from Julia Gillard as Gillard playing the gender card, but no, no, no, Mr. Abbott, this is just the beginning. It is fairly clear that the polite, protective rubber gloves are off, and Julia Gillard has stainless steel fists.

Why Does Paul Sheehan Even Have A Job At The SMH?

I know he only writes opinion pieces but really, somebody should tell him the tone of his writing is as low as he accuses others of being.

After sending out two attack dogs, Gutter and Sewer, to do the dirty work, after hiding behind two political zombies, Insufferable and Unspeakable, to stay in power, after using the Minister for Innuendo and the Compromise-General to play the gender card, the mask has finally dropped away to reveal the driver of the politics of hate in Australia.

The mask fell at exactly 2.42pm in the House of Representatives. Looking on were the member for Gutter, Anthony Albanese, the member for Sewer, Wayne Swan, the Minister for Innuendo, Tanya Plibersek, and the Compromise-General, Nicola Roxon, and the independents who will do anything to avoid facing their electorates, Mr Insufferable, Robert Oakeshott, and his fellow regional zombie, Mr Unspeakable, Tony Windsor.

Someone had to set Gutter and Sewer loose. Someone directed Innuendo and Compromise to play the gender card. Someone paid the bill for Insufferable and Unspeakable. Someone’s authority still rests on the vote of Craig Thomson. And someone had to approve making Peter Slipper the Speaker despite his being manifestly disrespected by either side of the house, a low point of political opportunism.

At 2.42 pm on Tuesday that someone rose to speak. The mask fell away. Julia Gillard came out snarling. The Parliament had before it a great issue, the dignity of the house itself, which had been traduced by the scandal that had attached itself to Slipper.

Instead of directly addressing the issue of a discredited speakership which had become engulfed in an expensive and degrading legal action that did no credit to anyone involved, least of all the Attorney-General, the Prime Minister wasted no timing in using misdirection and personal abuse.

That’s all pretty vulgar as he is trying to paint the Prime Minister for daring to point out the blindingly obvious – the reason why the Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott cannot be taken seriously for his motion against Peter Slipper on the basis of misogyny and sexism is that the only way to interpret Tony Abbott’s public utterances and prevarications and qualifications and babble-burble-bicker-banter is that he himself is sexist and a misogynist. And no amount of hauling Abbott’s wife out into the limelight is going to fix that fact – not perception, but fact on the public record. Similarly, no amount of name-calling and belittling of the Prime Minster (for being a woman, I guess)  is going to add any moral authority to a man who has made hypocrisy a sport all his life and can’t even tell when he’s doing it.

Paul Sheehan then goes on to argue that Julia Gillard lied about the Carbon Tax.


Now, regular readers of this blog will well know that I do not approve of Julia Gillard and will not vote for her or the ALP at the next Federal Election. My mind is made up; she cannot persuade me otherwise. This is between me and my political conviction.

All the same, even I know and understand and remember well enough, that what happened with respect to the Carbon Tax was that she had to go ahead with it in order to form government with the one Green MP and the 3 independents. It didn’t matter that she campaigned against it and removed Kevin Rudd in order not to have the ETS. It was the hung Parliament that forced her to agree to the Carbon Tax. To argue that she “lied” given these circumstances is stretching the truth way beyond breaking point. It’s one thing for idiot pundits like Alan Jones and other shock jocks to call this a lie: They’re not smart enough to understand how things went that led up to that point in history. They’re intellectual pygmies (and I’m being un-nice to real pygmies when I say that) preaching to the brain-damaged sub-literate morons who cannot read newspapers nor hold a thought long enough to understand history (but alas as citizens have the vote nonetheless).

However, a man who is paid to write opinion pieces in the Sydney Morning Herald website ought to have a better understanding than calling Julia Gillard a liar. It’s willfully stupid and blind to the facts.

If I had Gina Rinehart’s money to buy Fairfax, I’d make a point of sacking Paul Sheehan too.

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