The Guardian: It’s good to see Julia Gillard tackle sexism

The Guardian: It’s good to see Julia Gillard tackle sexism

Good? It’s great. I have a piece at The Guardian today, about Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s rip-roaring remarks about sexism on the floor of the House of Representatives today:

This morning I woke up to an email that said: “Wow, looks like your prime minister fired her anger translator,” with a link to this video of Australian PM Julia Gillard’s masterful, righteous take-down of opposition leader Tony Abbott.

Abbott had called for the resignation of the embattled speaker of the house, Peter Slipper, who several months ago was accused of sexually harassing a staffer. Abbott called Slipper unfit for office, saying that the language in the sexually explicit text messages Slipper sent to the staffer were offensive. At that point, Gillard decided that she neither wanted nor needed an “anger translator”: she was going to handle this one herself. And handle it she did.

“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.”

Gillard went on to list a series of sexist and misogynistic remarks made by Abbott himself – from questioning whether it’s a bad thing that men have more power than women to explaining a new carbon pricing scheme with the words “what the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing …”. Gillard remarked sarcastically: “Thank you for that painting of women’s roles in modern Australia.”

You can read the whole thing here.

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