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The Australian Prime Minister and that stellar Misogynistic Speech!
Last week in Australian politics we Australians witnessed a first. A female politician in Federal parliament putting a man in his place.
Not only was it the first time in Australian political history, that a woman put a man in his place in parliament, and not just any man, either, but it was the first time in Australian political history that the woman was the first female Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the man was the leader of the opposition Tony Abbott.
A speech that came out of necessity after months of sexist and personal attack Ms Gillards fiery speech was remarkable in it's content, presentation and delivery and even her political opponents and nay sayers and those that are quick to find fault with her policies or oppose her every word because she is a woman were quietened into submission. The speech went viral as it does in this social media context that we now all live in and made headlines around the world with one British paper terming it 'Brilliant' and others suggesting that some other world leaders may take a leaf out of Ms Gillards book and learn from her strength. But without doubt the speech with it's collective shout of approval from women worldwide was deemed a success, for want of a better word because misogyny no matter how thinly disguised is no longer acceptable in decent society.
To say she ripped it up the oppositions proverbial backside is putting it mildly as the speech unlike any we have ever heard before in Australia was reminiscent of an earnest black American man long ago pleading for justice and fairness for all races; it was reminiscent of a young American president's strength in a speech to a nation in the face of nuclear war urging them to stand strong; and it was celebrated across the globe with rave reviews and commendations for it's strength, conviction and tenacity in the face of such contemptuous sexism that few leaders have ever faced or had to endure while holding the office of PM.
It is of little surprise to most people aware of the political climate in Australia to understand the battle that has taken place in the ranks of the Labour party in recent years and the demise of Kevin Rudd, the then leader and PM, and Ms Gillards rise to power from deputy to PM.
The story goes on blah blah blah with the alleged back stabbing and too-ing and fro-ing of responsibility and blame shifting from so called faceless men to Ms Gillard, and back again until we as the Australian people stand up and shout that we can't take it anymore; nor do we care.
Whether Ms Gillard brought Mr Rudd down single handed or he was ousted by the faceless men and she was pressured to stand in his place; which is the more likely scenario, it neither matters any longer or is relevant to the future. But many believe it is purely because she is female that she has received such ruthless personal comments (the size of her behind) culminating in the heartless comments about her recently deceased father.
Some Questions Need to be Asked
But there are some pertinent questions that have long been unanswered and need to be asked so that Australia can finally make up it's mind on whether we are for or against Ms Gillard and her attempt to lead this country of ours.
- Is it fair thing to say that Ms Gillard is the only deputy leader to aspire the top job? Of course not I hear you say. There was the infamous usurping of Prime Minister Bob Hawke by Paul Keating, and then there was the leadership challenge from Kevin Rudd on Kim Beazley which were both seen as men doing their job. But being female Ms Gillard has been made out to be much worse than any other to have done so.
- Is there a politician in the history of Australian politics that has either changed their mind on matters of policy after claiming the top job for example in Ms Gillards case the infamous carbon tax; not been sure that the decision they make is right ie the Malaysian boat people deal or failed to deliver on pre election promises?
- Has there ever been a political leader of any party or state that has been above reproach; completely honest with the people; stands by their word, makes good on committed promises, is not reprehensible; is decisive, strong, authentic? In short one that we are completely satisfied with?
Facing the Future of Australian politics - Enough is Surely Enough
- Many believe that a line has been crossed and it is time for change.
- Isn't it time that decent concerned politicians, people in power, and members of the public put an end to the insidious and continual 'trial by media' and the negative verbal diatribe that journalists, social commentators and radio know it all personalities spew out of their mouths toward politicians in this country? It's a sad day for all Australians when we give license to the country's media to dictate how our political systems should and should not operate.
- Isn't it time that journalists that carry far too much weight and try their best to manipulate and control what happens politically in our nation, be challenged to stop that kind of behavior, and to stand back, shut up and let the leader of our nation get on with the job at hand and prove her worth.
- What happened to the days when our value system in this country showed respect for the office of Prime Minister ?
- Why is a disgraceful tone of sexism, abusive verbal disrespect, misogyny and deeply nasty personal attacks allowed to take place and denigrate the once honored offices of parliament where civility, pride of office and respect were once aspired too.
- And isn't it time that the Australian people find their voice and insist that decency and respect and honor be bought back into parliament .
I doubt that I would be wrong in saying that the people of Australia have simply had enough.
Time to Reflect
- A leader without fault is impossible to find
- As a nation we have had far too few women leaders
- What will the future for Australian women, in leadership, in business, in politics etc look like if the opposition, with a leader who clearly has a history of holding and expressing strong sexist views, gain power in the next election.
As a leader Ms Gillard is;
- A woman of substance
- Has integrity
- Is calm under fire
- Relates in a rational manner
- Shows consistency in leadership
- Is strong and courageous
- Is warm and personable
- Treats others with respect
Professionally Ms Gillard;
- Is Intelligent
- Can be decisive when needed
- Has a good deal of common sense and is fair in her dealings with others
- Has a strong sense of justice
- She is direct, clear, open and respectful when asked questions.
- But will not tolerate Sexism in any form, from rude politicians in and out of parliament
- Or from Journalists and will happily put them in their place
Think clearly Australia, the future for women depends on the decision that will be made next year.