Australia’s Prime Minister Gillard Labels Opposition Leader Abbott A Misogynist

I’m fairly certain everyone has already shown you this – but in case (and, of course, as the token Australian on the network):

Best Thing You’ll See All Day: Australia’s Female Prime Minister Rips Misogynist a New One in Epic Speech on Sexism – Jezebel.com:

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. She basically ripped him a new asshole.

I’m still not pleased with her political performance overall, mind – gay rights… chaplains… But, still. Tides of change in Australia? #DestroyTheJoint

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • shockwaveplasma

    It’s the best 15minutes of Parliamentary TV I have ever seen.

    #DestroyTheJoint

  • StevoR

    Big day inAussie politics today.

    Can’t believe Tony Abott repeated that disgusting “died of shame” cliche after his mate Alan Jones sparked such righteous fury with it. What. A. Tool.

    As of now, Australia has a female Queen (of England too, weirdly enough), a female Governor general, a female Prime Minister and now a female Speaker too!

    To all the misogynists here in the immortal words of The Castle :

    “Suffer in your jocks!” ;-)

  • katkinkate

    She’s come out of her mourning breathing fire. Good on her!

  • mildlymagnificent

    I reckon she’s between a rock and a hard place on the marriage issue. She’s the Prime Minister and she’s atheist, childless and not married to the bloke she lives with.

    What she’s managed to do is to say to the country that “It doesn’t matter whether you are or aren’t married, you can still be a respected person in a responsible position and have a sexual relationship – and be an atheist, and be childless.” The Finance Minister, Penny Wong, is a christian who lives with her female partner and their (gorgeous) infant daughter, so Gillard’s openly acknowledging that a gay person can have a similar same sex relationship and a responsible government office.

    If she starts talking about the rights or dignity or whatever associated with marriage and family for anyone else, she’s likely to get a barrage of commentary about her own atheism, marital status and childlessness. I suspect she feels she’s done a pretty good job in demonstrating that non-married sexual and family relationships for both hetero and same sex people are no barrier to high government office.

    It’d be nice if she did more, but she’s done pretty well given the forces arrayed against her and who’ve shown themselves ready, willing and able to make things very unpleasant for her any time they feel so inclined.

  • mandrellian

    I’m with you. I didn’t vote for Gillard, I don’t like how she took the leadership, I’m not that impressed with her record but … bloody hell … Abbott is a fucking prawn and that smackdown was epic, well-deserved and overdue. Keatingesque!

    Frankly, I’d like to see our PM fire up a bit more often – I’d love to see a salvo like that in defence of marriage equality, or the Barrier Reef, or aimed squarely at Rinehart & Co.’s pollution lobby.

  • Rob

    Well I think he deserved every moment of that. Not always a fan of Gillard but she got this right.

  • http://thouwinterwind.wordpress.com Winterwind

    That was gold.

  • dobber

    I kept cheering all the way through. She was dynamite. Our PM talking the feminist talk! Loved it.

  • bvganfematheist

    Yep, she’s my local member and I’ve written to her in the past about issues she’s messed up, including marriage equality and the abhorrent treatment of asylum seekers, though I agree her hands are often tied with the minority government and the various people she has to toe the line with. This time I wrote to her to thank her and to say that we need to see more of that from her. This is what I saw in her as a local member and then when she became PM it disappeared. Not that I’ll necessarily vote for her either but Abbott sure had that coming for a loooooong time.

  • Ysanne

    Loved it.

    And then had to explain the context to friends (in Australia!), because typically they went “wtf, this is all just me-me-me whingeing and personal attacks on Abbott and just distracting from the actual issue of rightly sacking the house speaker for sexually harassing a gay staff member plus texting sexist BS… why would she do that?”. They saw the point quickly after they got filled in on the background, so I guess it’s a good idea to include that with the video:

    This speech is a reply to Abbott’s move for a vote of no confidence in the speaker, and in this he said:
    “And every day the prime minister stands in this parliament to defend this Speaker will be another day of shame for this parliament, another day of shame for a government which should already have died of shame.”
    The “died of shame” phrase is relevant here: A couple of weeks ago, prominent conservative radio “shock jock” Allan Jones made huge waves by saying that Gillard’s father died of shame and later issuing a notpology. Everybody not living under a rock knows that “died of shame” is not a phrase any half-decent person would use in connection with Gillard right now.
    Add to this that Abbott is well known for his sexism and homophobia (literally: he “feel[s] a bit threatened” by gays) and that a fair bit of accumulated anger about earlier sexist stuff Jones said, from women “destroying the joint” to fantasies of dumping Gillard at sea tied in a chaff bag, is boiling over these days.
    This was just the perfect opportunity to smack down Abbott for his sexism and hypocrisy, and Gillard used it well.
    As for the Slipper issue: He resigned right after surviving the vote of no confidence, and apparently he had been asked to do that shortly before the move by Labor and independent MPs already.

  • mildlymagnificent

    Now that it’s been cooking at the back of my brain for a couple of days, I reckon Abbott’s showing a pronounced lack of political nous.

    Anyone with any political or marketing sense would have known that “died of shame” was poison from the moment the Jones speech was out there. A few people have tried to say that Abbott had used this in the past. All the more reason to simultaneously recognise it and cross it off your cliche list as you curse Jones for ruining one of your favourite lines.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Doesn’t Australia use the Westminster System? I’m rather confused at comments about voting for Gillard. My understanding is that the PM is an ordinary MP with an ordinary constituency, that her party has the government and that she was appointed by the government to lead it.

  • briane

    Gregory in Seattle, you are correct. But the media have for so long sold it as a presidential model, that the frame has stuck. The PM is just another member, and if she gets rolled by her party, and someone else gets the nod, that person will be PM.
    Good on Gillard for telling Abbot where to go, and stopping the liberal party from using the Federal Parliament as a kangaroo court. Slipper’s still going through the court system, and if Gillard had sacked him, then the parliament would’ve acted in judgement of Slipper. She said she didn’t like his crap, but had stand up for the principle that courts decide cases.

  • briane

    And seeing Abbot squirm when all his misogynistic crap was put down in Hansard was pretty special. :)


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