Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia, gave a speech to parliament about sexism directed towards her opposition, Tony Abbott. After going through two weeks with sexism and misogyny as the hot topic in the Australian political media, she finally felt the need to address the issue herself.
Tony Abbott began attacking Peter Slipper, the Speaker of the House and demanding that he step down from office. Slipper was accused of sexually harassing an openly gay male staff member in a series of text messages, where he crudely compared the female sex organs to various aquatic animals. Abbott said that if the Prime Minister Gillard defended Peter Slipper in any way she would be just as sexist as any “gay man that talks shit about vaginas.”
Gillard was very offended by his statements accusing her of being sexist. She attacked him in her rant about sexism in parliament on October 9th. Her voice rose to command everyone’s attention as she proclaimed that she “will not be lectured about misogyny by this man… Not now, not ever.”
Gillard then went on to point out his own hypocrisy by mentioning various campaign slogans that utilize sexist phrases like ‘Ditch the Witch’ and describe her as a man’s bitch. “If [Abbott] 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’s speech has now reached fame for her display of passion. As she points directly at Abbott and looks him in the eye, she made a statement. Sexism is a problem in modern day politics, but a worse problem is hypocrisy. It’s safe to say that Abbott’s support rating has plummeted since the “misogyny speech” given by Gillard.