By REBECCA SPARROW
I feel a little sick in the stomach about writing this post. Mostly because I know it’s going to infuriate a large number of women I admire. But here goes.
When Prime Minister Julia Gillard gave her ‘historic’ speech in Parliament during Question Time on Monday, I didn’t pump the air with my fist. I didn’t cheer. Or clap. There was no whooping. I was a whoop-free zone.
Why? Because I didn’t buy it.
When I watched the PM open a can of whoopass on Tony Abbott I didn’t feel like I was watching some spontaneous smackdown ignited by Abbott’s moronic “died of shame” comment. I didn’t feel like the PM had been tipped over the edge and just exploded into a speech that would strike the heart of every feminist.
Nope. I felt like I was watching the PM play her latest card in the “Let’s paint Tony Abbott as a misogynist” smear campaign. She had her notes ready to go and Abbott essentially cleared the stage.
Labor has a historical fondness for smear campaigns. This year in Queensland I saw Anna Bligh’s Labor government spread vile and completely untrue lies about Campbell Newman’s family via a letterbox campaign. Think what you like about Newman – love him or hate him, I don’t care – but the dirty tactics when discovered by Queensland voters was the nail in Bligh’s coffin.
And do I even need to remind anyone of the “Kevin Rudd is a psychotic power-mad dictator” campaign they rolled out against one of their own?
So, Tony Abbott.
Do I think the Leader of the Opposition is sexist? Yeah, I do. Do I think he allows his religious beliefs to influence his political decision-making. Yep.
But that doesn’t make someone a misogynist. What are we now? Qualified psychologists? Well, thank you Dr Phil. I think to throw that label around is so incredibly offensive it makes my head explode. Anyone who has dated or met a man who is a true misogynist knows what I’m talking about.
But the real kicker for me in Monday Question Time was for the Prime Minister to give a “I’ve had enough of the sexist, disgusting appalling things Tony Abbott has been saying about women” speech only to VOTE TO KEEP PETER SLIPPER AS SPEAKER. A man who wrote, oh you know, just a whole heap of creepy, sexist comments about women’s genitalia.