Misogynist nut-jobs deserve the kick in the nuts, but Gillard has not earned a pat on the back from me.
I took a lot of satisfaction from seeing “misogyist nut-jobs” get a well-aimed and well-deserved kick in their over-excited nuts from our First Female Prime Minister yesterday – but I still can’t go as far as to give Julia Gillard a pat on the back.
Visiting UN executive director for women Michelle Bachelet yesterday praised Australia for its current prepoderernce of women in leadership positions. However, female leadership does not in itself necessarily produce female-friendly policy (Margaret Thatcher being the most obvious example of a female leader who kicked away the ladder of opportunity from beneath her, once she had climbed to a secure position). Gillard has overseen the implentation of paid parental leave and increased childcare funding, but she has also continued and extended punitive policies towards the most vulnerable women. The same newspapers that are reporting her strong fightback against sexism and misogyny yesterday are also reporting her government’s intention to press ahead with extending the Howard-era’s punitive policies against single parents, the overwhelming majority of whom are women. Asylum seekers, men and women alike, are to be subject to a savage regime of indefinite detention.
I’m on Gillard’s “side” when it comes to her confrontation with misogynist nut-jobs, but she isn’t on our team. She is fighting for herself, not for us.