Nikki Savva offers the Prime Minister some “advice” that – no, honestly – applies “equally to male and female politicians”:

Some people welcomed her recent performances in parliament as feisty. To others they were scratchy and screechy.

Her humour often lapses into bitchiness or condescension. As Prime Minister, she has to be measured and respectful. She needs to delegate the attack dog role.

She should sack her hairdresser (sorry, Tim) get a decent cut and colour, pack up all her clothes and send them to the Smith Family. There are plenty of stylists who can buy her smart clothes that fit her properly. She needs to hire a good one or get the name of the Governor-General’s dressmaker.

If all this sounds gratuitous, it isn’t. The photograph of Julia Gillard in Sydney’s The Daily Telegraph yesterday, wearing a coat that looked as if it was made out of an army blanket by one of the infantry, said it all.

How you look is as important as what you say and how you say it. And the rules apply equally to male and female politicians.

A bit of exercise wouldn’t go astray either, a healthy body and a healthy mind and all that.

Oh of course those rules “apply equally to male and female politicians”. Who could deny it?

So many male politicians described as “scratchy and screechy”. So many male politicians described as “bitchy”. So many male politicians criticised for their hairdressing decisions. So many male politicians condemned for their inadequately classy coats. So many male politicians told that “a bit of exercise wouldn’t go astray”.

This is NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the PM’s gender.

No, it’s just because “how you look is as important as what you say and how you say it”.

And you know what? While Niki’s nasty little not-at-all-gendered attacks above are pretty damn pathetic, the saddest thing of all is that conclusion. And that, based on the quality of political reporting in this country, so many of Niki’s colleagues throughout the national media seem to believe it.

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