A political master-stroke of epic proportions. That’s my take on Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s take-down of opposition leader Tony Abbott in this 15-minute speech on sexism in Parliament.
OK, let’s put aside the fact that Gillard’s passionate and personal take-down followed Abbott’s attack on the embattled Speaker of the house, Peter Slipper, who resigned following accusations of sexually harassing a staffer. Abbott invited it when he told Parliament Gillard’s government was “ethically bankrupt” and should “already have died of shame”.
Gillard, Australia’s first female PM, opened her speech with:
I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The leader of the opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the leader of the opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation. Because if he 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.
And then she unleashed a litany of sexist and misogynistic remarks allegedly made by Abbott.
Video available on YouTube