Australian PM takes on misogyny

In a fierce speech, Julia Gillard rips into the opposition leader for patriarchal remarks

By Natasha Lennard
October 9, 2012 7:19PM (UTC)
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Australian PM Julia Gillard (Troy Constable/Wikimedia)

If only the U.S. could borrow Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to take on Congress's misogynist caucus. New footage from Australia's parliament shows Gillard is more than capable.

During a parliamentary session Tuesday, Gillard skewered opposition leader Tony Abbott for a career's worth of patriarchal comments. She tells the chamber that she "will not be lectured on sexism by this man" (pointing at Abbott). She goes on to list a number of Abbott's misogynist remarks, including his suggestion that men might be more adept at wielding authority than women.

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Gillard's speech came in response to Abbott's call to have Australia's speaker of the house, Peter Slipper, removed after a scandal involving lurid text messages. As Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams noted on Monday, Gillard has faced misogyny from a far wider base than just her parliamentary colleagues. Taking to Facebook to discuss education policies with the public, the PM was bombarded by trolls calling her a "slut."

We wonder if Gillard takes requests: Todd Akin, R.-Mo., and Allen West, R.- Fla., to name just a couple, could certainly use a similar treatment.

Watch Gillard's speech below:

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Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Allen West Australia Julia Gillard Misogyny Sexism Todd Akin Tony Abbott