Gillard labels Abbott a 'misogynist'
Federal Parliament heats up as Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott exchange bitter words over sexism and misogyny.PT0M0S 620 349
Prime Minister Julia Gillard: a "badass" champion for women around the world.
The Prime Minister's 15-minute speech condemning misogyny and attacking Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's history of comments about abortion, women's roles in the home and their ability to wield authority has impressed political pundits in the US and UK.
No matter what you think of her politics, there's much to admire in the manner in which Julia Gillard, the prime minister, sets about Tony Abbott, the leader of the opposition
The most enthusiastic praise came from US women's site Jezebel, which described Ms Gillard as "one badass mother----er".
Politcal rivals ... Julia Gillard walks past Tony Abbott. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
"In an impassioned 15-minute smackdown in front of the House of Representatives, the country's first female leader gave a scathing speech calling out opposition leader Tony Abbott's extremely misogynistic comments, actions, views on abortion and single women, all while pointing in his face."
Jezebel also highlighted some of her "choice quotes" including:
- "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.
No holding back ... Prime Minister Julia Gillard replies to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's motion to dismiss the Speaker Peter Slipper. Photo: Andrew Meares
- "I was very offended personally the Leader of the Opposition said abortion is the easy way out."
- "I was offended when he stood next to a sign that described me as a 'man's bitch.'"
Online political magazine Salon said US politicians like Todd Akin, who said "legitimate rape" didn't result in pregnancy, and Allen West, who was blasted after telling a Democrat she was "not a lady", could learn something from Ms Gillard.
"If only the US could borrow Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to take on Congress's misogynist caucus," Salon said.
"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."
Under the headline "More than just a man's 'bitch"', in reference to part of Ms Gillard's speech, the website for the UK conservative magazine The Spectator also lauded the prime minister.
"No matter what you think of her politics, there's much to admire in the manner in which Julia Gillard, the prime minister, sets about Tony Abbott, the leader of the opposition," columnist Alex Massie wrote.
"Anyone who admires the cut and thrust of parliamentary theatre and debate will enjoy these 15 minutes.
"Mr Abbott does not look best amused. But then he's just been carved to pieces so he wouldn't would he?"
The Daily Beast wrote a small piece with opening line, "Margaret Thatcher must be smiling".
Only a few of the articles reported in detail on the motion to remove Peter Slipper as speaker.
London's Daily Telegraph women's editor Emma Barnett said Ms Gillard "played her best hand" in the circumstances.
"In short, Gillard didn't have a leg to stand on during Australia's Prime Minister's question time," Ms Barnett wrote.
"Defending the indefensible is a pretty tough job and could still cost her dear. But what she did have was an impressive set of insults to launch at the high and mighty Abbott – which has completely and cleverly shifted the focus of the entire news story ever since.
"Watching a female Prime Minister tear apart the male leader of the Opposition with such aplomb, composure – but most importantly armed with a brilliantly impressive set of insults – backed up with dates and times of when each shocking comment was said – was the best card Gillard, ever the political animal, could have played in such a situation."
US news site Business Insider said Ms Gillard gave Mr Abbott a "stern drubbing".
"[It's] certainly not like anything you'd see in U.S. politics," journalist Joe Weisenthal wrote.
"In addition to the intensity of the speech ... you can really see Abbott get increasingly uncomfortable as the speech goes on.
"He starts by smiling at the charges of being sexist to appearing deeply uncomfortable."