By Amanda Dunn
Can women have it all? It’s the question that seems to have overtaken ”what do women want?” in the media (though the latter still figures), and to feminist writer and journalist Anne Summers, it’s a particularly galling one.
”It epitomises the inequality between women and men, because no one asks men if they can [...]
On Friday 31 August I delivered the 2012 Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture at the University of Newcastle. I chose as my topic: Her Rights at Work. The political persecution of Australia’s first female prime minister. Like many other Australians, I have been disturbed by the double standards that are seemingly applied to Julia Gillard by the Opposition, by the media and by many ordinary people.
But in the course of researching this topic I discovered that Gillard is subjected to far worse than mere double-standards. There is an entire industry of vilification, much of it sexually crude, all of it offensive and designed to undermine her authority and thus her legitimacy in the role as Australia’s first female prime minister. I felt that I could not argue this case without displaying at least some of the material that I was referring to. I recognise that it is very confronting and that not everyone will want to look at it.
So I have published TWO VERSIONS of the speech. The VANILLA version contains some strong language, where I quote what ordinary people are saying about Julia Gillard but does not include the offensive images. The R-RATED VERSION version contains the images. Be prepared to be shocked. I have also included an APPENDIX which contains even more disgusting material. Look at this at your own risk. My purpose in making this material available is not to titillate, nor to reward the perpetrators but to alert decent Australians to what is being said and done to our Prime Minister. It is now up to us to stop this.
I strongly argue that we ordinary citizens, regardless of our political views or affiliations should say this is not acceptable. Let’s all say: It Stops with me.
Catch up with my article from 17 August in the Australian Financial Review on the legendary Helen Gurley Brown who died last month aged 90. Read article