25 April 2014

Gillard’s anti-sexism hypocrisy

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Was it the “real Julia” on display or was it a politician desperately trying to cover up an inglorious political history and her own hypocrisy? But, then, that is the real Julia.

Of course, it was great to see Gillard tell some home truths about Abbott. For 15 minutes Gillard even seemed to have some conviction. Of course Abbott is a hypocrite. His mock outrage at Peter Slipper’s disgusting text messages was sickening. The Liberals only turned on Slipper when he defected to become Speaker.

Gillard's stand against sexism was on the same day she cut the payments of single parentsBut for all that, Gillard was making a speech in a desperate attempt to turn attention away from her government’s support for Slipper. His lurid messages had been public knowledge for days before Gillard was willing to say anything about them. So, she stood condemning Abbott while defending Slipper from a parliamentary motion for him to resign.

It would have been more believable if Gillard’s hypocrisy was not so obvious. On the same day she was lambasting Abbott for sexism, the government (with Abbott’s support!) was enacting legislation to cut single parents’ payments (who are mostly women) by between $40 and $156 a week!

Gillard’s speech is actually symptomatic of Labor’s rule—there is a huge gap between rhetoric and reality. Climate change was the moral challenge of a generation—but became the ineffectual carbon tax and compensation for the big polluters.

Labor government policies have actually institutionalised the oppression of women. Labor did nothing to stop the closure of ABC childcare centres in 2008. Now 70,000 women are kept at home because of the lack of affordable child care.

The bans on pornography and the Basics Card imposed through the Northern Territory Intervention have humiliated Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal women in particular.

Gillard’s attitude to same-sex marriage (she allowed a conscience vote for Labor MPs rather than requiring Labor MPs to vote for Labor policy) entrenches the traditional views of marriage and the family—views that maintain the system’s ideological shackles on women.

On Tuesday, Gillard made her speech labelling Abbott a “misogynist”. By Thursday she was refusing to answer reporters’ question about whether Tony Abbott hated women.

The parliamentary spectacle revealed hypocrites on both sides. When it comes to fighting against sexism and for women’s rights, Gillard remains part of the problem not the solution.

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2 Comments

  1. Glenn
    Reply

    “Labor government policies have actually institutionalised the oppression of women.” Ought to be “further institutionalised”, she’s hardly starting a trend or spoiling a previously just or gender neutral arrangement.

  2. Alison
    Reply

    Yes Julia Gillard is a misogynist herself because she hates women – especially Single Mothers. Target the most vulnerable of society and use us as scapegoats to lower our country’s debt. She must hate children too because they are the ones who are going to suffer. Find us these jobs Julia…. I have been retrenched twice in two years because of company downsizing and Gillard wants us to get jobs over the Christmas holidays when kids are off school????!!!!! Why the rush to push through with this policy when there is so much opposition. Raise the amount of Newstart by $60 per week so we can meet the cost of living which is rising continuously – or does Gillard actually live on another planet??? If 90% of single parents were men – cutting the Parenting Payment would NEVER happen. Gillard is a hypocrite!!!!! All her talk about sexism is laughable because she is attacking her own kind – women – especially single female parents. Please Explain Gillard!!!! After working all these years to buy my own home I am now going to be unable to meet my mortgage repayments let alone have anything left for electricity, petrol, school costs, sport etc etc etc All my hard work down the drain because this Government is inept. How can Gillard get away with this ridiculous decision to cut the Parenting Payment. Shame on you Gillard!!!!!

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