Must-see: Australia’s PM calls out conservative’s sexism, misogyny

I want this woman debating Mitt Romney.

If you haven’t yet watched this amazing moment by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, do it. This is a “best highlights” video, only 1 minute 30 long. The full 15 minute version is at the bottom of this post.

http://youtu.be/FnKZ-yNCaVU

The Prime Minister delivered a crushing response to years of sexism by the conservative opposition, who had the nerve to accuse a member of the Prime Minister’s party of  “sexism” and “misogyny” when he was caught in a “sexting” scandal.  The PM is having none of their hypocrisy.  Read more of the background, including a recent remark by the other side that her recently deceased father “died from shame” over her lies. And the Sydney Morning Herald has a transcript of the entire speech.

When she began her speech, the conservative opposition leader was laughing at her.

After about a minute, suddenly the conservatives weren’t laughing any more.

Here is her delicious opening minute, to give you a flavor:

Thank you very much Deputy Speaker and I rise to oppose the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition. And in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition 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. That’s what he needs.

Let’s go through the Opposition Leader’s repulsive double standards, repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism.

For many of us liberals (American liberals and not the nasty right wing “liberals” of Australia) this is precisely the tone that we have wanted to hear from some of the Democratic leaders. Instead of sitting back and taking the insanity from Republicans – and yes, the GOP is sexist but also racist and just plain loony – we have eagerly waited for responses like this. Will it offend some people? Certainly. Are those people rational? Absolutely not.

Taking it rope-a-dope style only encourages the crazy people to be even crazier, as we’ve so often seen with the Teabagging buffoons. Too many Democrats at all levels are too willing to avoid a fight when there needs to be a fight.

This nagging problem has annoyed many of us for a long time which is exactly why there’s such great concern by many including Gaius (and myself) that rather than stand up and fight after the election, we will all be sold out by Democrats in the name of “working together” with the Republicans, no matter how crazy or extreme they are. We’d all like to be proven wrong on this but are waiting to hear a strong denial of this possibility.

What reinforced this belief that the Democrats really aren’t up for a fight (when there so desperately needs to be one) was the disastrous debate, where lie after lie after lie was free to pass without a firm response. There have been plenty excuses for the pathetic showing and it’s not clear if any lessons were learned. Monday Morning Quarterbacking with zingers only made it more pathetic.

For many of us liberals, we’ve always been disappointed with the lack of stomach for a fight by Democrats on issues that we believe are important. The brilliant minds running the campaign surely know how to win a fight without appearing angry, right? Isn’t that what they’re being paid handsomely to do? Gillard has shown us all that yes, you can fight back against the crazies but in order to do that, you need to actually fight every now and then. Accepting the lies is not a strategy for success.

Full 15 minute video:


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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