Thursday, December 13, 2012

Misogyny is Ugly, Sexism is Unacceptable - Prime Minister Gillard's speech

Sou | 7:37 PM Feel free to comment!
Given the recent news that the Slipper vs Ashby case been thrown out, I thought again about the speech that Ms Gillard made in October this year (2012).

PM Gillard made a wonderful speech about misogyny, prompted by the Federal opposition challenging the government to remove the speaker (Peter Slipper) or be considered misogynistic. (Some highly offensive text messages from Peter Slipper had recently been made public.)

The PM referred to several instances where the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, showed his true, sexist colours.  If you can't wait to watch the video, here are some of items:

  • Tony Abbott said: "If it's true, Stavros, that men have more  power generally speaking than women, is that a bad thing?"
  • As a follow up comment to "I want my daughter to have the same opportunity as my son." Tony Abbott retorted: "Yes I completely agree. But what if men are by physiology or temperament more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?"
  • In response to a comment "I think it is very hard to deny that there is an under-representation of women". Tony Abbott responds: "But now, there's an assumption that this is a bad thing."
  • Tony Abbott in his past role as Minister for Health in March 2004: "Abortion is the easy way out."
  • Tony Abbott, during his campaign to oppose the introduction of carbon pricing, painting his image of women's roles in modern Australia: "When the housewives of Australia need to do what the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing.
  • Tony Abbott catcalling at PM Gillard, across the table in Parliament, referring to the Prime Minister's relationship with her partner: "If the Prime Minister wants to politically speaking make an honest woman of herself!"
  • Tony Abbott speaking next to a sign by his supporters with the words"Ditch the Witch" and one that described the Prime Minister as "A man's bitch". 

Sexism from HotCopper Moderator in response to the speech

The speech drew some discussion on the HotCopper share discussion board.  They provide further evidence of the sexism of moderators on HotCopper.  Look at the response by the moderator Poyndexter to this comment:

The original poster says Abbott doesn't 'hate' women because he married one and had three daughters.  Given his sexist stance as reported by the Prime Minister in the video, what would it take to persuade ikhutch that Abbott was at best sexist and has a tendency to misogyny?  Perhaps he would have to keep his wife locked up barefoot in the kitchen and kill off his daughters?  Knowing women, marrying women and employing women is not evidence that a man is not sexist.  His words show his attitude towards women, just as Poyndexter's words do and the actions of HotCopper management and moderators do.

And Poyndexter has found someone who agrees with him that the Prime Minister "trumped up and orchestrated" her comments about Tony Abbott.  Click here to go to the thread (subs req'd).

Too often some men will say we women over-react when we object to being demeaned, sexually harassed, abused or otherwise treated as second class humans or worse.  It's similar to climate science denial.  Men gang up to comfort each other that women should cop sexism without complaint.  Thank goodness there are many strong women and men in the world who see injustice for what it is and have the spine and will to change things.

We are entitled to a better standard than this

Julia Gillards closing words were: We are entitled to a better standard than this.

HotCopper doesn't think so - HotCopper bans women for objecting to revolting sexist comments.  I can't see standards improving under the current HotCopper management, with its sexist view of the world, racist inclinations and its tendency to silence anyone whose point of view is not at the extreme end of right wing ideology.  However maybe one of these days there will be a change of guard at HotCopper.  You never know, ownership might change, it's changed hands a few times before.  With all the baby boomers retiring more women are keen to manage their retirement savings.  A new breed of operator could sweep out all the muck and transform the 'Men's Playground', rejuvenating it into a more tolerant, vibrant place where women and men could engage with each other without women having to pretend they are men and put up with all the sexist crap dished out by management, moderators and some subscribers.

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