Julia Gillard reveals biggest regret 10 years after iconic misogyny speech

Julia Gillard has revealed she regrets not calling out sexism and misogyny earlier during her time in office as Australia’s first female prime minister.

Sunday marked 10 years since Ms Gillard delivered her now iconic misogyny speech in parliament where she grilled then opposition leader Tony Abbott in a passionate 15-minute long monologue.

The speech came 2½ years into her tenure as prime minister after she had experienced numerous gendered attacks from members of the public, the media and fellow politicians.

Ms Gillard said on reflection she wished she had called out the behaviour earlier.

“I think you always look back and think I could have done this or not,” she told the Today show on Monday.

“I tried to do as much as I could as prime minister in the sense that every day was precious, every day we were trying to drive big reforms forward.

“On sexism and misogyny, I specifically regret not calling it out earlier.”

Ms Gillard believed at the time the sexism and misogyny she initially experienced would die down and not get worse.

“I had thought when I first became prime minister that the maximum reaction to me being the first woman would be in the early days and it would wash its way through the system and normalise. I was clearly wrong on that,” she said.

“Knowing what I know now it was going to gather and get worse potentially. If I called it out earlier it could have been a bit easy.”

Ms Gillard’s speech was sparked by Mr Abbott moving a motion of no confidence in then speaker Peter Slipper on October 9, 2012.

Mr Slipper had sent misogynistic text messages to his aide, but Ms Gillard turned the tables on Mr Abbott by saying he was in no position to talk about sexism.

“I say to the Leader of the Opposition I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man … not now, not ever,” she said.

“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.

“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.”

She went on to list numerous sexist incidents Mr Abbott had been involved in over the years while also touching on the misogyny she had experienced from him.

Ms Gillard said during her time in power she would build “a wall in my mind” to stop herself from “obsessing” over the treatment she received every day.

But she is “optimistic” and “genuinely” believes it will be easier for the next woman who is prime minister.

“Things have changed,” Ms Gillard told ABC’s RN Breakfast on Monday.

I think it‘s impossible to imagine that a prominent woman in Australian politics could be called the things that I was without it having huge and negative political consequences today for the person who did it.

“So things have moved on, but we’ve still got a way to go.”

Ms Gillard also revealed that Mr Abbott had never talked to her about the speech.

“No and I wouldn‘t expect that,” she said.

“I’ve joked in the past when people ask me about former prime ministers and all the rest of it, we don’t all go and retire to a cubby house together. I mean we get on with our lives.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *