Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard Schools Opposition Leader on Misogyny

Julia Gillard on ABC

In the wake of an American presidential debate where canned sound bytes are scored and tallied daily, and a Big Bird quip is enough fodder to make Americans twitter, skit, and meme for a week, American citizens and politicians alike could take a lesson from Australians about the level of free, substantive discourse afforded by its Parliamentary system.

 

Opposition leader Tony Abbot tried to pin the fallout of a parliamentary sex scandal onto Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and she was having none of it. The specifics of the case resonate strongly with my thoughts on this Dina Brown page about misogyny (being endemic not only to culture at large, but within the gay community as well). Married Speaker of the House Peter Slipper (who has since resigned) allegedly sexually harassed a gay male staff member with text message exchanges (now a matter of public record) rife with denigrating references to women and their genitalia. Get more of the grizzly details from Jezebel.com’s Tracie Egan Morrissey.

 

All the details of the scandal aside, the real power and takeaway here come from Gillard’s masterful speech on misogyny and sexism delivered on the floor of Parliament. Watch the full speech below, courtesy of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and share your thoughts in the comment feed.

 

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