24 June, 2010

julia gillard, will you be my prime minister?

the lovely kathryn said that yesterday and i think it perfectly sums up how i, as a card carrying labour party member, feel about the massive shift within the federal party that took place last night and then today. two days is all it took for mr. kevin rudd to get shived and replaced by his deputy.

i do have two concerns. one, that my blog post not two days ago might have had a hand in bringing down krudd. ha! just kidding but, in the span of 12 hours australia has been witness to a seminal event in our political and cultural history. today we have our first female prime minister in julia gillard, an atheist one at that. 'hooray!', i say. feels like all my dreams have been answered. still, a lady prime minister? australia has been, compared to the rest of the world, conservative on the subject. what were we all so worried about? that if we elected (or not, in this case) a female pm that one day, in the future, she will snap because she is having a bad hair day? she lives with a hairdresser people! don't worry about it.

this leads me to my second point. as far as i'm concerned, concentrating on gillard as the first female prime minister is a good thing. this is a good day for feminists and people who believe in equality within the workplace and in this case, the political arena. what i DO have a problem with is all the unnecessary crap that the media has begun to bring up because she is a woman. so she isn't married, doesn't have children, favours a nice pants suit and has red hair.... exactly how are these things essential when crafting policy and/or communicating with the public?

it shows a desperate opposition leader, when his point of attack is that the new pm can't relate to families because she isn't a mother. conveniently forgetting, that she is a daughter, sister and aunt. as far as the media's impending attack on her looks well, lets all remember the women that have previously walked in their sensible heels as leaders of their country, before the new australian pm. though, not thatcher. i'm still pretty sure she is actually a man in drag. isabel peron, golda meir, sirimavo bandaranaike, gro harlem brundtland, benazir bhutto, kim campbell, edith cresson, luisa diogo, helen clark, michelle bachelet, cristina fernandez de kirchner.... the list goes on and on. these are names of women who were either prime ministers or presidents and have lead their country since the first woman was elected to such a position, in sri lanka, 1960.

the rest of the world seems, quite rightly, comfortable in choosing a woman to lead them. to choose how their hard earned tax dollars are spent, are represented overseas, that public health and schools are well cared for etc etc etc. but first, if this person is a woman we must judge her outfit and connect her ability to run a country with her capacity to have unprotected sex and then 9 months later push a small human out of her vagina. are the two things really connected?

the answer is no. the liberal thinking people of australia (aka. voters with a soul) should be applauding this move for a more stable leader in julia gillard. a leader that has tony abbott asking his aids how exactly you spell, 'capitulate'.


for a far more eloquent account/opinion of these recent events check out the blog siesta on the pilar. you know, in case my ramblings didn't make that much sense.

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