My deliberately barren womb of doom is so proud.

Mind you, I agree with the point made by Eva Cox in the Sydney Morning Herald – leaving aside the fact that they called her Ms Cox, when she is Professor Cox – that parties bring in the female leaders when they’re stuffed:

”That’s why Joan Kirner got to be the first and last female premier of Victoria, and Carmen Lawrence in Western Australia,” Ms Cox said. ”When everybody thinks [the male politicians] have made a mess they get the women in to do the cleaning, and they never get back in again.”

While Ms Cox said Ms Gillard would make an excellent leader, it would be preferable if she came to power on her own terms rather than because her party felt ”Oh God, Kevin’s stuffed it”.

Update: In my inbox at 9.48am:

Update 2: As was pointed out by several tweeters of awesomeness, we have an atheist, female, unmarried, child-free, lefty Prime Minister. I have never felt so represented.

51 responses to “Julia!

  1. womb of doom! Yes, we really do need the t-shirts…

    PS did you see how Sunrise (oh god, I know, I shouldn’t watch), no less than oooh 5 minutes after the announcement were interviewing Gillard’s parents?

    As if her Daddy needed to sign off on her being PM.

    Someone on Sunrise actually said “Her parents must be so proud of their little girl!!”.

    It’s not the fucking end of year awards night at school, you twits. GRRRR.

    • Are you serious? That’s fucking disgusting!

      But Pants, Sunrise? Really? I’ve only ever seen it – never heard it – at work. We have tvs all around the newsroom, all on silent (you can get the sound through your phone if you want to hear something). Apart from one tuned to Sky News, they are all on children’s shows and daytime movies and infotainment. Says a lot about this particular newsroom, really, that all afternoon the tvs show fairies and brightly-coloured people dancing for children.

    • Did you also notice that the Prime Ministers mother seemed to have been struck dumb, that is her husband answered any questions directed to her?

  2. can i come and work with you, i can watch TV and pretend to be on the phone at the same time.

    i’m out of the country for 12 months and one flash of skirt and a chick is running the country. I cant leave you people alone for a minute can i…

    Lady pants, got to say i the only part of Australian media i miss is the AFR, the rest was truly a load of infotainment and advertising.

    sorry nipps

    • Ha, don’t apologise. I think it’s mainly simplistic and treats the audience like they’re stupid. Oh, and advertising masquerading as “news stories”. Pfft. No wonder people don’t want journalism any more, we keep giving them rubbish.

  3. Well you and I have been emailing about this and as I said I have mixed feelings. Yes, I am thrilled with a female PM. I like Gillard a lot more than Rudd, in fact I think she is a great (and should have been ‘saved up’ by the p[arty for later in the day – like a year or two later). I generally agree with her politics, she communicates well and is an excellent ‘on message’ politician. I like her confident and forthright manner.

    But as I said this is very dangerous and dirty politics in an election year. I think spilling the leader is a poor response to what has been bad polling (and frankly over polling) . I dislike this habit of replacing leaders in politics and sport when ever there is a slight or sudden loss of form. In the case of politics its about parties and policies and not just the leader. Gillard fingerprints are all over ETS back flip (which angered party base left, like me) and a whole host of other things Rudd has taken the blame for.

    I am also concerned that it was not yet her time – I think she was always gong to be the Pm but in her time on her terms (and not ion the first term) and through a non ‘knife in the back’ agreement with Rudd. I think she had ‘greatness thrust upon her’ today. I also have concerns that she has had to do a deal with the right factions, especially NSW right (who are a7seholes in teh ALP) meaning the party will drag right on mining tax and migration policies despite her being left leaning. I hope this is not the case as i’d like to see ALP stay as a reforming party.

    I could go on but I wont. In short v proud to have a female PM (although Thatcher was nothign to be proud of!)

    • Somewhat off topic and totally childish, but perhaps a female PM could be The Vaginator? Although that does seem more Thatcheresque… and there’s no getting away from it’s sex toy image.

    • I have become increasingly disillusioned with the ALP, specifically in regards to the some facets of their policies on education – myschool, National curriculum, the poorly executed digital education revolution. Still, I’d happily eat poo every day for the rest of my life than see Tony Abbott in power.

      The griminess, the caesar/brutus connotations of this current affair have really tempered my happiness in the appointment of our first female Prime Minister.

      So I guess I need to decide now – Greens or Democrats?

    • I hear you and totally agree. I must say, however (and this could get me killed on this site) I couldn’t care less about gender in the top spot. I’d prefer to see a better representation of females across the board in politics than a figurehead. Australian Politics is such a swamp right now and Labor is deep in the mire. Labor will be dead in the next election and then the dickheads will say it was because she’s a woman.

      PS – I’m more interested in the fact that she’s a ranga. Can I get my disability pension now?

      • Maxabella, that won’t get you killed on this site at all. When Kristina Keneally was announced as new NSW premier, one of my male colleagues asked me if I’d vote for her because she’s a woman. I said absolutely not, because that is exactly the same as someone saying they won’t vote for her because she’s a woman. I’m celebrating today because I think Julia is better than Kevin.

      • “and the dickheads will say it’s because she’s a woman”… hmm maybe this is what is really making me uncomfortable about the whole situation. I can’t quite articulate it yet, but there is something really stinky going on in gender politics here.

        I feel there is an undercurrent of tokenism, or something…

        Despite me not being a massive fan of Gillard (and I’ll happily admit I am not as informed in all aspects of federal politics as I should be), she is far from a puppet, and should not be treated as such.

        As you say nipples, I will not vote for or against someone based on their gender, but rather on the basis of their policies. I don’t know if the same can be said for other Australians. The misogyny flying around Facebook, for example, is truly nauseating. I’m just hoping my ‘friends’ aren’t representative.

        • Pants, it’s the glass cliff: when women smash through the glass ceiling, they’re usually put in precarious positions where they’re likely to fail, and so that failure then justifies not putting any more women in powerful roles. I don’t know if that’ll happen here, because I don’t think she has the backing of the party simply because she’s a woman. Labor’s been getting some bad polling, but it’s nothing any government hasn’t had before and nothing they can’t recover from.

          Besides, Gillard always wipes the floor with Abbott. Did you see him in his media conference? He was shitting himself.

          • Haven’t heard of the glass cliff, but it aptly sums up my sentiments here. I think Gillard is a fantastic politician but I also think Australian politics is a man’s world (hence the stupid laws they pass regarding women). I would like to think that female leaders might make decisions that challenge the aggressive male culture of Australian politics / society, but this has not been the case with our State laydees, so I doubt Julia is going to fare any better. Women in a men’s world = non gender specific, frankly.

            • Ah, but that gets into essentialism (or is it determinism? My cultural studies ‘ism’ knowledge is a little patchy, since I have a science background), which believes that women are inherently more caring than men. I don’t believe this is the case, with one example in the Liberal Party – Julie Bishop vs Petro Georgiou. I’ve worked with many women who I would never describe as inherently caring – or even vaguely caring – and many men I would. But then that’s me making generalisations based on personal experience, which only leads to tears.

              So, my point. Hmm, my point? I don’t believe women make better laws. I believe better women and better men make better laws.

  4. “As was pointed out by several tweeters of awesomeness, we have an atheist, female, child-free, lefty Prime Minister. I have never felt so represented.”

    Don’t forget ginger!

  5. I got derided earlier in the office today because I walked past a conversation in which one guy said to another, “Stabbed in the back, typical woman”. Now there were joking, but as with Andrew Johns, there is a time and a place for making off colour comments/jokes (usually my house after a few wines) and the work place is not one of them.
    Even better, I responded with a “Never mind, I am sure someone will send the Wambulance round for him soon, Waaaaaaa waaaaaaa waaaaaaa” and then got a “Gee, doesn’t take much to get you agitated does it, i was just having a private conversation with my friend, man number 2″ at which point I was back at my desk and promptly got back to work.

    Now, while this entire exchange was tongue in cheek, if man number 1 had said ” Stabbed in the back, typical black/jew/disabled person” none of that would have been appropriate and would have been cause for a Temana Tahu style walk out.

    Sorry, rant over.

    • But “no one” cares about using language to dismiss women. You get angry about being treated like shit at work, and you’re just an emotional female or – worse – it must be that time of the month. You make a bad call on something and it’s because you’re a woman and clearly not up to the job. You get the top job and you’re accused of being a puppet, with a man behind the scenes controlling you. Just the other day at work, I got dismissed by my (male) editor with “I’m sure you’re probably an intelligent girl”. There’s no way in hell he’d say “I’m sure you’re probably an intelligent boy” to any of the guys I work with.

  6. I think the Greens will do well out of this. et tu Brute

    Its a shame that ALP are doing what factional ALP do best, which is stab each other in the back and cant find their own arse in their undies. The Labor brand is damaged at both state and federal levels.

    I think her gender will have no effect on the votes and the misogynistic rumblings are just that mutterings that wont translate at election and will calm down v soon. I don’t think she was picked cos she was a woman I think she was picked cos she was second in control, is a well known face and figure, has experience and more to the point a lot of popularity across voters and factions. I like that she ignores the stupidly of Heffernan style comments cos she will get a lot more over the next few weeks to try and stress her out. She is pretty good at taking on Mr budgie Smugglers tho.

    It just wasn’t her time….yet! I hope ALP haven’t overplayed their best card too early.

    PS. K- that guys comments in your office…what a tosser! I cant stand that nonsense and its so mired in prejudice that you can’t logically argue against it – it is the adult equivalent of ” I know you are, but what am I”

    • Actually Lexy, it’s unusual that she was picked because she was 2IC. The deputy is almost never considered as leadership material.

      • I disagree. Its not the title/position necessarily its the role they play in governance. The 2IC in many parties is the treasurer and they retake over (Blair/Brown hawke/Keating Howard/Costello sort of) . In this case, the next power down from Rudd was not Swan but Gillard – they ran on all almost joint ticket from the start – Rudd only got party leadership cos Julia was on board and brought the left factions and the unions. Rudd’s problem is he is not fictionally aligned. She was the natural choice for the party and is far more media savvy and ‘profile’ than Swan ort Tanner

        It may sound like I am not pleased she is in – I am. very. I just don’t like there timing or the methods and I have yet to see that this will help the ailing ALP brand.

        • Actually, I think the timing is good. If it didn’t happen now, then Rudd would have taken us to the next election and either lost (and I shudder at the thought of People Skills as PM), or won and then been leader for another term, by which time there would be a “rising star” like Combet or Shorten who would get the leadership. The election hasn’t been called yet, so everyone has at least a few months to get used to Gillard as PM, and then vote her in. Toppling a PM is brutal, but at least it was quick – none of the faffing around that the Liberal Party likes to do.

  7. I was very pleased with this result today. I was telling a friend only on Sunday night that Kevin07 would be gooone very soon. She replied ‘what do you mean?’ I said that there was no way that the ALP would march towards political suicide with the autocrat in charge.
    I don’t see this as a feminist victory (although I can’t as I am not feminine) the new PM is the best person for the job by far and therefore ought to be in the job. That the best person for the job happens to be a woman should be irrelevant, but it isn’t ,all the news is about ‘our first female PM’ from which one can infer that it is some fantastical feat that she managed to get there. It isn’t and I know I am preaching to the converted here when I say that most of the intelligent world already knows that women are just as capable as men, Margaret Thatcher is a fine political example of that fact.
    I hope my lack of articulation hasn’t warped my message too much.

    • That she’s the first woman in the job is significant from a history-making point of view, which is why journos keep banging on about it, but you’re right – she’s there because she’s the best person for the job. And that is why it’s a feminist victory – she’s there because she’s the best, not because she’s a woman. No tokenism, no puppeteers behind the scenes.

      • same arguments made for Obama – first black president. significant and historical but then the debate needs to move on to his performance and his race should be insignificant at that point.

        The more I think about the coup, the more annoyed I am about it. It has actually tainted my enjoyment of the feminist victory and has soured my previously immaculate opinion of Julia. I’ll calm down but for now I think it could have been handled differently and I was disgusted by her on 7.30 last night. It was clear to me that she was indeed a plotter and a back stabber and I think its a foolish move. ALP would have clawed back and Kevin was already regaining grounds in polls. Gillard could have gone with a threat that she has the numbers so pull your head in Kevin and take the party line or else will will topple you.

        Already Gillard’s comments on 7.30 last night indicate a track right on migration which is a shame cos Chris Evans was doing a good job at humanising it and managing it and they have bowed to fear-factor-Abbott and will now ‘toughen’ when no one needs to and I though Rudd was right when he warned off it yesterday. Yucky Howard dog whistle issue. I hate it. I agree with Hatcher’s article that they have wasted a good PM. Julia would be good but not at the mo – this is the wrong time for her.

      • Lexy how this all unfolded is just how it is in politics. A politician has no real friends and any worth their seat will shoot their own grandmother to gain an advantage.
        You just don’t get to lead a party because you are the best, you need to make concessions (ie the immigration issue) and pull out the knives to get there, I am just glad it was Julia Gillard who pulled the trigger this time as I have long thought of her as the most talented member of the parliamentary Labor Party.

        • yes I am not naive to the ways of politics… but I will also add that in politics…perception is all and if lots of voters perceive Julia as untrustworthy for doing this – this has an adverse affect on her image. But yes I too prefer her to Rudd too, I just think she should have taken over later and less brutally. I am concerned that Federal Labor are going down the same path as NSW Labor which is so poll driven that it topples leaders about every 6 months…this does not lead to good or stable government or decision making, a problem that afferts me daily!

          • Maybe I’m just really really insensitive to the feelings of rich white men, but I’m just not picking up the brutality factor at all.

            It looks to me less like a hatchet job and more like the skill and precision of a surgeon’s scalpel.

            • Linda, maybe it’s because we’re just used to it in New South Wales.

            • I also don’t see it as man vs. woman issue. I think the fact that Julia is a woman is fairly irrelevant here – she was the natural choice..gender aside…(although this doesn’t detract from the joy I feel for of having a woman in the top job ;-0)

              yes it was quick and well handled – in that it was not drawn out and agonising but this makes it no less brutal and no less unnecessary. But that is just my view. I’ll got over this quick enough like a lot of the voting public and judge her on her merits – although she hasnt got very long to prove them as a PM (not as a deputy).

              the new front bench will reveal how far the factions are influencing government. hopefully Julia gets to be her own woman to an extent – she is certainly no push over as far as I can tell, but as someone pointed out earlier – deals do get done and favours do get returned.

  8. “…we have an atheist, female, unmarried, child-free, lefty Prime Minister. I have never felt so represented.”

    Here here!

    Clearly a writer at the LA Times doesn’t understand the concept of representation. He’s misquoted and misinterpreted your comment.Maybe he thought you were being sarcastic or something?

    “On Thursday, within hours of Gillard’s rise to power, the Internet was buzzing with reaction from across Australia, not all of it positive.

    “Now we have an unwed, childless, atheist PM. I’ve never felt so represented,” one writer said.”


    What an idiot.

  9. Julia was born in the year of the ox which makes her tenacious and hardworking. I fully expect her to last a decade in power, she makes me think of Maggie Thatcher and she lasted despite all the terrors she unleashed on Britain.

  10. Pingback: 26th Down Under Feminists Carnival: The Leadership Edition « a shiny new coin

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