Farr out, that’s sneaky

Oh look, another sexist dinosaur who isn’t happy about the Prime Minister being a woman. Malcolm Farr in The Punch (aka “Australia’s best conversation” about really trivial shit): She is woman: Gillard’s gender still too hard to ignore. But he’s being very sneaky about it. He’s putting down female journalists in order to trivialise Julia Gillard.

There have been mutterings among some women reporters that Gillard “flirts” with their male colleagues, leaving the boys tittering and beaming at her special attention and jokes during press conferences.

Some of these miffed women might have swooned over a chat with Paul Keating or been charmed by Hawkie, but a flirty female PM – and it is low-voltage flirt if it exists at all – is unacceptable.

Some female political writers have given the prime minister fashion advice – not just in passing, but as a theme of their pieces.

Ah, so female journalists are just jealous because they don’t have a male PM to flirt with. And they’re making a big deal out of nothing because it doesn’t exist. And they’re not serious journalists because they’re only interested in hair and fashion. You know, Malcolm, just because some women know about hairstyles, doesn’t mean they don’t also know about other things. It’s not like our teeny lady brains only have room for one topic.

Elsewhere, there was the Sydney talkback radio caller who wanted to know whether taxpayers covered the bill for Gillard’s tampons.

Really? What radio station? What day? What time? I am deeply suspicious of claims like this because they are so easy to make up. And even if it is true, when journalists repeat such idiotic comments, it just validates their narrow-minded opinions. Would Farr have bothered mentioning a “Sydney radio talkback caller” who had asked if taxpayers paid for Kevin Rudd’s toilet paper? (And of course we pay for her tampons. Just like we paid for John Howard’s tracksuits and (perhaps) metamucil. Plus, Gillard is 49, so she might not be having periods. Oh, and if you’re on the pill you can alter your cycle because we don’t need a period every month, and if you’re on implanon you might only get a few a year. See how pointless and none of our fucking business this is to include in “Australia’s best conversation”?)

One of her female colleagues believes a significant part of Gillard’s political problems, specifically her struggle to have the minority Labor government accepted by voters as legitimate, is that she is a woman.

This Gillard supporter is convinced that the Opposition has a male core who privately list her gender as a disqualification from holding the job. It is as if some believe a law of nature has been upturned.

The Labor woman’s theory would be forgettable were it not for the intensity of the abuse of Gillard and the clear reality that many of the attacks would not be used against a man.

Her theory would be “forgettable”? Because what would a woman know about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated profession?

In May 2007, Liberal senator Bill Heffernan launched into her—while Gillard was deputy Opposition leader—for being “deliberately barren”, and therefore ineligible to be a national leader.

The only reason this sentence is here is to remind people that Gillard is “deliberately barren”. He then goes on to mention Mark Latham’s attack on Gillard’s uterus. But there’s no discussion about whether or not Heffernan and Latham were out of line, just that they said it. So I’m standing by my first thought, which is that Farr is only talking about Gillard’s uterus to remind everyone that IT HASN’T BE USED SO SHE ISN’T A REAL WOMAN.

Only a male would toss around a woman’s reproductive history as if it were a genuine matter of public interest and public inspection.

Oh look, we agree on something. Only a male journalist would spend 216 words (of a 969 word piece) simply repeating what was said by male politicians about a female politician’s uterus, with no additional information or opinion to add.

Margaret Thatcher was always seen as a woman.

That’s because she IS a woman. Oh, the stupid, it burns.

If the Gillard Government looks like it will go down, there will be women forced to decide whether they could allow a defeat which might be used to disqualify other women from becoming prime minister.

And here’s where he really demonstrates what he thinks of our lady brains. According to Malcolm Farr, women can’t be interested in real, serious, politics, just in what politicians wear. He believes that we’ll all vote for a woman simply because we have vaginas. Because we all know that worked out for Kristina Keneally, and Carmen Lawrence, and Joan Kirner, and Rosemary Follett (although she was beaten by Kate Carnell, which probably caused vaginas in the ACT to go into early menopause because they didn’t know which other vagina to vote for).

18 responses to “Farr out, that’s sneaky

  1. Rhiannon Saxon

    Oh that’s right. We will all have to decide whether politics is just too, too hard for us women if the Gillard government loses an election. So in other words, unless PM Gillard is allowed to stay in office until she decides to retire, that disqualifies ‘other women from becoming prime minister.’

    • When we all know that it’s male politicians who decide that one female who doesn’t lead them to glorious victory disqualifies all other women from the job for years – until all the men in the party are so stinky that they decide to put a woman in charge again, usually just in time to cop an election wipeout. Imagine suggesting that an unsuccessful male leader disqualified all men from the top job?

  2. Rhiannon Saxon

    Oh and it’s WOMEN who are obsessed with the trivia of hair and fashion. Not their editors, not their job descriptions, just the fact that they are frilly feminine feather heads who always always attack each other and/or dress up for each other. Grrr.
    There are so very many undermining sentences in that article. Even the ‘…Gillard should she get a regular term in office. ”
    She is HAVING a regular term in office. Honestly Australian political journos really need to stop being so goddamn insular and realise that coalition (temporary coalitions that is!) governments are quite normal across the world and demonstrate reasonable negotiating skills, not an obsessive born-to-rule mentality.

  3. The first issue with that article is the title. Why should we ignore her gender? How bout we accept it instead? Or better, how bout we accept that she is doing a difficult job and she is a woman and not get too sidetracked by minutiae arguments regarding the woman part and not pretend she isn’t a woman either. If that is what the article with it’s ridiculous title was supposed to be saying… fail.

  4. ha ha ha ..just want to say I LOVE the last sentence

  5. Oh man, this just hurt my lady brain.
    Who does Farr reckon pays for Hawke’s viagra? Why on earth would anyone bring up tampons? Whether Gillard is PM or not she’s still out buying tampons with you know, the money she earns doing her job. What kind of sick fuck stays awake at night pondering the feminine hygiene habits of working women. Oh that’s right Malcolm Farr.
    The Punch gets worse and worse every day.

  6. Remember the “zOMG! Gillard doesn’t have a handbag” story last year? At the time I wondered if that story was code for “where does she carry her tampons … or doesn’t she need them any more?” I thought that the handbag article was trying to imply that Gillard was a dried-up old maid (a piece of negative old-fashioned imagery about older childless unmarried women, that I thought had long been discarded).

    Or am I reading too much into it, looking for coded dog-whistles everywhere?

    • I thought the handbag thing was about how she can’t be a REAL WOMAN because she doesn’t have a handbag filled with used tissues, lego pieces and milk arrowroot crumbs.

  7. oh NWN, you have become one of my absolute favourite reads. i don’t know about the ACT, but i for one, welcome our new vagina overloads a choice of vaginas to vote for. a veritable bevy of vaginas, even! (what would the noun for a group of vaginas be, anyway? a dentata of vaginas?)

    i object to the notion that taxpayers are paying for the PM’s tampons! i only want my tax dollars to pay for menstrual cups or reusable cloth pads for ministerial ladybits!

    though i must disagree with this: Only a male would toss around a woman’s reproductive history as if it were a genuine matter of public interest and public inspection. alas, women are also far too apt to do the very same thing. the sad state of the patriarchy has us policing our own.

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