Some of Tony Abbott’s best friends are women

I completely understand why women related to Tony Abbott are defending him from accusations that he has a problem with women. I have no doubt that he is a supportive and caring parent, husband, brother and son. (And, of course, they’re not just calling media conferences and speaking to the Daily Telegraph‘s Gemma Jones because they want the public to know the Real Tony. It is politics after all.)

This from Margie Abbott:

“I say to the people who claim that Tony Abbott doesn’t ‘get’ women: You get this. Tony Abbott is surrounded by strong women. In fact, not only strong but capable women.

“He grew up in a household with three sisters. He has encouraged me and supported me in whatever I have chosen to do.”

Just because you’re “surrounded” by women in your family, doesn’t mean you “get” women. It just means you care about your family. It certainly doesn’t make you a feminist. It’s how Tony Abbott acts towards women he’s not related to that reveals that he does indeed have a problem with women. After all, Todd Akin has a wife and I’m sure he respects and trusts her. But in his breath-takingly ignorant and offensive comment that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape“, it shows that he thinks that other women – millions of American women – are probably liars and can’t be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies.

Tony Abbott also believes women can’t be trusted to make their own decisions about their bodies and their reproductive health. What is it with conservative men and women’s vaginas? In his own words, he shames women who terminate a pregnancy:

The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience…. Even those who think that abortion is a woman’s right should be troubled by the fact that 100,000 Australian women choose to destroy their unborn babies every year.

He’s right, though – I am troubled by that statistic. Because it’s a lie. He’s wrong by about 20,000. And since he was Health Minister when he wrote it, he’d know it was a lie. He’d also know that most terminations are the result of contraception failure.

But check out the language he uses: 100,000 Australian women choose to destroy their unborn babies every year. That’s a fuckload of shaming right there. If Abbott really wanted to reduce the number of abortions, he’d be pushing for better contraception, rather than shaming women with words like “destroy”. (Check out Leslie Cannold’s great talk on shaming: I had an abortion… or maybe I didn’t.)

Tony Abbott even believes 14-year-old girls should be made to have babies, to punish them for having sex (no mention of the boys they had sex with, though. Funny that):

To a pregnant 14-year-old struggling to grasp what’s happening, for example, a senior student with a whole life mapped out or a mother already failing to cope under difficult circumstances, abortion is the easy way out… Our society has rightly terrified primary school children about the horrors of smoking, but seems to take it for granted that adolescents will have sex despite the grim social consequences of teenage single parenthood.

That’s right, if you’re a mother who is “failing to cope under difficult circumstances” – like an abusive partner, or illness, or that there just isn’t enough money – you should be forced to have another baby.

Those quotes are from a speech he made in 2004. In 2006, members of Parliament stripped Tony Abbott of the power to make decisions about women’s reproductive health. He had demonstrated that his personal beliefs were more important than the rights of Australian women. That Abbott believes that women terminate pregnancies “almost [as] a badge of liberation from old oppressions” demonstrates how little he understands, well, pretty much everything to do with women. Most of his own side voted against him.

He told women that the carbon tax would make ironing more expensive – then dismissed women who got annoyed by his comment as “hypersensitive”.

Then he made a rape joke.

The quotes from this video date from 1979 to 2010 (and yes, we were talking about this a few weeks ago, but that post was about the bigger picture rather than Abbott in particular, because it’s evidence that his ideas haven’t really changed):

Tony Abbott’s biggest problem with women is that we refuse to put up with his shit.

37 responses to “Some of Tony Abbott’s best friends are women

  1. He’s wrong by more than 20,000, and he’d have known THAT, too. There’s no way of telling how many of the D&C figures are abortions, and how many are exploratory, or removing Fibroids, or removing miscarriages, or removing lining that’s too thick….. and he absolutely would have know that, too.

    Don’t forget as well that he stood up in Parliament and said ““Mr Speaker, we have a bizarre double standard in this country where someone who kills a pregnant woman’s baby is guilty of murder, but a woman aborts an unborn baby is simply exercising choice.”

    He compared women having abortions to murderers. And he STILL got it wrong. It isn’t murder in any state or territory in Australia to kill a pregnant woman’s baby. Queensland and Western Australia come closest with “Grievous bodily harm” type laws, but still not murder.

    He’s a liar. No other way around it. He stands up and says things he knows aren’t true to demonise women, and then wonders why he has a problem with women?

    • Oh, I know. There are so many things wrong with everything he has said about abortion.

      • I was a trifle gobsmacked when he was on QandA two or three years ago (a wonderful episode with the remarkable Fr Peter Kennedy who is a complete legend) Mr Abbott said that if abortion is made legal, more women will go out and have one. Yeah. Like women do it for their own amusement ffs.

        • I know for a FACT that women get pregnant just so they can have abortions. I’ve had 17. And that’s not counting all the under-age sex I had in order to get pregnant in order to have an abortion.

  2. Hey there, One thing you didn’t point out is that even that 80,000 statistic is based on the Medicare Provider Number for Abortions. Of course, that same provider number also covers procedures to deal with ectopic pregnancies, miscarriages & still-births. So whether 80,000 or 100,000 the number is just a massive beat up based on a false statistic!

  3. “to kill a pregnant woman’s baby”. I have to say that I don’t even like that phrase, as it simply plays into the hands of the Right Wing conservatives who want to deny women their reproductive rights. More than 90% of Abortions target blastulas & Embryos, with only very few targeting fetuses. What abortion doesn’t target is babies-pro-lifers just call them “babies” for the emotional impact (though then just see how many “pro-lifers” would love nothing more than to cut welfare for single parents). It can also hardly be called “murder”, given that most aborted embryos would have no chance of surviving independent of the womb anyway!

  4. Pingback: both kinds of politics

  5. @ Newswithnipples. I think its because the evacuation procedure used for abortions is very much the same as the ones used for dealing with stillbirths & miscarriages.

  6. Yes, thanks for going to the trouble of re-capping actual examples of his vile misogyny. It’s too easy to forget (or in my case suppress) just how menacing he is. Because forgetting is easier to bear than remembering. But we really do have to keep reminding everyone if we are going to have a hope in hell of keeping him out of power. The idea of such a man being my prime minister is genuinely anxiety-inducing. And people on the left and right still dismiss feminism as irrelevant…

    • I know. As much as the thought of Abbott as PM horrifies me, I hope the Coalition goes to the election (by next November) with Abbott as leader. With Turnbull, they’re more likely to win. But with Abbott, people are more likely to use their vote to keep him out. Because it’s not just Abbott. It’s Pyne and Bernardi and Morrison and Mirrabella and Andrews and so many more of them.

      • YES. THIS. Let’s not forget that the Coalition would NOT be a ‘Turnbull Government’. Certainly I hope one day he and others are able to influence the party/ies back to a more moderate and small-l position so that Labor can stop chasing them further and further Unhinged Right, but in the meantime, they need longer in opposition to slough off some of the most deranged people and positions.

  7. We also need to remind each other of the vicious dismantling of women’s departments and de-funding of women’s services, after the last time the coalition took office.

    Unbelievably, Abbott has just made the statement in question time that the government should have by now “died of shame”. What a piece of shit.

    • I’m suspending my comment policy for your last line, because I completely agree.

      The PM gave him a bollocking today: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-09/julia-gillard-attacks-abbott-of-hypocrisy/4303634. (I love how, about 9.30 in, the look on Abbott’s face is ‘fuck, she’s got me and I’ve got nuthin’. He even looks like a kid getting in trouble.)

      • That speech was 57 shades of awesome, but Peter Hartcher in the Herald washed up on the shores of opposite world this morning, and decided the best use of his column inches was to tell everyone that the complete reverse of what happened, happened. I hope you have time to apply the Nipples eye (?!) to his disgusting attempt at spin.

      • The PM’s speech had some pleasant echoes of your post here about Abbott’s history of misogyny,Nips.
        The response in the MSM to Gillard’s spectacular, eloquent demolition of Abbott has been so revealing. The Australian’s headline had some pathetic attempt at presenting Gillard as anti-woman, and the Sun Herald had the headline “Julia’s Fiasco”. They’re desperately trying to persuade us that what happened didn’t really happen. Does anyone else smell fear? I smell fear.

        • And there’s the line being pushed that Gillard was defending Slipper. Er, no. She was defending due process.

          Yes, I smell fear. Isn’t it wonderful?

          • I can’t bear to look at Sheehan, but did you notice that in Hartcher’s long, front page column he did not include one single quote from the PM’s speech? Now the first thing you learn in high school English about analysis is that your opinion doesn’t mean diddly if you can’t back it up with quotes. But he couldn’t, because there was not a single thing he could pull out of the speech that wouldn’t flatly contradict his representation of it.

          • Hi, regarding due process, ousting Slipper as speaker would not constitute an abuse of due process. The matter is before the court, not Parliament. Having said all that, the resignation was far more dignified than the Opposition’s motion to sack him.

  8. I always find the anti-choice, pro-derp mob so idiotic, as they are the mob that want to kill-off as much welfare and social services as possible and, run an infrastructure deficit, and make it as hard as possible for women to choose not to have the abortion. What a bunch of morons.

  9. I work in a largely female workplace and the reaction of just about everybody there during that speech was “Go, Julia”.

    Tones got real problems.

  10. Got a ‘Feminist Dad: Abbott/Sheehan edition”?

  11. I just wanted to say “Go Julia!” too. Put Tony in his place. To borrow a gaming term – ‘ownage’. 🙂 When I read the abc article originally, I couldn’t get enough info. I had to read everything I could about it. Loved the Jezebel piece. I’m really keen for the next preferred PM poll. To me, it feels Tony’s ammo has been personal attacks. There’s never been any substance. He’s a bully. Plain and simple. I feel the world changed that day. I get warm and fuzzies just thinking about it.

  12. you are all a bunch of hippie fuckwits

  13. I love being called a hippie. It makes me feel less bourgeois.

  14. Pingback: Is the “liberal” in the Liberal Party a case of false advertising? | Australians For Honest Politics

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