Saturday, December 05, 2009


I was watching the excerpts from Tony Abbot's press conference on television on Tuesday and I was shocked to see his behaviour towards Julie Bishop, who was elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party when he was elected as Leader. He cuddled her and described her as a 'loyal girl'. This is a grown woman who has been elected by the party to serve as its Deputy Leader - which means she is expected to have the nous to be able to act as the alternate Prime Minister should there be a change in government and the need arise - and he calls her a girl and cuddles her?

I can't think of another workplace where a senior colleague would be permitted to behave like this. What gives a man the right to put his hands on a work colleague - and then compound the offense by calling her a girl? This is a term that belittles an adult woman and is usually used as a put down implying as it does that the woman is childish. If Mr Abbot doesn't understand this he needs to have it explained to him. I noticed that he didn't cuddle any of the males present and call them boys.

I assumed that this would be offensive to the majority of people so had no intention of blogging about it but after a conversation today I found it apparently is not - at least not to some men who found my remarks on the subject very mirth-making. For the record I don't find this sort of insulting behaviour either humourous or acceptable and I don't think many women would.


Laura E. Goodin said...

I can only agree with you, and that sadly.

Satima Flavell said...

As women, we like to think times have changed, but sadly, we can't legislate sexism out of existence. Men over 50 are very likely to have those attitudes firmly entrenched, and many of them will have passed them on to their sons, even if the sons' attitudes are somewhat less patronising than those of their fathers. We can only hope that education and legislation will make a difference over the next half century or so!

Graham Clements said...

Tony Abbott is not only anti women, he is also anti abortion, anti science, anti welfare and doesn't believe humans are causing climate change. He has a very narrow view of the world, one where the only people who matter are upper class male catholics.