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.