I find it pretty funny -- but also very revealing -- that Gillard's fiery speech against misogyny and sexism was widely seen as being something deep, true and hugely empowering for women. Rather than it being a kind of "Once more unto the breach dear friends" for chickdom, it was actually just a bloody great victim-whinge.
As Brendan O'Neill noted, she spent most of it quacking on about how offended she was:
In what was essentially a gratuitously ostentatious display of Gillard’s own emotional sensitivity to certain words and ideas, the Aussie PM continually played the offence card. “I was very offended” by something Abbott said about abortion, she said. “I was very personally offended by those comments”, she said about something else. “I was also very offended on behalf of the women of Australia”, she said, in relation to a comment Abbott made about housewives. It goes on and on. “I was offended too by the sexism… I was offended by those things… I am offended by their content… I am always offended by sexism… I am always offended by statements that are anti-women… I am offended by those things… I am offended by things.”
Her speech and the many glowing references to it from the sisterhood say a lot about where feminism is at these days. It's just the opposite of what it's meant to be.
Gillard is so pathetically hypersensitive she actually believes that being called "she" is sexist and sees eeevil patriarchal motivation behind Abbott looking at his watch! That's so passive and piss-weak it makes the most demure and submissive of girly-girls seem Boadicea-like by comparison. It's the epitome of inertia, isn't it? Her job is to run the country, not endlessly bleat about how her delicate sensibilities have been egregiously offended by the most minor and irrelevant words and actions.
The fact that none other than Mike Tyson has heaped praise on the Prime Minister's childish rant says a lot too. Now, some people may be surprised at this reaction. But it seems remarkably consistent to me. Obviously, after being convicted and jailed for rape he has amended his perception of women somewhat. But his underlying assumptions about the female sex have remained the same, I believe. He's gone from thinking that women are weak and delicate beings who can be brutalized, to thinking that they are weak and delicate beings who must be protected from anything that they find remotely offensive. Obviously, that's an improvement. But it's hardly a game changer now is it?
And isn't changing the gender "game" -- that is, the underlying attitudes of men towards women (and vice versa) -- what feminism is supposed to be all about? How can you possibly be genuinely empowered and independent if you think you're being oppressed by some bloke looking at his watch? On the contrary, you must see men as being practically bloody omnipotent.
"Badass mother----er!" my arse.