Home » Julia Gillard’s Misogyny Speech 2012 (Full Transcript)

Julia Gillard’s Misogyny Speech 2012 (Full Transcript)

Julia Gillard 2012

Here is the full text of former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s famous misogyny speech in 2012.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech in full (2012)

TRANSCRIPT: 

DEPUTY SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: The question is that the motion be agreed to. I call the Prime Minister.

JULIA GILLARD: Thank you very much Deputy Speaker. And I rise to oppose the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition, and in so doing I say to the Leader of the Opposition: I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will not.

And the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man — not now, not ever. The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office.

Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation, because if he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives; he needs a mirror. That’s what he needs.

Let’s go through the opposition leader’s repulsive double standards when it comes to misogyny and sexism. We are now supposed to take seriously that the Leader of the Opposition is offended by Mr Slipper’s text messages, when this is the Leader of the Opposition who has said, and this was when he was a minister under the last government — not when he was a student, not when he was in high school, when he was a minister under the last government.

He has said, and I quote, in a discussion about women being underrepresented in institutions of power in Australia, the interviewer was a man called Stavros, the Leader of the Opposition says: “If it’s true, Stavros, that men have more power, generally speaking, than women, is that a bad thing?”

And then a discussion ensues and another person being interviewed says, “I want my daughter to have as much opportunity as my son,” to which the Leader of the Opposition says: “Yeah, I completely agree, but what if men are, by physiology or temperament, more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?”

Then ensues another discussion about women’s role in modern society, and the other person participating in the discussions says, “I think it’s very hard to deny that there is an underrepresentation of women,” to which the Leader of the Opposition says, “But now, there’s an assumption that this is a bad thing.” This is the man from whom we are supposed to take lectures about sexism.

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And then, of course, it goes on. I was very offended personally when the Leader of the Opposition as minister for health said, and I quote, “Abortion is the easy way out.” I was very personally offended by those comments. You said that in March 2004. I suggest you check the records.

I was also very offended on behalf of the women of Australia when in the course of this carbon pricing campaign, the Leader of the Opposition said, “What the housewives of Australia need to do… what the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing …” Thank you for that painting of women’s roles in modern Australia!

And then, of course, I was offended too by the sexism, by the misogyny, of the Leader of the Opposition catcalling across this table at me as I sit here as Prime Minister, “if the Prime Minister wants to, politically speaking, make an honest woman of herself …” — something that would never have been said to any man sitting in this chair.

I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition went outside in the front of parliament and stood next to a sign that said ‘Ditch the witch’. I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition stood next to a sign that described me as a man’s bitch. I was offended by those things.

Misogyny, sexism, every day from this Leader of the Opposition. Every day, in every way, across the time the Leader of the Opposition has sat in that chair and I have sat in this chair, that is all we have heard from him.

And now the Leader of the Opposition wants to be taken seriously. Apparently he’s woken up, after this track record and all of these statements, he’s woken up and he’s gone, “Oh dear, there’s this thing called sexism; oh my lord, there’s this thing called misogyny. Now who’s one of them? Oh, the Speaker must be because that suits my political purpose”… doesn’t turn a hair about any of his past statements, doesn’t walk into this parliament and apologise to the women of Australia, doesn’t walk into this parliament and apologise to me for the things that have come out of his mouth — but now seeks to use this as a battering ram against someone else.

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Well this kind of hypocrisy should not be tolerated, which is why this motion from the Leader of the Opposition should not be taken seriously.

And then second, the Leader of the Opposition is always wonderful about walking into this parliament and giving me and others a lecture about what they should take responsibility for; always wonderful about that — everything that I should take responsibility for, now apparently including the text messages of the member for Fisher.

Always keen to say others should assume responsibility, particularly me. Well can anybody remind me if the Leader of the Opposition has taken any responsibility for the conduct of the Sydney Young Liberals and the attendance at this event of members of his frontbench? Has he taken any responsibility for the conduct of members of his political party and members of his frontbench, who apparently when the most vile things were being said about my family raised no voice of objection.

DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order!

JULIA GILLARD: No one walked out of the room, no one walked up to Mr Jones and said that this was not acceptable. Instead, of course, it was all viewed as good fun — until it was run in a Sunday newspaper, and then the Leader of the Opposition and others started ducking for cover.

Big on lectures of responsibility, very light on accepting responsibility himself for the vile conduct of members of his political party.

Third, Ms Deputy Speaker, why the Leader of the Opposition should not be taken seriously on this motion. The Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition have come into this place and have talked about the member for Fisher.

Well let me remind the opposition, and the Leader of the Opposition particularly, about their track record and association with the member for Fisher.

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