Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Was Julia Gillard a ‘real’ female prime minister, or a leader who was female?

By the time the sun set over Parliament House, and took Julia Gillard’s prime ministership with it in a party room vote, the dissection of her legacy as Australia’s first female prime minister had already…

Now that the curtain has come down on Julia Gillard’s prime ministership, it should be asked: was she truly a female prime minister or a prime minister who was female? AAP/Alan Porritt

By the time the sun set over Parliament House, and took Julia Gillard’s prime ministership with it in a party room vote, the dissection of her legacy as Australia’s first female prime minister had already begun.

The video of her speech to parliament against misogyny and sexism in politics will experience a renewed spike again on YouTube, while various feminist commentators will take to the airwaves and Twitter to laud or lament her contribution.

But although Gillard may have been the first woman to lead the nation and the federal parliament, there’s a strong argument to be made that Australia is still awaiting its first “female prime minister”.

Making a distinction between a leader who is female and a female leader might seem like splitting hairs, but for Gillard this distinction may well lie at the heart of her fall from the nation’s highest office.

As good as any man, or better

As various commentators have observed during her Canberra career, Julia Gillard fits the profile of an ambitious and highly competent politician to a tee. A tough and well-regarded lawyer who earned impeccable Labor credentials through sticking it the bosses while at Slater & Gordon, she entered federal parliament after an apprenticeship as then-Victorian opposition leader John Brumby’s chief of staff in the mid-1990s.

Her move to Canberra took place fairly early in the Howard decade, which allowed her to cut her teeth in the rough and tumble of opposition and experience the carnage of several Labor leadership coups.

Through the 2001 Tampa affair and later the 2006 WorkChoices kerfuffle, Gillard earned a reputation as one of federal Labor’s most effective parliamentary performers. This reputation undoubtedly helped her secure the deputy leadership in Kevin Rudd’s 2006 challenge to Kim Beazley.

Throughout her parliamentary rise Gillard retained a laser-like focus on developing and prosecuting ALP policy, so much so that she made a reportedly conscious decision not to pursue distractions such as marriage and children. All of this experience made her the ideal person to lead her party and the nation when the moment came in June 2010 - except for one small thing.

The ‘right’ kind of female PM?

From the outset of Gillard’s term in office, it was clear that some sections of the Australian community were deeply uncomfortable with both the manner of her ascendency and her lack of appropriately feminine traits.

As Lauren Hall and Ngaire Donaghue document in a recent research paper, Gillard’s “knifing” of Kevin Rudd was framed as an expression of unseemly ambition, one which revealed an inability to “wait her turn” at the leadership and dashed voters’ hopes for a more “genteel transition” at the top of the government.

At the same time, Senator Bill Heffernan’s 2007 comments about Gillard being “deliberately barren” were given fresh oxygen by those who fretted that the new prime minister’s childlessness placed her out of touch with the concerns of ordinary Australians. The major newspaper in her hometown of Adelaide remarked that: “anyone expecting parliament to be a softer, gentler place because a woman is in charge is likely to be disappointed”.

For Gillard’s part, she seemed eager not to be venerated as a feminist pioneer, telling The Australian that she was more focused on delivering fairness for Australian workers than “smashing the glass ceiling”. Whether consciously or unconsciously, Gillard’s policy agenda also confounded stereotypes about warm and compassionate female leadership. She set about strengthening Australia’s border controls, attempted to take a hard line on Palestine’s at the UN, and more recently, moved tens of thousands of single mothers off some welfare benefits.

At the same time however, she refused to apologise for her personal life, telling Women’s Day:

I’ve made a set of choices and I’m not going to shy away from saying, ‘Well, that’s it, full stop.'

In short, Gillard showed an unwillingness to conform to gendered expectations in either public or private life. By doing so, she appears to have confounded Australia’s expectations about how a “real” female prime minister should behave.

Gillard tried to neutralise the issue of her gender and govern as her male predecessors did. However, she appears to have underestimated both the hopes of progressive people on the one hand, and the restraints of entrenched gender roles on the other.

For women in particular, and progressive people more generally, a “real” female prime minister would be one who takes power in her own right with the overwhelming support of the electorate, and openly celebrates this as a seismic shift in the status of Australian women. Gillard has failed to meet any of these criteria. She attained the prime ministership through the machinations of male factional leaders, maintained it with the support of male cross-bench MPs, and generally downplayed the historic nature of her achievement.

For people of a more conservative bent, a “real” female prime minister would be one who shares the everyday experiences of millions of Australian families - kids, grocery bills, the school run - and uses this understanding to make government more responsive and accommodating of their needs. Here again, Gillard has failed to meet the mark. Her policy choices have generally reflected a focus far beyond the domestic sphere.

This is not for a moment to suggest that either progressives or conservatives were right to expect these things from Gillard. By my observation, she possesses guts, intellect and experience in spades, and has made federal politics the sole focus of her life for more than 15 years.

The fact that the electorate demands more than this from Gillard simply because she is female - that she also be either an evangelist or an everywoman - shows just how skewed our perspectives on power and gender still are.

But skewed or not, the fact remains that Gillard has not been the first female prime minister that many hoped she would be. Her three years in office have instead been characterised by a post-gendered leadership style which sought to neutralise her “femaleness” by downplaying or ignoring it - except when there was political advantage to be had, as in recent days.

By pitching herself as a leader who is female rather than an explicitly female leader, Gillard tried to forge a different path for herself and the nation. But perhaps she was simply too far ahead of her time: maybe we need a female prime minister before we can have an un-gendered one.

Join the conversation

143 Comments sorted by

  1. Tim Allman

    Medical Software Developer

    The headline could be "Was XX a ‘real’ female prime minister, or a leader who was female?" where XX could be filled in with Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Benazir Bhutto or Margaret Thatcher to name a few. They were either corrupt, fought wars, cut back on social spending etc. and generally behaved as badly as men can do. I doubt that sex is a useful predictor of governing style.

    report
    1. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Tim Allman

      Unfortunately, the author of this piece is merely continuing a long line of females deriding the womanliness of those women who achieve stupendous success and power on their own terms.

      report
  2. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    " real female " !

    I expect Julia would answer that suggestion about the same way as what she did with that Perth shock jock and say do not be absurd.

    Of course she is a female and of course she has been the Prime Minister.
    She may not have married and decided not to have children but she is not alone in making those choices and she could still even get married for all we know.

    She has been criticised for how she has gone about some things and also lauded for some great reformist policies she has lead the government to establish even if funding will be a future big question.
    That and trust issues aside, there are a number of things she can be proud of.

    The short answers are yes, she is a real female,be it just the initial campaigning ( I deposed Rudd ) Julia or the later real and sometimes feisty Julia and yes she wasa female PM and also a female who was PM.

    report
  3. Rene Oldenburger

    Haven't got one

    Gillard simply became obsessed with her own gender as if 99% of people actually cares about that. And of course she was "victim" of sexism, which was a dumb way to go about anything really, after all more than enough women didn't like her either, but when women didn't like her, it cant be called sexism of course. And of course the next female Prime Minister will have it easier they now all know being obsessed with gender doesn't work.

    report
    1. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to David Thompson

      A bath won't fix that one David, you also should have a look at the Hawke Research Institute, from child protection to school children to the aged and disabled, everything is based on feminist theories and philosophies.

      Try the Centre for work and life, turns out working women are becoming more miserable and they want to work less, which is the opposite of breaking the glass ceiling stuff, giving women more opportunities and all that sort of thing.

      ALP celebrated more than a million children in child care, as if that is something to be proud of.

      report
    2. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      You’ve got a nice little club going here haven’t you? Whenever did someone have to like their Prime Minister? You are so confident that Gillard saw herself as a victim of sexism. You really have your wires crossed. Anne Summers a screeching harpy? You mean an annoying woman? Good on her then, if she annoys this little club.

      report
    3. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris I got my wires crossed. So let see what you think of this.

      Google the following: Maternal Alienation, Anne Morris

      This same Anne Morris who became an expert in Child Protection with a degree and all, is in reality a lesbian feminist, who falsely accused the father of her children to have sexually abused them.

      Maternal Alienation makes Anne Morris a victim of male violence, and her concept of Maternal Alienation is still receiving ALP Government support, resources and is still being…

      Read more
    4. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Thanks for steering me towards Anne Morris. I must confess to total ignorance of this person’s work never mind her personal life which is not normally of such vital interest to me. I am aware that when it comes to marriage break-up and children and certain paedophilia hysteria currently prevalent in Australia, false memory syndrome and desperate strategic strikes for child custody arrangements that it is extremely difficult to hold an impartial view on these topics or other people's behaviour…

      Read more
    5. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Well the thesis that gave Anne Morris a doctorate and subsequently became a child protection expert and especially in child sexual abuse is called "the spaces in between".

      The newspaper article this Anne Morris was exposed, was an article written by Bettina Arndt in 2000.

      Anne Morris and her concept of Maternal Alienation that was implemented within Government Agencies in South Australia and the subsequent questions relating to it all are on record in the Parliamentarian Hansard.

      South Australian…

      Read more
    6. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      I can just imagine the response of our natty new first lady boss of the Senate's reaction to Anne Summers demanding she resign from the ministry in sapphic solidarity with Jules. I can hear Senator Wong - lesbian, mother, and christian - retort to the unmarried, childless, former Hit-Girl for Keating: "Anne, quite frankly my, I don't give a damn. I am leader of the Senate, with legislation, a partner, a child, and god to contend with. You on the other hand, are a tired Age luvvie, spending your time re-submitting your tabloid bloviations from the 1970s. Talk to the hand, sweetie, coz I ain't got time."

      report
    7. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to David Thompson

      My impression is that it would be an extremely bad day if Penny Wong wasted that much time on Anne Summers meanderings.

      report
    8. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to David Thompson

      David, I was born and educated in Holland, so I'm pretty well aware of the differences between feminism there and here. First and foremost, the current ALP feminist brand has been ignored and rejected over there since the 1970's. Not by men but by women. Looking into the Hawke Research Institute upon which the ALP base their policies it turns out that the Work Life Section of the Hawke Institute has been comparing Dutch work life balance compared to here and contacted social policy makers over there…

      Read more
    9. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Renee you need to realise that all my life I have had to listen to people from other superior countries telling me how wonderful even the snow and cold is in their home of birth. Your vision of feminism, your interpretation of Australian feminism strikes me as purely a personal longing for the lost homeland: home sickness I think it is called. Australian feminism did in fact lead the world, they have achieved many benefits and for you to deny any of these and denigrate their achievements is typical…

      Read more
    10. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris that isn't my version of feminism, that's Dutch women version of feminism.

      Now if you could only tell me what Australian feminists have ever done to make them world leaders, I'm quite curious.

      And I'm not claiming Australian mothers want to work less, research of the Hawke Institute comes to that conclusion.

      report
    11. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      'Now if you could only tell me what Australian feminists have ever done to make them world leaders, I'm quite curious'
      So am I!

      report
    12. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Peter the answer will be: (South) Australia was one of the first places in the world that gave women the right to vote.

      Women in that context means, Australian white anglo saxon women only.

      They seem to think that the rest of the world hasn't quite caught up on the fact that it was based on racism.

      And for the rest there in nothing that would even remotely make world leaders

      report
    13. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      No Renee I insist that what you describe is your interpretation of Dutch Feminism. The ones I have spoken to mostly came from Amsterdam of course. Just maybe, you are speaking on behalf of members of the notoriously backward Dutch provinces. Otherwise I cannot account for it. To name famous feminists is to make them a target for you and your mates to mock, so I will refrain from your invitation. I suggest you find some suitable history book or Google for current ones. And again wires have been crossed I actually said “don’t delude yourself that women in Australia would not wish to stay home with their children….”

      report
    14. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris I actually come from Amsterdam, so who are you in contact with, the likes of Helen Mees and her merry band of rejects?

      Notoriously backward provinces of The Netherlands, that's a funny one.

      And I know what you said abut Australian women do not wish to stay at home, which flies directly in the face of ALP politics that they want women out of the house and work in order to brake some mystical glass ceiling. And of course the ALP is very proud to have more than a million children in child…

      Read more
    15. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Sorry, Renee I do insist you have it wrong. Please check it out. It must be awful to live in a place with people you dislike and disdain so much, but then maybe it is a conscious choice? Otherwise, there might be required some reflection?

      report
    16. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene: ‘Peter the answer will be: (South) Australia was one of the first places in the world that gave women the right to vote.’
      It may be. But it is so hopelessly wrong!
      In fact two US territories , the first prior to 1730, had universal suffrage. That 1730 is correct.
      Briefly the story is that women were agitating for the vote, a (drunken?) Mob of males thought it would be hilariously funny to have women voting, and that anyway the governor(?) Would never sign it into law. They overlooked the…

      Read more
    17. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Nice try Chris, but I actually have my history correct, and if I'm not than tell me exactly where I'm wrong. Which I know you can't.

      So back to you claim of Australian feminism being world leaders, not a very hard question is it?

      report
    18. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene: ‘Peter the answer will be: (South) Australia was one of the first places in the world that gave women the right to vote.’
      It may be. But it is so hopelessly wrong!
      In fact two US territories , the first prior to 1730, had universal suffrage. That 1730 is correct.
      Briefly the story is that women were agitating for the vote, a (drunken?) Mob of males thought it would be hilariously funny to have women voting, and that anyway the governor(?) Would never sign it into law. They overlooked the…

      Read more
    19. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Peter, that's ok. Some people paid attention while at school and others didn't.

      And in the meantime this continues to stay the only country in the world, where feminist theory and research dictate that a lesbian feminist of whom it was proven to have falsely accused a father of sexually abusing his children, is a victim of male violence.

      A world first indeed and nowhere accepted, except Australia and South Australia in particular.

      Sort of shuts the entire sisterhood up.

      report
    20. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Apologies Renee but I’m tired of this repetitive loop. It’s of course your own answer to your own question which is incorrect. I did not make a mention of the franchise in S.A but it is your racism charge that is incorrect and what a furphy anyway. You would be hard put to point to any country that wasn’t racist at that time and I guess that’s what makes your mistake forgivable. I wonder did the American Indians or the Black African slaves have the vote in Peter’s American territories?

      report
    21. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Like I said Chris, tell me exactly where I am wrong. And yes I actually did check the Australian Electoral Commission's website.

      Now are you going to tell me in which way Australian feminists were/are world leaders?

      report
  4. Jeremy Garnett

    Citizen of Terra

    Where did Gillard go wrong?
    She allowed Rud to have an important position within the party. When you mutiny, you never keep the old captain on board. Strand him far from the trade routes on an island with one palm, with one shot and a flask of rum.

    As for the other - I believe Gillard to be biologically female. Therefore the question is moot.
    Or is that in question too? Are you implying Gillard is a cross-dresser?

    report
    1. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Jeremy Garnett

      "She allowed Rud to have an important position within the party."

      Indeed. Had Ms Gillard really been following the Game of Thrones script she would've had Rudd beheaded.

      Rudd has had MSM assistance to bring down this 'uppity' woman - he couldn't have done it without them.

      Rudd had better remain on good terms with the MSM, for his sake.

      report
    2. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      "Rudd had better remain on good terms with the MSM ..."

      Good point. If I recall correctly, Rudd was Murdoch's boy. When Murdoch turned against him, Rudd's polls fell.

      Gillard took over. Murdoch likes Gillard even less; now Abbott's Murdoch's boy.

      Is the role of the media in Australian politics a healthy one?

      report
    3. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Boxall

      "Is the role of the media in Australian politics a healthy one?"

      If you are in favour of an oligarchy, then, yes, it is.

      report
    4. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Jeremy Garnett

      Cross-dresser? Not a chance! Wellington NZ, had the biggest 'camp' ----- gay/lesbian/homosexual/ --- population in the world. The usual giveaway for cross-dessers is their sense of STYLE. More perfect than any woman takes the trouble to be.

      report
    1. Michael Shand
      Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Software Tester

      In reply to Dale Bloom

      Didn't Rudd state just yesterday that he thought he was the best person to lead the party.....

      Wait, hasn't abbott said on a number of occassions that he is the best person to lead the liberals?

      to suggest that everyone is the same and no one is better than anyone else is to lib out in the highest regard - participation medals for everyone, awards for the last winner as well

      report
    2. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "... awards for the last winner ...". Try for something between that and "Second is the first loser".

      report
    3. Michael Shand
      Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Software Tester

      In reply to David Boxall

      I am alright with winners and loosers because thats the reality, my comment was in response to the suggestion that everyone is equal

      this is oft referred to as a "deepity", much like "Love is just a word" - it is just a word, word is just a word as well, but love is obviously more than just a word

      It's a petty attempt to seem deep or profound when your really talking nonsense

      Like the suggestion that a leader stating they believe they are the best person for the job is somehow unaustralian - "I used to think Australia was a place where everyone was on par, and no one thought themselves better than someone else. "

      If a leader does not think they are the best person for the job then what they should do as a leader is put the best person for the job in place and resign

      report
    4. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      About 23 centuries ago, Plato observed that the best leaders are not those who seek leadership, but the ones who are thrust into the role. The observation was not new, even then.

      Perhaps , as a matter of principle, anyone who thinks they'd make the best leader should be banned from leadership.

      report
    5. Michael Shand
      Michael Shand is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Software Tester

      In reply to David Boxall

      ":Perhaps , as a matter of principle, anyone who thinks they'd make the best leader should be banned from leadership." - I'd be comfortable with that as long as its applied consistently

      IE. it would mean both Rudd and Abbott would be banned

      report
    6. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Michael Shand

      "... it would mean both Rudd and Abbott would be banned ...". Wouldn't it though? ;-)

      report
  5. Valerie Kay

    PhD candidate, public health

    On a day when many women are feeling deeply upset by what has happened to our first female prime minister, I'm sorry to say that I found this a confused and disappointing response.
    I think I understand what you are trying to say, but the problem is you have personalised it. You've made it all about her, rather than looking at the structures and discourses of patriarchy. Women coming in to politics have to deal with these as best they can. Julia Gillard chose one way, there could potentially be others…

    Read more
    1. Susanne Gannon

      Associate Professor

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      I'm perplexed at the construction of a 'real woman' in this response - haven't we moved beyond the narrow frame of legitimate femininity as being defined by procreation / motherhood / nuclear family - or as it's put here - "kids, grocery bills, the school run" - hello? What decade are we in? What century?

      report
    2. Chris Booker

      Research scientist

      In reply to Susanne Gannon

      My thinking exactly. This article seems blatant sexism - I can hardly imagine a similar 'was he a male prime minister or a "male" prime minister' take on things if the genders were reversed.

      So here's my response to the author: Is Julia Gillard a woman? Yes. Was she prime minister? Yes. There's the answer to your title. Did she fit into your preconceived notion of what it means to be female? Maybe not, but isn't that what the woman's liberation movement has been fighting for since.. umm.. as long as it's existed?!

      report
    3. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      First and foremost Gillard was a politician, with the same attributes as any other politician, male or female. Dishonest, manipulative, narcissistic, double standards, self absorbed.

      Just shows you that patriarchy isn't any different than the matriarchy. Many women couldn't stand Gillard either, so are these women somehow sill subservient to patriarchy?

      report
    4. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      The way Gillard was treated; by the media, by the opposition, by her own party and by the electorate; demonstrates Australia's immaturity. Clearly, we have a lot of growing up to do.

      I hope Julia reneges on her promise to quit politics. While neither of us is likely to live long enough to see substantial results, Australia needs people like her to keep pushing for change.

      report
    5. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Boxall

      I don't think I have ever seen a politician so together under pressure. She was admirable to watch right up to last night when she chose the time and terms for the meeting.

      Never rude, never abrasive, even when she had good reason, just very, very controlled.

      If Rudd is tapped on the shoulder sometime after the election, Julia Gillard could do a Lazarus. Never say never, eh?

      report
    6. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Susanne Gannon

      Sorry this a bit confusing - do you mean in my response or in the article? I presume you mean in the article?

      report
    7. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Susanne Gannon

      Sorry ignore my other reply - I called the article a response myself, so obviously you mean the article too. (Shakes head - it's all been too much for me.) I don't think they meant it quite that simplistically, I think they meant we as in we the general public still have some possibly unconscious sense about what a real or normal woman is (maybe?), but obviously just focusing on an individual woman (or type of woman) rather than the context she was trying to operate in is kind of ignoring the real problem here. Cheers.

      report
    8. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      I know Julia Gillard and she is not like that at all. That kind of personal abuse of politicians as a group doesn't contribute anything to the debate and certainly does nothing to raise the standard of political debate in Australia.
      The point is we have had thousands of years of patriarchy, and yes, women have been influenced by it too.

      report
    9. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      Valerie,
      I don't read the article this way. It think the author is critiquing the public's response to Gillard's 'presentation', not Gillard herself.

      I agree with this analysis, as far as it goes. Both left and right seem to have been in the grip of some kind of hysterical virgin/whore, unresolved idealised mother issues, to put it in crude psychoanalytic terms. And the press and politicians were happy to exploit this.

      But I agree with you that this critique is not very satisfying.
      Perhaps…

      Read more
    10. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to David Boxall

      I agree David, and I think that was the author's basic point, though many seem to have missed it.

      report
    11. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Chris Booker

      Thank you Chris Booker. Thank you.
      Everyone comes from a different set of conditioning and clearly this young budding journalist/student is still 'learning' about kindness, respect and empathy. Atleast, that's what I say to my kids when they complain someone has been mean to them, 'they're still learning'.

      report
    12. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      yep Dianna, she's done that over and over again - so many times you would permit her to lose her cool under all the emotional abuse, yet she didn't.
      Her agenda was always about her country and not herself.

      report
    13. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      Thanks Valerie, yes, JG is not like that at all.
      Thanks for sharing that, many women and men could see that.
      Sadly, too, many didn't.

      report
    14. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Hi Freya,

      The author could've chosen any number of quotes and re-runs of things that have been said about JG. She was in charge of that.

      The author decided to only use quotes that were not flattering at all, except for a token bit at the end, as though to excuse herself for only supplying all the less than savoury points about JG.

      This author is clearly not a JG fan and this came across.

      report
    15. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Vasi Stephan

      I think you have mistaken my point, Vasi, as well as the author's.
      I share your sadness and anger.

      report
    16. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Thanks Freya, perhaps I have, if you share my sadness and anger.
      Apologies.
      Yes, a very sad and shameful time for Australians.

      report
    17. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Vasi Stephan

      Not at all :)
      It is has been very painful for many women to witness the bullying, and now the injustice. We will all be a bit sensitive I suspect.

      report
    18. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      If there have been thousands of years of patriarchy, who and what makes women vote in the millions for violent dictators from both the left and the right as is the case still today.

      report
    19. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Yes I think you are right, I was trying to say something like that in my reply to Susanne Gannon. Hopefully there will be an analysis of the kind you mentioned soon.

      report
    20. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Hi Rene that's a very huge and generalised question so it's hard to answer in that form. The point is that we are all influenced by the kind of society we live in and the way it structures knowledge, so thousands of years of patriarchy have influenced us all. Just to give you a specific example, up until quite recent times the Australian census asked a question about the "head of the household" which was assumed to be the man (unless there wasnt a man living there). Historically the people who designed the census made a decision to do that, because that's the way they saw the world.

      report
    21. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      "... who and what makes women vote in the millions for violent dictators from both the left and the right ..." Belief, faith, conditioning.

      report
    22. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      "... until quite recent times the Australian census asked ..." Less than half a century ago, Aboriginal Australians weren't even counted. It seems we'll never run out of injustices.

      report
    23. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Boxall

      To which I would add centuries of Stockholm Syndrome, there remain plenty of women who continue to see men as their best chance of survival.

      report
    24. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Valerie Kay

      Valerie, not a hard question at all. And head of the household, it's you who assumes it was only male. I can assure you in Europe, head of the household is the Matriarch

      report
    25. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Chris Booker

      This article is a part of a broader problem that will sink TC. Established with $10 million backing, it promised analysis by rational "experts". But increasingly the articles are written by uni students. It reads more and more like Honi Soit, Tharunka, or Farrago. Most of these kids still live at home with their parents, for god sake.

      report
    26. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Susanne Gannon

      "haven't we moved beyond the narrow frame of legitimate femininity as being defined by procreation / motherhood / nuclear family."
      Susanne, a lot of the second wavers maybe. But that was back in the 70s. The generations that followed? Not so much. Look at today. We have lesbians breeding like women always have, and fretting about not being able to get married. The century we live is the 21st century, not the 1970s.

      report
    27. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene I have done years of research on this topic. The instructions given with the original Australian census in 2011 made it clear that men were supposed to be recorded as head of the household. I am not familiar with all the European censuses but I am familiar with the work of Christine Delphy who has shown similar patterns in France. Where is the evidence that head of the household is a matriarch in Europe?

      report
  6. John Stanley

    Manager

    Last night the Reds won, and so did the rednecks.

    report
  7. Paul Prociv

    ex medical academic; botanical engineer

    I find this to be a vacuous and unrealistic analysis, but not unusual for articles bemoaning the lack of female representation in positions of power and leadership, which generally completely overlook one critical point. The simple, and ineluctable, fact of high-level leadership, be it in politics, industry, commerce or academia, is that it depends on the application of Grade1 Macchiavellianism; anything short of that will simply not get you into that position, or keep you there for long. And it…

    Read more
    1. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Paul Prociv

      Paul, look around the world. There are plenty of women challenging your essentialist views, just not in Australia.

      report
    2. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      After sleeping on it, I wonder. Politics is a nasty game; getting nastier. Most men, it seems, are too good for it. Perhaps the same is true of an even higher proportion of women.

      Maybe to get more women into politics, we need to fix politics. That might attract better men as well.

      report
    3. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Boxall

      A more human as well as humane system, one where bullies are not rewarded from either side of the political divide.

      I am not sure how this can be achieved, however it is something worth striving for. And I do not think it is impossible, but probably not in my life-time.

      report
    4. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      It's been suggested that, each time a politician lies or fails to tell the whole truth, they should lose a body part. A bit medieval perhaps but, if we start with their favourite parts, there'll at least be fewer politicians.

      There'd be salutory lessons in the sight of our politicians disappearing, piece by piece.

      report
    5. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Boxall

      How about they lose the right to breed?

      Survival of the honest.

      However, given how "broken promises" can be interpreted this needs careful understanding between dealing with reality and adjusting according to changing circumstances.

      report
    6. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      "How about they lose the right to breed?" There's a right to breed?

      "... given how "broken promises" can be interpreted ..." Is a broken promise necessarily a lie? If the promise was made with the intention of keeping it, like Julia's on the carbon tax, then I'd say it isn't. If the promise was made with intent to deceive, like John Howard's "non-core" promises, then I'd say it is.

      report
    7. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to David Boxall

      Thanks David, I've been thinking on Mr Prociv's argument too.

      The problem is that it's the same kind of Darwinian argument which was used to justify slavery.
      Biological essentialism, basically makes politics redundant.

      Social structures change with increasing diversity and inclusion. And the kind of behaviours they create or reward will change with them. It's going to be slow and painful it seems for this country, but it can't remain the domain of "privileged white male" privilege forever.

      People like Gillard and Windsor are there to serve, not to rule. They are loved and admired by those who really know them. They will walk away with a sense of achievement, satisfaction and real purpose that a narcissist will never experience. Men are encouraged to be narcissistic in our culture. They will have to change ;)

      report
    8. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Freya, slavery had been abolished by the time Darwin published his theories.

      report
    9. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to David Thompson

      By 'Darwinian', I meant: an argument which proposes that a group is not by 'nature' or 'biology' capable of participating fully in society, or suited to positions of power. Apologies for my inexactitude.

      I don't believe the issue of dates is relevant to my point, the idea that women or slaves lacked the capacity to be fully human has existed in various cultures for more than 2000 years.

      report
    10. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Putting aside your blatant sexism and racism ('privileged white male') for a second, narcissism is a trait that can be found in both genders. Men may display, occasionally, traits of narcissism, but they also display altruistic behaviour. Any 'change' should be directed toward the whole, and not the one gender.

      report
    11. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Thomas Fields

      Mr Hicks, I suggest you read the this entire thread before you make hasty assumptions. I am clearly disputing the whole idea that any characteristics are exclusive or natural to men or women.
      I said that narcissism is "encouraged" in men, not endemic or exclusive to them.
      White male privilege is a fact acknowledged by men and women. I recommend Feminism 101.

      report
    12. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      'White male privilege' is a narrative created by feminists, and has little to no validity outside feminist discourse. Its argument is invalid because it equates correlation with causation, along with infusing certain morals and valuations that only pertain to feminists.

      report
    13. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Thomas Fields

      Mr Hicks, one wonders why you are even on this page if you are only seeking to be offended by views you already disagree with.

      If you want to engage in petty battles with imaginary adversaries I recommend a site like The Drum.

      As you have apparently managed to get all the way through university without acquainting yourself with the most basic history of your own culture, we really have nothing more to discuss

      By the way, perhaps you can answer this- why do people always use the word "blatant" to make things sound more heinous? I find covert sexism and racism so much more annoying myself.

      report
    14. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Ms Elizabeth, unless the moderators deem I am not able to comment here, then I will do so. This is (supposed) to be an academic site, therefore rigorous discussion is what ought to be encouraged.

      I am fully cognizant of "the basic history of your own culture"; by that I mean the feminist interpretation of our history and culture. It's riddled with particular valuations and judgements that have little to no legitimacy outside feminist discourse. The "white male privilege" is an insult to those who have worked and studied for year after year to achieve what they have. They did not receive all their possessions, wealth and jobs etc just because they are white and male. They received them because they worked hard for them.

      report
    15. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Thomas Fields

      You see Tim this is where I think feminism has got the bum rap. Take for example the Suffragettes in England. By their demanding franchise because according to the law at the time these rich women fitted the qualifications for franchise according to property, income and taxation, they helped to bring about the situation where all male citizens were reluctantly universally granted it without these stringent conditions. The Woman Liberationist demands of the 60s-70s against patriarchy were supportive…

      Read more
    16. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Thomas Fields

      "They did not receive all their possessions, wealth and jobs etc just because they are white and male. They received them because they worked hard for them."

      So nobody, who worked just as hard, was rewarded less because they happened not to be white and male?

      report
    17. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Thomas Fields

      Hi Mr Hicks,
      I can see that the term "white male privilege" could be offensive to men, especially taken out of context as you have done. And particularly as most feminists believe that the majority of men are as disadvantaged by patriarchal culture as women are. But as nearly 2000 years of male-authored discourse about women is far more offensive I'm sure you can cope with it.

      Your assertions about the "legitimacy" of feminist ideas outside feminist discourse is simply irrelevant and puerile frankly. As feminist discourse is predicated on the contestation of "legitimacy" and authority, it obviously does not recognise the legitimacy you appear to believe you represent.

      report
    18. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris

      "white male privilege" another 3 word sound byte - is this the trend for the 21st C?

      I do know it worked extremely well for a, well, another white male by the name of Michael Moore. However, the idea that men have benefited from feminism is too much for the Tims of this world. Has them spitting invective.

      report
    19. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Thanks for that Dianna I couldn't remember who had been using that term, but I knew it was a male. It's a nice joke really only for the fact that it obviously turns some men into a frenzy and can't believe it could come from a man and therefore it had to have been let out of Pandora's box. But of course in the younger generations more and more Aussie men have moved up into higher social/economic levels while women have remained at the lower levels doing low paid work so now of course they are more and more on their own and condemned personally for their poverty and certainly for any complaint. Very sad as these are the mothers of the next generations, an underclass.

      report
    20. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      The phrase came about from Michael Moore's film "Stupid White Men".

      Mr Moore caught a great deal of invective for having the temerity to critique his own sex (and ethnicity).

      Today those same detractors like to think it was some kind of 'femi-nazi' who started it all as this is more acceptable to their intractable prejudices towards women.

      That many men actually support equality between the sexes is too difficult a concept for some men (and, sigh, some women) to digest. Hence we are subjected to their thought-burps whenever this basic human right drifts into their field of consciousness.

      report
    21. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Yes, of course "Stupid White Men", I'd been leaning more towards Hunter S Thompson, but yeah it did not quite feel right. Then of course there is 'whitey', 'great white shark', 'white beached whales' (all male inventions, I believe) and heaven knows what they would have copped in other ex-colonial countries. So it is only right that the likes of those white, short haired old women you see at LNP bashes stick with the good old boys, I guess. I mean they need the strength, poor fellows.

      report
    22. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      A few points, Chris. Before universal suffrage, never did all men own property or voting rights. As you would be aware, only landowner could vote, which made voting illegitimate for many men. This is never mentioned when such discussion occur.

      Equality of opportunity now exists. Dredging up the past and judging it according to today's standards can be done on many levels. There are a million and one things that could have been done differently in the past. Yet, only white males seem to be singled out for this. This is racist and sexist in itself.

      report
    23. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to David Boxall

      Please inform me where men and women, white and non-whites are paid differently for the same job today.

      report
    24. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Freya Elizabeth

      Hi Ms Elizabeth,

      You still haven't validated this "legitimacy" As I stated in my other posts, feminism confuses correlation and causation; that is, just because white males may own most of the wealth and property in Australia, does not mean that being white and male caused them to receive it. Feminism has to resort to psychology and other invisible mechanisms to justify the "white male privilege"; mechanism that cannot be empirically justified. Yet, the gaining of wealth and property for reasons other than being white and male can be empirically justified by examining the hard work they undertook to get to where they are.

      report
    25. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Mr Moore should receive invective for such a title of a book. It would simply not be acceptable in Australia to write a book titled "Stupid Black Men/Women".

      report
    26. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      Yes, silly me, I had momentarily forgotten that such things are unmentionably offensive for historical denialists, even in "quotes" apparently.

      PS. Don't mention the "blue ties"!

      report
    27. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Bless them and their revolutionary hearts! At least they are not propping up teetering idols with incoherent "arguments" and confected outrage, which appears to be the fashion now.

      report
    28. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      I fear such history lessons are lost to the chip-on-shoulder type, Chris, but I certainly enjoyed it, thank you.

      report
    29. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to David Boxall

      Yes, that argument is one of my favourites- "we earned it!"
      Never mind the insult that constitutes to the majority of the human race, and probably including himself, unless he is one of the Koch bros or Gina Rinehart incognito, which is not entirely improbable I guess.

      report
    30. Thomas Fields

      "progressive" watcher

      In reply to David Boxall

      No, David, this is a discussion forum and I am asking you to validate your claim. Simply dismissing me as a troll speaks volumes. I'll ask again: Where in Australia is a women or non-white person paid less than a white male for the same job? If you know, then you should report it as it is against the law.

      report
  8. Lyn Keaney

    Should not matter

    You have totally ignored the relevance of the Royal Commission in to Child Abuse in the context of your opinion. Surely there is nothing more "female" than the need to protect and comfort children. We had a female Prime Minister.

    report
  9. Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

    Boss

    Female is a gender.
    Feminity is a beautiful attribute that was absent. One look, one listen and male passion deflated.

    report
    1. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Geoffrey Harold Sherrington

      Ah, "female" is 'sex', while "feminine" is 'gender'. The confusion and anxiety around sex on TC is very concerning. What on earth is going on in the universities?

      report
  10. Kylie Cairns

    PhD student

    I find the comment that "there’s a strong argument to be made that Australia is still awaiting its first “female prime minister”" quite offensive.

    Julia Gillard is undeniably the FIRST female prime minister. Whether she was a good prime minister is a matter of opinion and debate but that does not lessen the simple fact that she is the first female PM of Australia and will be remembered as such. She was responsible for many important legislative steps forward like the NDIS, Gonski education reforms, carbon tax and hopefully she will be remembered for these achievements not just her gender or the labour party turmoil of the last few years.

    Personally I am saddened that Australia's first female PM was deposed in such a manner however when the alternative is a Liberal/National PM and total desolation of the Labour party in the next election ... a nightmare ... it might be best thing for the country.

    report
    1. Lyn Keaney

      Should not matter

      In reply to Kylie Cairns

      I agree Kylie and should have read as a "weak" argument given that the Royal Commission was not discussed in the context of the article. I found it offensive as well.

      report
    2. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Lyn Keaney

      agreed, totally offensive. Who does the author think she is to say that? Most Gen Y's I know are so not like that, she is quite offensive.

      report
  11. David Leigh

    logged in via Facebook

    Well, it was to be expected... Murdoch has won the election! This has played out like a TV soap on Murdoch channels for months. Australia's first female Prime Minister dumped weeks out from the most important of polls, the one that counts. The polls quoted and the innuendoes of leadership challenges have made headline news, above important issues, such as policy and climate change events and have dominated the minds of those intent on destruction. Destruction, not only of a party, of political standards…

    Read more
    1. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to David Leigh

      "Murdoch has won the election!" True; an Abbott government will be a Murdoch government.

      "If you say anything often enough ..."
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proof_by_assertion
      plus quotes attributed to Lenin and Goebbels. Aren't we in fine company?

      "What if ... to win the next election?" Chance would be a fine thing. The worst that can happen is for either of the likely winners to end up with control of both houses.

      report
  12. Geoffrey O'Shea

    retired

    To read the articles on the conversation today informs me that if we have people that lecture at our universities with such shallow thoughts then I for one am pleased not to attend their lecture because the students would come away without any depth in the debate or knowledge of how politics has been conducted under an opposition and media that have set about denigrating the Prime Minister but the office of Prime Minister.

    report
  13. Chris Saunders

    retired

    I follow your argument that members from either end of the political spectrum may have been caused dissonance because they could not fit Gillard into their particular stereotype of what a politician should be, and for both groups that would be a male politician, married with kids. For them to look at Gillard just in terms of being a woman then again she was not going to fit the female stereotype either; wife, husband and kids. I do recall that Don Dunstan presented a similar puzzle to the MSM and…

    Read more
  14. David Boxall

    logged in via Facebook

    To quote from Crikey:
    "Gillard's mere existence, her presence in the prime ministership, her failure to conform to female stereotypes by being unmarried, childless and ambitious, pushed the buttons of the Right in a big way. Many reacted with froth-mouthed hatred."

    Labor's Right was no better, it seems.

    report
    1. Dianna Arthur
      Dianna Arthur is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Environmentalist

      In reply to David Boxall

      Lindy Chamberlain all over again.

      Another generation of judgemental (insert word of choice) decreeing how women should look, behave, talk, dress, ad nauseam

      report
    2. Valerie Kay

      PhD candidate, public health

      In reply to Dianna Arthur

      That is exactly what I have been thinking! I said it to my extended family yesterday. So great to hear someone else say it.

      report
  15. Jennifer Norton

    statistician, researcher, entrepreneur

    This analysis seems to be saying that Gillard did not act in ways stereotypically female/feminine.

    I suspect it's a case of damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    report
    1. Freya Elizabeth

      Graphic designer

      In reply to Jennifer Norton

      I think that is exactly what the article is saying, and the author is saying this is the electorate's problem, not Gillard's.

      report
  16. Vasi Stephan

    Mum

    As someone who is disgusted with what happened last night, this article struck a nerve with me and I feel compelled to add my thoughts, in response to it.

    It’s an interesting time, that’s for sure, all sorts of things are coming up for me that I hadn’t considered till now.

    For me, Julia is a fellow human being who has been shown the most horrendous form of human injustice and cruelty, I would stick up for anyone who has been treated in this way in the work place. A movie will be made about…

    Read more
    1. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Vasi Stephan

      Well said Vasi. I think indeed atheism may be a very large elephant in the room. I remember how tiresome it was to watch Rudd talking to the media outside his favoured church. It was code of course. One is expected to be tolerant of these things, but there is a question of having your nose rubbed in it.

      report
    2. Vasi Stephan

      Mum

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Thanks Chris. That was brewing all night last night, couldn't sleep. I'm not a phD like many here and not able to explain myself in a short and sweet manner. It was a sad and shocking event about JG, that's for sure.

      report
    3. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Vasi Stephan

      1 in 3 women living in domestic violence is a statistical fact, it's actually not a statistical fact. With other words you have quite a few abusers in the family

      report
    4. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Vasi Stephan

      "I in 3 Australians living in Domestic Violence is FACT."
      Visa, there is a technical term for this claim. A lie.

      report
    5. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Vasi Stephan

      ‘Like many other women, and men out there; Julia has been judged based on the way she spoke, dressed and carried herself.’
      Funny that, but that is the way people are judged.
      There is a story from the US some years ago. The managing director of an advertising company is in the lift with other high ranking bods when a young man, long hair, bare footed, beads, gets in. After he had left the lift, the MD said/asked: ‘I presume that he is very, very good?’
      There are some, very, very few whose talent…

      Read more
  17. David Thompson

    Marketing Research

    Jennifer Rayner, that was an awfully long-winded way of saying that you think Julia Gillard nothing but a trannie. Perhaps you should send your resume to Howard Satler and Alan Jones?

    report
  18. Riddley Walker

    .

    Yeah, great. It's a pity the Conversation wasn't publishing articles like this when Gillard was ACTUALLY Prime Minister, instead of two years too late.

    report
  19. Leigh Svendsen

    Industrial Officer

    I find this the most offensive claptrap. Why should I or any other women conform to stereotypes forced upon us by others, conservative or progressive, in our managerial, leadership or indeed any other, styles?

    Gillard was our first female prime minister. The fact that some people didn't like her style and others denigrated her simply because she was a woman, and others simply didn't like her policies or all her policies does not change the fact that she was our first female prime minister. And our first PM who was a female. Whatever!

    There is no difference. Anymore than there is a difference between our male PM or PMs who are male! Feeding into this type of gender stereotype is what is so incredibly offensive. And it is the same sexist, misogynistic rubbish that was flung at Gillard during her time as PM.

    Notably and significantly different to the views of her when she remained in her place, behind a man, as Deputy PM!

    report
    1. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Leigh Svendsen

      In Gillard's case her very success was her undoing, not her appearance, manner, sex or life-style. The emphasis on these things was to invoke the latent prejudices of the population something the conservatives are skilled at both here and overseas. It means little in the scheme of things. Gillard won an election in her own right, she had her own legislation passed through parliament (150, just think about that achievement in any gov. let alone a minority one) and she established the areas of Education including tertiary, Climate Change Protection and new hope for people with mental illness and disabilities as her personal legacy to Australia. And brought about good relations with Indonesia, India and China whilst retaining the friendship of the USA and Japan. I call upon the blue tie boys to beat that. These achievements are the true measure of the woman. Bravo Gillard.

      report
    2. David Boxall

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Gillard succeeded where Abbott patently failed. The foam-mouthed frenzy that followed has been a marvel to behold.

      Next up: Penny Wong, PM.

      report
    3. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to David Boxall

      Penny Wong, PM. Absolutely!
      Chris: never have I before seen so much virtual ink wasted upon an attempt to canonise a non saint.
      I rate Gillard a disaster. Being female, how she got the job, who she sleeps with or doesn't, is of no concern to me.
      The voice, The ability to communicate effective, mattered, as it did with Howard.
      Howard's mongrel pup to Bush, mattered, as did Gillard's climbing in a Yank Tank in a Yank helmet, as did her 'allowing' a Yank base in the Top End. As did her uncritical support for Israel, her treatment of refugees.
      I don't give a damn what other people think, never have, don't see colour, or gender unless I am 'interested'.
      Over a lifetime I have been an employer at different times. Can you do the job, and yes, if they were to work where I could hear them, could I stand the voice.
      I would not have given Gillard a job if she had offered to work for nothing.

      report
    4. Chris Saunders

      retired

      In reply to Peter Hindrup

      Hi Peter, I too have been an employer and of course I want competence or if the person is inexperienced but impressive I would go for learn ability. More especially I would want someone who can negotiate. Someone who can talk to the factory hands and the customer and create a synergy. That would be an outstanding skill as far as any employee of mine was concerned especially if she were able to translate that in to getting money out of those tiresome bad debtors who have a limitless number of excuses why they just can’t make the payment today. Why would I worry about the sound of her voice, or how she dressed? I could put my feet up on the desk and be laughing.

      report
    5. Peter Hindrup

      consultant

      In reply to Chris Saunders

      Chris: ‘if the person is inexperienced but impressive I would go for learn ability.’ Agree totally.
      When I hired people to run sections I handed over authority.
      Young woman took over our books, not a full time position. After a couple of days, came up to me. ‘The way you run things! You will have everybody doing this, and this, and ...’.
      ‘Why have you got all these overdue accounts?’
      My too busy to chase them got knocked down with how stupid are you? Too busy to chase money for work done…

      Read more