Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Anne Summers in conversation with Julia Gillard

I’m not sure what I expected when I leapt online and grabbed a couple of tickets to this talkfest.

Who am I kidding? I know exactly what I hoped for. Spilling the beans on Kev. That’s what I dearly wanted. A bit of behind the scenes gossip.

And did we get that? Nope.

Was I disappointed? Just a little.

I guess the other thing I wanted was to see Gillard close up. To get a glimpse of the “real Julia” that I suspected was there during her steely leadership. That was something we got in spades.

Julia Gillard was warm, strong and amusing. But a bit evasive. The answers were short and pithy, skating on the surface.

Questions of her stance on asylum seekers, marriage equality and single parents were all answered with a smile. I sifted through her responses for any depth or a glimmer of something that would leave me feeling reconciled.

I really wanted to hear about some dark night of the soul, wrestling with her conscience on these issues.

But there was none.

What there was, by the bucket-load in Melbourne, was a room full of love. Staunch ALP love (I’d almost forgotten that the party stalwarts would of course be there in droves) and also deep female solidarity.

As much as I hoped for some goss and blood about the egotistical little man that toppled her, in some way our attendance was also a much needed thank you.

Thank you Julia for putting up with so much shit, just because you have a cunt not a cock between your legs.

Thank you Julia for demonstrating that a female leader can rule with both steel and grace.

Thank you Julia for publicly acknowledging that you choose not to be bitter, that you’re getting on with your life and seeing the bright side.

I still mightn’t support many of your policies or those of your party but sneakingly admire that you still defend them, instead of doing a hasty U-turn in the hope of garnering popularity.

I attended last night’s event because I’m a feminist. It felt good to be in a room with so many other feminists. Like our first female PM, I look forward to the day when gender and equality are no longer an issue in Australia. But for now it is, even more so with a new government that has Abbott as the self-appointed Minister for Women and Julie Bishop as the only cock-less member of the cabinet.

We’ve come a long way baby…but just not far enough.

Update 8.10.13: I've been ruminating on Gillard's response to the marriage equality question, relating her stance to her socio-generational roots. As a contemporary, I totally get the whole notion of 'we thought they'd be a whole new structure for relationships' philosophy but that's not what got stuck in my craw. Why now does she pull the personal ideology card over this policy, when she conveniently disregarded it over others. For example, as an atheist why increase the funding for the school chaplaincy program? Surely, she also thought that religion like marriage would loose relevance in an evolved society? The only reason I can come up with for her pick and mix approach to aligning personal belief with policies is that of vote buying. Why else would she pander to conservatives and christians on these issues?

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Blogger Carla said...

She's a party man through and through. And for me that makes her proper Labor.... It was never going to be an easy road... and for her faults and my disgust and some of her policies... she also, incredibly, made real change.

9:25 am  
Anonymous Helen said...

Thanks for this Gill. I've been arguing on Twitter with some feminists(!) who are all hyperventilating about the whole self aggrandisement of it all; ffs, as if women got even a 50% share of the 'aggrandisement' in the media. Yes, unseemly for women to be so visible and out and proud!

9:35 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Carla so true. Let's hope the good policies like NDIS serve as a legacy (without the new boys fcking it up).

10:22 am  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Helen so glad I missed the shit fight on Twitter. The NB said to me afterwards "Would you have clapped Margaret Thatcher too" and I replied, as much as I detested everything that woman stood for I would have celebrated the fact she was the first PM of the UK.

As for aggrandisement, she kept silent for all those weeks, til after the election. For the good of the party. No one was muzzling her. And she donated her time to the Anne Summers Report, the revenue raised from ticket sales means Summers can pay her contributors for at least the next couple of editions. Because JG believes in the ASR.

10:26 am  
Blogger Melba said...

Also she is working on her autobiography/memoir so will be holding stuff back for that, you can bet your boots. My mum went last night too, haven't heard of her impressions yet. Have taped the Sydney interview, will watch later in the week.

2:58 pm  

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