Thanks Julia Gillard… for being a Julia

…and not a Kevin, Tony, John, Bob or a Barnaby

591356-julia-gillardThis is not a politically motivated post. It’s not about the leadership spill in which Kevin Rudd deposed Julia Gillard. It’s not about Liberal or Labor beliefs and not concerned with stopping boats or building broadband. No, this is a post by a Dad with two little girls who would like to say thanks for showing them that they really can, if they want to, be the Prime Minister.

Jools came became Prime Minister not long after Illiterate Infant 1 was born amid a flurry of controversy and excitement. I remember watching the tele-cast, still home on leave after the birth and knowing that this was something special.

It shouldn’t have been special. It shouldn’t be special that a woman can get to the number one position of political power in Australia, just like it shouldn’t be special that a woman is CEO of one of our largest banks, or the Queen is represented in Australia by a female (who Kev had to ask nicely to have his job back), but it is.

I’d also like to apologise, on behalf of all the people in this world who don’t think your gender is intrinsically linked to the quality of your political performance, for the horribly sexist, personal and gender-based hatred you’ve copped from both sides of the political and gender divide.

Don’t get me wrong, Jools made some dumb choices as Prime Minister and in the end, gave her colleagues little choice but to sack her however, I suspect that it was more than just her performance as a politician that led to the position she found herself in on the 27th of June, 2013.

I believe history will treat our former Prime Minister much more kindly than she has been treated to date. Anyone who has tried to get a whole lot of people to agree to something would have to acknowledge that she managed to get a whole lot of stuff done under very difficult circumstances. Only time will tell if they were agreeing to do the right things.

What I hope is that my daughters learn from her example. That they learn they can do anything they put their minds to and that their lack of external genitalia does not define the outcomes they can aspire to. Thanks Jools for putting a chink in a glass ceiling that will hopefully be nearly cracked by the time my girls reach it.

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Sharing with Grace over at for #FYBF

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25 Responses to Thanks Julia Gillard… for being a Julia

  1. leowfactor says:

    Thank you for writing this post! The gender-based prejudice which our Prime Minister was subjected to is just a small taste of what many women still have to deal with every day in all areas of life. It restores some of my faith in humanity to know that there are men like you out there who want their daughters to have strong, empowered, self-respecting female role models. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say that I was having an awful night before I read this. Thank you again.

  2. Lydia C. Lee says:

    As I said on Grace’s, I think Australians ought to be ashamed of how disrespectfully she was treated PURELY because she was female. And even women agreed with it??!! We are so far behind the world on sexism, it is embarrassing. Like her policies or not, attack the policies not the hair colour.

  3. Zanni Louise says:

    Hear hear. I respected her – as a person, as a woman and as a politician. It’s a shame there is so much theatre around politics in the country, and the media have such little disrespect.

  4. One of My Own says:

    Well spoken (or written to be exact). The disrespect we show our leaders is truly appalling.

  5. New Zealand’s first woman Prime Minister, who was actually voted in by the people, copped a lot of flak. In my journo days I interviewed her a few times and have the utmost respect for any woman who puts their hand up to lead in a male-dominated industry.

  6. Alicia says:

    They way Julia was being treated towards the end, was reminding me of the Mary Mackillop was treated by the hierarchy in the vatican in the 19th century, not very bloody well. It is a shame in the 21st century a woman had to deal with such disrespect in her profession.

  7. As the soon to be mother of two daughters, and the one voted most likely to become the first female PM when I was in year 12, I gotta agree with your sentiments Kev. Despite all the crap she was given I do like the fact that my girls will grow up in a world where a woman can and has been the PM.

  8. AMEN to that. Mind you, I think my little miss would look at me and say that just because it hasn’t been done, just means SHE hasn’t been bothered yet.
    I hope this stigma changes from here. Because hope is needed.
    Thanks Kevin! 😀

  9. Lisa says:

    *nodding my head madly* – yes, yes and yes. Thank you for this article. It’s nice to see something positive written about Ms. Gillard at last.

  10. Well said, espeically as a Dad who wants his daughters to be able to do anything they want to do – and wasn’t she so dignified and gracious in going and in saying that it would be easier for the women who come after her, and it will be. This is a wonderful legacy to leave.

  11. Mumabulous says:

    There’s much to be said about the current ALP debacle but it is being said elsewhere. Meanwhile Kev, I think your little girls are going to grow up just fine partly thanks to your fantastic attitude.

  12. Well I’ve got three girls, and whilst I agree that they can be anything, and that there should be nothing extraordinary about a female PM, I will not use JG as an example. A woman can lead absolutely, but the way she obtained the leadership was not ok. She was divisive and deceptive, which unfortunately is another gender stereotype for women, but not a good one.
    What I will tell me girls, is that character is more important than power. Purpose is more important than personal agenda, and that just because you can do something, does not mean that you should.

  13. Well said, Kevin. She has shattered the glass. We weren’t quite ready. Let’s hope our daughters get a fairer go.

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  15. No, she was not perfect (who is) but she has put in place a number of wonderful things. Her passion for education and care for those with a disability stand out for me.

    We live in a country where the media have a tendency to play the (wo)man and not the ball. I don’t place the blame for her treatment on her colleagues, or society alone, but the reporting outlets that did their jobs unprofessionally, setting a tone that others think is okay to perpetuate.

  16. mamagrace71 says:

    Great post, Kev! Despite what you think of her, she was treated appallingly by the media and the public. I just hope that despite it all, we’ll treat the next female Prime Minister, or our first indigenous PM with a lot more respect

  17. Lani says:

    Our first female PM and I hope she will be remembered kindly. And not for the way she first came to power (what WAS she thinking, and taking on K Rudd of all people??)

    Australian politics is a sad state of affairs, it is embarrassing how coarse and childish they (almost) all behave. If my girls aspire to politics, I’ll be teaching them to treat all people with dignity and respect, and gender won’t be a factor at all.

  18. Kim says:

    Awesome post Kev. The one part that gives me hope for my girls is that a female has now been PM, and the other part is that there are dads like you raising girls.

  19. Sue says:

    My 9 year old granddaughter fully believes that she will be able to anything at all in life and Prime Minister is on the long list – the 5 year old declares she will be Queen. Joking aside I was so proud to have a female Prime Minister, and so proud of her dignity in the face of such crass behaviour and in final defeat. Our young girls have so much to learn from her – the chink in the glass ceiling leads to the stars for your young girls, and Julia started it.

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