Who is this fool Tony Abbott,
The arch chauvinist downunder,
Who’s been made toast of, ‘Welsh rabbit,’
Trying to steal la Gillard’s thunder?
Thought he’d shame her but roused her anger.
Which brought her fame instead, world over,
Like another Aussie ranga,
Songwriter, feminist moreover.
Has the man no brain? Does he think
Disproving claims of his misogyny
Is easy, like changing ties from blue to pink,
Or parading his wife and female progeny?
It’s a fortnight since that Question Time on October 10th when Tony Abbott’s tasteless taunts about ‘shame’ over ‘sexism and misogyny’ in supporting Peter Slipper, drove the PM just too far. “The Speech” she made then has been tweeted, emailed and linked throughout the world wide web to millions of women, and to men too, of course. Every time I read of the overwhelming approval of people responding to her I am reminded of another Aussie red head who did so much to change the world for women, Helen Reddy. In fact the “I Am Woman!” song has been reverberating through my head for days now, so that when I came to write about “Misogyny Downunder” the rhythm of Reddy’s lyrics were inevitably beating through my brain! Pictures of her remind me very much of the young Julia Gillard who would have been much inspired by the I Am Woman message of female liberation. So when I tried to just write about misogyny for Miglo I found myself thinking of the women (and men too!) all over the world this is how it came out in first draft!
Women Near and Far Are Calling Julia!
We are women! From near and far
We are calling Julia,
To let you know we’re with you to the end!
We raise you a loud hurrah,
Cos though PM and super-star
You’ve been insulted once too often to pretend.
Who’s this Abbott, the boy wonder,
The misogynist Downunder?
Making light of feminism
Could prove his biggest blunder.
Trying to steal your thunder
Underlined his chauvinism.
He called you liar, tried to frame you,
Tried in many ways to shame you,
But instead roused so much anger
That once he had inflamed you
Women everywhere acclaimed you!
Another mighty Aussie ranga!
We are women, how we’ve grown,
Not always going it alone.
There are men who know what’s fair and right.
But for some it’s still a battle zone
To keep the world their own.
For that they’re ready any time to fight.
In spite of them you have come far,
You’re number one now, Julia!
Thanks to Abbott and Anal Jones,
The whole world knows who you are!
Women and men have hit the phones
Saying,, “Misogynists Downunder, Au revoir!”
There has been much written about the PM’s supposed misuse of the word ‘misogyny’ and Macquarie Dictionary’s updating of the definition to its more complex meaning about general prejudice against women, rather than simple hatred. Most of the focus on that has come from the Opposition and its media supporters who have conveniently forgotten that it was the LOTO himself who raised the term and kicked an own goal. The government has largely moved on from the topic but I see that Menzies House have mentioned it again today with their article titled Tony Abbott You’re a Goose Which is a bit of a misnomer. After all this
talk about sexism and gender wars they could have found a better title, after all he should be a gander. Well a gentleman at least. The writer even thinks that Abbott’s attitude to and ruthless treatment of Julia Gillard, though not technically misogynist, is seen as beyond the pale, and is losing him electoral support. I guess today’s 50-50 Newspoll explains this warning to Tony that he’d better change his ways. He is in danger of becoming as infamous as Sir John Kerr, the arch Labor traitor of 1975, rather than the LNP hero who is supposed to win government for the Coalition in 2013. So, if Menzies House is rattled and questioning Abbott’s leadership, it looks like that speech has helped and not hindered as many predicted.
If Labor gets back because of you and your blind spot for Julia Gillard, Kerr may appear as a saint by comparison. You are so close to being out of time, Tony.