I really will have to get moving on that promised post reviewing Julia Baird’s book Media Tarts: How The Australian Press Frames Female Politicians. Kerry-Anne Walsh writes this about Julia Gillard:
The Victorian MP has been at Mr Latham’s elbow for his roller-coaster 12 months as Labor leader. But the 43-year-old Welsh-born solicitor’s main support base is in the Victorian left – and the more conservative elements within the party say the electorate won’t wear a single female whose claim to personal fame is as the one-time partner of a then-married colleague.
So Julia Gillard is single. So another frontbencher became her partner while his marriage was in disarray. It happens. I don’t think this would be said about a male politician, or not in the same way. The closest comparison I can think of is the jibes at Bob Carr for not having children, which is quite irrelevant to his qualifications and performance in political office.