Bitchy…

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.

About Mark Bahnisch

Mark Bahnisch is a sociologist and is the founder of this blog. He has an undergraduate degree in history and politics from UQ, and postgraduate qualifications in sociology, industrial relations and political economy from Griffith and QUT. He has recently been awarded his PhD through the Humanities Program at QUT. Mark's full bio is on this page.
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Geoff  Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

Do you really believe that there would be no problem for an unmarried (and never been) 43 year old male politician aspiring to leadership of the ALP? I wouldn’t be quite so sanguine……

Bob Carr is notorious for not driving, not drinking, not eating pies and for reading books (other than ghosted sports bios) voluntarily – but he is married.

Evil Pundit
2022 years ago

Oh come on. We righties have been poking fun at Mark Latham’s testicular deficiency for ages.

Women pollies are so precious. They think everything is about their damn gender. It isn’t — it’s about their policies, and their not being such milksops that they whinge about sexism every time something goes wrong for them.

What happened to the Margaret Thatchers and Golda Meirs of the world? Why are female pollies so damn self-centred and wussy these days?

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“Oh come on. We righties have been poking fun at Mark Latham’s testicular deficiency for ages.”

Yeah. RWDB’s have shown more public fascination with Latham’s scrotum than I might have thought healthy.

I doubt very much that Julia Gillard would ever ask for – or expect – positive discrimination based on gender. But given the over-abundance of dickheads hanging around assessing the intrinsic worth of an individual based on the number of testicles he or she doesn’t possess, she probably wouldn’t be surprised to receive the reverse………………………..

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“Do you really believe that there would be no problem for an unmarried (and never been) 43 year old male politician aspiring to leadership of the ALP? I wouldn’t be quite so sanguine……”

No. But I doubt that it’s a big factor in the reason why the Labor politicians said to be concerned are opposing her. It’s just a gratuitous shot, at this point in time, I think.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

I have problems with any single person being leader.

She was rsponsible for Medicare Gold. This was seen a latter day Whitlamism. In actual fact I was surprised to find it wasn’t. most people got it wrong when they thought it was costly.
Treasury actually was quite contraversial in its costing of the policy.
The major political problem was we didn’t hear the best arguments for the policy utbil after the election.

She is damned good in parliament.

Mark why are you so coy about Craig Emerson? It wasn’t a secret.

Mark Bahnisch
2022 years ago

“Mark why are you so coy about Craig Emerson? It wasn’t a secret.”

Actually, I thought it was interesting that the article didn’t name him – protecting his privacy while Julia’s private life is a matter of public interest?

“I have problems with any single person being leader.”

Why, Homer?

“The major political problem was we didn’t hear the best arguments for the policy utbil after the election.”

Yep, and Latho had most responsibility for selling the policy!

yellowvinyl
2022 years ago

right, I guess my chances of getting married to Julia are shot then :(

Vee
Vee
2022 years ago

You’d think any single political personage didn’t have parents?

That is a family too.

So what they don’t have a partner and/or kids?

Do you think they don’t have family values just because they’re single?

Nic White
2022 years ago

Not to mention this sounding a bit like Clinton all over again.

Its their personal life, frankly who the fuck cares?

blank
blank
2022 years ago

“So what they don’t have a partner and/or kids?

Do you think they don’t have family values just because they’re single?”

Sure, Vee. That’s why nobody makes snide remarks about the ‘partner-free’ pope and the childless hierarchy of the catholic church.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

A person with a family at leat understands what reponsibility means and has some idea of what it entails.

Gilly should have explained the details better in the campaign not after it. Moreover she lacks experience at the stage.

No-one from the leftwing will ever lead the ALP as they don’t have the numbers. the only thing they can do is choose between competing rightwingers.
This is how it has been and how it wil always be.
Gilly needs to tranfer to the rightwing faction.
It has been known to happen in the past.

Geoff Honnor
Geoff Honnor
2022 years ago

“A person with a family at leat understands what reponsibility means and has some idea of what it entails.”

In theory, yes, but we all know examples of “family people” where this doesn’t apply. Having a family is absolutely no guarantee of possessing the responsibility uou refer to. Equally, it’s perfectly possible to understand “what responsibility means” without being a parent. And given that virtually all of us are ultimately part of a family or families, we all possess some idea of what it entails.

The issue about public perceptions of whether or not politicians are married has nothing much to do with their perceived “responsibility” quotient. It’s much more about the normative expectation that being married offers: i.e we expect people in their 40’s to be married and if they’re not it’s not “normal.” It thus becomes harder for an unmarried pollie to cut through.

Polly
Polly
2022 years ago

“A person with a family at leat understands what reponsibility means and has some idea of what it entails.”

Homer – that is a load of codswallop. Responsibility is not the sole province of those who are married and/or have kids and they certainly do not ensure responsibility either.

Homer Paxton
Homer Paxton
2022 years ago

Polly read carefully, I didn’t say that.

Just to contradict myself the best PM Asutralia has had was Bob Hawke.
He was a selfish, self centred person who paid little heed to his faily responsibilities.

He was blessed with a very good cabinet.

On the other hand howard had a poor cabinet yet has performed capably.

Sydneysider
Sydneysider
2022 years ago

Well, as a past non-aligned conservative rightie who is now a committed leftie due to lots of things not to mention being retrenched by an Indian outsourcing firm, I am a bit disappointed that Gilly has been snaffled by some sad front bencher. I had hopes myself. Heaven knows how you ask a pollie out on a date! Think of the gatekeepers! I think she is a really good sort. I hope the new squeeze screws up and she becomes available again. I’d commute just to have a chance.

tzlaki
tzlaki
2022 years ago

hey homer paxton! how’s ‘Iron Mark Latham’ doing nowadays? LOL!