Julia Gillard: Australia’s first female Prime Minister reveals the ‘sexism and misogyny’ she faced on her rise to the top

The pornographic cartoons, the calls to “ditch the witch”, the obsession with the size of her behind – after becoming Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard swallowed all this and much more, determined to “tough it out”.

But when the then opposition leader, Tony Abbott, lambasted her for not sacking the parliamentary Speaker, Peter Slipper, over some grossly offensive text messages, the dam burst – and the result was her notorious “misogyny speech”.

As Ms Gillard records in a recently published memoir, she was already fired up as she entered the parliamentary chamber for Question Time. “I do not normally think in swear words, but my mind was shouting, ‘For f***’s sake, after all the s*** I have put up with, now I have to listen to Abbott lecturing me on sexism. For f***’s sake!’”…

And of course, male politicians never get criticized. It’s an occupational hazard. Can’t take the heat, out of the kitchen.

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