Women near and far are calling Julia!

Julia Gillard’s speech is first example of the digital age where an expression of passion from a politician was rewarded with numbers that a free press can’t compete with. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Australian

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 Alan Jones,
The whole world knows who you are!
Women and men have hit the phones
Saying,, “Misogynists Downunder, Au revoir!”


I can’t improve on the assessment of George Megalogenis, writing in this Weekend Australian If you haven’t already, read his article for yourself which begins….

THE power of that speech, a week and half after its delivery, is in its repetition.
Julia Gillard’s dressing-down of Tony Abbott has already been watched more than two million times on YouTube. On present trends, the figure will cross three million before the parliament rises for the summer break.

All I can do is talk a bit about my own response to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s powerful extempore speech in Question Time almost a fortnight ago, October 10th, 2012, when Tony Abbott’s taunts drove her just too far. “The Speech” 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!

There has been a lot of nonsense talked about the Prime Minister’s alleged mis-use of that word ‘misogyny’ with Senator Fiona Nash of the LNP suggesting a conspiracy or worse when Sue Butler of Macquarie Dictionary conceded it was their oversight not to have earlier acknowledged the much broader meaning of the word beyond “hatred of women” to include the universally accepted meaning of “entrenched prejudice against women” and that Julia Gillard’s speech had no validity at all since she had misused that word. It could not possibly apply to Tony Abbott, a happily married man with three beloved daughters! Other leading Coalition figures like Barnaby Joyce rushed to display their erudition about dictionary definitions which it seems were certainly not Greek to him!

The Coalition’s rush to sneer and jeer about the PM’s misuse of that word in attacking their beloved leader was all rather irrational, I thought, since it was Abbott himself who first used the term ‘misogynist’ to describe Peter Slipper and so gave the PM the opportunity to turn it back on himself. To say nothing of his use of the “dying of shame” phrase with which he had clearly hoped to taunt her into some sort of verbal explosion or emotional crack-up. He should surely know her well enough by now to have avoided the verbal explosion which has reverberated around the world to his discredit and to her massive advancement? He deserved every word of it, not just because of the undeniable facts of his behaviour and character which she had at her fingertips, but because of his lack of political know-how, finesse and simple human decency.

Yes, Tony Abbott was using the word ‘misogyny’ correctly, meaning sexism, if not accurately, about Peter Slipper’s lewd text messaging. The Oxford English Dictionary has long been defining it as “hatred or dislike or prejudice against women” and gives examples dating back to the 19th century. It has certainly been in common currency since another famously strong Aussie became known as a champion of women in the seventes and wrote in her landmark book The Female Eunuch that “women have very little idea of how much men hate them”. Has anyone heard a peep from Germaine about “The Speech’, by the way?

Judging by the latest Nielsen poll and media commentary in The Age Julia Gillard’s speaking out has only done her good. I hope that Tony Abbott is still feeling the sharp edge of her tongue!

POST SCRIPT 21/11/12, I came across this comment by Katie on Wendy Harmer’s Hoopla blogsite which says it all for me about the reluctance of men in both political parties and the Canberra Press Gallery still to acknowledge the issue of misogyny in Australia.

I find it interesting that this general call for a moratorium on something or other – personal nastiness? – has occurred following PM Gillard’s world-class anti-misogyny speech that demolished serial offenders Abbott. and his Co and lifted Gillard’s ratings and those of the Govt to record levels.

The press gallery and most men could not cope with this speech. Now they all seem to be trying to gloss over it by calling time on “personal attacks” without referring to the main issue – dreadful misogyny by and on behalf of the Opposition that the PM dealt with brilliantly. However, nobody – Govt or Opposition – really wants to fully acknowledge that she did this, or why it was necessary.

Wendy was impressed by that comment too and has today written about how Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech still has not received the recognition here it has internationally but has simply been included in broad generalisations about the unpleasant nature of our political dialogue. Abbott began it but pollies of both parties have called for an end to the current general nastiness of exchanges in Parliament. As if Julia Gillard’s powerful oratory was of the same order as his own daily slurs and sexist innuendos! Today’s article in THE HOOPLA shows how Julia Gillard’s justifiable reaction against years of sexist abuse has been lumped in with a general call for “an end to smear and innuendo…” and diminished by some males to the level of nagging by women about their ‘imagined’ mistreatment.

I posted this pome there along with lots of other lively comments, and had two nice responses which I’ve saved below. I can see I have a lot to learn about spreading my point of view once it’s been expressed in verse!


Truth Seeker, 19/10/12 Patricia, another fine poem. cheers.

Nasking, 19/10/12, Top poem.

Ad Astra,
19/10/12, Patriciawa, Thank you for yet another great pome, so poignant, particularly the sad end of this verse:
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.

The last three lines give the reason we have the curse of the Abbott man still upon us.

Nasking, 19/10/12, Spot on Ad…I find inspiration in this stanza from Patricia’s emotive poem.

Gravel, 19/10/12, Patriciawa, Truth Seeker and others, thanks for your pome’s they were great.

Talk Turkey, 20/10/12, But Patricia I especially love the title of your song Women near and far are calling Julia! which of course is pronounced Joo-Lee-ARRRRR even like a pirate if you like!

And Ad I don’t see too much sadness in those Patrician lines you quote, more determination and optimism. Well yeah it’s sad that there are Abbortts but aren’t we glad we got the remedy, and the biggest part of the remedy for misogynism is the Women themselves.

23/10/13, Patricia, sorry spelt it wrong first time, oh and the last I heard, the ABC video of Julia doing her thing had over 2million hits, that is not including other youtube things of it.

Patriciawa, 23/10//12, Gravel, don’t worry about the odd spelling mistake or typo. It’s great to hear from you! As you can see I value your comments whether here or at TPS. I save them all! One day in my dotage I will be reading over them and perhaps remembering these unexpected glory days of my new career in retirement at https://polliepomes.wordpress.com

2gravel 23//10/12, Patrica, as I said on TPS, great pome, and I’m still green with envy that you got to hug that wonderful woman.

JoanneH, 21/11/12, Patriciawa, you have excelled yourself. I would love to see that being used in next years election campaign.

Lindy, 21/11/12, I love your poem Patriciawa it has inspired me all over again. I and many “oldies” who watch question time saw the behaviour of Mr.Abbott, Mr. Pyne and Ms Bishop as they hurled abuse and bullied the Prime Minister during their incessant suspension motions, these were an excuse to bully and try to intimaidate and when the Prime Minister made her speech I like many cheered and cheered. suck it up men because we won’t be any more.


About patriciawa

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