Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard reflects on her blistering 'misogyny speech' 10 years on
Amusing. Omitted below is that the views she criticized were widely held among Australian men. So her popularity among male voters dropped to only 10%, fatal for the next election. So her own party then booted her out of the PM job
The former Australian Prime Minister - the first and only woman to hold the role - famously delivered a blistering speech on sexism in Australian politics during a session in parliament in October 2012.
The comments sparked a debate that reverberated around the world.
A decade later, the 60-year-old says that she did not realise at the time how significant her words would be.
'Giving the speech, I didn't have any sense of the impact it would have' Gillard tells this week's issue of Stellar Magazine.
'If you'd asked me 30 seconds after I sat down, "How is the press gallery going to report this? How is it going to reverberate?" I would have said, "I don't see that this is going to reverberate in the world." So I didn't have that sense about it.'
Within minutes, Gillard realised the true impact of her rousing words. 'Even by the time I'd walked back to my office from the chamber – which is only a two- or three-minute walk – there were starting to be calls and a reaction beyond Canberra' she tells the publication. 'So I got an early inkling from that, that it was going to have some sort of emotional resonance beyond the confines of Parliament House.'
Gillard believes her speech resonated with women around the world who shared her experiences.
'I think its power has been that there are millions of women – and I feel like I've met millions of them – who have lived through sexist experiences, misogynistic experiences' she said.
Julia served as prime minister from 2010 to 2013. In 2012, she was praised for her strong stance on sexism in government during a heated debate on the parliamentary speaker's text scandal.
Gillard spent 15 minutes attacking leader of the opposition Tony Abbott before the Australian House of Representatives during a debate over a motion to sack the Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper after a series of text messages he sent to his male assistant referring to women in a derogatory way were made public.
She accused Abbott of sexism, addressing the former Liberal prime minister throughout her speech.
Among her comments she said: 'I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. I will nota nd the government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever.
'If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn't need a motion in the House of Representatives. He needs a mirror.'
Gillard was widely praised for her speech, with New Yorker Magazine even suggesting at the time that then-American President Barack Obama could learn a thing or two from Gillard in politics following the heated debate.