Poison Deviny
Classic Miranda, 2011: “IF YOU are the Prime Minister you shouldn’t find yourself telling a radio talk show host, “you don’t need to patronise me”. Your dignity and authority should be so established that you are above such petty bickering. But Julia Gillard is a woman and her uncharacteristically angry comment to radio 3AW’s Neil Mitchell on Friday betrayed, just for a moment, the burden of her sex. When a woman says she is being patronised by a man, what she means is that he is treating her politely, but as if she is a lesser person. It is the most subtle form of sexism and the most difficult to combat, since it is usually done unconsciously and without malice. But when it occurs it is an unwelcome mirror of how the world perceives you, no matter what your status.
I know how Neil Mitchell feels about the Prime Minister doesn’t reflect how I feel about her; and the polls often show that she’s preferred Prime Minister over Tony Abbott who the shock jocks treat like a son. As Bob Brown said the sexism directed at the Prime Minister comes from male “commentators” ie. the shock jocks; and their minuscule anti-carbon tax rallies show how fringe and unrepresentative of the majority of Australians they are.