Politicians got lipstick on the collar; the whole media started to holler. But I don’t give a fuck who they screwing in private; I wanna know who they screwing in public. Robbin’, cheatin’, stealin’, white collar criminal
Michael Franti, ‘Oh My God’
This week PM Julia Gillard gave a speech that echoed around the world. Finally the leader of this country stood up to the weak little man who has been cat-calling her and makes jokes about her deceased relatives. Tony Abbott listened to that speech with a smug smile on his face. Meanwhile the Australian media tried to pretend the speech never happened.
By the end of the week, prominent Liberal women had fronted every national media they could find to tell their own story. Tony Abbott was not a misogynist, Tony Abbott was actually a feminist, Tony Abbott loves and respects women – they said, and kept saying.
And then at a CFMEU dinner a comedian made a joke about Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin. This joke is apparently too defamatory to be repeated in the media. However, because it was a union dinner, the LNP propaganda washing machine has put that joke through the spin cycle and suddenly it is transformed into an example of Julia Gillard’s misogyny and Labor party anti-feminism. The Australian media is only too happy to repeat these ridiculous claims.
Does listening to and subsequently objecting to a “joke” make someone a misogynist? The Liberal party seems to think so.
Aside from the false equivalence, that one joke somehow cancels out a lifetime of Tony Abbott’s wall-punchy, abuse, vile sexist comments, from the time he was a student right through to leader of the Opposition.
But isn’t is a bit hypocritical for Tony Abbott or anyone associated with him to start squawking about the need to respect his privacy and his family. It was less than a week ago that Tony dragged his wife before the national newspapers and media to tell the world how much of a feminist Tony actually was.
The media have been trying to bring down the democratically elected government since the day after the election, and now they will be using PM Gillard’s and ALP non-existent sexism to do it.
The media want you to be so outraged about a joke you’re not allowed to know, so that you will clamour for an “election now!”. It is a distraction. The media want you to be outraged at this joke, so that you won’t notice Tony Abbott’s lifetime of misogyny.
But in the end, does it matter who a politician is “screwing in private”? If a politician wants to drag their wife and children before the media to demonstrate their family values, then have affairs, that might make them an appalling husband… and probably also, untrustworthy, hypocritical, unable to keep a promise or commitment, selfish, a person who doesn’t care who he hurts as long as he is having a good time, self-centred, a liar and a cheat… but let’s not use that as a reason to over-look all the many, many ways that a woman-hating politician could screw over every woman and girl in this country if that man was to ever… who knows… become Prime Minister.
It is time the media in this country stopped obsessing about the private lives of politicians, and started to give us facts, policy and truth. Stop telling us who they are sleeping with, not sleeping with, or allegedly not sleeping with, and tell us what they will do for our future, our economy, our environment, and our country.
Oh, and if an any doubt over who is the real misogynist in Federal parliament – the Prime Minister or the Opposition Leader, here is that video one more time