“I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.” Tony Abbott
“While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework.” Tony Abbott Herald-Sun August 06, 2010
“Plainly, I am disappointed that there are not at least two women in the cabinet,” Mr Abbott said.
Two would have been more than enough, according to one senior Liberal, who didn’t want to be named, because that would identify him and he was trying to keep his sexism a secret. “That way there’d be no whining about Julie Bishop being the “token” woman, which, of course, she’s not. She was, like all the front bench, appointed on merit. And now she can add Foreign Affairs to the many other things she’s done.”
In a media conference, Mr Abbott was quick to point out that “there are some very good and talented women knocking on the door of the cabinet and there are lots of good and talented women knocking on the door of the ministry.” When asked why he didn’t let them in, he replied that, generally, it’s enough to call out, “Enter!” and then they come in and serve the morning tea or lunch.
When someone clarified that the question was, in fact, about women actually being part of the cabinet, Mr Abbott assured the media that all decisions were made on merit, not on the basis of people’s sex, religion, race or what school they went to.
“It’s just that we have no women of the calibre of Christopher Pyne, Peter Dutton, Barnaby Joyce, and… ah, whatsisname, the Deputy PM.”
At this point, Mr Abbott got very agitated when he thought somebody said the Deputy PM’s war on trust, but it was cleared up they said the Deputy PM’s Warren Truss, very slowly.
He then went on to point out that the Speaker was a woman – and that this was a first. “Bronwyn Bishop knows Standing Orders backwards, and that’s probably not a bad way for her to apply them. And she’s a very competent little opera singer. We’re thinking of allowing her to perform some of her rulings to the music of ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ just to bring back a little more dignity to the place.”
It was pointed out that the previous speaker, Anna Burke, was a woman, but Abbott said that this was a first for the Liberal Party and that Labor women didn’t count because they probably only got there through some quota system. “We don’t need artificial quotas in the Liberal Party – woman are promoted on their merit.”
When asked if his decision to bunk with the AFP boys reflected a desire not to be around women, the press conference came to an abrupt halt.
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