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Tony’s women

Jacqueline Maley writes:

Prime Minister-elect, we’ve been through this! We’ve talked about it time and time again and we thought it was resolved. After you made the quip about the ironing and the housewives of Australia, remember? And those tricky historical abortion comments that kept cropping up and you couldn’t quite explain away? And the time you seemed to imply our unmarried female prime minister was somehow living in sin?

With due respect Jacqueline, and while realising that your topic is intended to be ironic, the attitude which espouses all of Prime Minister-elect Abbott’s attitude come from this from the heart remark:

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’.

Again from Ms Maley:

You pointed out that you are surrounded by powerful women. You brandished your confident, intelligent wife and daughters. You promised us a paid parental leave scheme that – granted – made business blanch with horror, but seemed to show that you did indeed, “get it” when it came to women.

Yet all of these “confident, intelligent” women were given the rider of attractive, hot . . . sex appeal. Which brings us back to Abbott’s original statement that women, in general, do not have the aptitude, ability or interest “to even approach equal representation”.

I should imagine that those who somehow miraculously overcome their burden of the double X chromosome factor, and do have the aptitude and ability are those “door knockers” which Abbott currently is looking forward to – as long as they have ample sex appeal, I should imagine.

Bronwyn Bishop (BB) is, of course, the anomaly being endowed amply with what might be described as matronly dominatrix qualities, plus has the blessing of seniority and a certain upper-class quality; she should do well as Speaker.

BB comes under Abbott’s category of one of those rarest of the species, a woman with both aptitude and ability (although the latter is to be proven – in Opposition she did her best dealing with the lads out the back of the boys’ toilets attitude).

BB we are now told does not believe in Affirmative Action, on a philosophical basis. Or might it be to protect one’s own backside as needed, being one of the only women? BB’s pooh-poohing of Affirmative Action certain decreases the chances of other women entering the field as competition.

Julie Bishop (JB) on the other hand being the serial token woman for no less than three Liberal leaders, and renown for commenting on not very much pertaining to her portfolios, and then when she did made an utter mess of it. JB must then come under Tony Abbott’s category of “sex appeal”. At least it would seem that Abbott thinks so . . .

Apart from The Death Stare, the cat’s claws movement and a penchant for wearing extremely tight fitting and expensive Armani suits, I really do not know what JB’s field of expertise is, remembering that in ’09 she was forced to resign due to perceived incompetence, this coming from her own ranks – in the role of Shadow Treasurer – Hockey took over.

A few months later, Abbott became LOTO and in spite of numerous indications of incompetence such as being hauled up for not less than two reported “please explains” by the Indonesian Ambassador for spouting some Women’s Weekly style nonsense about Abbott’s-turn-back-the-boats, she obviously retained the pleasure of Abbott.

Not once did Abbott do-a-Howard and at least make an apology for this particular Shadow Minister.

As stated by Ms Maley:

To have such a women-poor cabinet is to either say that you deliberately overlook competent women because you are sexist, or to say there are no competent women in your ranks to promote in the first place. If the latter is the case, whose fault is that?

Or as also precisely stated by Annabel Crabb:

(“That’s just how it panned out” is the traditionalists’ defence of organisations that proudly appoint “only on merit” and find, time after time, that an astonishingly high proportion of the really excellent people also have willies).


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  1. Fed up

    That one taken at the first party meeting is much better. Not the original one, but one from another angle makes one wonder. Have to agree with an 82 year old feisty woman, who said to me today. “that Bishop woman, he is in her pants” Not saying that it true, but one con wonder.”

    Not that concerned about so few women in the front bench, One could say it is their own fault, and should start kicking the door down.

    I am more concerned that there are 15 from Howard’s front bench. Stale old men, of the past.

    At least Reith is backing off thinking Bishop the elder, will be a good speaker.

    It is not only Abbott that have problems. it is most of the men in and outside his party.

    Some women are their own worse enemy.

  2. Fed up

    One needs to catch up with Judith Troeth on the Drum. Is scathing of what has occurred.

  3. Marg Darcy

    Actually I have no idea about the intelligence of Tony Abbotts daughters because he never let them say anything, just had them draped over him like clothes horse

  4. billy moir

    the rabbott is uncomfortable with women, as he has often shown. These examples and his comments on women’s physiology connect to the christian doctrine that women who menstruate are ritually unclean and excluded from positions of power. The bishops are beyond that phase and therefore acceptable to the rabbott as ’employees’ he still cannot treat them as equals. He deserves to be challenged but the ABC is emasculated and devaginated, so it looks like only Plibersek is left with any guts.

  5. Carol Taylor

    To be fair, Tony Abbott’s problem is not just with women but with an entire generation of Howard-era ancients. No wonder the few people of ability and especially the females lapsed for want of interest. A few stalwarts including Turnbull remain, but who is there left of any competence? Who was there by way of women who Abbott could promote..no one..because for Tony nothing changes, nothing will change. Abbott is not John Howard who could see danger to his own position by being surrounded by those of less worth – Abbott will forge on regardless knowing that he has his position shored up (at least for the moment) by those of wealth, power and media influence.

  6. Adam Smith

    I’ve observed, over time, some parliamentarians who openly celebrate their (elite) religious beliefs. Anyone can see that when the parliament debates matters concerning women’s rights and so on, these elected people stand out with their published speeches (both Labor & LNP eta al) as they try to dominate the issue like a woman’s personal rights with religious dogma. Most of these people are chained to their religious dogma. Unfortunately, enlightened people, people of science and ongoing research regarding our natural and social world are sometimes required to carry the burden of religious zealotry law making process.

  7. Carol Taylor

    It has been my observation that a majority of formal religions center around property, possessions plus the subjugation of others – “the others” being those not of their belief, their gender or race.

    My ongoing concern about Tony Abbott has been his priestly utterances – not Christian utterances, in fact many of his statements concerning charity and equality are contra to basic Christian beliefs – but priestly – fallen women/virginity/not pure of heart/the less fortunate, it’s *their choice*. Sadly for Australia this somehow entered the psyche of a young Tony Abbott and young Tony never grew to enough maturity to realise that these priestly utterances were of an archaic notion of his religion and that times and societies attitude move on —->>

  8. kayelee1

    Tony’s women

    University of Canberra Assistant Professor of Government Robin Tennant-Wood says she’s not sure how well Mrs Bishop will make the transition from Coalition attack-dog to Speaker.

    “I don’t think she can, to be honest,” Ms Tennant-Wood says.

    “Her record will follow her. She has been very aggressive and she has a history of interjecting. She has a history of being bounced under section 94 of the standing orders and I think that will follow her, I think that will dog her.”


    In the 1980s, working under her married name Julie Gillon, Bishop was deeply involved in some of Slater & Gordon’s biggest asbestos cases.

    Lawyer Peter Gordon told Australian Doctor magazine in 2007: “We had to fight even for the right of dying cancer victims to get a speedy trial. I recall sitting in the WA Supreme Court in an interlocutory hearing for the test cases involving Wittenoom miners Mr Peter Heys and Mr Tim Barrow. CSR was represented by Ms Julie Bishop (then Julie Gillon). (She) was rhetorically asking the court why workers should be entitled to jump court queues just because they were dying.”


    And then we have the lovely Michaelia Cash

  9. Frank Sartore

    Has anyone else noticed how Julie Bishop looks at Tony Abbott as he speaks, hanging in his every word, not taking her adoring eyes from him? Sickening I know, but it seems to me they are more than just political colleagues.

  10. Patricia Ryan

    I have noticed how Bishop watches Abbott like a hawk, however I think it is because she is fearful of what may explode out of his mouth and she is always anticipating tactics to cover up for him.

  11. Mary Ann Davis

    I reckon the adoring look is because that is how she sucks up to the powerful man, gazes adoringly at him! Showing her appreciation for his every utterance! Hideous person, she is. What she did with Steve Bracks was disgusting!

  12. Bill Morris

    Tones doesn’t need any more screechers like Decibels Cash in cabinet, he already has Attack Poodle Pyne and the Stepford Death Stare.

  13. Ricky Pann

    at least we wont have to endure Mortadella in a floro vest 🙂

  14. Mike Wilkinson

    Oh! I think JB’s field of expertise must lie in her “oral” abilities… can’t explain it other than “stress relief” 😉

  15. marcy cannon

    something not right with this woman..wait and see

  16. Fed up

    Could be wishful thinking. Not sure on whose part.

  17. Fed up

    Back in the 1950’s one was judged on whether the attended church. Do not believe that applies today.

    I can remember telling me more that once, as an adolescent, that the closer the business man sat to the altar, the less you could trust him.

  18. richo

    It’s just all dispicable, the Liberal Women generally all seem to be of the same ilk. Maybe Judith Troeth is an exxception but ….

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