Let’s Talk: Why is it so easy to forgive Malcolm Turnbull, but hate Julia Gillard? 649

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When Julia Gillard took over from Kevin Rudd as Australia’s Prime Minister, we were fed the same message day after day: she didn’t earn her leadership. Worse still: she was a woman who didn’t earn her leadership.

Every year she was in office, the Liberal party berated her endlessly for the simple fact that she was in office, suggesting she had never gotten the position through legitimate means.

Much of the Australian population, unable to escape this message, ultimately came to accept it. Then came the second Labor party spill, creating the perception of instability that ultimately cost them the election.

These power plays were unforgivable in 2013. Now, it seems, it’s perfectly acceptable. It’s “just politics”.

No matter what your political leanings (and the Starts at 60 community is a proudly diverse bunch in terms of beliefs and values), it’s safe to say we’re all very tired of seeing a mistake criticised one year, then hypocritically repeated the next.

But we can’t help but feel history will still be harsh on Gillard; that the forgiveness we have already seemingly afforded Turnbull will never be granted to the woman who set that precedent. And the reason is far more uncomfortable than we may be willing to admit.

Writing for The Daily Life, Ruby Hamad makes the worrying observation that “when a man does it, well, that’s just politics. When a woman does it, it is unbecoming and sooner or later, she will be punished”.

Perhaps Parliament House, like so many other male-dominated Australian workplaces, simply isn’t a place where ambition is accepted as ladylike.

Do you agree? Will Australia continue to be harsh on Gillard for something they so willingly accepted from Turnbull? And do outdated gender ideas truly continue to cloud the country’s judgement?

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The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. What a lot of rot no one said he is forgiven and rudde was abetter person than abbot

    2 REPLY
    • Oh please, Rudd was a nasty little twerp. Do some research into his antics. I do not think Abbott would be criticised by anyone who really knew him.

      1 REPLY
      • Lynn. Tony Abbott was a strong leader, He is admired for his resilience in the face of criticism.
        If it wasn’t for the fact that he could stare into a TV camera surrounded by alternative reality & lie & lie & lie, he would still be in office.
        This is the modern ethos of the once level headed conservative Liberal party that has completely lost it’s way.

        “”I will fight to my last breath for corporate profits over the good of the people, for I am a Liberal, goddamnit, and that’s what we do.” Christopher Pyne

        It would a sorry day for this country if that’s all that matters to “Liberals”

    • you must be weathey if you like tony and Jo they robed the poor poor to give to the rich I am a pensioner worked hard all my life I don’t think I should be robed in my old age

  2. Yes, I do agree. She was vilified and still is. Malcolm Turnbull will never be treated like that.

    2 REPLY
    • Maybe, but have you ever heard other ministers saying to A Prime Minister that their father would be ashamed of them. No! And have derogatory comments about her on their restaurant menu. No. She was the target of some terrible agendas by the opposition.

  3. Because people liked Rudd. Abbott was disliked by so many.

    10 REPLY
    • PEOPLE DISLIKED HIS BLOODY ARROGANCE, To be PM is to represent all Australians however TONY ABBOTT HAD HIS OWN AGENDA and did things without the approval of the PEOPLE OR THE PARTY.

    • Huh !!! So funny , and big red didn’t . She looked like a peacock strutting around parliament not having a dam clue what she was doing , and then there’s the after interview , where she admitted she didn’t realise how much debt they put us in !! Really ?? Are you kidding me ???

    • Carolyn Brown I think you really need to do some proper research, then you’ll find out that ABBOTT AND HIS CRONIES HAVE INCREASED THE DEFICIT, and by the way I have always voted for policies regardless of which party, but we all know there’re PROMISES MEAN ABSOLUTELY BLOODY NOTHING. And that is because they are all the same IDIOTS.

  4. It was because of the way she did ! No-way was it about gender! That’s just what the feminists what you to think.

    2 REPLY
    • Don’t take it personally Avis it’s just a point of view.

      1 REPLY
      • Don’t tell someone to not take something personally when you personally attack a whole group of people.
        Your ‘point of view’ sounds like bigotry to me.

  5. Remember how she did it behind his back. I’m relying on my not so hot memory but I’m sure he was out of the country at the time she did it.
    At least abbott was told and the party actually voted him out.

    6 REPLY
    • Makes no difference Monica as it was still done behind Abbott’s back before they told him. Mind you I’m as happy as a pig in mud that Abbott’s gone but I do agree it’s gender based and that’s why Julia was not liked

    • Lets not forget that Tony Abbott had already taken the leadership from Malcolm Turnbull. Now he has taken it back.

    • Monica you do need a little help with facts. Julia did NOT just take the leadership. She, as anyone else had to challenge and be accepted by the party. She challenged at the behest of senior labor members in cabinet. Being a female PM was something that people couldn’t handle .

    • bill shorten and his union buddies told Julia the job is yours…then they didnt like that she could actually think and act like a PM…she was a good boss and a good woman and now she is looking after her Mum…

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