Thursday, June 05, 2014

Bewitched & Bedevilled: Women Write the Gillard Years - Review

While I was visiting the library recently, I saw this book on the "new books" stand. I was instantly attracted to it, given that I have a great deal of difficultly understand the public reaction to her time as Prime Minister. The book features a collection of essay from women about Gillard. The book certainly does reinforce Gillard's comment that her gender 'doesn't explain everything, it doesn't explain nothing - it explains some things. And it is for the nation to think in a sophisticated way about those shades of grey.'

Emily Maguire's essay, explores #everydaysexism.  I was challenged by this essay, perhaps more so than I would have been in the past. As a father, I am responsible for how my son views and treats people and responsible for teaching him how he should treat women - so "the standard I  am prepared to walk past matters". And this is why I have been sharing a number of pieces around #yesallwomen, partly as a reminder to myself.

Tanya Plibersek's essay is a great exploration from a member of the ALP about the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years.  It is such a shame that Gillard was not able to lead a united party - she faced a divided party and divided house and inspite of both she was able to pass some ambitious & needed reform.

The book contains transcripts of the former PM's 'Misogyny' speech & the lecture given by Dr Anne Summers - Her Rights at Work (detailing some of the former PM's treatment - which I see as a must read).

Worth noting that - The Hon Clive Palmer MP's comments about Peta Credlin were out of line - and were also condemned by the ALP, and Palmer has apologised for them.

Whether or not you are, or were, a fan of former Prime Minister, the collection is worth reading. It provides a great exploration of attitudes to women in power. I am looking forward to reading Gillard's autobiography which is due out later this year (also on my reading list is Rob Oakeshot's book)

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