What Tony said and what I heard

From last night’s leaders’ debate:

What Tony Abbott said: “My wife, Margie, and I know what it’s like to raise a family…”

What I heard: “Unlike that childless woman who couldn’t possibly understand.”

What Tony Abbott said: “And just to take one issue that I intend to drive now and in the future, let’s take paid parental leave. This is not just a visionary social reform but it is an important economic reform too. It will not only give women the real choice that they need and have been denied for too long. It will give families struggling to pay the mortgage the money that they need at a time when they are most vulnerable and in the long run, it will be of great help to Australian businesses.”

What I heard: “It’s all about helping business.”

Also, since when has Abbott been committed to giving women real choice?

What Tony Abbott said: “…Whether Prime Ministers are to be chosen on the basis of the job they’ve done, or gender.”

What I heard: “Vote me for: I’m a man!”

Also, “Silly wiminz, feeling pleased because at long last, a woman is in the top seat. They shouldn’t bother their pretty little heads with important menz business.”

Also, also, carefully ignoring that we’ve chosen Prime Ministers based on gender in every single election since Federation in any case.

I think Abbott does have a problem with women.

Update: Other people who heard the whistling too: Mark at Larvatus Prodeo – Gillard’s attack on Abbott’s great big new tax, and his gender fail, and Pavlov’s Cat at Still Life with Cat: Yeah see if they win it’ll only be because she is a GURL so nyerdy nyer

Update: Annabel Crabb on girlpower at The Drum: Girl power driving the Libs batty. Shorter Annabel Crabb – suck it up, Tony.

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7 responses to “What Tony said and what I heard

  1. Been watching ABC News 24 this morning. Gillard was asked at her press conference why her partner wasn’t with her, and Abbott had his wife with him in Brisbane talking about childcare and families, which is his theme for the day.

    Heightening the dog whistle.

  2. Maybe JG didn’t have her partner with her because he’s not running for election? I don’t understand why this is such a radical idea for some people to get their heads around.

  3. What I’m hearing Tony and Julia saying:

    “You know something, we don’t think this election matters more than the Master Chef final either.”

    Sorry, but I’ve heard of the small target campaign strategy, but on the basis of that excremental election debate I think Gillard and Abbot are trying on something else entirely: Don’t say anything meaningful at all, and pray nobody notices until it’s too late.

  4. Yes, loved this post too.

  5. Or maybe, just maybe, she’s representing those people who aren’t “families” or who are but don’t care whether or not a politician is married with children. Besides, what would Abbott know about raising his kids? I doubt he was a big part of their childhood, given the demands of a life in politics.

  6. i remember rt hon helen clark being asked just this question during the 2005 campaign, at waikato uni. her response: “because my husband lets me go places without him, he knows i can look after myself” or some such. she must have put it a lot better than that, cos she got the biggest cheer ever for that bit, and she was getting a pretty positive response the whole time.