Friday, June 14, 2013

Would you ask a male PM the same question?

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, Howard Sattler, a shock jock from WA, comes out and asks the Prime Minister during an on air interview if her partner was gay.
What is worse he based this question on the fact that Tim was a hairdresser; therefore all male hairdressers must be gay. What a ridiculous generalisation!

And he didn’t ask it once but several times during the interview. Gillard handled the interview with class and dignity versus Sattler who was vile and disgusting.  
Sattler has since apologised not because he believes he was disrespectful but because the management of his radio station have asked him to. He defends himself by stating that the PM’s office had agreed to a candid interview. Really Howard I fail to see how this line of questioning has any relevance whatsoever to the current political debate.

What Julia should have done is walked out, I would have.
My question however is when was the last time we asked a male Prime Minister, or in fact Tony Abbott, if their wife was a lesbian or questions relating to their sex lives!  The answer is never.

I fail to understand why it is that men think it is ok to ask women inappropriate questions and the fact that this happens to our Prime Minister what hope do the rest of us have in any industry or position?
I don’t care who you are, you may not agree with the policies or support the Labour Party but you damn well need to respect the chair. She is our Prime Minister and needs to be treated with respect.
There have been a myriad of other attacks on her as well. A restaurant in Brisbane at a Liberal party function had her on the menu as - Julia Gillard Kentucky fried quail, small breasts, huge thighs and a big red box. How utterly disgusting and appalling.

No other politician was on the menu and Mr Abbott believes we need to let this go. It was a joke and never made it out of the kitchen was his response.
Really Mr Abbott, firstly it is disrespectful and highly offensive, secondly how would you feel if we had on the menu a guessing game on the size of your crown jewels, how many men your wife has slept with and oh yes lets ask if your wife has ever had a female lover making her a lesbian.

Add to the above the comments on Gillards clothes, hair style and colour and the shape of her glasses.

I simply fail to see how any of the above has anything to do or have any relevance to running the country.
I am sick and tired of the personal nature of attacks on Gillard, however unfortunately she is not alone. I talk to women groups on a regular basis and many are shocked at my experiences with men in leadership positions, I am not unique in this and now it seems neither is the Prime Minister.

What concerns me is the level of disrespect is not just from the media but also from the National/Liberal party. Where do we go to next?

Without question there needs to equality and respect for women in business at all levels. So now Sattler has been suspended – so what, he will be back on the airways after a period of time, he should be fired.
Women across the nation are offended and frankly should be livid.
Sexism is back on the table.

I know that not all men behave and think in the same way and many of my male colleagues and friends would be as equally appallaed. I have also worked for a number of male business owners who don't see gender as an issue. Sattlers views and questions is not a reflection of all men in Australia.

However, women, regardless of their position, even as the Prime Minister of the country, are clearly not respected or treated equally by many.

1 comment:

  1. I think the interview showed the lack of emotional intelligence of the interviewer. I am still in shock! Who ever we are, we each deserve respect and compassion! What is most irrelevant in all of this is the answer! The questioner himself in this case didn't even want an answer, just the shock value. I think to do that to another person is disgraceful! Where is our general respect? Julia, I think you handled yourself like a true professional. I would not have expected anything less. Politics is one thing, personal ambush is not necessary. And...How do the gay community feel about this? He asked the question more like it was an insult! Sexist and homophobic!