Julie Bishop, the current Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, has just been named Harper’s Bazaar’s “Woman of the Year”.
In an interview with the women’s magazine Ms Bishop reflects on her role as a female leader in a male-dominated cabinet, while sticking by her controversial insistence she is not a feminist.
“Stop whingeing, get on with it and prove them all wrong,” she told the magazine, in a veiled criticism of former prime minister Julia Gillard’s promise to “call out misogyny”.
Ms Bishop tells the magazine: “Please do not let it get to you and do not become a victim, because it’s only a downward spiral once you’ve cast yourself as a victim.”
I suppose Bishop had not bothered to look around the Cabinet, and notice that she is the only one without a penis? One out of seventeen is almost as far away from 50/50 representation as zero out of seventeen. Perhaps if the Cabinet was ‘somewhere near’ 50/50 female/male, you would have a right to your “get on with it” stance, as if institutional misogyny does not exist, and failure for women to rise through the ranks are just ‘personal failings’. But we do not live in that world.
We live in a world where a white male Prime Minister appoints himself “Minister for Women” (so he can ensure no gains are made). We live in a world where that same white male Prime Minister absorbed the folio for Indigenous Affairs into the Prime Minister’s portfolio, presumably again, so no gains can be made. We live in a world where that same white male Prime Minister appoints a Cabinet so devoid of women, as has not been seen in recent history.
Certainly it is personal choice for a woman to become a feminist. Let’s recap:
- Julie Bishop (and all other women) would not be able to vote, if not for feminists
- Julie Bishop (and all other women) would not be able to hold political office, particularly federal office, if not for feminists
- Julie Bishop (and all other women) would not be able to have bank accounts in their own names, nor hold property, if not for feminists
- Julie Bishop (and all other women) would not be able to limit the size of their families (even to nil, as Bishop has chosen) if not for feminists still constantly fighting for contraception and abortion rights
- Julie Bishop (and all other women) would hit the glass ceiling at the typing pool level, if not for feminists
- Julie Bishop* (and all other women) would not be receiving the 70-80% of male wage now, but 10-50% as it was before the 2nd Wave, if not for feminists [* Bishop probably not currently subject even to the higher limit, given the public nature of parliamentary salaries]
So tell me again, Ms Bishop, why you abhor calling yourself “a feminist”, when feminists have paved the way for you to have the life you have? Even if you are the ONLY Token Woman in Abbott’s Cabinet. You would not even have that luxury, if not for feminists.
In the Harper’s interview you said:
“I went into federal politics with the secret hope [of becoming] Foreign Minister. It’s the greatest opportunity I could ever wish for. I am living my dream.”
And that would be in large part, thanks to …?
Clearly, you are as self-serving, self-centred, as the rest of the be-penised Abbott Cabinet, who are guaranteed to be out at the next election (it cannot come fast enough).
It is an utter insult that you get named “Woman of the Year”.
You are (sex) Traitor of the Year.