With the downfall of Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the media has sent itself into a tailspin, poring over the question, “What kind of role did Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, have in the loss of the prime ministership?”
When Julia Gillard was dumped as Prime Minister, her downfall was attributed to a vicious campaign of ‘sexism’, and ‘misogyny’, something to which the former prime minister herself used to attribute failures in government and use as a weapon to attack the opposition. And the media agreed.
Now with Peta Credlin, the female chief of staff of ‘misogynist’ Tony Abbott, the media is painting this story quite differently and attributing Abbott and Credlin’s downfall to something else. Barrie Cassidy, true to form, on the ABC today went to great lengths to explain why Peta Credlin’s failure wasn’t due to sexism. And should we be surprised? Of course not.
A couple of months ago I wrote a piece, Conservative Women in Leadership. I observed that, “for all the leftist jabber about ‘misogyny’, ‘quotas’ and promoting women in leadership, the only thing that progressives hate more than a strong conservative man in leadership is a strong conservative woman.” And yet again, this is confirmed.
When it comes to women on the so called ‘progressive’ side of politics, whether it is Julia Gillard or Hillary Clinton, failures are regularly attributed to ‘sexism’ and ‘misogyny’. But when it comes to women on the other side of politics, whether it is Peta Credlin, Bronwyn Bishop or Margaret Thatcher, sexism is never ever to blame.
And worse, these women invariably end up the targets of the worst kinds of demonisation. When the media, community leaders and commentators were still condemning the supposed ‘sexism’ of Tony Abbott being photographed in front of the infamous ‘ditch the witch’ placard, there was silence when a number of unsavory members of the public actually celebrated the death of Margaret Thatcher when ironically the song, ‘Ding dong the witch is dead’ was actually heard sung from various leftist quarters.
So when is sexism not sexism? When you’re a conservative woman in leadership.