Yes, I’m a man, and I vote, and somewhere around 49% of the over 18 year old population shares those characteristics, so why would the Prime Minister set out to regularly antagonise us?
Picking on niche constituencies like billionaires, or dole bludgers, might be smart, but picking on a minority constituency so large it is almost a majority, is not.
It’s in fact worse than that, because to the male constituency you can add a significant portion of the female one who hold a more traditional view of the roles of the sexes than the PM.
Someone suggested to me that Julia Gillard does not live in the same universe as the rest of us, and it’s true. When the Twitterverse went ballistic over her “mysogyny speech” Gillard mistook it for reality. She’s been living in that ‘verse for so long, and become so divorced from reality, that now when you meet a man in the street in the real world there is an 80% chance he is not voting Labor.
At the time of that first misogyny speech I predicted it would “all end in tears“, but for a while her position seemed to be holding up.
I think that was because at that stage she was pretty much down to bedrock, and it took some time for men to hear and digest the speech, much less react.
At the time I interpreted that speech as being the result of stress. Labor was in a badly losing position, the PM was on the wrong end of investigations into union corruption where she had at the very least breached her duty as a lawyer, and Kevin Rudd was, as always, trailing his coat.
When we’re under stress we tend to revert to type and what we know best. And what Julia knows best is what she learned in the 70s at uni in her student union days.
Reverting to type is what all we baby boomer men did as well. We’ve had the “heads you lose, tails I win” arguments with feminists, some of whom we’ve partnered with, and we’ve got used to being a bit passive aggressive in our response and just shrugging our shoulders and ignoring it.
It’s a fact of life, born of biology, that most men rarely insist on winning an argument with a woman.
And anyway what’s to be gained by risking the verballing and the abuse when it’s a woman like this one?
So there’s been a slow build-up from men to the claims of misogyny, but now I think it’s got to the point where we’ve had enough, where even some of the sisterhood think it’s gone far enough.
Where those of us who really do believe in equality don’t want our daughters, or other young women who are significant to us, growing-up and thinking that this sort of calculated bullying using relative physical weakness, distortions and paranoid conspiracy theories as weapons is a model for how they should behave to get ahead.
So we’ve decided to talk, or those who might normally vote Labor have. Not in the way that women like Julia do, but in the traditional male way. We know that actions speak louder than words, and that ultimately the only way to silence this haranguer is to take our votes away.
If the Labor party is collateral damage, that’s just too bad – they brought it on themselves.