GIRL POWER POLITICS

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Flicking through page after page of Mitt Romney versus Barrack Obama and David Cameron versus Nick Clegg, Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard is a refreshing and welcome female addition to our newspapers’ coverage of politics.

Well, it would be if the only reason she had grabbed the headlines hadn’t been due to her going down in history before our eyes for branding her rival a misogynist – however revitalising it is for a female figurehead to speak out.

Female writers in the UK and in her native Australia have been queuing up to demonstrate their support for her actions. It seems many female politicians and journalists feel the atmosphere in their working environment is hegemonic and are historically scared of saying anything in fear of being cast aside as ‘witches’ or accused of playing the ‘gender card’ – both insults which have been thrust at Gillard.

Thanks to Julia’s lead, they seem willing to follow.

Social media – a modern-day hero and the most open forum on the planet – is coming to the rescue, providing a useful ‘meeting point’ for women. Tracy Spicer, an Australian broadcast journalist and Gillard supporter, posted an imaginary letter to a fictitious ‘Mr Sexist’ that subsequently received over 7,000 views, putting a somewhat ‘girl power-esque’ stance on the whole thing. In the meantime, Julia’s speech has been watched around two million times, which, if nothing else, shows there’s interest surrounding the topic.

So, the long-standing rocky relationship between the media and womankind continues, although it’s starting to wear increasingly thin. But hey, isn’t ‘thin’ the buzzword when it comes to featuring women in the media?