Anne Summers is perpetually offended. Gerard Henderson is right to call attention to the tendency by Summers to view criticisms of Julia Gillard as being somehow unique and sexist, for example when people say that Gillard lied. As if John Howard and other prime ministers have never been called liars.
I’ve tracked down Summers’ speech.*
Look at the title
Her Rights at Work (R-rated version)
Apparently we should be offended because Tony Abbott (and others) use the personal pronoun to refer to Julia Gillard – Summers states
There is a similar lack of respect in the way the federal Opposition constantly just uses the female pronoun to refer to the prime minister. Tony Abbott is a serial offender – constantly referring just to “she” or “her” in his press appearances – but he is not the only one.
But isn’t the title of Summers’ speech “Her Rights at Work”? There are at least a dozen times in Summers’ speech where Julia Gillard is referred to as ‘she’ or ‘her’.
Would Summers prefer for us to refer to the Prime Minister as ‘it’?
Disclosure – Summers website states
This speech is copyright and is not to be reproduced or quoted from without the express permission of the author.
I have not approached Summers for permission to quote from her speech. I think she would find Australia’s copyright law allows the fair use of material for discussion, research and comment.