in brief: sexism on the menu but Gillard still in strife
Yesterday a menu from a Liberal party function emerged that referenced the Prime Minister in an appallingly derogatory way, dispelling any doubt that Julia Gillard is the victim of sexist abuse. The menu offered diners the option of ‘Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail – Small Breasts, Huge Thighs & A Big Red Box’.
The menu was promptly slammed by Gillard as an example of the endemic sexism rife in Tony Abbott’s party. Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey was present at the function which was a fundraiser for controversial Liberal candidate Mal Brough, though he denies knowledge of the document and condemned it when given the opportunity.
Richards & Richards restaurant owner Joe Richards has claimed responsibility for the menu, saying it was a private joke and was not circulated at the event. He has apologised to Tony Abbott for the attention that the incident attracted him, but there has been no indication that he has apologised to Julia Gillard for the personal attack.
The man who first shared the photo on Twitter told Triple J’s Hack program that he did so in light of Julia Gillard’s speech on Tuesday night which again highlighted the threat the Coalition poses to women’s rights.
Gillard has been accused of trying to start a false gender war to distract from bigger political issues. According to social media monitoring site Topsy, Gillard’s approval rating plummeted following her speech to the fundraising arm Women for Gillard on Tuesday. Even the highly offensive ‘menu-gate’ scandal has failed to boost her ratings.
Some commentators have denied a problem with sexism in politics and the broader society, though the callers on the Hack program who did so were male.
Many feminist groups have responded with outrage to the incident. Women’s group Destroy the Joint called on supporters to contact their local representatives to share their thoughts on the matter.