in brief: droolia julia – offensive or just a bit of fun?
A new chew toy for dogs has entered the market in Adelaide called the ‘Droolia Julia’ depicting a caricature of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Since the inception of this toy, opinions about its tastefulness have been divisive.
On the one hand, we can take it as a bit of harmless fun. We can take P & K Pets, the store in which this product is stocked, and their co-owner Donna Lindsay at face value with her statement that she ‘never meant to offend anyone at all’.
We can also take this, however unfortunate we may find it, as a by-product of living in a democracy. After all, we pride ourselves on allowing everyone to have the freedom to be able to express their opinions openly to the public; and this product is nothing if not the expression of an opinion.
On the other hand, however, it is clearly degrading and insulting to our Prime Minister. No matter what the toy’s makers think of her, she does deserve their respect as the leader of our nation.
Feminist author Dr Leslie Cannold has stated that Ms. Gillard is another female leader who is the victim of ‘vicious ridicule’ due to her appearance, and for her this is yet another example that the world does not treat its leaders equally. Cannold clarifies this with the fact that male leaders have never been the victim of this kind of abuse due to their appearance.
In a poll put to the public asking whether or not they find the Droolia Julia doll offensive, an overwhelming 76% voted no.
By Alexandra Van Schilt