Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Gentleman at his Peril

TONY ABBOTT really does have a problem with women, according to Terry Barnes, who saw it firsthand:

Contrary to the Marr-peddled myth, Abbott’s more a chivalrous romantic when it comes to women, sometimes to his own cost.

An incident I observed first-hand from his time as health minister highlights this.  As defeat loomed in 2007, then Prime Minister John Howard and Abbott announced a federal takeover of the struggling Mersey Hospital in northern Tasmania.  Unsurprisingly the state Labor government went ballistic, and shortly afterwards I accompanied Abbott to meet the Tasmanian health minister (now premier) Lara Giddings.

It wasn’t pleasant.  For the best part of an hour a fiery Giddings (physically a diminutive she-cub) berated and harangued Abbott in an aggressive one-sided tirade.  At one point she even reached across the table as if to throttle him.  Abbott was utterly taken aback by Giddings’s ferocity – he was uncertain about how to respond and where to look, and the meeting ended none too soon.

Had Giddings been a man there’s no way that Abbott would have passively absorbed such aggression.  As we came away I asked why he didn’t respond to Giddings’s provocation.  “Mate”, he said, “I just wasn’t brought up that way.”

The Giddings episode illustrates that despite his hard-man reputation, Abbott has an old-fashioned code of personal conduct that treats women with consideration and respect.  If anything, this sometimes gets him into trouble when knowing female opponents like Giddings, PM Julia Gillard and, notoriously, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon in the 2007 election campaign, exploit his scruples by goading him to the limit.


  1. mojo, Unrepentant YankOctober 13, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    "Oh, handbag his squad is good..." mumbles Polonius...

  2. i can relate to that. One of the most distasteful things when I was a cop was dealing with violent and aggressive females.

  3. Violent and aggressive females are most unpleasant. Violent and aggressive males are most unpleasant. The question that should be asked is why did Mr Abbott not simply respond to the words that were being stated and not the sex of the person saying them? Mr Abbott may very well be a gentleman but what does his comment "I just wasn't brought up that way" really say about him? It says he was raised to treat women and men differently - as almost all of his generation of males were raised to do. Abbott doesn't have a problem with women. He has a problem with his mouth in that he allows it to open and say things before he has asked his brain to review it first. Abbott's problem is that he is caught between generations and doesn't know how to treat women circa 2012. Respond to the words and not the person saying them is my advice.

    1. People like Elspeth are a blight on the community.There is never enough to satisfy their poor misunderstood souls. Victims all, a pain in the arse actually. Hope some bloke opens a door for her and makes her pathetic day.

    2. Tut tut tut.

      This tone brings back memories of a childhood that was made unpleasant by an over representation of passive-aggressive female bullies in authority positions. They nearly turned me into a misogynist, not unlike quite a few women in in the present Green/Labor government.

      And yes, I am a woman.

      PS: Mr. Abbott: should you read this: I like you :)

    3. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 13, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      Elspeth, this comment is disingenuous; you deliberately ignore the emotional context of this particular exchange. Your 'advice' is spurious and I think it is somewhat spiteful. It is hard to respond to 'words only' when they are spat at you or are abusive words. A polite man's response is to desist from responding. Society is NOT genderless, and Tony Abbott recognises that. It is nothing to do with 'women circa 2012'. It is everything to do with polite behaviour between people who are different in many ways - in politics, in beliefs, in dress, in culture and, recognizably, in gender (women are smaller, we look and ARE different to men. Get a mirror and see for yourself, without applying your ideology). Men are, and should be, conditioned to respect women, just as we all respect various other forms of difference. This is called civilisation. Tony Abbott, a Rhodes Scholar and a civilised man, is streets above the sort of commentary you are trying to apply. Ms. Giddings seems to have, in this instance, forgotten her manners. Good manners are not old-fashioned, they are very, very cool. Remember that.

    4. What a splendid opportunity to mention the word "blatherskite".


    5. Good reply Lizzie. Yes, men and women are different. To quote a child actor in the wonderful Schwarzenegger film 'Kindergarten Cop', "Men have penises and ladies have vaginas".

      Elspeth might like to imagine some androgynous normative world where we all wear grey boiler suits and can't wait to die, but it is not reality.

  4. Elspeth... back off to fairyland with you...
    most women talk alot of crap in regards to so called equality but their actions show that they are full of sh!t and that their head is firmly planted up their own arse.

    I can tell that you are also full of it with your double standard doublespeak.

  5. "It says he was raised to treat women and men differently"

    Elspeth if you have problems with Abbott's very ordinary, very reasonable response, then perhaps the problem is with yourself.


  6. "It says he was raised to treat women and men differently" --- Well Elspeth... I'm a touch older than Abbott and was raised in a similar manner and if you disapprove then all I can say is that you'd better talk to my mum about that.

    PS. I think I'm in love with Elizabeth (Lizzie) B

  7. In politics men and women should be on a level playing field. What applies to the goose should also apply to the gander. Policy formation and debate is about personal principles and political intelligence. Ib politics women cannot and should not expect to be treated differently. Men should not treat women any differently in the political arena.

    Physical size has nothing to do with anything in the political arena - Lizzie your generalisations are quite ridiculous. You need to get out more. Take a walk around any of the big cities in Australia and observe the physical size of women and the physical size of men. There are short women and short men. Tall women and tall men. Race, genetics, environment, and nutrition all play a role.

    Take some time to watch Question Time and you will see men screech at men; and men screech at women; and women screech at men; and women screech at women. Typically it is a dog's breakfast of personal abuse and tirade.

    How does Tony react to male politicians who hurl abuse at him?

    As a general rule In politics it is more productive to debate when one ignores "the emotional context" and listens to the argument being presented and then respond to that.

    Tony responded appropriately - my point was, would his response have been different it that person had been a male?


  8. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.October 15, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    "Policy formation and debate is about personal principles and political intelligence."

    You never said a truer few words, Elspeth. And just look at the current 'debate' over 'sexism' that the harpies of the left have been trying to run. We see exactly what their principles and intelligence are reduced to: being shrieking banchees losing all sense of perspective about civilised behaviour in favour of hoping to score a political point. Most unedifying. My argument is exactly that people come in all varieties, including male and female. Get used to it; glad you've noticed variety in the street. The question raised, by the issue at hand in this dialogue we are having right here, is: would Tony have responded differently if the female oppposite him had behaved in a more civilised manner. He may then have felt able to address the real issues, if any, that she was shrieking about, without risking a gender tirade in return.

  9. "Dr Elspeth McInnes, AM, Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination"

    Oh so your that Elspeth. You sound like one of those male baiters who try desperately to goad men towards aggressive acts so you can justify your bigoted attitude. I noticed you're playing good cop today.....

    Tony has taken on all the clever minds that the feminists have to offer, yet he has remained composed. You know the lesbian accuser is a liar... she has form for it.

    As for defending knive wielding women... alot of the motives for murder is just plain greed... they know the law can't touch them... what's a few years in a women's jail worth. Women can't exactly bugger each other can they?