Tag Archives: Julia Gillard

Were you listening to Julia thinking “I wish I’d said that”?

It seems everyone’s still talking about Julia Gillard’s speech .

I’ve never seen such different responses from the mainstream media and sites on the internet where women like to chat, the so called ‘mummy blogs’.

In the mainstream media, the Prime Minister spoke in defence of the Speaker, Peter Slipper, who has since resigned. According to the Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher, We expected more of Gillard.  His general argument was that, as a woman, she had a choice between power and principle and she opted for power.  My view is that expecting women to behave ‘better’ or ‘more nicely’ as politicians is in itself a form of sexism, in presuming that women should be better behaved than men, when really all they want is an equal chance to have their say.

Most of the other newspapers yesterday reported on the political tactics of what was going on with the Speaker and didn’t focus on the main topic covered in the Prime Minister’s speech – the sexism of the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.

Notwithstanding the fact that what goes on with the Speaker is important, the response on many of my favourite websites couldn’t be more different.  Many women expressed an outpouring of relief that the PM had finally called sexism where she saw it.

Eden Riley is the Australian Blogger of the Year.  Her site Edenland is full of comments about how women across Australia were barracking for her right the way through.  You can check out the discussion here .

Mamamia saw something similar, in response to this piece about, ‘Why Julia Gillard’s Smackdown Speech Was Brilliant .  There were some critics, but overwhelmingly the comments are supportive of the PM’s speech.  Not bad for a Prime Minister who, according to the polls, only has the support of about one in three of us.

Why the difference? My theory is that most of us have a Tony Abbott in their lives, somewhere in our work history.

Someone who’s treated us poorly, unfairly, because we are women.  Most of us don’t call sexism every time we see it, but we really love it when someone else is brave enough to do so, and clever enough to do it well.

When it happens to us, we usually don’t want to make a fuss or have a fight about being a crazy feminist, so we just put up with being called a bitch or having the men in our workplace be more highly valued than those of us who came up with the idea in the first place, or did the hard work behind the scenes to make something happen.

It’s not always as clear cut as some of those quotes Julia Gillard used about Tony Abbott.  Sometimes sexism is harder to pinpoint, and we’re not even sure ourselves that it’s sexism, discrimination, or misogyny or whatever.

But we know it’s wrong, and we wish it hadn’t happened, and many of us see it happening to Julia Gillard too.

Regardless of what you think about politics, I suspect many women loved seeing  our Prime Minister say out loud that she was offended by behaviour and language she thought wasn’t acceptable, and she eloquently put the argument, better than many of us could ourselves.

I heard a story from a one friend about a woman who wanted to thank the PM  because she felt there was growing acceptance in the community of more aggressive and rude interactions. She said a man once called her a stupid bitch because she delivers newspapers to supplement her low income and he hadn’t liked where she’d thrown it that morning.

She said the PM was standing up not just for herself, but for women across the country who have been copping things like that because lately, no-one has been saying that kind of thing is wrong.

Do you think some of us were listening to the PM thinking, “I wish I’d said that”?

What do you think?  Have you experienced sexism at work?  Do you wish you’d given a speech like Julia Gillard?

Interesting sidenote: once the international reaction started to become clear today, our local media started reporting the substance of the speech, for example here and here.  Curious.

You can read the full text of the PM’s speech here but the video is better, here.

Our guide to the Federal Budget

Show me your surplus.  A billion this and a billion that.

The billions don’t mean much either way unless you know whether your family stands to benefit or not.

Here’s our quick summary of this year’s Federal Budget and how it will affect working mums and their families.

Let us know what you think and whether your family will be better off – or if we’ve missed anything important to you 🙂

Changes to Family Tax Payments

You probably already know if you receive Family Tax Benefit Part A.

If not, and your household income is below about $150,000, you can find out more here to see if you are eligible.

The Government has announced extra payments of up to $600 per family – but that amount doesn’t go to everyone.

This year’s Budget will increase the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit A which could mean an extra $300 for families with one child, and $600 for families with two or more children. Families receiving the base rate will get $100 if they have one child, and $200 if they have two or more.

When it comes, more than a million families will receive an increase of at least $300. 

Fine print: The benefits don’t start until July 2013 so don’t spend the money yet. There will also be new eligibility criteria so that families will no longer receive the payment if their child is over 18 and not in full-time study.

Tax Changes

From 1 July 2012, the tax‑free threshold will increase from $6,000 to $18,200, which means anyone who earns less than that won’t need to lodge a tax return.  Even better it means a tax cut for anyone on an income of less than about $80,000, which means most part time workers.  Like lots of mums.  Big tick for this one 🙂

The Schoolkids Bonus

We’ve written previously about the Education Tax Refund and tried to encourage everyone to claim it.  Despite our efforts, the Government says that more than 1 million families still aren’t receiving their full entitlement because we’re not very good at keeping receipts or knowing whether we’re eligible.

The new SchoolKids Bonus will go to everyone who was eligible for the old benefit but it will be delivered automatically without a need to keep receipts or make a specific claim.

So what do you get?

  • $410 for each child in primary school
  • $820 for each child in high school

This is about the same are you could get under the Education Tax Refund so if you were one of the super diligent and receipt keeping parents, you’ll be no worse off.

Important note – Joe Hockey has indicated that the Opposition may not support these changes so they’re not yet guaranteed.  Parliament has to vote on the Budget for them to come into effect.  You can let him know how you feel if you’re concerned on Twitter @JoeHockey.

Mums of children with a disability

For mums with a child with a disability there is great news with the first steps towards a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

According to the Every Australian Counts campaign which has been calling for the NDIS to be funded, the scheme will:

Revolutionise the way people with a disability, their families and carers are supported in Australia.  It will replace all the current state and territory disability systems, because they don’t work.

The NDIS will [help]… hundreds of thousands of Australians with disability and their families to have the opportunity to participate actively in their communities by providing targeted supports aligned to need.

The Government has announced $1 billion to start getting the scheme established.  There will be a need for more, but it’s a very good start.

So, most of us should do quite well out of it all, especially those families on average incomes or below.  Good stuff.

Want more information specific to your family circumstances?  The Daily Telegraph has an excellent calculator where you can put in your income and number of kids and it will tell you what it means for you here.

What do you think?  Will your family benefit?