Today, at an event for International Women’s Day in Canberra, Prime Minister Tony Abbott labelled himself a feminist.
Feminism is the astonishing idea that women deserve equality with men. But it’s more than that- it’s giving women control over their bodies, their lives. It’s removing institutionalised sexism and changing societal norms that oppress women.
Tony Abbott is not a feminist. And if you need reminding why, here are some choice quotes:
I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons- Tony Abbott
Any person that claims that women do not deserve and will not gain equal representation because of ‘physiological reasons’ (which is completely unfounded scientifically) is not a feminist.
I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak – Tony Abbott
Women have an absolute right to ‘withhold’ any and every kind of sexual contact. To claim a woman does not have the right to consent or not consent to sex is advocating rape, plain and simple.
I won't be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated [for cervical cancer], maybe that's because I'm a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard but, look, I won't be – Tony Abbott
Because it’s Tony’s place to decide for his daughters if they should have a potentially life saving medical treatment. Not theirs, obviously.
I would say to my daughters if they were to ask me this question... [their virginity] is the greatest gift that you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving and don't give it to someone lightly, that's what I would say – Tony Abbott
Because in Tony’s head women’s bodies are a gift to men. They’re not their own, don’t be silly!
The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience- Tony Abbott
Because a tiny hunk of cells has more of a right to life than a living, breathing women.
I’m sick of people who have to claim to the word ‘feminist’ throwing it around like just saying it makes you an ally for women. If you believe women shouldn’t have control over their own bodies, you’re not a feminist. If you think that having a female Prime Minister- who endured more hatred and abuse than any other in history- automatically means sexism is over, you’re not a feminist. If you think simply having daughters means you’re not sexist, you’re not a feminist.
How about you actually do something for equality Tony, instead of making speeches about your non-existent feminist credentials?