Feminist Theatre Politics

Some of the writing earlier on this blog had a bit of a Feminist side, there was commentary on various things, reviews of various books etc. Mostly though it is about theatre and books and writing, which is mostly what I am about – so it makes sense. However happily sometimes these things collide.

One of the best pieces of theatre I have seen in the past week came from this woman who is the Australian Prime Minister.

And it is this speech. It’s fifteen minutes worth watching.  

Now say what you like about Ms. Gillard about her politics (which are not so great on Education; equal marriage and asylum seekers – Labor Left? Seriously? Labor has never sat so close to the centre right of populist politics, urgh) but this speech is gold.

It tells it straight out that what Tony Abbott is – he is a downright rude, slimy person who still cannot bear that not only did he lose a close election but he lost it to a woman that defies what he feels a woman should be. Watch as she demolishes his fa├žade and strips back all the slick politics and uses his own words against him. She hurls them back in his face. Flings the hurt and offence she has felt out at the world and forces it to listen.

The vitriol Ms. Gillard has endured since she was elected has been awful to witness; most of it is directed at her by middle aged conservative men and a lot of it is baseless and vindictive. This response takes it beyond politics with a capital P – it’s lowercase and transcends the parliament and the fallout of the debate that initiated the response.

I don’t see being a Feminist as a complex thing, basically if you believe in equality you believe in the foundation principles of the thing and that’s it. Nothing annoys me more than people equivocating that they sort of are Feminists or they don’t agree with the term. I mean yeah sure, some Feminists don’t shave their legs or wear bras, get over it! This isn’t an affront to being a woman, like humans, Feminism comes in all shapes and sizes. Me, I shave when I bloody well want to, I plan on getting married and having children and being a cranky old grandparent who wears flowers in her hat.

And not having a beard. 

This week I’ve heard people on BBC Radio 4 discussing the speech on two different programs and I have read American websites declaring Obama needs to “Gillard” Romney in the next debate and I have read much online opinion. This has got bigger than Canberra.

I think you should watch it for yourself, see her cut through the bullshit that surrounds politics so often and revel in the theatre that has gone beyond the parliament to a much wider audience.