This is written by Paul Norton of the LP collective.
Today (Thursday) ninemsn’s Passion Pulse poll is asking for responses to the following statement by Julia Gillard:
I think people want to see women stepping forward and taking a fair share of all the roles in politics.
As might be expected a large majority of respondents (6296 at the time of posting) have responded positively to this statement of mainstream equity feminism.
However, what is interesting is that amongst respondents who state a preference for John Howard as Prime Minister, 47 per cent either “Disagree” or “Strongly Disagree” with Gillard’s statement and a further 11 per cent are “Neutral”, leaving only 42 per cent who “Agree” or “Strongly Agree”.
There are two possible explanations for this result.
The obvious one is that a large proportion of the Coalition’s support base really are knucklescrapers on gender issues. This is entirely plausible when we consider some of the faces of anti-feminist social revanchism in the Coalition – Abbott, Abetz, Andrews, Heffernan, McGauran, Backyard Barnaby, Alex Hawke, to name a few. However, one imagines it’s not something the Liberal Party brainstrust would want to draw attention to 16 days out from polling day.This brings me to the second probable explanation. The people who respond to the polls tend to do so in a knee-jerk manner, whereby anything said by a figure on the opposing side must be opposed, and as far as possible the other side mustn’t be allowed to be seen to have a win. Thus at least some of those who “Disagree” or “Strongly Disagree” with Gillard’s unexceptionable statement are so concerned with Gillard and Labor not being seen to have a win that they are oblivious to what a bad look it is for a majority of Howard-huggers to be seen to be misogynists.
Perhaps Brian Loughnane will read this post and arrange for it to be stacked by Howard supporters who strongly agree with Gillard’s statement. For the record, though, at 4:03pm Australian Eastern Summer Time, 6436 people have voted, of whom 73 per cent (strongly) agree with Gillard’s statement whilst only 21 per cent (strongly) disagree. However, amongst Howard supporters 47 per cent (strongly) disagree whilst only 41 per cent (strongly) agree.