When Julia Gillard became our first female Prime Minister over one month ago I wondered how long it would be before the media started questioning her status as a single woman living with her partner. I didn’t have to wait long to read about her clothes and her hair and her single status-the commentariat began the critique as soon as she was anointed PM or had it begun before.
Will she be pressured into marriage just as Helen Clark the former Prime Minister of New Zealand was? The electorate wasn’t happy that Clark was single; she was accused of being a lesbian and of having in short, an unsuitable lifestyle for a prime minister. Shortly before Clark’s election to parliament in1981 she married her partner of five years under pressure from some members of her party despite her own feelings about marriage – her biography reports that she cried throughout the ceremony, although she attributes that to a headache.
Abbott is playing the family card- we are seeing numerous images of him playing with little children accompanied by his wife who works with children within her own child care business. Abbott has enlisted the help of his attractive daughters also to raise the spectacle of the happy christian life.
On the other hand, Julia is single and barren.
Will the electorate stand for this or will Julia also submit to the archaic institution of marriage in order to occupy the Lodge. Big price indeed.