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Julia Gillard and the Gender Wars

  • Linda Trimble (a1)
Abstract

The Australian news media used the metaphor of the gender war(s) to describe Julia Gillard's political strategies and speech acts in the final nine months of her term as that nation's first woman prime minister. In particular, the metaphor was mobilized in response to Gillard's October 9, 2012, parliamentary speech on sexism and misogyny. Based on a critical discourse analysis of the gender wars allegory as it was applied to Gillard by three Australian newspapers, my article analyzes the meanings revealed by metaphoric constructions of the former prime minister's speeches as unusual and unjust forms of political warfare. I argue that the trope of the gender wars cast Gillard's political tactics as a violation of deeply held cultural norms about appropriate behavior on the so-called political battlefield, and it worked both to discipline Gillard for raising issues of sexism and gender inequality in politics and to bracket gendered power relations out of everyday understandings of political competition.

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Copyright
References
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Politics & Gender
  • ISSN: 1743-923X
  • EISSN: 1743-9248
  • URL: /core/journals/politics-and-gender
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