As you may already know, last week Julia Gillard became Australia's first female Prime Minister. The way this came about prompted many a headline, including the one from the NT News.
My favourite, however, is the ad from ikea:
What isn't funny is the SMH columist, Bettina Arndt, who said that Juila Gillard is a bad role model for women because she lives with her boyfriend! Apparently Julia's lifestyle choice will cause other women to choose the same lifestyle and miss out on children. Women just sit around waiting for men to 'make their choice' so they can get on with having children. According to Arndt, women have no agency and men just can't make a commitment. Pat Rafter is also considered a bad role model because he became an unmarried father - you can't be a good father unless you're married to the child's mother.
Women can choose whatever relationship they want to be in and they're in that relationship because they choose to be. Assuming that defacto relationships aren't real commitment, and people who aren't married aren't 'real' parents is like stepping back in time, to a time where women were secretaries and housewives and not much else. It's 2010, a woman is the prime minister and a good role model.
It's quite ironic that news of Iceland's PM's marriage to her lesbian partner broke the same day that Arndt's article was published. I guess Arndt wouldn't care about that because at least they legitimised the union. Poor Julia has to wait for her fellow to make up his mind and commit to her.
You can read Bettina's article here.
You can read about Iceland's PM here.
Ikea photo courtesy of @jamescrabtree
PS When I wrote this article I wasn't aware that Julia Gillard doesn't live with her partner, making Bettina's article all the more pointless.
PPS Read Catherine Deveny's response to Bettina here.