The Toronto Star has been running profiles of the G-20 leaders this week, in connection with the G-8/G-20 conferences now under way. Today's featured leader is Julia Gillard, the new prime minister of Australia, who (gasp!) is unmarried & childless -- by choice!!
Interesting article, & worth a read if you're interested in Australian politics or women in politics generally -- but here's a few excerpts that set my childless teeth on edge:
"Progressives celebrated Gillard’s selection, and her pro-choice stance, while conservatives deplored that she is Godless, husbandless and childless.
Which is nothing new.
Gillard, 48, has long been attacked by the Liberal opposition (in Australia, Liberals are the main right-wing party) for not starting a family. One Liberal senator said she was unfit for leadership because she is “deliberately barren.’’ A Liberal frontbencher claimed she couldn’t “understand the way parents think’’ because she has no children.
Even her sexual orientation has been questioned, despite former romantic links to a union official as well as a fellow politician, and her current four-year relationship to hairstylist Tim Mathieson."
QUOTE: ''Women are not breeding machines, you know.'' —Gillard’s 81-year-old father, John, on the slights his daughter has endured for being single and childless in public life.