Former Prime Minister and all-round incredible woman Julia Gillard said she had “zero inkling” that her now-iconic misogyny speech would still be a talking point years later in a new interview with Stellar Mag.
The speech, delivered in parliament back in October 2012, has fair outlived Gillard’s own political career, now serving as a “motivational tape” for women who have experienced sexism and misogyny in their own lives.
But now, in promotion for the release of her new book, Julia Gillard sat down with Stellar Magazine to discuss being a role model for women in politics (and in life).
Throughout the powerful interview, Gillard gave inspiring tips on handling sexism, and breaking through the glass ceiling – but it was her comments on the now-infamous misogyny speech that really stand out.
When asked if she was surprised that the speech has remained a talking point nearly a decade after she delivered it, she was quick to admit she didn’t expect it to be this memorable.
“I had no inkling, zero inkling, when I did the speech that we would still be talking about it all these years later. And if anyone suggested to me that we’d still be talking about it in 2020, I would have said that was ridiculous.”
However, in the eight years since the speech was first delivered, the former PM has had some time to reflect on exactly what her words meant for women across Australia (and the world).
“I’ve come to understand what that speech has represented for women, and some men. It’s come to represent what they wished they’d be able to do in the moment they’ve experienced gender treatment,” she explained.
“And people have watched it over and over to decompress when they feel like they’ve been badly treated, or get themselves ready to go into a gender battle that will be difficult for them. So it’s served as a motivational tape or talk in that sense, and I’m obviously very pleased and somewhat amazed that has occurred.”
She didn’t get the respect she deserved while she was in office, but she’ll be damned if she was going to let that stop her from continuing to be an inspiration to women long after she left office.
She has just written a new book Women and Leadership: Real Lives, Real Lessons (co-authored by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala), which is out today July 12. It is described as “an inspirational and practical book written by two high-achieving women, sharing the experience and advice of some of our most extraordinary women leaders, in their own words.”
Maybe you didn’t like her politics, but it’s really hard to fault Julia Gillard on her passion and determination for making the world a better place for the women that follow her. We simply can’t help but stan.
It’s hard to think that it’s been a whole decade since Julia Gillard made history as Australia’s first (and only) female Prime Minister, but it has been. And here we are ten years later, with her iconic speech being immortalised in the only way the kids know how – on TikTok.