In her first television news interview since being ousted from the office of prime minister, Julia Gillard has told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that she doesn’t want to be defined only as Australia’s first female prime minister, a position she describes as being both “hugely warm and embracing” and sadly undercut with a “darkside”, including the unleashing of a discussion of the “ridiculous, painful and shocking” perceptions of gender roles in Australia.
Speaking toward the June leadership spill, Gillard described her initial reaction as being a mix of both a “sense of personal loss” and “a sense of regret and achievement”; with the latter, her proudest achievements, including “what we achieved in [school and early childhood] education” and “an agreed regular leaders level meeting” with China every year.
Much of the pair’s discussion also revolved around Gillard’s now famous misogyny speech, which she describes as “a powerful speech”, the international resonance of which she could not fathom around the time of its delivery.
Gillard also proffered that she doesn’t “see a female prime minister in Australia any time soon,” but remains confident “that I will live to see the next female prime minister and probably more than one.”
When questioned on her “controversially unmarried” de facto status and her more controversial stance on marriage equality, Gillard responded to Amanpour’s relayed assertion that 2013 has been “the gayest year” by saying, “I remember being a young feminist at university and if anyone said, ‘You should get married, it’s very important for your relationship to be signified,’ I would’ve said ‘no, people have got choices.’ There are lots of ways of being committed and lots of ways of being in loving relationships without having a traditional marriage as it has been defined in society.”
When asked if there any circumstances under which she would support same-sex marriage, Gillard acknowledged that she will remain steadfast in her “perhaps eccentric” position and that she didn’t “want to impose it on anyone else,” conceding that “this will end up ultimately being a conscious vote across the parliament and it’s only in those circumstances that there’s any real prospect for change.”
You can watch both parts of Amanpour’s interview with Gillard below, in which she also discusses Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s recent comments that hers was “the most incompetent and untrustworthy government in Australian history,” the semantics game of the carbon tax, as well as the dangerous paradox of national security and collating intelligence in light of recent allegations that Australia has spied on the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s phone.
“Are you really never going to go back into politics?” Armanpour concludes.
“Really”, Gillard responds, “I’ve quit forever.”