World leaders praise Gillard sexism speech at ASEM

Julia Gillard’s now famous misogyny speech in parliament last month is still creating waves abroad, with the prime minister congratulated by other world leaders during an international summit.

 
 

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PRIME Minister Julia Gillard’s now famous misogyny speech in parliament last month is still creating waves abroad, with the prime minister congratulated by other world leaders during an international summit.

Ms Gillard says French President Francois Hollande and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, among other leaders, approached her at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Laos to commend the speech, in which she branded Opposition Leader Tony Abbott a misogynist.

The prime minister’s fiery 15-minute address to the Australian parliament early last month went viral worldwide, making news headlines and dominating social media.

“The president of France congratulated me on the speech, as did the prime minister of Denmark, and some other leaders, just casually as I’ve moved around, have also mentioned it to me,” Ms Gillard told ABC radio on Wednesday.

Video of Ms Gillard’s outburst was watched more than 300,000 times on YouTube in just one day, and it made headlines in the US, India, Canada, UK and South Africa.

On one prominent American website, Ms Gillard was described as a “badass motherf****r”.

Interviewed for the latest edition of Marie Clare magazine, the prime minister said her office had been besieged with emails and phone calls after the speech went viral on the internet.

“I’m taking it all with a bit of a wry smile,” she said.

“I’m certainly taking `badass’ as a compliment. I think that’s how it was meant.”

Ms Gillard said she had heard that a Melbourne all-girls school had watched the speech during a class and “spontaneously broke into cheers and applause at the end of it”.

“So that touched me,” she said.

Ms Gillard said what motivated her to make the speech was the “double standards and the lecturing” from Mr Abbott. - AAP