Gender, lifestyle and politics

Published July 28, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

You know when political critics are desperate they start making personal attacks, this seems to be the case now with Gillard.

Brown ‘disgusted’ by attacks on Gillard

The question then becomes how significant is lifestyle choices in this campaign or is gender the real elephant in the room. Gillard is a single woman and currently lives in a common law or de facto relationship possibly perceived by some as a threat to the patriarchal social order. While Abbott packaged as a real fair dinkum bloke with a happy family reinforced recently through the strategic roll out of his wife and family on the campaign trail exemplifying the patriarchal ideal. One could then argue this situation has little to do with the policy positions these politicians represent, and they would be right because it is more about mounting an ideal or playing to the electorate’s perceptions about what should be.

Further to this point, one could equally argue this to be an example of political ‘Othering’?

How significant is gender and personality politics in this campaign?

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