The election of the Whitlam government on 2 December 1972 was a watershed in Australian political history. Whitlam’s was the most reforming of any Australian Labor government, and the last one to introduce significant reforms that improved working-class life.
On the afternoon of 9 October 2012, then prime minister Julia Gillard famously declared in parliament, “I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. Not now, not ever”.
Women’s oppression looks quite different today than 60 years ago. Women’s rights are more accepted now, women are a bigger part of the workforce, contraception and abortion are legal in much of the world. There are more women world leaders and CEOs than ever before. At the same time, the vast majority of women, even in a wealthy country like Australia, are still paid less on average than men, still do most of the unpaid child care and other domestic labour in the home and still have to contend with demeaning sexist stereotypes.
Australia is in the biggest inflationary episode since the 1970s, and major newspapers are sounding grim warnings about that decade—none of them grimmer than those in the paper that most speaks to and for the bosses, the Australian Financial Review.
Australia currently has one of the highest COVID case rates and death rates in the world. You wouldn’t know this from any mainstream news source.