We can't ignore her gender
I missed the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth but I was there for Billy McMahon's.
It was awful in its cruelty and I prayed I'd never have to witness another.
But now we are at it again, attacking Julia Gillard's personal integrity, denying her obvious leadership abilities, her loyalty and vision for a better and fairer Australia.
Some of the media are scurrilous in their reporting of her story adding innuendo to gossip.
Seeking to entertain us, they exaggerate life's trivia into major catastrophes.
They heap insult upon insult linking her with horrible comparisons from history.
They don't bother with details about the Labor caucus forcing Rudd's resignation.
There were no knives, no plots but the simple fact is that he was a poor leader and lost the support of important allies.
How dumb he was.
At the Lobby Restaurant on Australia Day, the federal police, rather than wrestle with a small group of protesters, children among them, took an easier way and removed the Prime Minister instead.
The indignity inflicted on Gillard was unforgivable and the photo of her being so violently removed that she lost a shoe should never have been published.
But it was and doubtless flew round the world in minutes.
Had it been a male Prime Minister would that have happened?
They'd have formed a phalanx around him and calmly escorted him to his car.
The visual message in that photo is of a heroic minder dragging a poor defenceless woman to safety.
It says that it takes a man to govern Australia and women aren't up to the job.
Gillard's background in industrial law and national student union politics plus many years of service in Labor makes her well qualified.
Australia does not have a tradition of women Prime Ministers.
Gillard is the first to have made her way to the top so let's stop pretending we can ignore the fact of her gender.
She is not the presidential style leader we are accustomed to.
She is a negotiator, a mediator.
She is so different from the men who have gone before her and it makes no sense to expect otherwise.
We may be proud of our economic achievements but we should hang our heads in shame for the way we treat our first woman prime minister.