Tony Abbott, the man Julia Gillard said she would not be lectured to about misogyny, believes rumours of his affair with chief of staff Peta Credlin is proof he does not have a problem with women.
Abbott’s long running defence against claims of misogyny rests on the ‘irrefutable facts, absolutely irrefutable facts’ that his mother is a woman, his wife is a woman and his three daughters are all women. He has also boasted of tracing women through every branch of his family tree.
At a press conference this week Abbott claimed his rumoured affair with Credlin was further proof he was ‘ok’ with women.
‘Now look, I, I, I, I want to be clear about this, absolutely, positively crystal clear – I have never, I have never, had a problem with women. Let me say this, let me just say, that for the record, these claims against me, made by Niki Savva, a journalist who is a woman, who is a woman, they are absolutely unfounded. They are unfounded, scurrilous gossip. However, the very fact, the very fact that these rumours exist, is further proof, that I do not, I do not, have a problem with women. How is it that I could be having an affair with a woman, a female woman, a good female woman who does the ironing, if I was a misogynist? It simply doesn’t add up.’
Abbott then went on to proudly list his achievements for the women of Australia, ‘Not only was I the Minister for Women, yes, that’s correct, the Prime Minster was also the Minister for Women, I even allowed one and eventually two women into my cabinet! The paid parental leave scheme, the most ambitious in the nation’s history, was my signature policy, my signature policy. And we stopped the boats, we really did and that was a great thing, but of course my biggest achievement for Australian women was axing the carbon tax. Yes, that terrible, terrible toxic tax, which once gone, freed the housewives of Australia to focus on a household budget without it. I, I, I just want to make these points.’
Abbott ended the press conference by reassuring those present that the rumours of an affair were just that, before winking and departing, promising no sniping of Niki Savva.