Australian PM blasts ‘grossly sexist’ menu

Julia Gillard branded the Liberal menu offensive. Picture: Getty
Julia Gillard branded the Liberal menu offensive. Picture: Getty
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austrlian prime minister Julia Gillard says a “grossly sexist” menu at a Liberal Party dinner that crudely poked fun at her body is evidence of a lack of respect for women by the country’s oppostion.

Left-winger Ms Gillard went on the attack yesterday, accusing the opposition of a pattern of misogynist behaviour, calling the menu for a party fundraiser “offensive” after it featured a quail dish named after Ms Gillard that offered “small breasts” and “huge thighs.” There was also a vulgar reference to the prime minister’s genitalia.

The menu was reported to have been used at a fundraising dinner in March for Liberal Mal Brough, a former government minister under prime minister John Howard and now an opposition candidate for the September general elections. The restaurateur later said it had been “a joke” and was not used at the meal.

Embarrassingly for Liberal leader Tony Abbott, his right-hand man, Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey, was guest of honour at the dinner. However, Mr Hockey flatly denied ever having seen the menu. Mr Brough also denied knowledge.

The menu only surfaced on Twitter yesterday, listing a dish called “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail: Small Breasts and Huge Thighs and a Big Red Box.”

Mr Abbott quickly condemned the description. But Ms Gillard said it demonstrated a “pattern of behaviour” within Liberal ranks and called for him to disown Mr Brough

“I’ve certainly been very clear on my view about Mr Abbott,” Ms Gillard told reporters, in reference to her parliamentary tirade last November about misogyny, which went viral. “Here we are yet again, Mr Abbott saying he condemns behaviour, but we see a pattern of behaviour. It doesn’t go away,” she said.

Ms Gillard said Mr Abbott had previously stood next to signs which described her in a sexist way, including as a bitch and a witch, and young Liberals had hosted a function where jokes were made about the death of her father.

“And now, we have Mr Brough and Mr Hockey sat at a function with this grossly sexist and offensive menu on display. Join the dots,” she said.

Ms Gillard said if Mr Abbott were elected prime minister on 14 September, as polls predict, “we’d see this lack of respect for women littered throughout all of his policy documents”.

Former Labour prime minister Kevin Rudd backed his once rival, calling the menu a “snide, dirty and sexist trick”.