A letter to my political crush and BFF, Julie Bishop

10 Mar

This was originally performed during a live recording of the Stop the Posts podcast in December 2013. I’m publishing it now because of JBish’s stirling performance on #LadyQandA on Monday. Thank you to James Colley and Nick Fisher for helping to make Australian political comedy a thing. x

[Dear American readers, don’t worry all the jokes are hilariously funny to Australians.]

A friend once asked me who my secret political crush was. I said you, Julie Bishop.

Not because of your policies or who you work with or what you’ve done to damage Australia’s international standing.

No, Julie, I love you because of your sheer unfuckwithability. Your laser-enabled capacity to shoot down your opponents and take precisely no shit from nobody.

You’ve been in Politics for 15 freakin years and you’ve been in the Cabinet for 10 of them. Lady, that’s impressive.

First you were the Minister for Ageing. Then you were the Minister for Education and the Minister assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues. Impressive, yeah, but also kind of girlie. Even though you came from being a partner at a law firm, they gave you all the portfolios relating to chicks and children and old people.

Both sides of politics do this. They take women at the top of their fields in law or business or media and give her a totally irrelevant role because she’s the one in the skirt. Christ, Kevin Rudd gave Maxine McKew the early childhood portfolio even though she was one of the only people in the Parliamentary Labor Party without kids.

But, Julie, you rose above and managed to fulfil all your Cabinet positions without completely fucking them up. And that’s something that very few people can say.

If you were a dude, no one would be at all surprised to see you go from that to Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade. But we were surprised because you were the first woman to do it. In the last 5 years Australia has managed to have women in positions that don’t directly relate to nurturing people.

Please, Australia ask us about free trade agreements, debt ceilings and capital gains tax! Let us regale you with our stories of funding for medical research and the deregulation of the banking sector! You can even ask us about sport, because, my sisters, we have conquered the most cock-heavy end of the Cabinet Ministry and, Julie Bishop we have you to thank for helping to lead the charge.

And yet….

Right now you’re looking a little lonely up there. It’s almost as though centuries of oppression have caused women to be undervalued and under represented, deemed unworthy for positions that men are presumed qualified for without proof.

You’re very proud of the fact that the Liberal Party doesn’t do gender quotas, that all of the women around you got there purely on merit.

You think you’re so fucking special? You think you’re the only woman with merit enough to do what you do?

What are you going to say on your Christmas card to Kelly O’Dwyer? “Hope you enjoy all that spare time you have?” “Dear Michaelia, please enjoy this set of hair curlers. I would have got you the travel ones but then I remembered you don’t have to be in Canberra all that often.”

Julie, I love you, but if you really want to be my BFF we need to sort a few things out.

You said, on Mamamia of all places, that even though sexism still exists in some parts of society, that women should combat sexism by not giving it credibility and, here’s the kicker, not complaining about it. You think the best thing we can do to ensure we are judged fairly on our merit is to shut up about being judged on our gender?

You want to be judged on merit then I’ll judge you on merit.

Let’s talk about how the week your government implodes our relationship with Indonesia, you happen to pull out of 7.30 and Q & A.

Let’s talk about your steadfast loyalty to Tony Abbott, a man who’s sexism is so well documented it people can only deny it with the same logic they use to deny climate change.

Somewhere between that idyllic childhood on a cherry farm and shaking John Kerry’s hand something went array.

I don’t believe you’re a bad person. I think you’re actually a smart, talented and fearless person who could, if she wanted, achieve great things.

I feel there’s some way we can harness your powers, laser-enabled and otherwise. I get the sense that with the strength of your lady-balls alone we could power the city of Ballarat for a year.

Imagine if your stubborn nature wasn’t put towards defending homophobes or stopping boats, but to instilling policies which make Australia a voice for fairness and compassion?

What if you helped women everywhere by living by example and not telling us to stop complaining about sexism?

So Julie, dear Julie. I hope we can find a way through this. I hope once all this blows over we’ll be able to have that girls’ week in Bali we always planned.

I hope, once this festering heap of a government collapses onto the spindly frame of Christopher Pyne, you’ll find a way to make it up to me.


One Response to “A letter to my political crush and BFF, Julie Bishop”

  1. roweeee May 15, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    Thanks for that. I haven’t followed “jules” in quite so much detail, but I have been admiring her from a far, which is certainly more than I can say for Tony Abbott.

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