In the Opposition should be ashamed of is


In “The Misogyny Speech,” Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard confronts sexism within the Parliament. From 2010 to 2013, Gillard served as the 27th Prime Minister of Australia, as Leader of the Australian Labor Party. Within her speech, she responds to the motion of Tony Abbott, the Leader of the Opposition, for Speaker Peter Slipper to be removed from office. She opposes Abbott’s proposition that Slipper should lose his position due to sexist texts, claiming that Abbott is a misogynist. Throughout her speech, Julia Gillard utilizes an appeal to pathos, anaphoras, and rhetorical questions to denounce misogyny and criticize the Leader of the Opposition, in order for the chair to oppose his motion. Foremost, Gillard appeals to pathos to condemn sexism and attack the motion of the Leader of the Opposition. To illustrate, she declares, “Well can I indicate to the Leader of the Opposition the Government is not dying of shame, my father did not die of shame, what the Leader of the Opposition should be ashamed of is his performance in this Parliament and the sexism he brings with it” (Gillard 3). Gillard evokes a negative emotion in the audience regarding the Leader of the Opposition through her word choice. By including “shame”, she insists that he should feel ashamed for his previous actions, which emphasizes the cruelty of sexism. In doing so, the Leader of the Opposition is presented as irresponsible and untrustworthy. Additionally, Gillard employs the same strategy by stating, “Peddling a standard for Mr. Slipper that has not been acquitted by the people who have been sent out to say the vilest and most revolting things, like his former Shadow Parliamentary Secretary Senator Bernardi” (Gillard 4). Due to her use of “vilest” and “revolting,” Gillard instills a sense of horror within her audience. By consistently utilizing diction that possesses negative connotation, Gillard connects to the emotions of her audience. Moreover, Gillard relays her message through the inclusion of anaphoras. For instance, she unveils, “I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition went outside in the front of Parliament and stood next to a sign that said ‘Ditch the witch.’  I was offended when the Leader of the Opposition stood next to a sign that described me as a man’s bitch. I was offended by those things” (Gillard 1). Gillard repeats “I was offended” at the start of each sentence to demonstrate the impact of misogyny. She describes the Leader of the Opposition as a bully that constantly offends her due to his inappropriate actions. By painting the Leader of the Opposition as a villain, Gillard tries to make his motion seem evil and unfair. For example, Gillard proclaims,”I am offended by their content. I am offended by their content because I am always offended by sexism. I am offended by their content because I am always offended by statements that are anti-women. I am offended by those things in the same way that I have been offended by things that the Leader of the Opposition has said, and no doubt will continue to say in the future” (Gillard 3).Gillard repeats “I am offended” in the beginning of every sentence to demonstrate the negativity of sexism. In addition, she claims that the Leader of the Opposition will continue to make worse remarks to display his lack of genuinity. Furthermore, Gillard utilizes rhetorical questions to craft her argument that misogyny should not be tolerated, nor should the actions and motion of the Leader of the Opposition. She asserts, “Well, can anybody remind me if the Leader of the Opposition has taken any responsibility for the conduct of the Sydney Young Liberals and the attendance at this event of members of his front bench? Has he taken any responsibility for the conduct of members of his political party and members of his front bench who apparently, when the most vile things were being said about my family, raised no voice of objection?” (Gillard 2). Gillard applies this strategy to ensure the audience that the Leader of the Opposition has never considered morals, demonstrating his hypocrisy. She concludes, “Did he walk up to Mr. Slipper in the middle of the service and say he was disgusted to be there? Was that the attitude he took? No, he attended that wedding as a friend” (Gillard 3). By reminding the audience that the Leader of the Opposition attended Slipper’s wedding, Gillard illustrates the Leader of the Opposition as untruthful. Thus, Gillard uses rhetorical questions within her speech to negatively expose the Leader of the Opposition. Ultimately, Gillard communicates her message with appeals to pathos, anaphoras, and rhetorical questions. Through her word choice, Gillard connects to her readers’ emotions to negatively portray the Leader of the Opposition. In addition, she uses anaphoras to depict the outcomes of misogyny and the actions of the Leader of the Opposition as harsh and unjust. Her rhetorical questions are intended to display the Leader of the Opposition’s hypocrisy. By utilizing these strategies, she addresses the misogyny within the Parliament and attacks the Leader of the Opposition and his motion.

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