Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilard has copped a lot of flak lately. Some of it she deserves. And some of she doesn’t.
Gillard was told that an acknowledging nod would do (and how is one meant to curtsey in a pencil skirt, anyway?). I won’t bore you with the details – I’m sure you’ve found them, anyway – but to my mind, Gillard, as Head of Government recognised the Head of State, and that was all.
She does not need to apologise for being a republican (who sees no need for a royal family) nor does she need to apologise for being a feminist. Gillard demonstrated respect towards her current head of state, if indifference towards the woman working against her politically.
Gillard need not apologise for refusing to recognise an antiquated means of saluting a head of state that many members of the Commonwealth believe in and that she, personally does not. Guess what, people. That’s free speech.
I’m ashamed that we are becoming a nation that needs to throw out a Prime Minister on no better logic than ‘she’s a woman not behaving how she should’. We are human, we should have learnt how to behave 5,000 years ago.