Australia’s Prime Minister Does Not Need To Curtsey

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gilard has copped a lot of flak lately.  Some of it she deserves. And some of she doesn’t.

Like refusing to curtsey to the Queen.

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.


  1. Pumpkin says

    She may be a homophobe with a callous disregard for the lives of immigrants, but I’m totally behind her on this one. Did not know she was a feminist, either. I still hate her, of course.

  2. says

    She is too much of a homophobe to be a feminist. She might regard herself as one, but the homophobia alone means she isn’t.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to say the Queen is “working against her politically” though. The Queen isn’t actively working to try to retain an Australian monarchy, in fact she explicitly said the last time a referendum was held on the issue that she would respect any rejection of the monarchy by Oz in the future.

  3. says

    William Hanson, the British etiquette expert quoted in the SMH article, appears to contradict himself. First he says that failing to curtsey is a sign of disrespect, then he says that even the princes are expected to bow their heads when they pass the queen…which is exactly what Gillard did. If this article were being read by aliens, without the social context where women are held to higher standards than men, they would be terribly confused.

  4. Shaun says

    I hate to ask a stupid question, but what has she done that you know she’s homophobic? I don’t doubt you at all, but I read limited Australian media and my family there all votes Liberal–even my usually awesome aunt just starts screaming THE BOAT PEOPLE THE BOAT PEOPLE when I ask about politics. @__@

  5. Gabriella says

    Yeah, it comes across as very contradictory, and I’m sure, had even Kevid Rudd still be PM (and we all know how popular HE was) no-one would have given a crap that he gave the queen a small nod rather than bowing.

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