“When she had to appoint Jeremy Hunt as chancellor, under acute political pressure, all the coverage was that Jeremy Hunt is now actually the prime minister, that she will become chairman of the board and that he is now the CEO,” Gillard said.
“Well, would they really have written it that way if it was two men?”
“I think there was a bit of gender in that.”
Truss was often criticized for her wooden communication skills, something she herself acknowledged when she told Tory members she was not “the smartest” communicator.
Beard and Gillard were in talks to talk about 10 years since she gave her famous speech in which she tore apart then-opposition leader Tony Abbott as a misogynist in the twilight of her premiership.
She said she had “mishandled” the issue of gender during her tumultuous time in power.
Gillard said she should have addressed the cases of sexism when they arose, but mistakenly believed her performance at work would destroy sexist criticism.
She’d only seen Abbott once since she left politics, and their meeting left those who witnessed it frozen.
“I was in the Qantas flight lounge and the Qantas woman was a little anxious and a little nervous … then she came up to me and said ‘we can’t say this for security reasons, but Mr Abbott is about to go to to go to the lounge,” Gillard said.
“He comes into the lounge and literally… you could have heard a pin drop, everyone was halfway up their mouths, just about to bite that piece of toast, but they were frozen because they didn’t know what was going to happen The next .”
Gillard said she approached Abbott to defuse the situation and that he wished her the best in post-political life.
She said 10 years after her speech, which has been reinvented on social media with young women making videos imitating Gillard, progress has been made in improving the discussion of female power and leadership with a new generation of more confident feminists. .
But she said merging online abuse with real violence against women was a big step backwards.
“We saw what just happened to Nancy Pelosi’s husband. I mean these things are real and I think it’s a really worrying trend,” she said.
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