It's less than a week since we lost Julia Gillard, our first female Prime Minister. Apparently, she didn't go down well with the voting public, and was replaced in a leadership spill by Kevin Rudd, who, according to a new book, relentlessly stalked her for the leadership since she replaced him in 2010.
I'm not a diehard fan of Gillard, but she did a more than competent - I'd say admirable- job in the circumstances. I simply don't get why the public prefers Rudd. After Gillard was gone, a sentence kept going through my head. It's the final sentence of The Bookshop, by Penelope Fitzgerald, about a woman who opens a bookshop in a small town, and it fails.
As the train drew out of the station she sat with her head bowed in shame, because the town in which she had lived for nearly ten years had not wanted a bookshop.
As Julia Gillard said in her parting speech, her being a woman didn't explain everything about why she had lost, but it also didn't explain nothing. And in the weeks, months, and even years prior to her departure from the leadership, she was subjected to a sickening amount of bullying in the media and elsewhere.
And so I sit with my head bowed in shame, because the country I have lived in for over 60 years, did not want a female Prime Minister.