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Notes from the feminist frontline

11 July 2013

10:02 AM

11 July 2013

10:02 AM

Moments after Julia Gillard’s downfall was announced I took a call from Jason Morrison, live on Radio 2UE. Virtually levitating with glee, the phone in one hand and a flute of ice-cold Moët in the other, I relayed ‘wild scenes of jubilation in this household — we’re practically dancing on the tables!’ Later, as we watched Gillard’s concession speech over cheese and an exceptional Pinot Noir, my fiancé Peter raised his glass and said: ‘Darling, I am so pleased for you and all your weirdo mates, congratulations! But you’ve done enough. Now perhaps you can step back from public life?’

For a nobody like me, Janet Albrechtsen of the Australian newspaper was surprisingly easy to contact. I called in May 2007 to explain that as the owner of an industrial relations business I was worried no one understood the implications of Kevin Rudd’s industrial relations policy. Ms Albrechtsen encouraged me to submit an opinion piece, and to my complete astonishment it was published. A month later, without invitation, I sent a second piece to Tom Switzer, who was then opinion editor of the Australian. The next morning, half-asleep and staggering about in my dressing gown with über-strong coffee in hand, I picked up the glad-wrapped newspaper from my gravel driveway. On the front page was a dreadfully unflattering picture of my face, with ‘Opinion — what Rudd owes to the unions’ emblazoned next to it. I fell backwards into my clipped box hedge and shattered my favourite mauve and white striped Limoges beaker.

Later that week, my best friend Ginger and I found ourselves ransacking the kitchen of a gauche canal-front Gold Coast mansion searching for proper crystal champagne flutes, concerned that drinking Veuve out of plastic glasses might be a tad tacky. You have to draw the line somewhere. As we collapsed to sun ourselves on gold recliners, a call came on my mobile from a union official I worked with in the late Nineties. He wasn’t happy. He referred to the two pieces of mine that had appeared in (shock horror!) the Australian in a tone so serious I excused myself from poolside. I returned within minutes, flopping down in a huff. ‘Why were you laughing so loudly on the phone?’ Ginger asked. I peered at her over my blue aviator Ray-Bans. ‘Julia Gillard’s office wants me to know that if I write any more articles I will never get any more government consulting work,’ I said. There was a moment’s silence. ‘What are you going to do?’ enquired Ginger. I raised my crystal flute and took a long, slow sip. ‘Keep going until I get my own column in a national newspaper, I suppose,’ I finally answered, settling back into my recliner. Behind the calm exterior I was seething; just who did these uppity politicians think they were dealing with, some pathetic schmuck?

As a result of being constantly abused as a leftie and a commie when I was a union official, I have an aversion to ideology, dogma and labels. So when I reluctantly accepted Jonathan Green’s invitation to be interviewed on Radio National recently as to why Julia Gillard was being treated disrespectfully, I did so on condition I wouldn’t be introduced as a ‘right-winger’. I dislike the way the ABC invites token ‘right-wingers’ onto their programs to set them up for abuse and ridicule. A case in point is the ABC’s detestable Q&A program; a boring and morally smug version of America’s Jerry Springer Show, with a dumber audience. After the interview, we went shopping for a blue tie for me to wear that night on Paul Murray Live. When we finally arrived home it seemed all hell had broken loose. Offence had been taken at my on-air statement that Parliament was the wrong place to be displaying cleavage. I hadn’t been allowed to finish my point (which was that perhaps the real reason Gillard is disrespected is because she is under investigation by the police) and vaguely wondered that if I had, would any offence have been taken?

Our office spent Monday under cyber-attack. Channel 7’s The Project contacted me for an interview but I declined. I was skulking in my office, feeling guilty at the grief I had brought down upon our business, when I received a text from Jane Marwick of Perth’s Radio 6PR telling me the cleavage story had made the English papers! Gloomily I googled the link before shrieking for Peter. He stuck his head round my office door with a weary ‘what now?’ look on his face. ‘Anti-sexism group Destroy the Joint said I am an “idiot” and have “an irrational horror of the female breast”,’ I said, ‘and 700 women are going to send me photos of their cleavages as a protest!’ I have never seen Peter look both so bemused and elated. I tweeted ‘delighted, excited and eagerly awaiting the 700 cleavage photos!’ When the ‘cleavage collage’ arrived, we tried to enlarge the images on my computer,

but were unable to. Despite this, we popped the cork on a vintage Bollinger and gave each and every cleavage careful examination and a score out of ten. I tweeted the collage to all my followers so they could do the same. Finally, I tweeted a message directly to Destroy the Joint: ‘Thanks 4 pics, confess prob am sexist poss lesbian, pls kindly send more pics so I can work it out, ever in your debt, G x.’ Never got a response.


Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Grace Collier is a columnist with the Australian Financial Review and managing director of Australian Dismissal Services.

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Show comments
  • Ryan

    Who is this smug, name dropping wannabe rich b*tch? Plus the Project is on Ch10.

    • Kim Sinclair

      Oh dear …did you use the B word? I bet you were one of the Gillard fan boys huh? So how can you live with yourself you misogynist you?

  • ted kilby

    Dear Ryan
    Grace Collier is one of the smartest, funniest and most informed columnist and TV panelists in Australia. To prove that point she quite rightly has no idea, like other well informed people, what The Project is let alone what bloody channel it’s on.

    • Ange

      Illustrating that you’re well informed, by not knowing something. Interesting.

      • Paul Minihan

        what’s interesting about the project? watched it – fell asleep. Same same as all the other left wing no idea of reality garbage.

        • Ange

          Er, clearly I wasn’t saying The Project is interesting. I was saying that bragging about being unaware of something in order to demonstrate how well informed you are is an interesting tactic. I guess when I said interesting, I didn’t really mean interesting.

  • Carolyn Cordon

    What a pile of tripe. Why on earth was this rubbish published?

    • Luke Williams

      Perhaps see my comment for an answer.

      • Carolyn Cordon

        You could be onto something there Luke. This woman drives me to anger, every time she opens her mouth.

        • Jo T

          Dont be a hater. Its a tongue in cheeck piece. Or are u really a blonde passing as a burnette?

    • Kim Sinclair

      Because it is such good sport to see the humorless froth at the mouth 🙂 Get under your skin did it ?? hehehee

  • Kim Sinclair

    The Project? Isn’t that the show where morons get their political indoctrination ooops …education?

    • Steve Johnson

      I think you’ve missed the clever boat.

      • Kim Sinclair

        We called it the clever boat so stupid people would get on it. You obviously made it to the wharf on time.

        • Jo T

          Hehehe. I think Steve fell off the wharf trying to get on and hit his head. LOL

  • Kim Sinclair

    Love your work Grace 🙂

  • Luke Williams

    Oh Grace, will you ever win? If only QandA would have tranny wrestlers on like Jerry Springer. Didn’t you used to work for a union? What happened in the interim? Sounds like it must be so much easier to get published if your a right-winger in Australia, less competition. Maybe I should have an epiphany and jump sides, I’m sick of being a total d-lister.

  • Callum

    “I dislike the way the ABC invites token ‘right-wingers’ onto their programs to set them up for abuse and ridicule.”

    Typical conservative bullshit, WAAAAHHHH! I can’t discuss policy in public! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH! Stop calling me rightwing! it’s not fair! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH! Listen to my important points about left wing bias and Julia’s boobs! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!

    You’re a feminist like this is a well written article.

    not. at. all.

  • dave armitage

    what a load of crap,,drivel actually,,

  • Martin Chape

    Grace, you are not only an idiot you are really really dumb. I watch Q&A and it has nothing to do with my intelligence. So pull your stupid little head in and stop making ridiculous comments if you don’t want us out here to treat you this way.

  • Kerry

    Yes, you are a nobody Wendy.

    Your fiance spelled it out. Disloyalty doesn’t cut it.

    And to think you think moet and bollinger are the bees knees. no class dearie.

    to miss the blue tie metaphor says more about you than you think.

    As for cleavage: Pffft.

    Why would DestroytheJoint respond to lies?

    More integrity in their little finger nail, sweets.

    • Paul Minihan

      you mean the “destroy the joint” that has that vile troll Catherine Deveny as one of its members – the same person who has so much integrity that they call our diggers “rapists, murderers and invaders” but doesn’t have the guts to face any form of scrutiny about that and other comments? is that the same group? or do I have that wrong? or do I miss understand the meaning of integrity?

    • Luke Williams

      Wendy? Why do you keep calling her Wendy?

  • Tony WTF

    Jesus Christ Grace… That article brought out the inner misogynist in me. But only you can do that

  • Penny Lane

    You are truly….. The worst person….. Alive.

    • Kim Sinclair

      Really ?? when did YOU die ??

  • Victoria Rollison

    Grace, if you are so proud of your revolting behavior, why did you turn your Twitter account to protected the morning after I wrote this letter to the AFR?

    • Paul Minihan

      god forbid anyone has an opinion that is not yours… or does everyone have to think and speak and believe exactly what you do? You’re a nasty piece of work after reading that letter.

      • Kim Sinclair

        Some of these feminazis can get pretty nasty Paul. They hate Grace because she exposes them for what they are.

    • Kim Sinclair

      Victoria ..unfortunately you suffer from a classic case of leftism. This means you can be as nasty and as horrible as you like as you see yourself as part of the righteous camp. I have just finished reading your blog and I fail to see how wanting to see Julia Gillard cry trumps wanting to question “every facet of Tony Abbotts existence”.

      However …I am a conservative and I support your right to an opinion. Principally because I am smart enough to know that your own words will ultimately speak for themselves 🙂

  • Kerry

    “For a nobody like me, Janet Albrechtsen of the Australian newspaper was surprisingly easy to contact.”

    Did you ever wonder why, Wendy, why a nobody like you would be able to get through to a RWinger like Albrechsten?

    Did it ever cross your mind that a union rep like yourself, Wendy, would even get to first base with Janet?

    Because you were prepared to double-cross everybody you’d ever worked with. That’s hypocrisy, Wendy, that’s selling-out.

    It doesn’t matter that you want to call yourself by a different name now, Wendy. You have no integrity.

    You can laugh and drink champagne and show your un-lactated fullsome breast in what you consider to be an appropriate situation and it will all be alright. It won’t.

    You’ll get old and tired, just like everybody else who thought feminine charms can overcome integrity. You’ll fail, just like those who thought money was more important than self-worth.

    And your fiance will get tired of you as well. He’s already recognised you have no loyalty. How long’s that going to last?

    • Kim Sinclair

      ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha *deep breath* ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    • Paul Minihan

      there are some really tragic people commenting here – apparently those comfortable shoes are so comfy they all seem to be grumpy

  • cheeky

    limoge?? moet?? raybans?? lol..how gauche…i am thinking you must have had a deprived childhood…you seem to think that the name dropping of these common brands are symbols of you having ”made it”….how bemusing!!

    • Jo T

      And your profile picture……deprived? Image problem………

    • Paul Minihan

      are you all too stupid to see she is taking the micky – get over yourselves

    • Kim Sinclair

      I would take you far more seriously if I wasn’t looking at your ARSE !!!

  • Kristen

    Grace has such a sordid past, I am so looking forward to it all spilling out into the public arena very soon. Those that bark the loudest are usually stuck behind a fence.

    • Paul Minihan

      and I’m guessing you’re a nun?

    • ted kilby

      Of course Grace has a sordid past after all she is an ex union official. That’s what union officials are famous for, isn’t it? Being sordid.

  • Jo T

    Grace is pure gold! Love ya on PML.

  • Paul Minihan

    Luv ya grace, ignore the idiots…. how dare you, as an intelligent woman, have an opinion that differs from theirs… you know that’s not permitted – you summed them up pretty well from what I’ve read.

  • ebien

    Grace Collier is the wittiest women ever! Lol at all the lefties going beserk, truth hurts?
    We all love you Grace, so please keep-up the good work, always looking forward to your guest nights on pmlive <3

  • John

    Grace didn’t really specify whose property the “gauche Gold Coast mansion” was. It kinda reads like she broke into someone’s mansion, stole their alcohol and then proceeded to make herself at home on their “gold recliners”?

  • monty61

    Product placement may be a thing in the ‘Australian Financial Review’ but I never thought the Speccy would stoop to it. Count them!

  • Luke Williams

    Just goes to show Switzer would happily publish a complete nobody with poor writing skills and a clear of conflict of interest as long as they toed his ideological line. Poor form. If Collier is the best they can do then I think that is really sad. Australia needs a more competent and cogent right-wing intelligentsia.