Wednesday, May 2, 2007

So "family values" means women should be baby machines?

Bill Heffernan, a 64-year-old senator for Australia's Liberal Party, told The Bulletin that he thought Julian Gillard, deputy leader of the Labor Party, was an unfit leader because she didn't have children.
"If you're a leader, you've got to understand your community," Heffernan, a 64-year-old senator in the center-right Liberal Party, told The Bulletin magazine in its Wednesday edition.

"One of the great understandings in a community is family and the relationship between mum, dad and a bucket of nappies," he added.

He has since been forced to apologize:
"I apologise to Julia Gillard and anyone else who was offended by my completely inappropriate remarks," Senator Heffernan told AAP.

It's kinda hard to believe that, though. Especially since he actually first said this a year ago, and his recent comments in The Bulletin were re-iterating them.
Heffernan chastised opposition Labor MP Julia Gillard for being single and childless. "Anyone who chooses to deliberately remain barren ... they've got no idea what life's about," Heffernan said.

And moreover... well, it's best to let him put his foot in his own mouth:
Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan, the Prime Minister's enforcer, has again turned his sights on deputy Labor leader Julia Gillard, repeating his judgment that her "deliberately barren" state makes her unfit for leadership.

In an interview with The Bulletin, Heffernan concedes that his comments were crude but refuses to back away from them.

Leaders need to have an understanding of family, he says.

"I won't walk away from that," Heffernan says. "So rude, crude and unattractive as it was ... If you're a leader, you've got to understand your community...."

So apparently you can only understand your community if you changing diapers. I wonder if Heffernan ever did that, or if he just left it to his wife. (Actually, I've been Googling, and I'm not sure if he even has a wife....)

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