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Aussie leader blasts ‘sexist’ menu at opposition dinner

AFP-JIJI

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday accused the opposition of a pattern of misogynist behavior, branding a menu for a party fundraiser “grossly sexist and offensive” after it featured a quail dish named after her that offered “small breasts” and “huge thighs.”

The menu was used at a dinner in March for Mal Brough, a former government minister and now an opposition candidate for national elections in September. The menu only surfaced Wednesday on Twitter, listing a dish called “Julia Gillard Kentucky Fried Quail: Small Breasts and Huge Thighs and A Big Red Box.”

Conservative Liberal opposition leader Tony Abbott condemned the description. But the flame-haired Gillard, whose comments on misogyny last year won her global acclaim, said it demonstrated a “pattern of behavior” within Liberal ranks and called for Abbott to pull his endorsement of Brough.

“Here we are yet again, Mr. Abbott saying that he condemns behavior but we see a pattern of behavior. It doesn’t go away,” Gillard told reporters.

She said Abbott had previously stood next to signs that described her in a sexist way — including as a bitch and witch — and young Liberals had hosted a function where jokes were made about the death of her father. “And now, we have Mr. Brough and Mr. Hockey sat (at) a function with this grossly sexist and offensive menu on display. Join the dots,” she said.

Gillard said that if Abbott is elected prime minister on Sept. 14, as opinion polls currently predict, “it wouldn’t be a question of what’s on fundraising menus, we’d see this lack of respect for women littered throughout all of his government policy documents.”

Abbott said the menu went too far: “We should all be bigger and better than that, whether it’s a tacky, scatological menu out the front of a Liberal party event, whether it’s squalid jokes told at union conference dinners with ministers present.”