Julia Gillard's cheeky swipe on The Project: 'I'll get beeped'

·4-min read

Julia Gillard appeared on The Sunday Project to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of her famous misogyny speech, as well as her book Not Now, Not Ever, with the 61-year-old taking a few cheeky swipes at her fellow former PMs.

Ms Gillard gave the speech on October 9, 2012 after enduring countless sexist slurs and during her time as Prime Minister, with the Opposition Party criticising her based on her gender, the fact she was unmarried and didn't have children. 2GB's Alan Jones also famously claimed her father died in shame because of his daughter's lies.

Julia Gillard on The Sunday Project
Julia Gillard has taken a cheeky swipe at Tony Abbott during an appearance on The Project discussing her famous misogyny speech. Photo: Ten

She decided enough was enough when the then-opposition leader Tony Abbott accused her of sexism.

Ms Gillard ripped into Mr Abbott in her now-famous speech, saying, "I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not."


"If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia he doesn’t need a motion in the House of Representatives, he needs a mirror.

"The leader of the opposition should think seriously about the role of women in public life and in Australian society because we are entitled to a better standard than this."

Gillard's surprise revelation about famous speech

The speech is so famous it's been turned into tattoos, countless TikToks and even songs.

In her book, Ms Gillard made a surprise revelation about the speech, telling The Project hosts, "It almost never happened."

"I always thought that I’d remembered every moment of that day because it was obviously a big one and I’d been asked about it so many times.

"But when I was putting the Not Now, Not Ever book together, I consulted my then chief of staff Ben Hubbard who reminded me that when Tony Abbott leapt to his feet to speak to the motion, I wandered over to the adviser’s box and said to Ben and the other advisers there, 'I’m going to take the reply’, and they said, ‘Oh really are you going to do that?'

"Because normally I kind of held myself above these day-to-day political tactics and I sort of thought about it, considered not doing it and then decided I would because I was sick of all the ... I will use the word nonsense. All the nonsense."

"Use the read word," Hamish MacDonald joked.

"I will get beeped. I don’t want to get beeped on TV," she responded with a laugh.

When asked what she believes has changed in Australia following the famous speech, Ms Gillard said, "I think what we are doing better is naming and shaming when we see sexism and misogyny.

"I think it’s impossible to imagine that a woman in parliament could be called the things I was without there being an uproar and political consequences.

"I think women’s voices, women’s issues are much more shaping of federal politics."

Julia Gillard's misogyny speech
Ms Gillard's speech quickly became a worldwide sensation and has since been turned into tattoos, TikToks and songs. Photo: ABC

She added, however, that violence against women and barriers for women in the workplace are issues that haven't been solved.

Elsewhere in the chat, Lisa Wilkinson asked if Ms Gillard has ever been asked by other former PMs for advice on life after politics.

"Julia, since leaving politics, you have gained credit for being the best kind of ex-prime minister – dignity, humility, grace, not engaging in the daily political cycle," Lisa said.

"Have you ever got the call-up from Malcolm (Turnbull) or Kevin (Rudd) or Tony (Abbott) asking exactly how you do that?"

"No. I'm not running a training course," the former PM replied.

While Mr Turnbull, Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott have all continued to offer opinions on politics after their time as prime minister, Ms Gillard has gone on to do charity and advocacy work.

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