Julia Gillard’s approval rating has risen significantly in the first public opinion survey since the Australian prime minister branded her conservative opponent, Tony Abbott, a sexist and misogynist.
The Herald/Nielsen poll, carried out a week after Gillard’s landmark speech to parliament, showed her personal standing among men and women improve by five points to 47 percent.
More than 2 million people have viewed the video of Gillard’s speech in which she told Abbott that if he wanted to know what a misogynist in modern Australia looked like he should look in a mirror. The prime minister also lambasted Abbott for standing in front of signs outside parliament urging voters to “Ditch the witch.”
In the days that followed the speech, Abbott accused Gillard of playing the gender card and of having double standards on sexism after she refused to sack the — now former — parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper for sending vulgar text messages.
Following the heated debate on sexism and misogyny, Australia’s most authoritative dictionary, the Macquarie Dictionary, broadened its definition of misogyny to include “entrenched prejudice against women” rather than “pathological hatred.” It brought it in line with the Oxford English Dictionary, which changed its definition in 2002.