Sex, Lies and Question Time
Hardie Grant Books, $32.99 pb, 273 pp
Following 200 pages of at times harrowing detail in which former Labor MP Kate Ellis outlines the extent of the sexist and misogynist behaviour she endured as a member of the Australian Parliament, she asks herself: ‘Is it worth the hard days, the unnecessary crap?’ ‘Yes’, she replies. ‘Every. Single. Second. No question.’
This trade-off for women is a tragedy for Australia’s political culture. Women MPs must balance the opportunities to effect change with the ‘unnecessary crap’. And despite Ellis’s unwarranted confidence, we cannot say with any certainty that things are improving for women in Australian politics.