‘First Bloke’ Tim Mathieson has been tried and found guilty of not living up to the manly stereotype, despite all his work in sheds.

Back in your man cave, houseboy. Pic: Kym Smith

You didn’t hear about Therese Rein running former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s baths, or about Janette Howard pouring the bubble bath after former Prime Minister John Howard had a hard day.

It’s all part of the novelty of having our first female Prime Minister.

Let’s hope it wears off soon. It’s patronising (or should that be matronising?). Columnist Andrew Bolt said he was like “the old-fashioned wife”:

“Now, the first bloke Tim Mathieson has been trotted out for an interview and he sounds like the old-fashioned wife. If there was a male prime minister with his wife like this, there would be screams of outrage.”

Any “screams of outrage” should be reserved for that phrase there – “old-fashioned wife”. Spouses get ‘trotted out’ all the time. By Prime Ministers and wannabe future Prime Ministers, as it happens.

Or save your outrage for this headline from Menzies House – ‘Julia’s houseboy has duties’ - with all its condescending innuendo of slavery, of domestic servitude.

It’s hard to imagine them writing ‘Kevin’s housegirl has duties’ of Ms Rein.

The subtext to all this disdain is that men just aren’t meant to have it in them to be good at housework. It’s not their thing. Suits and utes and tradie-type jobs are their thing. Take out the garbage, sure, but they can’t run a load of laundry to save themselves, right?

Every night on every television channel pretty much every single advertisement for cleaning products stars a female doing what, clearly, females are meant to do. Cleaning up after the kids, changing nappies, wiping down benches, cleaning the bathroom.

And they LOVE it, too! Their eyes sparkle the more the tiles gleam. It obviously gives them deep satisfaction to have fluffy clean carpets and ovens devoid of black bits. It is of crucial importance to them that they rid all surfaces off 99.9 per cent of germs, that their children crawl around on dazzling floors, that other women are envious of the perfection of their kitchen.

That’s women’s work, see.

And if you let a man try to do it, watch out. He’ll bungle the washing and doesn’t even know about separates. Boy, he can get stains on his overalls, but can he get them out? Hell, no! He’s so incapable of such houseboyish activities he can’t even follow the ridiculously simple explanations on the bright pink pack!

The takehome message here is straight out of the 1950s. What Mr Mathieson does for Ms Gillard is womanly. Wrong, somehow unnatural.

As an aside – it is perfectly acceptable to talk about his ‘cost to the public purse’; it’s always important to have transparency around pollies and who they take on overseas junkets. But to put that firmly in the context of blow-drys and bath pouring and to ignore the fact that he is treated just like other Prime Ministerial spouse reeks of sexism, of old-fashioned stereotypes.

Having our first female Prime Minister shook things up a little, and for some people it never quite settled back down. They’ve got ants in their pants about it. And having a First Man who is into hair and housework? Well that’s just poking a stick in the nest.

Twitter: @ToryShepherd
Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDST.

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • jaki says:

      10:28am | 20/11/12

      Speaking of “sexism and old fashioned stereotypes”, isn’t this the same man that   said “She’s doing as she’s told” when he refused to let his female partner into his shed ?
      Not a word of outrage from the feminists over that remark.

    • Jasmine says:

      11:37am | 20/11/12

      Perhaps because they were grinning at each other and enjoying the joke. Haters will hate *roll eyes*

    • Toady says:

      12:14pm | 20/11/12

      Jaki, you could learn a thing or two from Jasmine.  The Left are allowed to joke about such things, but if someone on the Coalition side said such a thing, it would be proof positive that they are all misogynists and sexist pigs.

    • jaki says:

      12:20pm | 20/11/12

      Sexism’s alright if you’re grinning ?
      Jeez, you hypocrites are pathetic. *gives finger*

    • mary says:

      12:25pm | 20/11/12

      That doesn’t fit with the feminists’ over-hyped narrative of a “strong leader” in Gillard.  She has shown herself as a complete incompetent as PM and therefore has gone back to doing as she is told by her front bench minders, spin doctors and her partner

    • PJ says:

      12:25pm | 20/11/12

      The only thing I want to know is, are we the taxpayers paying for Mathiesons holiday jaunts when Gillard goes on these business trips?

      We found out that we are paying for Carrs wife to flit around the globe whilst he is on official business, so I guess we are paying for Mathiesons.

      This is a problem.

      Labor had a web site set up to monitor the “scandal” of Howard Government travel expenses. ‘Waste Watch’ it was called. The site made much of the “Scandal” of $13.5 million a year.

      Cast your mind back to the measures discussed by the Gillard Government to combat a 4 th blow out of the 4th Budget.

      Remember Penny Wong offering to cut $30 million (What?) off travel per year? We all laughed how this would combat a $44 Billion budget blow out you’ll recall.

      The Gillard Government spends $240 million in travel allowances and $30 million on air travel alone.

      Let me quote from the Labor Governments website Waste Watch, as it recorded the Howard Scandal of spending $13.5 million per year on travel in 2007:

      “Australian families are struggling with record-high prices for petrol, healthcare, education, mortgages and food,” the site said. “Wasting billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money is totally unacceptable.”

    • Brad says:

      12:27pm | 20/11/12

      That’s right Jaki..

      Oh no, Ms Gillard was not allowed to go anywhere near the shed. Because it suited the political narration at the time. Now Ms Gillard has got herself in to this calling sexism where ever she sees it thing…

      Hypocrite = Ms Gillard!

    • jaki says:

      12:39pm | 20/11/12

      @ Toady
      Nah, there’s not much to learn from stupid women ( I was grinning when I wrote that, Jasmine)

    • HappyG says:

      12:53pm | 20/11/12

      @Jaki. In relation to your response to @Jasmine.

      I like your style.

    • tez says:

      01:18pm | 20/11/12

      It dosen’t matter what this man say or dose it will be critisised here by loads of people so go your hardest I can’t imagine he will be bothered to read any of them .

    • Rose says:

      01:42pm | 20/11/12

      “The only thing I want to know is, are we the taxpayers paying for Mathiesons holiday jaunts when Gillard goes on these business trips?”

      PJ,, I have no doubt it costs the equivalent of Janette Howard’s ‘holiday jaunts’!!

    • Pro says:

      01:43pm | 20/11/12

      I still can’t believe that women think they’re being discriminated against… I am married and my wife and I share the housework. I do laundry, wash the dishes, iron clothes, my shirts really, can’t do the rest ( but that’s fair enough isn’t it). Moreover, Tory and the other women who go on complaining calling society misogynistic, think back a few decades or hundred years and realize how women came to do housework more than men. Men would cut wood and maybe their arms in the process, earn money farming someone else’s or their own farm, go to war and get shot, go hunting and the list goes on. Women could cut wood for the fireplace? Few of them maybe yes, women go to war and wrestle with the enemy who would be 99% a man and beat him? Extremely unlikely. Women farming? That’s a bit more common but then you would complain about not having nice clothes, a nice body with nice hair and hands and legs etc…

      In today’s world, man and woman don’t have to do most of these things, perhaps war as usual is around and we do see women in the army, but we don’t usually wrestle or throw javelins to each other nowadays. Anyhow, my point is that men are better suited for some jobs than women, and you should realize that before critisizing us otherwise try going the shed to build a patio, or bricklaying or going to the army to use artillery and not as a medic.

    • jaki says:

      01:49pm | 20/11/12

      @ HappyG
      Cheers, Happy !

      @ Tez
      Of course he won’t be bothered to read the comments - he’s got a taxpayer-funded assistant for that.

    • tqft says:

      10:29am | 20/11/12

      Oh no, home unemployed I do washing and iron my wife’s work shirts.  Why have they not done on expose on me?
      I am also the best cook in the house, I even make better scones than my Mum.
      I am most of the way to 50, so who is responsible for the evil cultural milieu I was raised in?
      Must have been that small country town upbringing, where I learnt responsibility, sharing and a work ethic.

    • Tubesteak says:

      11:42am | 20/11/12

      Life is tough if you’re a white male

      If anything goes wrong with your life you can only blame yourself

      Apparently we’re all members of the patriarchy old boys club of misogynists born with silver spoons in our moths and exclusive membership to the executives club wink

    • JoniM says:

      03:11pm | 20/11/12

      “I am most of the way to 50, so who is responsible for the evil cultural milieu I was raised in? “

      Can’t be sure, but I might venture to say,  could it be that all encompassing problem maker…..........Abbott ?

    • Strawb says:

      10:30am | 20/11/12

      Any real man wouldn’t be caught dead in an article like that. Period

    • Samuel says:

      10:31am | 20/11/12

      I can’t help but think you’ve entirely missed the point of what people are actually criticizing here. You’ve managed to build an impressive straw man, but it’s still a straw man.

    • andye says:

      10:47am | 20/11/12

      What exactly is that point?

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      10:56am | 20/11/12

      What point am I missing about him being called an old-fashioned wife and a houseboy? What are people actually criticising? (Seriously?)

    • Samuel says:

      11:46am | 20/11/12

      Christiano commenting below does a pretty good job of summarising what i’m talking about.

      I’d only add that the issue isn’t that Tim’s doing housework specifically - it’s that he’s essentially living at the beck and call of the PM. Which is fine in and of itself, but in the context of a party that gleefully tried to turn a relatively thoughtless but innocuous comment by Abbott about women doing the ironing into a national scandal, it’s fairly hypocritical.

    • Richard says:

      12:03pm | 20/11/12

      I think the point is, Tim is a bit of a layabout, where as previous first-spouses have been more active in the community (not that Tim and the PM are married).

      But, its just, when Margaret Whitlam critisized Janette Howard for not “doing” more, well, when you compare that to Tim’s typical day (doing a bit of hair styling, laying around on the couch, running a bath, etc), that criticism is unjustified.

    • Evangalia says:

      12:10pm | 20/11/12

      Reply to Tory Shepard….....I don’t know about the old fashioned wife bit, but he sure as hell came across as a ‘houseboy’ in the interview he gave, wether it was tongue in cheek or not.
      It has been noted today in the press that Tim also has a member of the PM’s office as an assistant to help him with his schedule. Isn’t he over 50? with a lot of spare time on his hands. why can’t he organise a schedule on his own, is he dimwitted. That would make him Dim Tim.

    • Rosie says:

      01:44pm | 20/11/12

      Reading through the article and the comments I wasn’t sure what to make of it.

      I remember being told by my son that he shouldn’t be made to do any house chores for fear he may turn gay. I kind of was aware of it and carefully gave him what I thought were manly chores which was very little. It is now a big joke in our family because now he is married to a very nice girl, he does everything from changing nappies to cooking.

      Tory, I am interested to know what the modern age, well grounded, intelligent female thinks about it.

      Personally, I think Tim likes to be dominated by a strong, intelligent, very ambitious woman. Women of that sort will find themselves extremely lucky during their old age because men like Tim are the ones that will be there taking good care of them.

      Punch I was Nice so will have this posted first try?

    • Rose says:

      02:03pm | 20/11/12

      Rosie, you’re admitting that you fell for the crap that your son made up?? Seriously?? I would’ve given him the most ‘feminine’ of tasks that I could think of for trying it on with such utter rubbish.

    • Mahhrat says:

      10:41am | 20/11/12

      Yep, good article.

      I’d put my cleaning efforts against any person you like, boy or girl.  I’m no professional, but in 12 rental properties I never had a cleanliness issue with the bond or the landlord. 

      The whole idea of the PM’s husband (or whatever) being treated differently to Mrs Abbott or Turnbull is such a sexist nonsense.

      I think it’s jealousy, honestly.  I mean, here is a house husband who many would deride…except he’s got the ear of arguably the most powerful woman in Australia.  He’s obviously doing something right!

    • Tony H says:

      11:10am | 20/11/12

      I don’t think Gina would listen to him at all or be in the least bit interested in his opinion on any subject given his career history.

    • tez says:

      01:06pm | 20/11/12

      @ Tony H;  Gina definitly need a decent hairdresser

    • Jen says:

      11:05am | 20/11/12

      I’m just amazed no one has dismissed this article as “another” attempt to de-rail Movember.

    • James says:

      11:50am | 20/11/12

      How could it be… there has been only on article on movember ?

    • Anubis says:

      11:53am | 20/11/12

      That would be because it isn’t. Effort for trolling -1

    • Ben C says:

      12:59pm | 20/11/12

      Fail Jen, can’t even give you marks for trying.

    • Christiano says:

      11:11am | 20/11/12

      Tory, this paragraph sums up the point that you seem to be completely missing:

      “You didn’t hear about Therese Rein running former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s baths, or about Janette Howard pouring the bubble bath after former Prime Minister John Howard had a hard day”.

      That’s because they women in these examples didn’t (or don’t) run baths for their more important, cleverer, high profile husbands. Or if they did, perhaps in some way mirroring their respective eras or the teachings from their mothers, they would have too much self respect and media savvy to admit that they spend the majority of their daytimes (a) watching their spouse on the tellybox and then (b) their night times waiting patiently for their big, strong, smarter, more important hubbies to return home, so that they can feel fulfilled by having run them a bath.

      The story painted the First Bloke - seemingly deliberately - as an utterly useless waste of grey matter. Even Mrs Howard - who was so often the butt of jokes from the Left for being ‘from another era’, for being ‘useless’ (thanks Mrs Whitlam for that one) never allowed herself to be publicly painted as nothing but a largely idle doormat for her higher profile spouse.

      That’s the point you seem to be completely missing.

    • Jasmine says:

      11:47am | 20/11/12

      “The story painted the First Bloke - seemingly deliberately - as an utterly useless waste of grey matter.”
      You can be sure it’s deliberate, or an awkward attempt at levity at least. Hey, the media have just GOT to find SOMETHING negative about the guy.  More ammo to use against the PM. He’s way too amiable for them.

    • Evangalia says:

      12:15pm | 20/11/12

      Jasmine…..he was the one who was dimwitted enough to give the media the story. Taking responsibility for his actions would be a wise move for him.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:29pm | 20/11/12

      The spin-doctors would not have allowed the women to be portrayed in such a manner because the sistahood would have screamed that the husband was a misogynist for allowing a woman do such a thing. According to the rabid feminists all women are meant to be part-time CEOs leaving work at 3pm to pick up the kids from daycare while earning the same remuneration as their male counterparts.

    • Rose says:

      01:53pm | 20/11/12

      “Even Mrs Howard - who was so often the butt of jokes from the Left for being ‘from another era’, for being ‘useless’ (thanks Mrs Whitlam for that one) never allowed herself to be publicly painted as nothing but a largely idle doormat for her higher profile spouse”
      I always thought of Janette Howard in terms of being pretty much idle and useless, except for her nasty, manipulative streak which came out a bit later. I can’t think of a single thing the woman did that was useful, except for fawning all over Howard as they galloped around the globe. I don’t see any difference between her ‘then’ life and the life of Matheson, both have put aside their own careers to be the support that their spouse needed, it apparently worked for the Howard’s relationship and it appears to be working for Gillard and Matheson.
      We get to vote for our politicians, not their spouses, so long as the couples are happy, who cares, and even if they’re not, it’s none of our business anyway!!

    • PJ says:

      03:10pm | 20/11/12

      Gillard large personal wealth means she’ll have servants from the student visa or 457 program.

      The existence of cleaners cooks and Gardeners, made possible by an open door immigration policy, mean Mathiesons doesn’t do any domestics.

      So this article is nonsense.

    • LJ Dots says:

      06:54pm | 20/11/12

      @Christiano, agreed - I was in the middle of preparing a response (between doing the standard guy thing of hanging the washing, ironing my shirts for tomorrow and getting dinner ready), but thought I should read the comments first in case it had already been mentioned - and yes, so it was.

      I was working along the lines of - *Tory, the reason you did not hear about bubble baths being drawn by Therese Rein or Janette Howard or Marg Whitlam or gee, any other spouse of a politician is because they never said it in the first place. Tim, on the other hand did say this - there is a non too subtle difference here which has escaped you.*

      I can’t believe the circumstances would ever arrive where I have to say this on a thread, but here it is - I don’t care what gender a person is, they can draw their own damn bath.

    • I hate pies says:

      11:11am | 20/11/12

      Everyone knows that the modern man can cook and clean. We have to, we’re expected to be everything to everyone all of the time now. We must bow down to our goddesses.

    • Economist says:

      12:08pm | 20/11/12

      This cracks me up. You resent feminism because you now have some responsibility to participate in the household, you now have some responsibility to maintain your attractiveness to your partner.

      Women had this this very problem only a few generations ago. They had to bow down to their husbands/god.

    • I hate pies says:

      12:53pm | 20/11/12

      Yeah but they didn’t have to go to work as well. Men are also expected to be more hands on as parents than they’ve ever been too…like I said we have to be everything to everyone all of the time.
      I’ll admit I’m being a bit facetious here, but we shouldn’t play down the pressures placed on men now. They are real, and some can’t cope with them. In the month that we focus on mens health this is a pertinent topic.

    • Draconian says:

      01:14pm | 20/11/12

      My husband and I both work and therefore both share/d the responsibilities of raising our children, cooking, cleaning and washing the clothes.  What’s wrong with that?  Sure I do most of the cooking, but he does most of the laundry.  Works for me smile

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      11:12am | 20/11/12

      And as for the rubber duckie….........  Please. And I really doubt that Janet Howard would have drawn John Howard’s bath.

    • Draconian says:

      01:18pm | 20/11/12

      Yeah, she’s not much of a sketch artist.  wink

    • James says:

      11:15am | 20/11/12

      You only just noticed the “media” portray men as dumb lazy incapable muscle ? Seriously where have you been…

      If you want the gender stereotypes to stop, its pretty easy - you just need to not write them.

    • Mick In The Hills says:

      11:17am | 20/11/12

      If Tory wants to be outraged by putdowns of females, how about a comment by ABC Breakfast’s Michael Rowland this morning describing Judith Sloan and Heather Ridout (panellists on QandA) as “spare furniture”?

    • Modern Primitive says:

      12:02pm | 20/11/12

      Is it sexist though?

    • Luc Belrose says:

      12:12pm | 20/11/12

      “Gender stereotypes”, “misogyny”,“sexism and old fashioned stereotypes”: forget all these nice and new age words that are bandied around at Editors meetings and Parliamentary debates where there is not much to do.
      All this recently visited verbiage will quietly go out of fashion. The fundamentals are:- women are the best cooks, have enormous talent in running a household, bring up children and perform very well in professions. 
      Men in general are lousy cooks and to a large degree do not possess the above refined aptitudes, but are good at pursuing careers and increase their earning capacity, do the heavy jobs at home. And this human paradigm will continue for ever. One more thing: women tend to run the show as well given an opportunity!

    • Anubis says:

      12:14pm | 20/11/12

      @ Modern Primitive - Under the new Macquarie “Gillard Edition” Dictionary of course it’s not sexist, it is misogynistic because it was a comment about two women (no matter how deserved it was).

    • Anubis says:

      12:33pm | 20/11/12

      @ Luc Belrose - “women are the best cooks” not in my house nor in most of the restaurants around the world

      “Men in general are ... and to a large degree do not possess the above refined aptitudes” Most men I know are quite adept at doing the housework, raising their kids and performing well in professions.

      Don’t know what circles you move in but it must be a weird little world.

    • Gav says:

      11:30am | 20/11/12

      In the modern world, families generally need two incomes to support their lifestyle. (I don’t think single income families are the norm.)

      As such, roles within the family need to be shared, both at work and at home. If a woman works she can no longer do all of the housework, just as when a man isn’t the sole breadwinner he can’t expect to have the housework done for him.

      It is all quite simple, really.

    • Bazza says:

      12:21pm | 20/11/12

      So why doesn’t Tim get a job, then he and Julia would become a normal Australian family and become part of Gillards ‘working families’..

    • Anubis says:

      01:22pm | 20/11/12

      @ Bazza then they could be mervyn forwood couldn’t they. Two ALP slogans in one day.

    • AdamC says:

      11:39am | 20/11/12

      I think the reality is that most men would not be at all satisfied or content with being purely a homemaker. Maybe that is social conditioning, or maybe it is something else, but it is definitely true. Therefore, being a house husband is linked in many men’s mind with a loss of masculine gravitas.

      We should all be a little less judgemental. If the Mathieson/Gillard household is happy with their arrangements, who cares? Nobody has a mortgage on unwedded bliss, after all.

    • Sara Somewhere says:

      02:09pm | 20/11/12

      Of all my friends and family, I know of two such men, one of whom is my own husband. We decided at the beginning of our relationship that since I cared about my career more than he did about his, mine would be the priority. So, if (and that’s a big if) we had kids he would be the primary carer, and if my job required us to move overseas he would quit his in order to do so. At this stage we have no kids and both work, so housework is distributed evenly, but things will likely change in the future.

      A few people have questioned this arrangement, namely my husband’s contentment with not being the main breadwinner. His usual response is somewhat sarcastic—“My wife wants to earn lots of money and take me to exotic destinations, gee what am I to do?”. It helps that his main motivation for getting out of bed in the morning is that he wants to feel useful, and that volunteering, or looking after kids, or housekeeping will all fill that need nicely. Judge him for wanting to be a house-husband if you like, but he thinks he’s on to a winner.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      11:41am | 20/11/12

      Tory, Tim, as “First Bloke” is on a hiding to nothing.  He is unable to be employed (possible conflict of interest, perceived bias and favoritism)  and so, becomes a stay at home “wife”.  Fair enough.  But…....

      If the article was about Tony Abbott and how his wife “poured his bath for him” and “did his hair for him” and “sat on the couch watching him on APAC, waiting for him to come home” the hand bag mafia would scream from the roof tops about how this PROVES his Catholic ethos of keeping the “little woman” in the 1950’s.  They would have an attack of the vapours declaring this was proof positive of his misogynistic treatment of women and how he is a bad bad AbbottAbbottAbbott.

    • Christiano says:

      12:10pm | 20/11/12

      Steve - first paragraph - not sure about that. Ms Rein certainly had a pretty successful independent career whilst her husband was PM; albeit there were occasional discussions regarding conflicts of interest.

      But second paragraph, Steve - Spot on. Exactly the point I was trying to make. The double standards from much of the media on this are breathtaking.

      Abbott’s wife is a former investment banker, and a pillar of her local community now that she’s involved in disability care. Gillard’s partner is a part time and/or retired hairdresser who has himself stated that he spends his days watching his partner on TV and his nights running her baths. It’s an interesting and instructive contrast, particularly in the context of the way much of the media and all of the ALP are endeavouring to paint Abbott.

      @Jasmine, I probably should have articulated myself more clearly. My point is that First Bloke was seemingly painting HIMSELF as a useless doormat. Not that the article had unfairly and inaccurately portrayed the interview. Not at all.

    • Steve of QBN says:

      01:26pm | 20/11/12

      Christiano, with the exception of Ms Rein, no PM’s wife held a job while her husband was PM.  Indeed, she was already running her own company so her “employment” proceeded Kevin’s PM-ship.

      By job I mean “was employed outside her official duties in a paid capacity”.  There are many reasons for this, security concerns, official functions and (as in my first sentence above) there might be a perceived bias or patronage to their employer.  Likewise there might even be a conflict of interest.  Therese has to sell her employment business because it tendered for government contracts and, as the wife of the PM, this was considered too close to home.

      For no other reasons that this, Tim is unemployable while Julia is PM.  And while his “home body” story may well have been tongue in cheek, it shows the double standards of the left.  What is a virtue when done by Tim, is seen as being “Abbott’s doormat” if articulated by Margie Abbott.

    • Kassandra says:

      11:58am | 20/11/12

      Who the hell has time these days to take a bath, especially a bubble bath? And why would anyone else run it for you, unless they were getting in as well? And you forgot the candles and wine. Can’t imagine that sort of thing in the Lodge really.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      12:19pm | 20/11/12

      @Kassandra, uhm my wife often has a bath of a night AND I sometimes run it AND (due to the size) I don’t hop in.

      Seriously, I thought that a lot of stuff I do is just the norm for us males. Obviously I have been wrong.

    • Rose says:

      02:00pm | 20/11/12

      Maybe that’s why he runs the bath, to save her time!!!

    • PsychoHyena says:

      05:18pm | 20/11/12

      @rose, I know I do it just out of love for my wife, and I make sure she has time for one.

    • Modern Primitive says:

      12:00pm | 20/11/12

      Do men really feel the need to get rid of 99.9% of germs?

    • iansand says:

      12:24pm | 20/11/12

      I see getting rid of 99.9% of germs as clearing the playing field for the nasty 0.1%  that survive.

    • martinX says:

      12:34pm | 20/11/12

      I do. Love bleach.

    • Rowdy says:

      12:36pm | 20/11/12

      That 0.1% of all germs must be real tough SOB’s….

    • Steve of QBN says:

      01:16pm | 20/11/12

      Germ 0.1%, the Chuck Norris of germs!

    • Rowdy says:

      01:57pm | 20/11/12

      Chuck Norris Disinfectant…..kills 500% of germs and bacteria…..

    • Mark says:

      12:14pm | 20/11/12

      Why does he need a personal assistant to help him when he has so much time on his hands ? No other partner of a PM has had this person appointed to them. Another tax payer funded person with no benefit to the taxpayer.

    • jaki says:

      12:43pm | 20/11/12

      He needs the assistant to fetch the TV remote so that he doesn’t have to get off the couch.

    • stringalong says:

      02:56pm | 20/11/12

      Well, considering Tim’s success (or lack of) in the Big World Of Business, he’s right to be riht there in the trough up to his eyebrows. It’s the best pick-up on a train ever!

    • Bazza says:

      12:17pm | 20/11/12

      There’s no reason the Mathieson should escape the typical dog and pony show that Prime Ministers have done with their wives for years. Why is the partner of the PM of any concern to anyone? That’s a rhetorical question, that only an imbecile would answer.

    • The real Bazza says:

      03:57pm | 20/11/12

      Get your own name or put a 2 after yours

    • Gravelly says:

      12:19pm | 20/11/12

      Sure is different for the lefties! What a joke.

    • Kevin Rugg of Beaumaris says:

      12:26pm | 20/11/12

      There’s wonderful scope for a skilled satirist here! For instance, we have a Prime Ministerial partner spruiking the Men’s Shed Movement, which believes you can cure men’s angst by herding them into sheds.

    • Anubis says:

      01:25pm | 20/11/12

      @ Kevin Rugg - sorry had to read your comment twice before it made sense first reading produced “There’s wonderful scope for a skilled satanist here”

      Fitting but not quite right. Damn dyslexia

    • Sue says:

      12:29pm | 20/11/12

      Another point you seem to have missed, Tory: you say, “...a First Man who is into hair and housework”. Perhaps I overlooked it, but I saw no mention of Tim being in the slightest bit interested in a gleaming bathroom. He ran a bath, and how much effort does that take! You surely don’t imagine that he does the hard part and cleans the bath, do you?

    • Urrrggghhh, really? says:

      12:32pm | 20/11/12

      As if we should expect anything less from Andrew Bolt. He wouldn’t know a real man, if he fell over one. And he certainly isn’t an example of a real man.

      Oh my lord! A woman has a MAN doing housework???!!! Ummm, no. A loving couple have a balanced and fair relationship. Just because she has a vagina, doesn’t make her better at laundry. It makes her better at having a vagina.

      And to all those men who believe they aren’t ‘real men’ if they’re CONTRIBUTING to the success of their own household in general… Hahahahahahaaaaa. You tools. Imagine how much sex you’d get if your wives weren’t muttering expletives about your lazy arse all the time. That headache came from all the work you idiot slave drivers enforce on them.

      When my husband does the dishes/washing/baths the kids etc… I don’t walk around praising him for helping me. He lives here too. And I love him more for not treating me like a second class citizen in my own house.

      The fact that Julia Gillard’s partner gets this kind of treatment is indicative of the blatant sexism that is thrown at our Prime Minister and every other bloody women, every day. Grow up or shut up Neanderthals.

      Hey TQFT… Well done and congratulations on being a decent human and husband. Pass that attitude on, maybe we can wipe out these dinosaurs…

    • HappyG says:

      01:08pm | 20/11/12

      You sound like a real sweetheart. The type any bloke would be proud to have…...............not. And shouting in upper case doesn’t make your arguement any more valid. Gillard, by the way is using her sex as an excuse for being a piss poor PM in case you weren’t paying attention.

    • Jamie says:

      01:09pm | 20/11/12

      Stop throwing your blatant sexism at Andrew Bolt, you neanderthal.

    • Joel B1 says:

      01:11pm | 20/11/12

      Umm, Tim doesn’t do the housework, he doesn’t cook, clean or wash the clothes or the dishes.

      And he’s got a personal assistant.

      I’m a stay-at-home dad, and I would be very happy to live the life of Tim.

      (do try to actually read and grasp the story next time, I understand it’s hard)

    • Angry God of Townsville says:

      02:58pm | 20/11/12

      FFS, the house has a range of staff for your cleaning activities. He is doing SFA. As for your newly discovered depths of sexism, the guy is doing bugger all and because Julia is a woman, any attacks on his bludging are sexist. Grow up, every one knows he is a beard, just get over it.

      The majority of men do contribute to the running of their houses, even your much better half is acknowledged as doing something. Get your brain out of some Rockwellian flashback and understand that just because the ALP says that those who vote conservative are throwbacks to the 50’s that this is not actually true.

      Interesting that you refer to men as tools and Neanderthals,then whinge about sexist comments. Get over yourself, your Husband is probably cheating on you, that is why he chooses to do a small amount of work, to put up the false image of the caring house maker. If he is, I do not blame him, you sound like a real piece of work.

    • James says:

      04:14pm | 20/11/12

      Just shows how out of touch you are. Clearly some women need an education on the changing role of men in the modern age and the old chestnut of men don’t do enough work around the house is garbage.

    • Joel B1 says:

      12:32pm | 20/11/12

      Tory, Tory, Tory.

      The point you fail to grasp is that PM Gillard bangs on about Mr Abbott as being a misogynist but essentially treats her partner (Tim) in a way that would have her crying “You sexist pig Abbott” if he did it.

      It’s easy, just swap Abbott and family for Gillard and BF and then see what you’d think about this situation.

      Can I suggest that you try to do that more often?

      It’s enlightening.

    • Tory Shepherd

      Tory Shepherd says:

      01:03pm | 20/11/12

      Enlightening? Na, facile.

      How do you know she treats him in a sexist way? I haven’t seen any evidence of that…

    • Bear says:

      01:04pm | 20/11/12

      How do you know how she treats him?

    • Joel B1 says:

      01:32pm | 20/11/12

      Tory, think about it.

      Tim’s a kept man. He doesn’t work, clean, wash, cook or anything. He’s a trophy-husband (god-help-me-for-saying-that)

      That’s sexist ain’t it? It would be if Abbott did it.

      As for facile… more like “slender-of-thought”.

    • Joel B1 says:

      01:47pm | 20/11/12

      Oh wait! Now I see what you’re getting at!

      Women can’t treat men in a sexist fashion, because only men can be sexist.

      Well, that removes Ms Gillard from any scrutiny in that area rather conveniently.

    • Rose says:

      02:11pm | 20/11/12

      I’ve seen no evidence of Gillard being sexist toward her partner. If he chooses to live a certain way and she is supportive of that, that’s their business. Just as she picked a certain way of living and he is apparently supportive of that. It only becomes sexist if one is forced to live a certain way against their will BECAUSE of their gender OR if someone is ridiculed for living a certain way BECAUSE of their gender.

    • andye says:

      03:44pm | 20/11/12

      @Joel B1 - Isn’t Mrs Tony a stay-at-home wife anyway? Isn’t your example already the reality?

    • Anteater says:

      01:12pm | 20/11/12

      How much tv does Tori actually watch? Because I can think of at least one ad for a shower cleaning product where a teenage boy is handed the magical substance by his father no less, and they both marvel together about how easy and effective it is to clean the bathroom. By focusing too much of this article on a problem that advertising is already addressing, it ended up sounding like an uninformed rant

    • Colin says:

      01:38pm | 20/11/12

      It never ceases to amaze me that the advertising agencies - who are supposedly progressive, avant garde types - produce ad after ad of gender-stereotyping that reinforces the notion that women should be doing all of the cooking, cleaning, washing…And any ad where a man is seen to do any cooking or cleaning is almost always painted in the light of, “Look at what he’s doing specially for HER…”

      Frankly, I think Tim Mathieson is a great archetype for the modern man who is comfortable with his gender and his role, and certainly not worried about - somehow - being emasculated or seen as something less than some, simply because he isn’t some ‘Blokey bloke’s bloke’

    • I hate pies says:

      02:04pm | 20/11/12

      It never ceases to amaze me that advertising agencies target their advertising at the people most likely to buy their products…for the good of women those sexist pigs should just waste their money and target people that don’t buy their products…you Colin, are a dill.

    • Kat says:

      02:22pm | 20/11/12

      That ad was to show that the product was so easy to use even a stupid teenaged male could clean the shower with it, while the mum prepares a meal in the background (from memory, I could be wrong)

      It is only one ad out of many and it continues to perpetuate the stereotype that men are useless at housework, unless it includes mowing lawns.

      (I am not a male or female hater, I’m on everyones side smile )

    • Colin says:

      02:49pm | 20/11/12

      @ I hate pies

      “...advertising agencies target their advertising at the people most likely to buy their products…”

      Yes, but they perpetuate the notion that the person who uses and, therefore,buys their products is a woman. Calling me a dill doesn’t alter the fact that ad agencies are simply reinforcing gender stereotypes…

      Gender stereotyping in any culture tell the males of that society what it is to be a man, what things men do, how boys become men, what environments are to be preferred by men, how men relate to each other and to women and so on. SO it is with female stereotyping and its perpetuation in our culture partly through its reinforcement through advertising.

    • Colin says:

      03:13pm | 20/11/12

      @ HappyG

      “@Colin. So who’s kitchen bitch are you then?”

      Charming; another quality post.

      And people keep saying I am a troll…

    • Pattem says:

      04:10pm | 20/11/12

      @Colin, if you put two and two together…

      “So who’s kitchen bitch are you then?” + “And people keep saying I am a troll…”

      Then the answer is:  I am Mrs Troll’s Bitch… smile)

    • James says:

      04:20pm | 20/11/12

      @ Colin - At least those ads don’t portray women as dumb sex objects… If you wonder why gender issues exist all you have to do is look at the role models for young boys… homer simpson… peter griffin…

    • Sickemrex says:

      05:39pm | 20/11/12

      Advertising of clean product is pretty condescending to everyone. Women are presented as simpletons whose day is made worthwhile by a gleaming surface and men are presented as simpletons who are patted on the head for managing to tip stuff onto a surface and rub the dirt off. Sexism just the way it should be, equal but different.

    • camzhydro says:

      01:34pm | 20/11/12

      Anyone have anything interesting to talk about?

    • jaki says:

      01:59pm | 20/11/12

      I do !

    • Lysander Spooner says:

      02:00pm | 20/11/12

      Janette ran the country! She was always behind the scenes rustling up support for Howard, coercing foreign leaders into a cup of tea, a scone and a decision they didn’t want to make. I think Downer actually once wrote an article about Janette and how she was “always there” and “making sure things went right.” I don’t see that in old Timmy time?

    • Tailgunner says:

      02:14pm | 20/11/12

      So Tory (hilarious name by the way…),
      You would think it perfectly acceptable if Margy Abbott (as the wife of a hypothetical PM Abbott) giving an interview where she gave a similar instance of her typical day? You know-running baths for Big Tone, fetching his Prime Ministerial slippers, dinner on the table by 7 sharp? Seriously!?
      Wow-did you feel the breeze as the actual point went well over your head?
      And for the record-Tim isn’t a man…but there are plenty of other subservient beta males in the world that don’t know how to be men…thank goodness they tend to be partnered with masculine career women…leaving the feminine,sexy chicks for us alphas…

    • Modern Primitive says:

      02:16pm | 20/11/12

      Look, you guys can have your career and your progressive ness, but I want a wife who’s happy to be a homemaker.

      Is there anything wrong with traditional gender roles if that’s what both in the couple want? I know plenty of girls my age who are happy to be stay at home mums. Sure, they could work full time if they wanted to, but they don’t.

    • Markus says:

      03:41pm | 20/11/12

      “I know plenty of girls my age who are happy to be stay at home mums”
      Of course they would. Compared to 50-60 years ago, being a stay at home mum nowadays is a sweet deal.

      Who would seriously want to work full time if they didn’t have to?

    • Draconian says:

      04:04pm | 20/11/12

      I’d be quite happy to stay at home and do nothing.  Unfortunatey, we can’t afford it.  If you can, then go for it!  smile

    • P. Walker says:

      03:40pm | 20/11/12

      Pete Fumberger love your post, spot on, but The Men’s Shed is a great organisation, and to put you on the right track, Tim would be totally lost in that place.  They don’t sit with their legs deliberately crossed watching telly, if you know what I mean.

    • jaki says:

      04:56pm | 20/11/12

      Looks like Pete must have offended some sensitive..ahem…soul, his comment quickly got the chop.

    • GT says:

      03:56pm | 20/11/12

      You’re wrong, Tory. Julia and her ‘handbag hitsquad’ made themselves the self-appointed sexism police.

      Now we hear that Julia has an embarrassing, emasculated, subservient ‘house husband’ kept at home. He is (in everything but gender) a 1950s housewife, which Julia is meant to be so against. Turns out she is fine with that, as long as it is a man that she gets to have in such a role. Hypocrite!

      And Tony Abbott is a misogynist and treats women badly? Last time I checked, his wife actually had a job! Margie Abbott is a million times more impressive than this loafer, who embarrasses all Australian men. And come on, imagine if a story came out about how Abbott’s wife stayed at home, sitting on the couch, fetched his paper, and ran his bath. You and all feminists would be absolutely frothing at the mouth and saying how 1950’s that was and how Abbott is a misogynist creep who wants all women back in the kitchen. Don’t you dare try and say you wouldn’t!

      It is truly amazing you can’t see the hypocrisy!

    • karly says:

      05:35pm | 20/11/12

      i couldn’t agree more GT,  unfortunately rusted on labor supporters wouldn’t see the hypocrisy if it slapped them in the face,  too busy pointing out faults in TA.

    • George says:

      04:36pm | 20/11/12

      Imagine interviewing the two partners, Margie Abbott and Tim. Topic: how can we help our partners in their endeavour to the Lodge. Have just finished watching Hawke and Howard interviewed by Ray Martins. Something along those lines.

      Margie will begin with her experience as a mother and someone married to a Catholic. With that in mind she may be able to fill us in with why her husband believes strongly on LNP policies.

      Tim as a hairdresser and married before might like to tell us about why he decided to be a hairdresser and what it is like to leave your first wife and that family for an ambitious intelligent woman who later became a PM. Oh yes he can talk about his shed. I doubt he would be able to talk about Labor’s policies. Poor Tim just looks ordinary without the intellect to be on par with Julia when it comes to knowledge.

    • Vernon says:

      05:43pm | 20/11/12

      I wonder if Tim sit’s at home in the Lodge reading 50 Shades of Grey ?


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free News.com.au newsletter