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Oz parliament in sexism row over 'meow' 'mincing poodle' and 'Doberman' remarks

June 2, 2011 - Canberra

The recent 'cat call' incident in the Australian parliament has seemed to ignite a sexism row in the country, as now Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Leader of opposition Tony Abbott have been dragged into the row for calling a senior Liberal leader a "mincing poodle".

Gillard came under fire from the coalition after she voiced her offence at the "meow" noise Liberal Senator David Bushby made at Finance Minister Penny Wong, reports.

Bushby later apologized to Wong after making cat sounds at her during a parliamentary hearing, but incident has sparked a sexism row, with Labor accusing the Coalition of feral behaviour and Abbott of leading a party of sexist "goons".

The Coalition called Gillard a hypocrite, claiming she had called Christopher Pyne, a member of Australian House of representatives, a "mincing poodle" in 2009.

Gillard denied the allegation, but then pulled Abbott into the controversy.

Back in 2009, before he was elected Liberal Leader, Abbott had been a candidate for the job of Manager of Opposition Business, but Pyne was chosen instead.

Gillard had told Parliament one option for the job would have been a macho performer, a Doberman, referring to Abbott.

Abbott has rejected the Prime Minister's claim as a lie. His spokesman said that Gillard should 'stop telling fibs."

Gillard urged reporters to "go back to the source document", saying she had not called Pyne a 'mincing poodle'.


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