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Black presidents, like female Prime Ministers, govern much the way white, male leaders do.

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Similarly, Gillard's ability to get the party back on message, to seize the upper hand in the debate on the super profits tax, to win back voters disillusioned with the Labor Party's backflip on the emissions trading scheme and change in asylum seeker policy.

across the feminist spectrum.

But these are all questions for tomorrow. For now at least, we should all celebrate this landmark moment.

Given the significant role right wing factional warlords played in making her Prime Minister today, these tasks will be Womens Converse All Star Ox V Leather Trainers

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difficult.

The Labor Party was suffering in the polls because people felt they no longer knew what the government stood for, and just being a woman won't be enough to regain the public's interest and respect.

But it's bigger than just an inspirational role. Having a woman running the country will continue to challenge our collective notions of what it means to be Australian, to be a leader, to be a woman.

Though it was his race that lent his presidency its magnitude to start, these are the issues for which it will ultimately be judged.

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Soon Gillard will be consumed by questions of policy. The thrill of Obama's ascendency was quickly drowned out by the financial crisis engulfing his nation, the war in Afghanistan and more recently, the BP oil spill.

It is easy to be dismissive about how far we've come, and to pretend that race, gender and sexuality are not important any more.

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top of a party and a parliament traditionally dominated by blokes.

Will she, as Prime Minister improve the lot of other women, and make their paths to equality easier?

Now, if Barack Obama, the United States' first black president, does get around to visiting Australia in the next few months, he will be greeted by Gillard, our first female leader.

Milestones like a first black Converse Red Leather president or first female prime minister are never simply fluke events, or just brought about by a hard working or charismatic individual. They're the culmination of years of hard work from all those that paved or pushed the way through.

"The important thing is really for Australian girls growing up in this society, I think if there's one girl who looks at the TV screen over the next few days and says 'Gee I might like to do that in the future', well that's a good thing," she told reporters.

Today, that MP, Liberal Senator Bill Heffernan, and all who still think like him, will have to call her "Prime Minister".

´╗┐fruit bowl runneth over

Acknowledement should be given to her immediate predecessor, for his contribution. Rudd appointed the country's first female Govenor General, an act unthinkable to all that came before him but almost forgotten now.

That people have been able to overcome these barriers is momentus.

From the suffragettes to Australia's first female parliamentarian Edith Cowan, from agitators such as Germaine Greer and Faith Bandler, women have forced their way into Australia's public life.

Only five years ago Julia Gillard was publicly mocked when a photoshoot in her home revealed an empty fruitbowl in her kitchen, and soon after was derisively called "deliberately barren" by a parliamentry colleague.

Just being a woman in power is not enough. There will be questions, rightly so, from women Converse Casual Shoes White

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But race and gender do matter, they have mattered for thousands of years. It has been prejudice, plain and simple, that has kept people of colour, women and those who are openly gay and lesbian out of positions of public power until very recently.

The leader of Australia is for the first time, a woman.

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This country, where our concepts of identity, heroism and even friendship have for so long been wrapped up in male stereotypes and male pursuits, is now being led by a woman who has eschewed marriage and children, and climbed a steady and determined path to the Converse Usa

When she first had to step in as acting PM in 2007 when Rudd was overseas, Gillard herself acknowledged the significance of the moment.

As the political and media frenzy around Kevin Rudd's swift and brutal exit swirls today and people seethe about the pomposity and brutality of the Labor factional warlords, it would be easy to let the milestone that has just occurred pass without proper recognition.

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By the same token, while her role as the first female Prime Minister will make her a hero to many women, it is her actions that will keep her being one.

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After four blokes called John, two called William, and a conga line that included Arthur, Andrew and Alfred, we now have a Julia.

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Posted on Friday, July 13, 2007 at 06:40PM by Registered CommenterJhidekim in | CommentsPost a Comment | EmailEmail
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