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Stop bullying Julia, Aussie PM’s boyfriend says

AUSTRALIA: The boyfriend of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has hit out at people bullying his partner, saying women are among the worst culprits.

Gillard is Australia’s first female leader and is under huge pressure with her ratings in opinion polls at record lows.

In some recent protests she has been called a “bitch” and a “witch” and Tim Mathieson, a former hairdresser who is known as Australia’s ‘First Bloke’, said he could not understand why women were among Gillard’s biggest critics.

“Being a woman, I think she’s gets targeted quite a bit by the big boys in town,” he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.

“I also think she gets as big a hard time from women as well. I just think they should probably think, would they like it to happen to them? “Would they like being called some nasty names? Bullying women just doesn’t work for me... calling females names does not get you anywhere,” he added. But Mathieson, who has been promoting women’s health awareness, said Gillard “bursts straight through” the constant criticism.

“She’s pretty tough and resilient, she just gets up and goes about it,” he said. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott told Channel Nine he does not think Gillard is singled out for tough treatment because she is a woman.

“I don’t think anyone watching the prime minister in the parliament would think that she’s a shrinking violet or a blushing wallflower,” he said.

“She’s a very tough politician and in the parliament it’s a take no prisoners, give no quarter business.” AFP

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