Or: Why It Matters To Me That Julia Gillard Is A Woman.

There was a moment during my bus ride yesterday morning when it hit me—it really hit me—that before the day was out, we would have a woman as our Prime Minister. I fought back unexpected tears. Fought back, too, the compulsion to grab the nearest person and ask, Can you believe it?

So I sort of pulled up in surprise when I stopped to grab a coffee and the conversation at the counter went something along the lines of, what does it matter that she’s a woman? Similar sentiments were later bouncing around online. Of course, in an ideal world it wouldn’t matter that Julia Gillard has a vagina. But this is far from an ideal world and it matters to me a whole lot.

It matters to me because the majority of women I see in public life, popular culture and the mainstream media are there for decoration, even in 2010.

It matters to me because I look around my industry and while I’m surrounded by women the fact remains that most of the companies are run by men.

It matters to me because I’m unmarried, childless and sometimes I don’t have any fruit in the house, and people need reminding sometimes that women can and do have more to offer society than a ring finger and a uterus.

I’ll always remember how I feel today and for better or for worse, that is extremely proud and hopeful. Go get ‘em Julia.

P.S. Think I’m exaggerating about women in the media? Take a look at this screencap from yesterday’s Age. Top right-hand corner. THAT is what we’re up against. THAT is why we need to celebrate what Julia Gillard has achieved. Honestly.