Breaking the silence

As Annabel Crabb fans, we were super excited for this series which is available now on iView and yes, we binged all four in one sitting. So good!

The four-episode series gives a raw and honest account of politics from the perspective of women who led the way! Crabb already has strong relationships with most of the women she interviews as she’s been a political journalist for more than twenty years and has spent a great deal of time in Canberra. This familiarity and trust adds to the brilliance of this show. The gorgeous banter with a very funny Amanda Vanstone and a surprisingly candid Julie Bishop, can only be a bi-product of shared mutual respect. These interactions and Crabb’s whip smart conversational questioning is pure gold.

It’s been one hundred years since Australia’s first elected parliamentarian, Edith Cowan found her place at Parliament House. We hear about how Edith had to run home to use the bathroom as it would be another sixty years before a female toilet was well, renovated from a men’s toilet – they just covered up the urinal.

Told through funny and sometimes heartbreaking interviews, historically chronicling women’s progress in politics and the hardships they experienced along the way, this diverse cast, including current influencers Penny Wong and Sarah Hanson-Young, is just so watchable – like being at a dinner party and finding out the goss!

Crabb’s enlightening, amiable and delicious interviewing style is showcased here. She expertly shines a light on the experience of women in Parliament now, historically and in the not-so-distant past. The interviews with Julia Gillard are the most illuminating and we had forgotten that Malcolm Gladwell covered this misogyny story years ago in his ‘The Lady Vanishes’ episode which you can listen to here if you are interested.

Annabel Crabb Ms Represented

This is a beautifully crafted documentary series. We learnt so much about what has gone down in the last few decades, including some shocking insights – John Howard making a secret deal with Senator Brian Harradine to vote down the use of the RU486 abortion pill in exchange for the latter’s vote on Telstra privatisation in 1996 is just one example! What?

And hopeful to find out about the subsequent bi-partisan campaign ten years later headed by the Democrat’s Lyn Allison alongside her Liberal colleague Judith Troeth with numerous cross-party women in the senate, which ultimately stripped Tony Abbott of his power over the RU486 and returned its control (quite rightly) to the Therapeutic Goods Association.

The most powerful line comes at the very end and is uttered by Sarah Hanson-Young with a stoic tear in her eye. “When young women ask me is it worth it? I say yes! We have progressed, still a bloody long way to go but we have progressed!”.

We highly recommend the watch and if you still want more, as we did, there’s this great earlier podcast Crabb made with Steph Tisdell of the same name. You can listen to here.


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