Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has caused a worldwide storm by posing for a picture in the Australian Women’s Weekly knitting a kangaroo toy for William and Kate’s baby.
The photograph of her in an armchair with her dog at her feet has appeared all over the international media, along with reams of scrutiny, analysis and debate on what it means and what it stands for.
The Guardian reported on how the picture has been received in the Australian media. Words such as ‘contrived’ and ‘remarkable’ were used along with discussions about her feminine principles.
The paper reported on comments from News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt, who said Gillard’s picture was “giving encouragement to young female politicians by plying a hobby now synonymous with mad old aunts”.
Meanwhile, senior Liberal Christopher Pyne was reported as saying: “We know the prime minister is good at spinning a yarn, now we have a picture to prove it.”
The Telegraph quoted Ms Gillard saying: “In terms of knitting for Kate’s baby – I knit for babies, in part, because they are smaller projects.
“I’ve got not that much time in my life. You can get them done and there’s a sense of satisfaction in having completed it.”
I’m surprised there is so little going on in the world of any consequence that this innocent photograph is able to hold such influence.
Is it not possible that this photo shoot was purely a picture of someone doing some harmless knitting, without having to stand for anything?