WORLDPOST
06/19/2013 01:47 pm ET

Julia Gillard, Australian PM, Criticized For Cleavage; Women Flood Internet With Breast Pics

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A cheeky protest movement in Australia has women flaunting their cleavage online in response to a blogger's criticism this weekend of the country's prime minister, Julia Gillard.

Australian columnist Grace Collier sparked the brouhaha on Sunday after telling a panel on Australia's ABC Radio National that Gillard should show less skin in the workplace, reports News.com.au.

"I don’t think it’s appropriate for a Prime Minister to be showing her cleavage in parliament," Collier said. “It’s not something I want to see. In my opinion as an industrial relations consultant, it is inappropriate to be in parliament, it is disrespectful to yourself and to the Australian community and to the parliament to present yourself in a manner that is unprofessional."

Collier's comments frustrated blogger Jennifer Wilson, who suggested that women tweet images of their breasts, along with the hashtag #ConvoyOfCleavage, in the hope that the photos would "stamp out this irrational horror of the female breast" through "immersion therapy."

The Internet rose enthusiastically to the challenge. Soon, feminist Facebook group "Destroy the Joint" had created a montage to the movement, using some of the hundreds of cleavage photos posted by protesting women.

"It's a humorous way of telling Grace Collier she's an idiot," Jenna Price, a Destroy The Joint spokeswoman and media academic at Sydney's University of Technology, told News.com.au in a follow-up article. "Here's news for Grace: [W]omen have breasts."

So far, Gillard has yet to respond to the cleavage criticism or solidarity movement, although a source from her Labor Party was quoted in News.com.au as telling Grace Collier to "crawl back into the gutter she came from."

The prime minister, who made international headlines in October after delivering a blistering speech against her colleagues' sexism, has again become the subject of apparently sexist attacks. At a fundraiser earlier in June, a restaurant owner distributed a satirical menu that included a Gillard-themed dish with “small breasts” and “huge thighs."

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