Double act ... Stacey Keating. Photo: AP
During her withering parliamentary speech, Julia Gillard suggested Tony Abbott would find sexism and misogyny by looking in a mirror. When you've finished Tony, can you pass that mirror on?
Here in the shallow end, we are often accused of treating women, and women's sport, with less regard than their male counterparts. Some pressure groups even run a ruler over the sports section, claiming the disparity between the amount of men's and women's sport exposes a chauvinistic agenda.
Such literal-minded interpretation ignores the obvious commercial reality. The fact that our job is to report on sport, not to promote it. The surveys that show many women do not read, or watch on television, the sports in which they participate - even allowing for the fact there is far less to read or watch.
However, it is worth taking a peek in Tony's mirror. Still worth wondering if, just as the Opposition Leader has used his wife and three daughters to prove some of his best friends are women, our reasons for putting the footy on the back page, and the netball near the Dapto dogs, are not merely self-justifications.
My reflection? The media could do more to prominently display the achievements of women athletes. But so, too, could those paid to administer women's sport manage their athletes better.
And, yes, this is an opportune week to claim the sports department is the greatest gift to feminism since the microwavable bra. On Sunday, Australia's women's cricket team won the World T20, an achievement celebrated - with the words of Fairfax's correspondent Chloe Saltau - with a double-page spread. Victorian golfer Stacey Keating's back-to-back triumphs in Europe dominated the back sport page of the Herald. Over the next few weeks Gai Waterhouse, who might have done more than any woman in a brutal, male-dominated sport to smash the ''grass'' ceiling, will get more air time than the commercial-free Alan Jones. This not long after the Olympic feats of Sally Pearson and Anna Meares were exalted.
In that context, hailing our recent coverage of women's sport is a bit like claiming credit for increased umbrella sales during a monsoon. But it does raise a salient point. That reportage of bona fide achievement at the top end is far more worthwhile and, to be brutally frank, more commercially viable, than tokenistic attempts to make readers swallow women's sport in the manner you might force children to eat their vegetables.
The equally valid counter argument? That some of what is reported about men's sports - the football codes particularly - is brussel sprouts. An excess dished up in the expectation readers want more, but not necessarily reflecting the worthy achievement or news value expected of women's sport.
Women's sport raises other media sensitivities. Women athletes demand, and deserve, to be considered on their merits. They do not want to be cast as ''glamours'', whose main exposure is indecent. But sometimes equivalency creates misconceptions.
During the London Olympics, relevant stories about swimmer Leisel Jones's body shape by experienced journalists were so badly distorted it is a wonder Gillard did not claim they carried Abbott's byline. Yet, if you bother to read the text, rather than the outraged responses, they were no different than stories raising similar issues about male athletes, such as Greg Inglis.
It was women's sport being reported warts and all. A sign of respect, not the type of coddling patronisation that eschews serious analysis. But the line can be blurred.
I once wrote a column in which I rather unflatteringly described Waterhouse as the Dame Edna of the turf. As I found later, the trainer was less than pleased. Indeed, equine influenza was more welcome in her stables than me.
But given I have mocked Bart Cummings's eyebrows and pretty much every occupant of the jockeys' room, was the description of Waterhouse sexist, or merely disrespectful? It is a matter of perception. So, too, the supposition that women must do more in sport, particularly, to receive the same acclaim as men.
It is to Waterhouse's eternal credit that, long ago, her success stopped being considered the byproduct of her father's legacy or somehow ''despite'' her gender, and became merely a matter of achievement. Thus, she needed to win the three biggest races of the spring carnival - a collection she started with the 2010 Caulfield Cup. The Waterhouse legacy could be that the next woman trainer to earn such a prominent position in her sport will merely be cast as an extraordinary trainer, not an extraordinary woman. Hopefully, one slightly more forgiving about unflattering comparisons.