I'm not saying it's true, it's obvious scuttlebutt, just grubby rumours you hear and cannot possibly take seriously .... buuuuuuut .... for years I heard about a Prime Minister who had a mistress in Canberra while his wife kept the Lodge warm.
Before that, of course, were those other disgusting, groundless whispers that a former Labor PM was gay! His marriage a sham!
There was, of course, not a journalist or broadcaster in the country (in either eras) who would have dared put those questions to their Prime Minister.
Maybe protesters screamed such in the years' past, but the media wasn't in the business of recording and disseminating baboon talk from the football or toilet stall. Quote a funny placard, a picture of pithy graffiti maybe - not obvious, nasty vitriol.
Social media somehow gave baboon talk credence - or least you could cut and paste it easily into news stories and call it a quote. So we've reached a point where some desperate, bored, sad or teenage mope can spend time speculating about who his PM, best mate, or Seal have sex with.
This can then be shared, disseminated, joked about, ignored in inboxes or used to wound. The amount of baboon talk about a subject can now actually mean the press feels obliged to publish and tacitly endorse it because there's so much damn monkey screeching at the waterhole.
In this way, baboon talk may come to dominate breakfast TV and talkback radio for a day, sometimes days. Politicians and journalistic veterans are forced to repeat word for word, the baboon talk of a drunken athlete player taking a poop, coked up celeb in a cab, racist, moron, sociopath or political plant.
This undeniably gives the baboon talk another layer of affirmation and I'm not sure whether it is this willing public ratification of baboon talk or its nature that disturbs and surprises me most.
Be clear, however, baboon talk has been our hallmark for 200,000 years and is rampant to this day because most people are still baboons; scratching, eating and sleeping their way through what they perceive as life.
I know hundreds of men who would have laughed at both the Gillard menu or Sattler questions. Honest injun, they're good people who just don't understand how much life has changed in 20 years.
Older men revert to juvenility with admirable spontaneity and, unfortunately, the sort of humour and innuendo used by that menu and Sattler was bedrock acceptable in my youth. It still is in a lot of male groups.
Call it misogyny, sexism, whatever you want, but the sexual nature of recent attacks against Gillard strike me as driven by something more primal than even hatred, and that's plain old fear of women.
In an essay published in 1977, pyschoanalyst Carl Jung wrote an interesting but somewhat dated piece titled American men as sons of their wives.
"When men are in the barbaric state they make women their slaves. If, while they are still barbaric by nature, some influence makes them see they do not dare treat women as slaves, then what do you do?
"They do not know how to love something that is equal to themselves. They do not know what real independence is, so they must kneel down before this slave and change her into the one thing that they instinctively (even when they are barbarians) respect: they change the slave idea into the mother idea. And they marry the mother-woman."
A lot of women lose sight of the fact that men are intimidated by them, simply because they're female. It's often a schoolyard thing that never really gets redressed because the fearful man doesn't partner, or chooses ones who tolerates his immaturity.
Derogatory and degrading humour is really just an admission of powerlessness and fear on the part of a man; that they wish they were more successful with women, that they've been humiliated by one or many, and this "diss" is a tiny chance to control what they cannot.
I'm not sure whether the latest vomit of this hatred/fear is the death throe of dinosaurs, or a change of gears in the sexual power dynamic.
Where I think many academics, activists and writers err, is to consider this interaction a "war" because it's actually not fought but felt by each and every one of us, each and every day.
And until you change how people feel, you won't change what comes out of their mouth.
Please don't take it personally if I do not reply to your email as they come in thick and fast depending on the topic. Please know, I appreciate you taking the time to write and comment and would offer mummy hugs to all.