OPINION: Why Gladys Berejiklian must hold firm for now
FOR every woman to come after her, New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian must dig her heels in, grit her teeth and ride out this so-called scandal.
It's amazing how over the years, dozens of male politicians, including Prime Ministers and Premiers, were never really held accountable for the affairs and wrongdoings they were involved in.
President Bill Clinton had an affair with an intern, yet would have been re-elected if he'd been able to run again.
Meanwhile Monica Lewinski, the young woman caught up in an affair with a far more powerful man, has become little more than a punchline.
Now we don't just want to let men get away with their indiscretions.
We want to hold women accountable for the wrongdoings of their romantic partners.
The ICAC inquiry into disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire has been used to smear Ms Berejiklian.
It's not that she's above scrutiny - no one in that kind of position is.
But until there is genuine evidence she was involved in wrongdoing, this whole attack feels a lot more about judging a woman for having a relationship with a man she misjudged than a belief she did anything wrong herself.
Who are we to judge Ms Berejiklian for seeking out human connection - and why should we destroy the career of a woman who many say is a terrific premier because she misjudged the character of her romantic partner?
None of us have any right to pry into her romantic life and look for dirt.
She was a single woman.
Barnaby Joyce wasn't single and neither was Mr Hawke or Mr Clinton.
Yet we seem to be so much more willing to attack a woman who is guilty of no wrongdoing.
The double standard that has always existed between men and women is still there.
If she is forced to stand down, that will just be more evidence of that double standard.
Men can be forgiven their indiscretions, while women appear to be guilty even for the wrongdoing of their romantic counterparts.
No more. This must end.
Ms Berejiklian, unless wrongdoing on your part is proven, do not resign.
Keep going for the women who will come after you and face this same sexist scrutiny.
The people who are trying to push you out are the same ones who hate seeing a woman lead.
Do not let them win.