Journalists from Michelle Grattan onwards on all sides of the so-called political spectrum are attacking Gillard in ways which would be unthinkable if Gillard was a male.
Gillard was put in the position she is in by a party which has lost its way, and is thus subject to vituperation from so-called left, right, centre and all shades between.
The personal attacks are unwarranted because they are none of them giving reasons why she is being attacked and the so-called elephant in the room is the media's fondness for saying Rudd is in the wings waiting for the next opportunity to challenge for the leadership once more.
This is the media's and Opposition's attempts to keep up the attack in the hope of destabilising an already very fragile coalition which is holding together by the skin of its teeth.
It is possible that all this negative assault will have a reverse effect and backfire on all those who are gearing up for an Abbott win at the next election.
Even for those on the Coalition side of politics, the idea of Abbott as the next prime minister of Australia must be a prospect too horrifying to contemplate.
Gillard should be attacked for the Australian Labor Party's policies on practically everything from asylum seekers to uranium, but not for what she looks like, how she sounds, what clothes she wears and other personal nonsenses which Rudd, Howard, Keating and Hawke were never subjected to.
If our governments are a reflection of the population at large, then once again, as Alan Paton could have said in an Australian context, "Cry the beloved country"!
If you think we have been subjected to a media beat-up over the events of invasion day and a political beat-up by the Opposition, taking place over a period of the last 18 months, then you are right.
A beat-up which is a waste of time, money and resources, which could be better spent on fixing the economy and the policies which are failing this country so lamentably!
The letters below were in the Sunday Age on 12 February 2012 in response to the hypercritical - or should that be hypocritical - Julia Gillard articles in the Sunday Age on 5 February 2012.
THE article ''Julia Gillard is the least impressive prime minister since Billy McMahon. Discuss'' (5/2), illustrates the obsession we have with image, appearance and impressions rather than achievements, accomplishments and outcomes.
We use the ''image'' of a person and how we ''feel'' about them as a measure of their success or capacity to deal with problems (in this case the prime minister). This indicates a serious misconception about what is needed to solve current problems at home and abroad. Having the ''right look'' does not guarantee the job is done. Rather, employing an intellect and applying unfashionable scientific approaches such as analysing, measuring, calculating and quantifying are what will solve problems.
LEIGH ACKLAND, Deepdene
LAST week's front-page story by Misha Schubert deliberately gives the impression that Julia Gillard is ineffective and out of touch. Like Michael Duffy and Michelle Grattan, Schubert has continued the negative reporting which seems designed to undermine our elected government … When will you start reviewing and contrasting opposition policy rather than just playing the man? The tall poppy syndrome is alive and well. What a pity our first female prime minister has to endure the media's wish to see her dragged down.
BILL NEALE, Ferntree Gully
Ragbag of opinions
THE article on Julia Gillard was dismaying for a national newspaper. Made up of a ragbag of opinions masquerading as measured argument, it maintains the male Australian tradition of breaking on the wheel those women who dare to aspire to high office. Robert Manne's statement about the need for the Prime Minister to create ''a narrative compellingly told about how Australia should chart its course'' harks back to another era.
Unsurprisingly, Tony Abbott, that ''ordinary'' man (Extra, 29/1), applies Manne's dictum to promote his own depleted and deprived ''narrative'' for Australia. Gillard's leadership, in fact, signifies a shift into a new era of more mature politics, one in which flexibility and negotiation have already achieved some remarkable outcomes. This is a sign of her political strength, not weakness.
RUTH SCHMIDT NEVEN, Camberwell