‘Life’s too short for that bull: Sam Armytage spoke her truth’
What a week for women. For women speaking up, speaking out, speaking "their Truth", to steal an Oprah-ism. Was it purely by chance it all played out so perfectly on International Women's Day? I don't think so.
There was Meghan Markle sitting down with talk show queen, Oprah, to digest her four years as a Royal. Julie Bishop dishing on self-proclaimed (and no doubt exaggerated) "big swinging dicks" in Canberra with Leigh Sales. And my colleague, Sam Armytage, putting her personal life over professional and stepping out of the spotlight - for now.
Let's start with Sam. It was a shock to many of us when she announced on Monday morning she was leaving Sunrise, but it wasn't a surprise at all.
I am often asked in interviews about Sam. My answer is always, "I don't know how she does it." Sam has been targeted relentlessly by paparazzi since she started in the job.
Breakfast TV is not for the faint hearted. It might seem fluffy and frivolous from the couch at home but it comes with a lot of scrutiny. As a woman on screen, you must have strong opinions but not be too opinionated, some viewers will think you are a lefty, others too right-wing. Sam has handled the ups and downs of the top job admirably, all the while maintaining a sense of humour.
Monday became the day to speak her truth. She told viewers she needed to take a break and find some peace and calm. "I go out of this job at a time of my own choosing and on top of the ratings, which not many people on television can say they do."
Later that day, 10 photographers set up camp outside her home, one deliberately banging on her car bonnet to try and get a reaction. Life is too short for that bull.... And so, enough was enough.
Over on the ABC, Julie Bishop let loose on Canberra culture and the boys' club she says tried to sabotage her political career. As she told Leigh Sales, "If they were seeking to block my aspirations, well, they didn't succeed because my ambition was to be the foreign minister of Australia, and I'm very proud to say that I served in that role for five years."
Then Oprah delivered the interview of the year with Meghan Markle.
Wowza. The racist allegations, lack of mental support for Meghan when the young royals had built their Heads Together initiative on exactly that basis and the notion the Palace conspired with tabloids to manufacture negative headlines about them. Whether you side with Harry and Meghan or the "Firm", it's clear Meghan had reached a point of no return, she towed the family line for long enough and wanted to speak her truth.
Three different women, all with something to say. Stand up for yourself. Be brave. Be bold. Speak your truth.
Originally published as 'Life's too short for that bull: Sam Armytage spoke her truth'