Does this man look comfortable to you?
Photo © 2007 AAP One/Mark Graham
Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott is a father of three daughters who describes himself as a modern man.
However, two female Labor frontbenchers believe he has a problem with women in positions of authority.
The issue arose on Tuesday after Mr Abbott was suspended during question time on Monday by Deputy Speaker Anna Burke.
Ms Burke told Mr Abbott to leave the lower house after he defied her direction to withdraw an interjection without qualification.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek said Mr Abbott was thrown out for making an unparliamentary remark.
"He's constantly offering unsolicited advice to the deputy speaker," Ms Plibersek told ABC television.
"He's been constantly sledging the prime minister across the table."
Asked if Mr Abbott's behaviour in parliament was worse under Ms Burke than when Harry Jenkins or Peter Slipper were in the speaker's chair, Ms Plibersek said: "I don't recall him behaving the same way with those two previous speakers.
"I think it is a problem being told what to do by a woman."
Mr Abbott, who also has a female chief-of-staff, has previously been tagged as having a problem connecting with female voters.
But in March this year he told Fairfax Media that perception was "not generally true".
Mr Abbott on Monday became the first federal opposition leader in 26 years to be thrown out of the lower house since John Howard.
"I take directions from women every day," he told reporters on Tuesday.
"I am an entirely modern man in this respect."
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon said it was well known she and Mr Abbott did not get along.
"It does seem to me that he's not very comfortable with capable women," Ms Roxon told reporters.
Ms Burke appeared to have no concerns, telling journalists she doesn't feel Mr Abbott treats her any differently because she's female.
Ms Roxon was Labor's health spokeswoman when Mr Abbott was health minister in the Howard government, and they often confronted each other.
Mr Abbott was famously caught on camera swearing at Ms Roxon after a debate on health policy during the 2007 election.
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