No respect.

October 9, 2012

I just got back from my chaperoning days in Japan on Thursday and I’ve fallen in love. What an amazing and fascinating country. Love, love, love.

The people. The culture. The respect.

Everywhere we went, even at the local 7-Eleven, we received kindness and courtesy – always bowing. It was so lovely and endearing.

Wi-Fi connection was missing from most of the hotels we stayed at (in our rooms), so I actually enjoyed the luxury of not knowing about what was going on in the world. I took a ‘time-out’ and immersed myself in actual quiet, ‘me’ time – as I rested my weary bones.

It was wonderful.

Then I came home. Back to reality with a swift slap. I learned about Alan Jones and his comment about our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. I’ve written about Alan Jones before, speaking about our women leaders ‘destroying the joint’. To inform all you overseas readers, this time Alan Jones said that our Prime Minister’s father (who had died a few weeks earlier) “died of shame” due to her lies.

I was gobsmacked.

I simply could not fathom the cruelty of such a comment.

And to be honest, I can’t understand the venom that is generally felt towards Ms Gillard by everyday Australians. I look around and see a nation that is pretty comfortable in its rich lifestyle – ie food, shelter, beds, clothes (at the very least) – compared to many around the world…most of the world, actually.

And yet our media subjects us to a bombardment of whingers. It seems to have become Australia’s mantra, to complain about having to pay more for the necessities – necessities that mean more digging of our planet; use of water from dams, but not recycled water (god forbid) – but who don’t think twice about forking out hundreds on iPhones, computers, the latest label anything, air-conditioners…

Seems absurd – when most of the world is battling in EVERY way – to survive.

But I digress.

What I’m seeing is Australia’s media machine being given permission to treat our Prime Minister with misogynistic contempt.

I CLEARLY remember John Howard, the Liberal Prime Minister, telling his people that there would not be a GST (Goods and Services Tax) under his government. Not only did HE lie, we ended up paying – and still do – TEN percent on everything we buy.

Everything. Regardless of income. That’s massive and yet…

Where was the lynch mob then?

If you ever thought our Prime Minister was a liar and fed off the teat of the spin campaign, read this article: Her Rights at Work (R-rated version). Anne Summers AO Ph.D, gives a frank lecture predominantly about Ms Gillard’s treatment since becoming the leader of Australia, due to her gender.

“But what is NOT normal is the way in which the prime minister is attacked, vilified or demeaned in ways that are specifically related to her sex (or, if you like, her gender).  Calling her a “liar” might not be gender-specific, although as I have pointed out, it was not a term used against back-flipping male prime ministers.

There are countless examples, however, where the prime minister is attacked, vilified or demeaned in ways that do specifically relate to her sex and I propose to devote the rest of this lecture to describing, categorizing and exploring the implications of them.”

This is a photo of our Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, in front of signs about Julia Gillard. He’s good mates with Alan Jones, too.

All of this reeks of the scene I saw in the documentary, Miss Representation, when Hilary Clinton was running against Barak Obama for the Democrats Leadership. Men were shouting, “IRON MY SHIRT! IRON MY SHIRT!” whilst holding placards with the same slogan, as she tried to speak.

*Shaking head*

But today – today there’s a new buzz in the air.

Alan Jones is being held accountable for his blatant misogynistic attitude towards our Prime Minister and it’s wonderful. The funny thing is that he seems to be the type of man who can dish it out, but can’t seem to take it.

What a fine specimen he is.

In the article Decent Australia says enough is enough, we are lapping up the giddy feeling of rising up and having a collective voice.

Question #101: Doesn’t this make you feel empowered? Like you can take a stand and say “Enough” at all the wrongs of the world?

I do.

But it has to be done with calm. ‘When emotion goes up; Intelligence goes down’. No insults. No threats. Just hit ’em where it hurts.

Money.

Deep Breath.

x

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6 Responses to “No respect.”

  1. Michelle said

    welcome back 🙂 just to add to matters, check out the treatment of Kate Ellis on Monday night’s Q&A on ABC TV….

  2. I always wonder if the Prime Minister was a male would they make such a comment ( I dont think so )

  3. Gravitas said

    I kinda agree. The comments re: Julia’s father are disgraceful that is true. Abbott and Jones have won no friends, nor votes, from it. However, this is politics and it is a dirty, grubby game (don’t forget Alan Jones comes from the political sphere) and you need a thick skin to survive. I can think of other ex-PM’s who have been on the giving and receiving end of unjustifiable sexist, racist and inappropriate comments and while this is not excusable, it is a reality of modern politics. Julia’s speech was largely valid, but she is a smart woman who should have buried Abbott by now based on his policy vacuum. Use theatrics by all means, but her speech themed on “what offends Julia” is not what will make her memorable or electable. Admittedly, Julia has the uncertainty of a hung parliament haunting her which would make it difficult to be an effective leader, however she needs to have a significant policy debate with Abbott and she needs to win… repeatedly. That’s how she will win more support within her own party and with the general public. I didn’t see the Kate Ellis thing – Q&A is highly overrated I believe.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Thanks so much, Gravitas (I hope that’s your name) 🙂
      I started to respond and it got a bit long – so I’ve put it up as a post.
      Thanks so much for your comment.
      Paula

      PS I agree about Q&A and I have never watched a full episode – but I always seem to catch ‘those’ moments on the show somehow.

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