August 31, 2014

Today my 11 year old daughter and I attended our second march against our current government – March in August organised by March Australia – due to its marginalising decisions for Australians and their seeming complete inability to see the big picture.

Today was about many things for her and me – climate change, education, women’s issues – but we personally marched for those seeking asylum; how the horrors they have lived and seen are somehow considered null and void because they came here by boat (and after a particular date) and must logically be punished for it, suffering endless incarceration.

My daughter excitedly announced that she wanted to make her own sign; she decided on a slogan and did the writing herself. It turned out being so endearing because she realised too late that she forgot the ‘s’ at the end of the word refugee and had to place it underneath.

It even got on the news:


I’m so proud of her. Again.

Later, whilst we watched the news on numerous channels, we were saturated with stories of global war and atrocities. That’s when our Prime Minister appeared saying he’s now committed Australia to weapons air drops in Iraq.
Lots of male voices and leaders pledging more violence; more fighting.
Fighting that will cause more of the displaced, who will most probably flee for their lives and seek asylum. Wouldn’t you?
Not here, though. Not here.

Today, however, hot on the heels of the disheartening stories and facts I listened to at the march – I read of something incredible and inspiring.

Four teenage girls from Nigeria aged between 14 and 15 years of age, created a generator that runs 6 hours of electricity on a litre of urine.

Isn’t that mind-blowing?


Here are four human beings who see the big picture.
This invention is ingenious. They used intelligence.

Yet. These four humans are a part of this paradigm and hence have labels attached to them that will determine a probable dim future – they are African and they are female.
Not much is going to happen with this; the ‘system’ won’t allow it.

So, as I bathe in the wonderfulness of these girls and then glance up to the news, I wonder:

Question #210: When will the human race start to organise itself and start being intelligent about our global future?


Why all the horror and injustice, just to make money at the expense of others?
It’s only blacking our soul as a species.

Today I marched with my daughter – heard about the continuing injustices in every corner of the globe, as well as in our own backyards – and experienced a sliver of hope.


What will tomorrow bring?

Deep breath.

Sorry, I’ve felt like a rabbit-in-headlights with what’s gone on over the last 24 (or so) hrs.

I got a great comment that had a nice mix of argument – without delving into the pits of horrible name calling and highly emotional, negative regurgitation.

Gravitar wrote:

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.

My response:

I saw a woman who had simply had enough – and it was invigorating. I didn’t see a politician – I saw a person, a woman, who stood up and said E.NOUGH.

Look at her controlled pacing – she is pissed.

And then to have Abbott put forward a motion to get rid of Mr Slipper, KNOWING that Parliament shouldn’t be influencing the court case that must ultimately pass judgement, was a dirty blow because he knew Julia Gillard was damned either way. The court case is also now completely flawed due to the leaking of those texts. A government can’t sway the court case as that would be grossly unfair. Anyone would feel completely betrayed by the system if they were about to face a court case in the spot Mr Slipper is in now.

So Tony Abbott put her, again, in a very difficult position.

This last point, as to why Julia couldn’t express her great dissatisfaction with Mr Slipper’s sexist behaviour in THAT way, is interestingly ABSENT from popular news reports – so the reaction to Julia’s ‘double-standards’ is based on misinformation.

Do you know what I just noticed as I was writing this? That I keep referring to Mr Slipper – with a Mr, because that’s how he’s continuously been refered as, by the media. This is also true to a lot of comments I’ve read on the Internet about this issue – women included – lots of women, actually. It’s a Mister for the disgusting misogynist – but Julia and ‘her’ (and much, much worse – including ‘cunt’) for our Prime Minister.

Julia Gillard had been set up – and she let rip. Wouldn’t you?
So I say, “You go, girl!”

Julie Bishop said that Julia Gillard had set back the women’s movement by decades.
Shame on her.
When in fact, it is she who has set us back, by standing side by side a sexist boss and turning her spite on the woman on the receiving end, who said, “Enough!”.
So much for the sisterhood.
Why would ANY woman want to go into politics? Where we are so DESPERATELY needed.
The sad part is that a whole lot of women will listen to Julie Bishop.

Our female Prime Minister stood up to the behaviours that were targeted towards her as a woman and she said “No, I’m not having it.”
She just propelled women forward in a wonderful way. Why would it get such global attention if it weren’t?

If people don’t like a leader, don’t vote for them. Speak with intelligent argument about them, not signs that say “Bitch” refering to our PRIME MINISTER.
It’s so pedestrian. Such an unintelligent way to debate…if you can call signs, debating.

Is she perfect? No. Who is?

Did she find herself with her back against the wall with the Carbon Tax? Yes.

What would you have done in her position – male or female?

Do we know deep down that this is a good tax? – that it has its heart in the right place? Yes.

And yet we subject this woman to such venom.

And for who? Abbott?
The man, who as you say (and agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with), has a ‘policy vacuum’?

A man who has demonstrated unprecedented behaviour, that has only reared its ugly head since a woman has been voted in as Prime Minister?

You say you can recall ex-PMs being subjected to unjustifiable sexist comments. I’m only focusing on this one because yes, of course, there have been racist comments made.

But sexist?? I really can’t recall an equivalent – say, a woman opposition leader…oh, there hasn’t been one. OK, ANY female politician of influence standing in front of signs with the word “Prick” or doing an equivalent action. That would have made equally big news because it would have been a rarity…seeing as there’s hardly been any women in upper politics in the past.

The truth is that men have done it to each other because that’s the gender that’s always saturated parliament.

To say Julia ‘should have’ buried him by now, is not a reflection on her – it’s a reflection on our nation – a nation that swallows every bit of sensationalist (and sketchy) reporting, that’s starting to liken our news to a cheap soapy.

I wish Australia could just gain a little more sophistication in its conversation about politics. But the question I pose to everyone is:

Question #102: How did you expect Julia Gillard to respond – as a woman – knowing our daughters are watching?

Funnily enough, the WORLD has noted the significance of her speech. But not the journalists of Australia – ie the anti-Julia bandwagon that’s ‘popular’ with the general populace.

What a pity. Because yesterday, she was a legend.

Here is the transcript of what Ms Gillard said.

Thank you so much for your comment. As always.


PS This blog is 8 months old today! Woo Hooo!


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.


Deep Breath.