Today I read a collection of articles addressing the issue of sexism.
I’m drawing attention to them in case you missed these in the flood of media we face these days!
The first was a letter by a father to his daughter on Fathers’ Day – not the Australian Fathers’ Day, the one everywhere else in the world!
We tell girls that they can succeed if they work hard and be themselves. So why is it that a woman in business or politics is seen as cold and harsh if she doesn’t show emotion — but seen as “emotional” or manipulative if she does?
The second was by our own John Birmingham. John’s article is a wonderful summation of “the week that was” from the male perspective. John did make a bit of noise about his dick, which seemed to upset some of the audience who said as much in the comments. However one reader, Jessica of Brisbane at 8:10 am, very eloquently but such back in their box.
Second: to the men commenting here who are taking this personally and getting upset because they’re not like the men described. Please start ranting too. In public. At work. In the pub. To the ABC.
It’s not enough to tell the readers here that “I’m not one of them”. You have to tell “them”. In public, to their faces, to the editors, the CEOs, the senior managers. Call “them” out on their sexism. If you don’t, they (and we) think you are one of “them” and for all your good intentions, you may as well be.
We are your mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends, daughters, friends, bosses, staff members, doctors, nurses, teachers. We are half the population and we need your support. Not your denial.
It seems Australian businesses have embraced technology beyond the realms that should be considered acceptable in a civilised society. I’m suggesting we all rise up and refuse to accept these terrible calls.
I wrote a while ago about these, when I received some from Telstra which took forever to sort out. Yesterday I received some more from another company. The problem was these were made to both my home phone AND my mobile. One of my kids was home and it was quite a scary experience for them. I, of course, was at work. The first one I received on my mobile didn’t even work properly (nor did the calls to the house, I am told).
“This is an important call for” and then the line would go dead. Terrific.
I personally find these calls quite scary (and I don’t scare easily). I detest them. I will close my accounts at any organisation that insists on using this impersonal and scary method of communication. I have told yesterday’s calling company in no uncertain terms if I receive another automated call, I will close my account immediately. It is possible to be removed from the “service”.
Well, perhaps not totally typical, but close to it as far as the running around!
First stop of the day was Mr O Jnr 2 at the Orthopaedic Clinic of the Royal Children’s Hospital! Lovely Doctor (and ladies, I DO mean lovely) and great clinic staff. Poor Mr O Jnr 2 had his legs twisted and rotated and stretched and the doctor wrote down a whole lot of angles. Then he suggested we go off for a CAT scan and the hospital very kindly managed to fit us in as we were already there. We have an appointment with a specialist in about six weeks.
In the meantime, Mr O had headed to the doctor himself as he was feeling unwell. Miss O 1 hitched a ride to go earring shopping for her Year 12 Formal. When I arrived back from the hospital I received a call from hubby saying he had dropped Miss O 1 off and she wanted to be picked up again but he was still waiting to see a doctor.
I just want to take the opportunity to point out sexism in Australia is clearly a problem. We had the Australian Defence Force Skype scandal in 2011 and now, following on from yesterday’s debacle (see A little spotted dick, anyone? for my opinion), we now have a very nasty new ADF scandal, again around sexism and a total lack of respect for women. Men wouldn’t do this to their mates, they just don’t.
In announcing the investigation at a press conference in Canberra, Chief of the Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, said the allegations being examined were “disgraceful” and “worse than the Skype scandal” that hit Defence in 2011.
Do click on the link above and watch the video. Rather enlightening. Much kudos to David Morrison for his handling of the situation.
I want to refer new readers to an older article about religion and women.
One final thought: my ANZAC father would be horrified.
- Diggers in new race-hate row (smh.com.au)
I’m swimming against the tide here, but I have a feeling the Liberal Party may very well find itself in the same position as the USA GOP during the presidential election. A sure thing to win, if I recall, according to most of the media. Then the women of the USA got a little pissed off over some of the stupidity exhibited by many of the GOP candidates. Suddenly the sure win evaporated.
I said to an acquaintance this morning that in my opinion Julia Gillard had been ill-advised to “play the gender card”. That was until I saw the menu. Yes, you know – THAT menu, the one speaking about red boxes and small breasts.
She stared at the man standing in front of her. He was older than she remembered from his photos in the media all those years ago. Then, so was she.
“I need to get out of Australia,” he croaked. “They are trying to kill me.”
“How did you find me?”
“People speak of you.”
She knew this was true, the question was which people? She hadn’t trusted him 20 years ago, why should she trust him now? He’d hated boat people then, now he wanted to be one?
Australia had been a sanctuary for many, yet now it was a hell on earth. The invaders had come, ruling without mercy. Those in power at the time had been locked up, many killed without reason.
It is generally accepted that to be an asylum seeker and then accepted as a refugee, one must be fleeing persecution. With all the discussion of exactly what constitutes an asylum seeker/refugee of late, it is appropriate to look at the definition of persecution.
In 1951, persecution for the purposes of being granted refugee status was defined as:
A refugee, according to the Convention, is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
This does not make any mention of persecution by one’s own government. In Australia we hear much griping about “economic refugees”. It goes a little like this: “Oh they are not REAL refugees, they are only looking for a better life, they are just economic refugees.”
I was prompted to think of this today when I saw a cartoon circulating on social media.