Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Federal Opposition Follies: how it looks to a feminist

1) This is what happens when the adversarial model dominates a society. The core imagery is of whupping wild beasts, women and each other with clubs, and to hell with hunting, gathering and finding nice warm dry caves.

2) There's a moment at which ego investment in a position becomes so entrenched that the stand being taken becomes indistinguishable from the sense of self, and not even the person in question -- especially not the person in question -- can see or understand where and how that shift happened. But everyone else can see the results. Especially on a 47 degree day in early November.

3) This, young Australian feminists everywhere, is the moment to show what you are made of. You need to understand just exactly how much danger is waiting in the wings for Australian women's status as equal and autonomous human beings. If you don't believe me, have a look at the systematic erosion of women's rights under Howard. And Abbott will make Howard look like Germaine Greer.

4) I'd really love to know what Julia Gillard is thinking, right about now.


M L Jassy said...

I too have raised a admittedly feminist eyebrow: everyone wants to keep Julie Bishop as their Deputy.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

'Admittedly'? Good lord, Mitzi, you should be bragging. As for the execrable Ms Bishop, of course they want her; they will be able to keep her in line, and she will be no threat. I mean, she's only a woman.

BwcaBrownie said...

some twitters on it, as collected by JeremySear:
"The Liberals Hipster Faction forgot that ironic votes for Abbott still count."
"Obliged to be pro ETS, now obliged to be anti ETS. What does Julie Bishop stand for? Only a meal ticket"

"Having an inconsistent, uber-conservative, loathsome individual as leader did work quite well for the Libs in the past"

"Nothing says conservative christian agenda like a party led by an Abbott and a Bishop. "

"That was not the press conference of a credible alternate PM."
"I have to say am utterly transfixed by the new Liberal leadership and ETS debate. You know, like watching a car crash."

""a loyal girl" Tony Abbott said while giving Julie Bishop a squeeze. Oh dear"

"the liberal party's ranking of the leadership candidates - abbott, turnbull, hockey - was the exact opposite of the public's ranking"

"TonyAbbott complains Rudd has gone back to the 70s - promises to go back to the fifties instead"

Nancy said...

This is horrible. I didn't agree with Malcolm Turnbull most of the time, but he wasn't as terrifying as Tony Abbott. This is a scary turn. I feel really nervous about all this, cause one bad move and it can go so HORRIBLY WRONG.

Bernice said...

Yes let us remember this is the man who did not bring us RU486. And has never explained why.

Remember: nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Nabakov said...

During a Cain Government Cabinet meeting sometime in the late 80s, Steve Crabb thumped his briefing folder and said (to get the full effect, use a scottish accent) "Now this decision has got balls!"

Joan Kirner sweetly responded across the table " I prefer to think of this decision as having breasts Steve. Big ones too."

According to the comment doorbitch, the name for this kinda rejoinder is a "dialkin".

And I once heard a (male) cabinet minister say in response to a fellow minister's relayed demand that he speak first at some joint event - "Oh let him go first, otherwise he'll just sulk and be all pissy at the next committee meeting."

And wildly OT but I know how you kids love this sorta thing.


Ampersand Duck said...

Julia's thinking that she'd love a front row seat next to Mystic Medusa when Kev and Tony get it on...

BwcaBrownie said...

oh thank you Nabakov (ampersand) Duck
for the joy I had from those comments

Anonymous said...

Julia Gillard, Nicola Roxon and Penny Wong - that's a combo I'd like to see - if I were Kev I'd be worried - those "girls" have got it all - intelligence, presence and guts - not only that, they ANSWER THE QUESTIONS! I'm so sick of pollie speak - if I hear Kev one more time saying, "there's only one thing I have to say to that, and let's make no bones about it, ...." and then proceed to waffle on without saying anything of note, I'll SCREAM.
Grandma Flea

Merryn said...

I used to hate it when the ALP had their token woman deputy who was somehow never a contender when there was a leadership spill. Somehow I don't see Julia politely stepping aside when it's time for Kevin to go. And that's way overdue.
Julie Bishop would be a ridiculous choice, but no more so than the two options on the table this time.

genevieve said...

Julia has spoken. She says she would like to see Tony as leader of the opposition for a 'very long, long, long,long time.'Natch.

Red Horse said...

I am angry - but not surprised - at the commercial media's failure (so far) to address Mr Abbott's lack of credibility with women voters. Although Eva Cox was interviewed on ABC local radio this morning about the issue (just caught a corner of it, unfortunately).

Paul Kelly, in The Australian, mentioned only that Abbott is "a hate figure amongst several constituencies" which he then listed, with one of them being feminists. Thanks for the insightful analysis there, Paul.

And only the bloggers seem to have mentioned Mr Hockey's five week old baby (little Ignatius Theodore, poor love). As in, "what would the outcry be if a woman with a five week old baby stood for party leadership?"

Feminist women and men - time to stand up and be counted I think. It seems a perfect time to foreground the issues and problems inherent in living in a patriarchy (even this relatively benevolent one of ours).

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Red Horse, I have been thinking about this since yesterday and plan to do a more well-informed post on Abbott's views on contraception, abortion, homosexuality and marriage anon.

I do think that even young, progressive and/or educated men tend to ignore the presence of women in these discussions and then get really startled when their votes show up. And I think the reproductive freedoms gained for women over the last few decades have come to be taken for granted by people who can't remember or imagine a time when it was hard to get a prescription for the Pill unless you were married and all abortion was totally against the law.

We all need to be really really loud really really often about this. And keep doing it.

Zoe said...

Some help from the lazyweb to help that post out, Pav, I'm looking forward to it.

According to the doorbitch, I just provided a nerda.

Zoe said...

Some help from the lazyweb to help that post out, Pav, I'm looking forward to it.

According to the doorbitch, I just provided a nerda.

Red Horse said...

I think it also goes beyond those issues - like abortion and contraceptives and rescinding access to no-fault divorce - that many would like to fence off (and discount) as so-called women's issues. How many times do we have to say that women's issues are actually everyone's issues?

Abbott's workchoices policies, for example, had the potential to be a huge blow to women's reproductive choices. And Labor capitalised on that in their ads very well.

As another example, the Liberal Party's constant tokenism towards women in Cabinet (and now shadow cabinet). Yes Julie Bishop - I mean you. Those who did get a Ministry were either given a soft one (you know, girly and therefore unimportant ones like community or disabilities) or poisoned chalices (remember when Vanstone had immigration?)

I look forward with a great deal of interest to your forthcoming post about Abbott's stated views.

And I wonder how we can do more? And louder?

Deborah said...

I ... plan to do a more well-informed post on Abbott's views on contraception, abortion, homosexuality and marriage anon.

Good! I've not been in Australia very long, so I know very little of him, other than conservative Catholic, but that worries me, not so much for me, but for my daughters.

I don't think the Libs are going to get a poll boost of any sort whatsoever from this new leader.

BwcaBrownie said...

jeepers ZOE - I don't know whether to thank you for that link above I followed. It's photo of ABETZ next to the words
"union between a man and a woman" gave me instant need of a stiff drink for medicinal purposes. thanks be to G that it's after 5pm.

Tatyana Larina said...

Yes, I too am looking forward to the new post. Apparently A. said he didn't intend to introduce any laws regarding contraception etc because 'there were too many laws in Australia already'. Hm.

I too find the whole business quite amazing.

Regarding Julie Bishop, my young daughter made a spontaneous comment last night while watching the news. 'Who is this woman in a white jacket?' [Explanation followed.] 'She's mean.' Impressions of a school girl...

I agree there isn't enough discussion in the press re Abbott's position on women.

I'm watching to see if there'll be another implosion some time soon.

librarygirl said...

Julie and Julia.Ok.

Ms Bishop visited my son's school a couple of years ago when she was Education minister. I dared him to
call her Professor Umbridge. (Harry Potter reference that he fully understood).

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I see so far it's mainly Miranda Devine frothing bile at 'the sisterhood' again.

Zoe, thanks so much for that excellent link. I don't suppose anyone can easily get their hands on a link to the recent Speedos photo taken at Queenscliff recently -- the one I think of, thanks to Annabel Crabb, as the ten-ferret photo? Have looked and looked but can't find it anywhere, just a lot of talk about it.

BwcaBrownie said...

here's a photo
but is it the photo ?

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Thanks Brownie, I found that one too, but the one I'm thinking of involves ostentatiously lifesaverish getup, much more visible hair, and some frighteningly low-rise speedos.

Ann ODyne said...

apologies on behalf of Brownie, she sort of suspected you could have found that one.
A tip for guys that all male models know - the package packages more attractively if TWO pairs are worn (ref: Beckhams Armani adverts. he has said it was double the cover).

Ann ODyne said...

SwimRite blogger haz it.

while I am here, plz to mention booky cat thing: kindle is collective noun for kittens. so sweet.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Excellent, tx v much!

Kindle of kittehs, I love it.