Our political world is failing, and it’s because there was a woman in charge

30 Aug

I don’t know about you, but I am deeply, deeply disturbed by the options that are facing us in the polling booths next weekend. Listening to either Rudd or Abbott announcing policies is the rhetorical equivalent of watching paint dry. Repetitive, pointless, soul-destroying.

To say nothing for their policies.

We expect nothing from our leaders any more. With few discernible differences, there is no competition between the major parties and, as such, no drive to improve. We know they are failing us and we despise them for it. Australian political leaders are disrespected and unrespectable. The office of PM, the highest in the country, has become a laughing stock.

And it’s all because there was a woman in charge. It’s true, women have destroyed the joint—but not in the way that Alan Jones wanted us to believe.

Looking back on Australian politics in 50 years or so, I imagine that grey-haired, rocking-chair me will see this decade as a turning point in how we viewed our Prime Ministers, and we will recognise that the catalyst for that change was the appointment of our first female Prime Minister.

This appointment was, of course, the result of women’s achievement throughout the workforce. Teachers, nurses, psychologists, carers, doctors … over the last 100 years, many occupations in the western world have come to be dominated by women. As we take up half of the workforce and break through glass ceilings, inevitably there will be some areas with a predominantly female workforce. The problem is that many of these professions, previously respectable, have toppled like dominoes in the face of feminisation. Teachers’ wages have dropped significantly. No one trusts a shrink. High school students clamour to get into law degrees, while the ATAR to study medicine drops every year. We don’t respect women’s jobs. Y’know, they must be bad jobs. If women do them.

Which is where Ms Gillard comes in. There is no doubt that she was afforded less respect than any other Prime Minister in this country before her, and that much of that lack of respect can be attributed directly to her sex. (If you don’t believe that, read Anne Summers’ Misogyny Speech and then we can talk.) The result of our embarrassing national inability to cope with a female leader has seriously damaged the brand of PM itself.

We never trusted pollies anyway – and now there is so little dignity in the top job that we will give it to anyone.


2 Responses to “Our political world is failing, and it’s because there was a woman in charge”

  1. cartoonmick August 30, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    Julia Gillard did not deserve the bilious attacks she received from elements of the media and the opposition. Un-Australian, unprovoked and unnecessary.

    Those who acted in that despicable way are proof that some men are descendants of the Neanderthal.

    They’re blind, they’re deaf, they’re rusted on and they’re no longer able to think for themselves. “They believe”.

    It all reminds me of the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

    Australia’s future is stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    The election will solve very little, but it will sharpen our enthusiasm for a nice cold beer.




    • heathesaurus August 31, 2013 at 11:34 am #

      Cheers Mick. We’ll just have to keep hoping people will look beyond the marketing to the policies. In the mean time, here’s to another beer.

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