ABC ladies’ briefs
Lonely? Why not convert to Islam? An ABC-approved option:
I’d been single for a very long time… I let the sister who did my Shahada know I would be interested in looking into an arranged marriage, because I’m tired of being heartbroken and I’d like a husband.”
– Zahra is set to marry a Malaysian man she met online but has never physically encountered.
On a serious note, the intention here is not to ridicule Zahra. There is nothing to criticise in a young woman’s desire for marriage and there is no doubt Australian culture has become hostile to traditional matrimony and all of the attendant rituals of courtship and familial involvement that used to presage it – even in the West. For the ABC to so uncritically and joyfully affirm her choices, however – when it has played a large cultural role in undermining and mocking Christianity, marriage and gender conventionality – is nauseating.
Sure, 340,000 have died but those dirty socks won’t pick themselves off the bathroom floor:
Women — again, just like in the global conflicts of our shared generational memory — are doing the bulk of the clean-up at home. And while high hopes were entertained for the crisis to bring new hordes of home-based workers and thus a significant rearrangement of workloads within the home itself, early signs are that the gendered patterns remain all too familiar…
Professor [Lyn] Craig says from a researcher’s point of view, the COVID-19 crisis was a chance to observe how men would behave once they were able to work flexibly or from home, free from the constraints that traditional workplaces may impose on men in caring roles.
“So far, we’re not seeing that if you take away the constraints on men from the workplace that it just suddenly becomes more equal,” she says. “There’s something going on, but it’s not just the structure.”
The “something going on” is that excepting more physical jobs (which are harder work, by the way), home – and the never ending task of keeping it in a state of just-so homeliness – are woman’s domain. This will never change, regardless of how long a lockdown lasts or how angry feminists get about it.
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