MINISTRY OF TOKENISM AND SELF-OBSESSION (#ME TOO)
With seven of nine suicides each day being male, where is our Minister for Men? If the scales are tipped so profoundly to male benefit that we need 12 ministers for women in Australia, why is there this distorted and profoundly sad statistic?
Life is defined by circumstances far beyond the gender lottery, but if you listened to the quota fanatics drunk on the “all men are rapists” cocktail, you wouldn’t think so.
Polling reflects men — not women — walking away from the Coalition because we have fallen into a perverted Alice in Wonderland trap of false reality where everything is hopeless for women and wonderful for men.
We have come a long way from how society viewed unmarried mothers in baby-farming colonial days. Single mums no longer pay people to take month-old infants because they cannot provide for them. The gender pay gap in the NSW public service is a minuscule 0.7 per cent. It’s illegal to pay a man differently from a woman for the same or similar job.
The freedoms women enjoy in Australia are directly related to the sacrifices that were made by PNG women 76 years ago, where rates of gender-based violence rate amongst the worst in the world.
The mothers of PNG gave up their sons to defend our nation and help our soldiers fight against Japanese forces. As their daughters are persecuted as witches, tortured and burnt alive, where are our protests and marches? While they suffer in communities where lone police in rural hills can be bribed and bullied by the mob frenzied on a witch-hunt, unable to do anything but watch as girls endure hot iron rods inserted in their bodies, Australian commentators whine about being “triggered” because something that happened to someone else in Parliament House makes the news.
Comfortable classes push workplace sexual harassment and political representation as our fault lines when the bigger issue is far more insidious and has no HR complaint system.
There’s no black eyes — it’s an epidemic of domestic abuse, often financial and verbal.
Where are our 12 ministers for women, four federal and, if you count the Minister for Equality, two in Victoria and one in every other state and territory?
Unless there is a department, a minister is little more than a token title bestowed upon a scavenger scurrying under the fridge to find budgetary crumbs from the real ministries. They wear a rank yet command phantom troops.
Women’s issues, in government terms, primarily fall into three camps: justice, social services and health. But Ministers for Women, hamstrung by a lack of dollars, spend time on awards ceremonies, cheap empowerment projects, and the odd report written with freely available ABS data, when what they need — funding and regulatory or legislative change — comes under the auspices of ministers with actual executive power and a budget to match.
The Walgett doctor dealing with a breech baby in a hospital with its caesarean capacity removed, forced to make his own kit of surgical tools, would be a good “women’s issue” for the NSW Health Minister, as would the NSW Coroner’s 24 reforms for police, firearm regulators and courts following the murder of Olga Edwards’ children by their father.
Women’s ministers are tasked with working across budget silos when their position would be redundant if those who held executive power over them just did their jobs.
We must shred gender roles to allow true equality. Men can cook and clean and cry. Women can do business and toughen through trauma instead of submitting to a narrative of internalised victimhood driven by those making tea on the frustrations of their lives.
Destroying gender roles means acknowledging how far we have come — where, unlike many of our sisters in PNG, we are not forced into food cultivation and child-rearing, but instead are taught to read and write and allowed to choose our own paths. If you want more women in politics, give women a reason to want political life. Civility would make an interesting change.
Good potential candidates for the coming Upper Hunter by-election have shied away from putting up their hands, scared of what will be eked from their past or what they could be accused of in future in this environment where natural justice no longer exists and an accusation is a determinant of guilt.
It will be a rare creature who sees their life so devoid of colour and immune to assault that they will make it in this new time of morality, where we expect politicians to be far more pious than we ever could be, where we care so much about a clumsy grasp at affection in first world parliaments yet ignore the humanitarian cries of our nearest neighbours.