Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Of Gillard + The Truth About Australia- Sexism, Fascism, Misogyny, Homophobia, Narcissism, Ageism & Bitterness All Running Rife In OZ.


When Julia Gillard ousted Kevin Rudd as prime minister in 2010, there seemed to be widespread support and goodwill towards her. After she was deposed in mid 2013 by Mr Rudd, Australians were left wondering whether their country – one of the first to give women the vote – was ready for a 'female' leader.

The role of gender in Ms Gillard’s downfall is being bitterly disputed to level where many were left bewildered regarding her prime ministership departure, which hardly smoothed the way in politics for other women.  Many in Australia are still of the opinion that these events have set back the cause of equality effecting all levels throughout general society. Many Australians also, are “looking in the mirror and seeing a fairly ugly reflection of the nation”, as one commentator put it.

Like many developed countries, Earlier in 2013 Australian citizens believed that most of the big sociological battles had been won, and Australian people were becoming comfortable with women’s rights being enshrined in legislation, with egotistical mindless morons being put in their place by equal rights policies, with gay marriage being supported and with cultural attitudes becoming transformed. It was indeed such a liberating and refreshing time period to be a proud Australian. Now Aussie citizens are far from certain as to where their own attitudes and opinions stand as well as the rest of the population's position on the issues. “It’s been a real eye-opener for me,” says Norman Abjorensen, a political scientist at the Australian National University. “We're not the liberal, progressive society that we've been telling ourselves we are.” he added.



The problem with analysing the reasons why Ms Gillard was dumped by her own Labor Party is that it’s difficult to disentangle the very real and undeniably misogynistic campaign waged against her which wreaked of a Liberal, 'Murdochian' tarnished theme   – by columnists, bloggers and opposition politicians – from her flaws and misjudgements, attacking both the professional and personal aspects of Ms Gillard.


Tony Abbott (left) With His Role Model, Ex-Australian PM & War Criminal John Howard (right).
The perception of many outsiders is that Australia has a “blokey”, neanderthalic culture. Certainly, the sexism – like the racism – is more overt than in Britain or the U.S, and evokes less outrage. One of the abiding images of Ms Gillard’s reign is that of the creepy Liberal Party leader, Tony Abbott, at a rally outside Parliament House standing proudly alongside protesters with a banner reading, “Ditch The Witch”. Obviously, any individual in their right mind would view this as extremely distasteful and extrovertly ridiculous.

Last October, Ms Gillard received plaudits from women worldwide after delivering an electrifying, 15-minute speech to parliament, in which she castigated Mr Abbott for “sexism and misogyny”. Among the multiple examples she cited were his warning in 2010 of higher electricity prices under her government’s plans for a “carbon tax”; “What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price, and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up” Mr Abbott stated. On another occasion, he called on prime minister Gillard, who lives with her partner, Tim Mathieson, to “make an honest woman of herself”. 

Now, Ms Gillard has retired from politics as of the last election, and Mr Abbott, despite Mr Rudd’s return, has become the Australian prime minister. Oddly enough, Mr Abbott’s approval of the offensive "Ditch The Witch" banner at the rally appeared to do him no political harm, just as Eddie McGuire who is the president of the Collingwood AFL football club wasn't damaged by a recent “joke” on national radio suggesting that an Aboriginal footballer, Adam Goodes, could help publicise the new King Kong musical. McGuire was simply apparently sent for “counselling”, in other words, it would be safe to assume that he went to the pub for a round of drinks with the boys to celebrate.

Casual racism, misogyny and sexism are common here in Australia, and if this behaviour is challenged, the usual counter-strike cop-out is that "YOU don't 'get' Australian humour", as pathetic as this justification is.  
A friend of mine observed yesterday: “It’s all seen as good fun, as part of being a good Aussie knockabout.”... am I missing something here?  Since when does behaving with a highly inappropriate and neanderthalic 'illegaldemeanor become the victimised person's fault? Apparently "we all just need to lighten up" as suggested by the heartless and narcissistically ill 'Liberal Party looper' of Western Australia Colin Barnett when he was challenged on a radio program recently regarding the issue of people on lower incomes unable to pay unaffordable utility bills due to average wages not increasing in line with standard living costs. Imagine U.S President 'Obama' responding in a media conference with "you all need to just lighten up" when questioned about chemical weapon attacks in Syria; imagine the chaos and violent rioting in the streets that this would cause.  As sloppy as the U.S government have recently become with their actions, I doubt that even the likes of Obama would be that stupid.

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Parasite
From Latin parasitus, from Ancient Greek παράσιτος (parasitosperson who eats at the table of another)

"A successful parasite is one that is not recognized by its host, one that can make its host  work 
for it without appearing as a burden. Such is the ruling class in a capitalist society.” 
-Professor Jason Read, University Of Southern Maine.
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Some people point to colonial origins of Australia as a frontier society settled by men grappling with a physically harsh environment. Women got the vote in 1902, yet only 29 per cent of federal politicians are women and our current prime minister Tony Abbott (supposedly non-misogynistic according to himself) only has 1 female employee within his entire office. Australia can claim in some ways to be more advanced than its former master, which granted voting parity 16 years later and were only 22 per cent of MPs are women. Yet in the gender equality stakes neither is a winner. While every state and territory apart from South Australia has had a woman at the helm, the antipathy that quickly developed towards Ms Gillard had a distinctly sexist and misogynistic tinge, although it was complicated by the fact that she was also unmarried, had no children, and was an atheist.

The sexism reached a head a few months ago when a menu for a Liberal fundraising dinner, lampooning her in crude sexual terms, came to light and she was grilled by a shock-jock about whether her partner, Tim Mathieson, was gay.

Across the Tasman Sea, former prime minister Helen Clark was subjected to tittle-tattle about her sexuality, despite New Zealand being a socially progressive society which had already had one female leader, Jenny Shipley.

“Australia’s still got that sense of the frontier country, with masculinised versions of merit and leadership.” says Eva Cox, a leading feminist and social commentator.

Melanie Fernandez, national chair of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, believes Ms Gillard’s treatment has “punctured the myth that we're living in a post-feminist society”. But she says it has also galvanised young women, and stirred debate about inequalities such as a 17.5 per cent pay gap and the fact that women make up less than 10 per cent of directors of the top 500 companies.

One focus for the new wave of activism is a group called Destroy the Joint, inspired by a right-wing shock jock Alan Jones- a notorious Australian radio moron/redneck, who complained that Ms Gillard, Sydney’s Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, and the former Police Commissioner of Victoria, Christine Nixon, were “destroying the joint”. Mr Jones has a vast history of making ridiculous, moronically brainless 'shock' comments on public broadcasting networks, in a similar fashion to fellow moron Kyle Sandilands who also makes his so called 'fame' from bullying and slandering others; however with Kyle Sandilands, most of his bullying is aimed at young children and teenagers on reality talent shows.
As for Ms Gillard, she was a tough politician who held together a minority government and pushed through more legislation than any leader before her. She dealt with sexism with dignity and good grace.

Annabel Crabb, a respected political commentator, wrote yesterday: “She has changed politics … The ultimate goal is for gender to be unremarkable … We're not there yet.”


This Article has been altered from it's original source: theindependent.co.uk
Article Edited & Contributed By Chris Rath- Independent Researcher, Orwellian Eye.