Trigger warning: The following post may be a trigger to those meatheads who don’t believe in equality.
I know, I know… I should shy away from politics on this blog, but I can’t help myself. What can I say? I’ve got a big mouth and a soft heart.
However, before I take my latest leap onto the feminist soapbox, I would like you to know that I have heeded my own advice and taken some time for reflection before pushing the publish button on this rant.
And I’m glad I did, because that postponement has allowed me more time to become better informed about the real cost for women after the latest Federal election in Australia and the ongoing issues faced by women when they lack sufficient representation in politics. Suffice it to say, that uncharacteristic measure of self-control has done little to reduce my searing anger about what has been a disastrous week for the fairer sex – and in particular for those women in Alabama.
The results of the election last weekend added a liberal sprinkling of salt to the open wound created by Alabama. And although I won’t compare my tanty about the Liberal party’s re-election to the outright misogyny of certain states in the US, I would like someone to tell me what we can expect in terms of representation from a party that has so far governed with a cabinet (on average) of less than a quarter women?
And before you remind me – my legions of adoring male fans – I am fully aware that women make up only half of the population and that we live in a democracy. Nevertheless, silly old me truly believed when I placed my vote on Saturday that we were in the process of developing and changing as a nation.
I believed that as a nation we had recognised a need for growth – and not only in terms of the economy. I swear I saw the signs of compassion outrunning greed in our future. I thought that this election would signal a transition from the narrow-minded views of a bunch of privileged, middle-aged tosspots and give another leadership the opportunity to narrow the distance between rich and poor, to tackle climate change more effectively, and to improve conditions for the sick and refugees.
So what happened? Why did Australia succumb to the resurgence in right-wing popularity that is gaining traction around around the world?
Because never has the fictional state of Gilead felt so close to home.
I can only assume that the Liberal party’s re-election is linked to fear of change or loss of control – Yawn! Which saddens me, when change stimulates growth and a stagnating government that refuses to listen either to its people or scientific evidence is as damaging and guilty as groups such as the anti-vaxxers.
What I will say – having reflected over several bottles of Chardonnay and several articles by women who voted for the Liberals last weekend – is that I do understand the need to put family above benevolence when it comes to putting food on the table, particularly when women are already penalised so heavily for having children.
However, that’s as far as my empathy extends. I feel nothing but vitriol for the men who voted for the latest anti-abortion bill in the US.
These men are obviously confused about why women need control of their bodies. So why don’t they listen to them, rather than base their misguided opinions on the fictional (some believe) idealism found in antiquated books?
There was also a time when we thought that the earth was flat, guys!
How can they possibly understand what women have to consider in the event of an unplanned pregnancy? How can they slut-shame and brandish those women as self-centred child-killers when abortion is never an easy choice and usually connected to failure of contraception, threatening relationships, rape, and financial insecurity? Don’t they know that by refusing access to the procedure, many women will die because of what boils down to the religious aims of a radical bunch of nutters?
I have a better solution for avoiding unwanted pregnancies. Why don’t we force all men to have reversible vasectomies or make it a criminal offense for them not to wear condoms? Then they can see what it’s like to have someone take control of their bodies.
The election last weekend was an eye-opener. In a period of history when we have so much information about the dangers of narcissism and discrimination, a supposedly forward-thinking, evolving western country re-elects a party that refuses to move forward with the pace of the rest of the western world; a party whose priorities look more and more like self-service than public service.
I hear that Morrison will be offering two-for-one deals to Gilead very soon.