Elite feminism. Who is it good for?

1 Apr

This piece by Anne Summers on women in government sent me to Twitter with the question “Can Anne Summers explain to me the advantage of having a conservative female PM over a conservative male PM?”

There isn’t an answer to that question unless you are a fanatic, which Summers seems to increasingly become on the matter of Julia Gillard, and then the only answer is, vagina.

It might be worth noting that all the women ministers remained loyal to Gillard in the attempted coup on her leadership, Summers writes. Although a few female members of caucus supported Kevin Rudd (and were willing to be filmed with him while he spoke after the meeting where Gillard was re-elected unopposed), there were no women in the key group of plotters. Nor did any women resign as a result.

An act of double treason, then, that the females who supported Rudd were willing to be filmed with him as well? They should have hidden their allegiances, perhaps, not flaunted them, standing by his side?

Is this an example of gender solidarity, Ms Summers muses. Except of course for the women, (are they real women?) who legged it to Rudd’s camp. And how to explain that failure?

This is an aspect of feminism, increasingly dominant, that I find, well, I don’t think repulsive is too strong a word. It affects me viscerally, as is required of true repulsion. The concept that female genitals correlate with good governance is dangerous in so many ways I don’t even know where to begin. Surely such a gendered concept is one women have been fighting against for centuries now? Surely it is the very cornerstone of patriarchy? 

Just what these women in government are achieving for women not in government is not immediately clear. Indeed, for many single mothers the change to Newstart, for example, is nothing short of disastrous (so much for gender solidarity). I’m informed on Twitter when I voice objections to this obscenity, it was John Howard’s legislation.

This confuses me. We are supporting our first female Labor Prime Minister, even when she perpetuates John Howard’s policies?

The Gillard government’s record on asylum seekers? Makes me want Howard back. Same-sex marriage? ‘Twas Howard who changed the Marriage Act to prevent this, & despite her party supporting a reversal of Howard’s meddling to allow same-sex nuptials, Prime Minister Gillard will have no truck with it.

But that’s all right, because, vagina.

Of course women must participate in government, and at the highest levels. But why I am supposed to support women whose policies I despise, just because women, is beyond me. This “Rah rah ra! Women are in power!” stuff shits me to tears.

It is a particularly middle class, privileged feminism that spares little thought for women who do not inhabit its exclusive clubs. It is offensively self-congratulatory. It is dishonest. It is distorted. And outside of its immediate rarified circles, I can’t see what good it does anybody.

We did once hope that when women got to the top they would take care of their sisters. Which, come to think of it, is just as naive and dangerous as Ms Summer’s position.

Flower of Life. Georgia O'Keeffe

Flower of Life. Georgia O’Keeffe

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101 Responses to “Elite feminism. Who is it good for?”

  1. zerograv1 April 1, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    Your post exactly mirrors my thoughts on this, blind subservience to an “Ideal” – ie “Powerful Women, Women in Power” – and for that matter “Powerful Anyone!” is dangerous to the extreme and especially in a multi faceted society like Australia’s. Ironically it was the upper middle class educated woman that were the originators of the feminist movement so its a little disingenuous to rail against them. That said I believe feminism lost its way in the early 90’s….it took a fair bit of rethinking to re-establish worthwhile policy aims and get away from crowd think (Feminism good!, Partriachy bad!) – no wonder feminism got branded an unthinking dogma. Policies like universal child care, a reasonable and fair welfare system, work place reforms and the like have far more significance to the average women than Cries of “Viva Powerful Women” – and when those that rant are questioned why “Powerful Women” is a GOOD thing, the reply was and is generally – JUST BECAUSE YAY! Ummm nup, not convinced sorry. As with all leaders its what you do that counts, not who you are.

    Like

    • Anonymous April 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

      Maggie Thatcher was a female in charge and destroyed much of Britain, Benazir Bhutto helped to form the Taliban with US and Saudi money, Hilary Clinton and Condi Rice were two warmongers from the days of Boedicia.

      Summers still lives in the 1970’s and her pathetic bleats drive me nuts.

      Like

      • redjos April 2, 2013 at 12:14 am #

        ………and then there were Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir, and no doubt others as yet unnamed!

        Mannie De Saxe

        Like

        • redjos April 2, 2013 at 12:19 am #

          Not forgetting the Sri Lankans – Chandrika Kumaratunga and Sirimavo Bandaranaike

          Mannie again.

          Like

  2. samjandwich April 1, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Maybe “fundamentalist” would be a more accurate description than “repulsive”?

    Anne Summers seems to want to demonstrate the progress of feminism by looking simply at the numbers of women in senior positions, whether they be in government or the private sector, rather than the more qualitative factors. This is one important measure, but yes I agree it’s not a particularly good indicator of progress when a conservative PM simply slots herself into a patriarchal way of doing things. In fact, you could almost describe counting the numbers of women in high places as “patriarchal” as well, thereby completing the picture.

    Hasn’t Jenny Macklin been quiet through all this? if there’s one senior Labor minister whose integrity remains intact it wold have to be hers. Her no-nonsense approach could have seen her become a sort of Aussie equivalent of Angela Merkel, ather than the current Mrs Thatcher. Too late now though I guess.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 11:46 am #

      I disagree with your take on Macklin.She is a seat warmer.
      I think her best work probably lays behind her,pre Gillard.
      And I think that given the current state of affairs, she probably wishes she had done a Roxon before the rout.What ‘is’ interesting about bringing Macklin into the equation is ‘why’ given her time in parliament, she was not pushed forward.
      I’d go out on a limb and say she was not chosen by the patriarchs in the first place.And that was probably because she put principle before obedience.
      It is clear Gillard has no script or vision and follows orders.
      And more than that is willing to do whatever her faceless ‘men’ tell her to do.
      No mind.Julia gets to tell the grandchildren she never had, how good a job she did as our first female PM.
      Perhaps Summers should run in a safe Labor seat.

      If she can find one

      Like

  3. gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    The reason is quite simple. In Norway (where else) they passed a law some years ago whereby female representation has to be equal in board rooms when also equally qualified.
    Surprise, surprise; statistics proved that those businesses with more women than men did better and were more profitable.
    With Abbott’s stance on women, happily being filmed with ‘ditch the bitch’ and ‘Liar Julia’ etc, it is totally logical he would have the minimum number of women on board. He loves his bicycle more.
    If the stance on boat people is so terrible with Julia as PM, perhaps if she had more women on board it would be different too.
    It seems that so many support only a PM based on charisma or personality instead of what the party stands for. No matter if there was Mr or Mrs perfect in charge of the Liberals, I could never support a party based on the only criteria being ‘everyone is responsible for their own life’ and success is only measured on the cult of ‘individuality’ and ‘own’ effort and bugger the rest. In fact, that sort of credo sits so much more comfortable with the male, it is no wonder females in that party are side-lined more than with the ALP.
    Of course, there is the issue I keep banging on about that in Anglo society it were the children and their mothers that traditionally were always sidelined. What was that apology about last week, up to a quarter of million children forcibly been adopted just because their mothers happened to fall pregnant. Was that some kind of child genocide?

    Like

    • Marilyn April 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Most of the people doing the stealing of the children were nuns and nurses.

      Like

    • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm #

      All the women in the ALP except for Melissa Parke voted to jail, trade and torture refugee women and kids without regard for their rights.

      All the senior ministers are women, they all voted for the abuse and torture of refugees.

      Like

  4. helvityni April 1, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    Where were the Australian feminists when the many forced adoptions were happening ?

    How come Australia has not had any female PMs before Gillard? Don’t we believe in having female leaders, there has not been too many female Premiers either…

    Yet many got quite excited about going on Slut Walks? I thought it was just another silly Americanism.

    Like

  5. Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    The greatest feminist minds, teachers,achievers and leaders likely occupy the sidelines.Walking the walk.
    They are not heavily compromised media commentators, who live in a privileged media savvy world, and more often than not have a posse of men to thank for their elevation.
    Summers is probably of that ilk.
    Gillard is to feminism, as the chainsaw is to micro-surgery.
    I doubt any feminists claim her as one of their soldiers or leaders.
    Pretty soon the voters will discard her.Will that too, be an act of misogyny Julia?

    IMO ‘feminism’, as a term, has been bastardised like ‘sustainable’ and ‘fair’.
    The spin doctors and factions are running the show.Across the board.

    Like

  6. hudsongodfrey April 1, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    This comment was well received in the Drum the other day and it occurred to me this morning that I could change but two or three words and it would fit my thoughts about this pretty well too.

    ~

    There is a really good argument to be made that the real problem is poll driven politics undermining useful process in furtherance of political debates. Nobody seems willing as they were in the past to have a conversation aimed at introducing people to change then taking them through the process of being persuaded to adopt it. It’s all about compulsion to jump aboard solutions that are presented as fait acoompli.

    I don’t think Women in parliament have been much less guilty of this than Men have been, but I do think we’re going to have to deal very seriously with the level of fear of negativity in the polls that governments are experiencing as an aspect of their seeming inability to adapt to the superficiality of new media and this 24 hour news cycle. And importantly I very much doubt that it wouldn’t similarly inflict itself on Abbott were he to take government at the next election.

    The writing was on the wall for political control of the discourse in Australia as far back as the Tampa election of 2001. What was seen in a critical light then was just the willingness of conservatives to let the story run. What should perhaps have been thought more deeply about was what happens when the whole system is dominated with these short sharp shocks of visceral knee jerk reaction at the expense of considered narrative. It’s not just that truth matters, its that the truth isn’t limited to what makes us feel good for the next five minutes.

    And if you’re caught on the horns of the dilemma of having to choose between process and giving people their quick fix, is it any wonder the results are sub standard?

    ~

    So while I think we should value female perspectives in parliament, and value them highly, I think Summers may well be wrong if only because nobody’s individual perspective matters any more when they’re all enslaved to the preponderance of data our politicians are getting from polls and using to guide their every move.

    Like

  7. Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    Quotas are only as good as the pool you choose from, and the attitudes of the society,from whence they came.
    Comparing quotas in other places is the apples and oranges scenario.
    Australia cannot even claim to think outside the square of dichotomies yet,let alone a wide mature inclusive canvas.
    And if those dichotomies are more intent on dragging us down the road of plagiarising and worshipping anachronistic colonialists on one side and Tea Party America on the other, I would not be holding my breath waiting for any fresh air or positive change any time so.
    Change will need to come from anywhere but politics.Grass roots change.The kind being rejected emphatically as our system lurches towards the right and towards wealth as a measure of success.
    The majors have lost my respect.Big time.
    I doubt I am Robinson Crusoe, there.
    Throwing a token ‘woman’ (women) on board is quite possibly *deceptive and duplicitous.
    *(Plumping up the numbers for gender alone)

    Gillard leading any charge which will empower women is a Red headed herring.
    Which makes Summers nothing but a fish monger.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

      EDIT
      any time soon.

      Like

  8. doug quixote April 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    It beggars belief that you expect anything different from a female Prime Minister than you would from a male Prime Minister.

    Do you expect a difference from a male hairdresser, or a female surgeon, as opposed to one of the other sex?

    This expectation is frighteningly naive.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      On that we agree.
      So attacks and criticism should be based on the actions or inactions, measure of success failure,adherence to values etc. of the person concerned.
      Playing the gender card in contemporary politics is a two edged sword.
      However It may be a lot harder to cut in one direction.
      It seems both the majors are willing players at the bottom of the barrel.

      Like

    • helvityni April 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

      I expect the same from male and female hairdressers ,but have found out that the males are better…women can give you a good cut, but male hairdressers give a cut suits your you.

      I once had a Hong Kong Chinese gay hairdresser, who looked at the way I was dressed, and said: Mrs O you are a very modern woman, so I’ll give you a modern cut…it was perfect, pity he went back home… 🙂

      Misogynist men don’t like female Leaders at all, but if they end up having one, they expect her to be better all male leaders put together.

      Like

  9. gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

    So, the actions of Julia with the plethora of legislation passed, not least with the world first in plain packaging of cigarettes is not formidable compared with the previous PMs? Not bad for a first female PM, don’t you agree? You have all forgotten those PM’s such as those scorbutic males Holt,McMahon,Gorton, Howard, those holiday schoolboys of in-actions and tea cup bearers, holding Australia back for decades including ‘The White Australia’ and ‘all the way with LBJ’policy.
    I think far too many of you are still reading The Telegraph or the oxymoron of New Idea.

    Like

    • helvityni April 1, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

      New Idea? I saw a pre-loved New Idea in a doctors waiting room once, all the ideas were not just pre loved, they were old fashioned…

      Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

      Why would you compare stuff from many generations ago when things were completely different, to today’s society and politics?Is it to protect the female brand or Gillard?
      How about the failures of female politicians as well?
      Carmen Lawrence?
      Was Bligh a success?
      Kirner?
      I will and have acknowledged the good work Labors ministers has done, but I will not turn a blind eye to the total failures.That is what you choose,not me.
      Not millions like me.
      There is no conspiracy against Gillard.
      Only a increasingly reactive electorate.Which is a good thing.

      Not all of us are ‘any colour as long as it’s black’.(Thank goodness.)
      It is a sign of desperation and weakness to use gender to protect self inflicted failure.

      Like

    • Anonymous April 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Yeah, she had a set plan with the indies and a friendly Green senate to pass good laws.

      But for the terrible stuff she simply joined Abbott at the hip to punish and persecute.

      What is the point of having a carbon tax being paid by polluters though when they hand out mining rights in places like the Tarkine forest?

      She is a bloody terrible racist bigot.

      Can’t get past that fact.

      Like

      • redjos April 2, 2013 at 12:29 am #

        You left out homophobic!

        Mannie De Saxe

        Like

        • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

          No, can’t get past that fact. I find the people who like Gillard have never met her.

          She is as cold as a witches tit and as ignorant as the class dullard.

          Like

    • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Yeah the lovely Dillard has the cowards Carr and O”Connor back in Bali trying to convince the region to jail refugees for us as if we have some fucking right to do such a thing and the worthless media in this country report the drivel without any facts attached.

      Like

      • helvityni April 2, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

        Don’t worry Marilyn, Abbott will be voted in by the asylum seeker lovers, like Scott Morrison and Abbott; they will let every one in, and you and I can relax…

        Like

        • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

          Helvi, why resort to crap like that.

          Like

          • helvityni April 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

            Why crap, as you know I support asylum seekers, your hatred for Gillard makes you believe that things will be better under Abbott/Morrison team; they will be worse.

            Like

            • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

              Bullshit Helvi, why do you reduce it to fucking mindless slogans.

              Like

              • helvityni April 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

                OK, Marilyn, I will stop writing altogether, as long you promise to stop swearing and abusing others.

                If it gets too hard for me to stop writing altogether, I’ll take my slogans to the blogs where you don’t write.

                Like

                • Marilyn April 3, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

                  Don’t be so frigging childish.

                  Who are you that you are so whiney?

                  Like

                  • hudsongodfrey April 3, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

                    It’s probably because you’re being abusive again and others of us are fed up.

                    Like

  10. Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

    Real Men
    Songwriter: Joe JACKSON

    Take your mind back – I don’t know when
    Sometime when it always seemed
    To be just us and them
    Girls that wore pink
    And boys that wore blue
    Boys that always grew up better men
    Than me and you

    What’s a man now – what’s a man mean
    Is he rough or is he rugged
    Is he cultural and clean
    Now it’s all change – it’s got to change more
    ’cause we think it’s getting better
    But nobody’s really sure

    And so it goes – go round again
    But now and then we wonder who the real men are

    See the nice boys – dancing in pairs
    Golden earring golden tan
    Blow-wave in the hair
    Sure they’re all straight – straight as a line
    All the gays are macho
    Can’t you see their leather shine

    You don’t want to sound dumb – don’t want to offend
    So don’t call me a faggot
    Not unless you are a friend
    Then if you’re tall and handsome and strong
    You can wear the uniform and I could play along

    And so it goes – go round again
    But now and then we wonder who the real men are

    Time to get scared – time to change plan
    Don’t know how to treat a lady
    Don’t know how to be a man
    Time to admit – what you call defeat
    ’cause there’s women running past you now
    And you just drag your feet

    Man makes a gun – man goes to war
    Man can kill and man can drink
    And man can take a whore
    Kill all the blacks – kill all the reds
    And if there’s war between the sexes
    Then there’ll be no people left

    And so it goes – go round again
    But now and then we wonder who the real men are
    ********************************

    Like

    • gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm #

      I get increasingly the impression that even a mere hint of someone saying something positive about the present government and its leader tends to get a totally predictable response from those that align themselves to the Abbott and purple Pyne world. A kind of sneering contempt for anyone that dares to hold another point of view.

      I prefer to see the good points of a government and find that Labor has moved mountains during a world crisis. The media has turned this into abject failure and, as often happens with an under-educated politically naive society bred on sport, pokies and Bolts, are now totally whip-lashed into the obeisance to the popular media. It is so much easier on our ‘lifestyles mind’.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

        And I get the impression that political bigotry takes the form in disallowing a differing view.And that the repeated tactic henceforth, is to lie about the fact, by saying that “if you don’t support Gillard and/or the faux Labor party you must support the coalition
        So stop putting words in my mouth.
        Go out into the broader community and peddle your line and see what sort of feedback you get there.
        Die hard Bogans love Gillard too Gerard.What does that tell you?

        Like

      • Marilyn April 1, 2013 at 4:23 pm #

        Gerard, don’t be so dumb, it does not suit you. Saying we can’t stand Gillard is not the same as saying we love Abbott and Pyne.

        That is Dubya lunacy.

        Like

      • doug quixote April 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

        The feral media and their dripping tap promoting Abbott’s Big Lie “this is an incompetent government” ever since late 2009 has gotten even to those who should know better.

        The wonder is not that the polls show a poor position for the government, at perhaps 46% 2PP but that they are not at 10%.

        Criticise the government if you will, but if the result is to make likely the election of that absurd rag-tag of an opposition, you have rocks in your heads.

        There are certain priorities and preferences at stake here; whilst it is true that it is not “black and white, with us or against us” claptrap, in reality there are only two possibilities come September : a Labor government re-elected or the Liberal National parties elected.

        I have clearly made my choice, but others here are trying to pretend that there is a realistic third choice. There is not.

        Gerard and Helvi have the right of it in this argument, and all the carpings of others are music to the ears of Rupert Murdoch and his regime change campaign. Wake up, or spend the next decade under Abbott, Pyne, Mirabella and Morrison.

        ,

        Like

        • Marilyn April 1, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

          Doug, you get more like Dubya every day. Just because we criticise bloody Gillard does not make us fan boys and girls of the idiot Abbott.

          Are you with us or agin’ us is not a grown up idea.

          Like

          • gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

            Marilyn.

            You just can’t get away with it that easy.
            At the time my son was on his Commodore 124 and we had colour TV and the internet, babies in Australia were taken away from mothers simply because they were not married or without partners.
            This was done systematically and on a grand scale. At the same time England was still exporting children from single mothers to Australia and Canada. This is the stuff of Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Goebbels. It wasn’t just nuns and hospital matrons that were doing this. It was accepted as ‘normal’ and must have been done with Government approval.
            Of course we tow boat people back to sea or treat them abominably. You give back what was given to you. Your dislike of Julia ( or Abbott and his cohorts) don’t seem to take in consideration historical facts that has always coloured Australia as being harsh and lacking in empathy towards ‘the strange’.
            You can’t deal with a future without dealing with the past.
            When I met Helvi and went to Finland in the early sixties, her parents as a matter of course and totally natural accepted we would share a room in their house.
            To think that at that time in Australia the taking away of just born babies was in full swing. How can a blight like that just be given an apology or go away?
            What makes you think Julia would be full of concern for those unfortunate boat people when her culture thought nothing of taking away babies from parents?

            Like

            • hudsongodfrey April 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

              I object to that post on behalf of geeks everywhere who’ll leap on the faux pas “commodore 124” when it should be commodore 128 🙂

              Like

              • gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

                Perhaps it was the Commodore 64 then? (:

                Like

                • hudsongodfrey April 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

                  Could well have been 🙂

                  Like

            • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

              You seem to have a real BIG problem with anything Anglo, and then have the temerity to ask others to focus on any positive achievements since Rudds union sponsored removal.
              Keating and Hawke (mainly Keating) opened the door to reconciliation.Howard shut it.Rudd opened it again.Gillard shut it.
              Rudd opened the door to fair treeatment of refugees.
              Gillard shut it and sent the room and the door off shore, and transported our own house(Australia) to never never land.

              Gillard doesn’t give a toss about stolen indigenous or non indigenous kids.Refugees are her political opportunity when the ‘black fellas’ issues are unavailable.
              Apart from her ‘air-jew-kay-shern’ hobby horse you she has no vision,no passion and no commitment to anything but saving her union buddies place at the table and her own sorry arse.

              If you actually believe your last sentence, and I seriously doubt you do, there is no way on earth you would vote for Gillard.I’ll let you join the dots from there.

              Gillard is closer to Howard in many more respects than Abbott is.

              Like

              • gerard oosterman April 1, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

                I will vote for Gillard because the alternative is worse, much worse. Abbott left a pregnant girl, defends a priest found guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor, insults a dying man and doesn’t really believe in climate change.
                Gillard’s good by far out- does the bad of Abbott and the Liberals.
                My only problem with Anglo is their education methods of private boarding schools, reticence and fear of progress, the class system, House of Lords etc and their food. I love their humor and sense of the ridiculous, their art and theatre, literature and music and lots more.

                Like

                • Hypocritophobe April 1, 2013 at 11:16 pm #

                  Good for you.
                  May democratic choice Anglo style continue to offer you that choice.
                  Imperfect as it is.
                  I won’t vote for Gillard or Abbott because my conscience says neither deserves my endorsement.
                  Before I can defend their good,I must be able to justify their bad.
                  Doing ‘evil’ is human, it’s not consigned to race, not to party, not to ethnicity, not to gender, not to religious belief.

                  “Gillards good by far out- does the bad of Abbott and the Liberals.”

                  Again you ignore Gillards current bad, and the ‘future bad’ her re-installation will empower.

                  It’s you vote,Gerard.Just remember,when the conscience of Gillard supporters goes mute, mine and others will be there to prod it, later on, should there be enough gullible people out there to elect her.
                  More importantly, try to grasp that ‘not voting (cheering/championing/supporting) Gillard’ is just that.
                  It is not a vote for Abbott.
                  For some unknown reason that logic keeps bouncing off your ( and others) elephantine Teflon hide.

                  Like

                  • doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 12:31 am #

                    Unless your vote goes back to Labor via preferences, it is effectively a vote denied to Labor and it will assist Abbott.

                    Like

                    • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

                      Do me a big favour.Either lobby to remove the option to personally choose preferences back to a total two choice only option, or let people choose in what order they see their values are best protected.
                      Sick of your one choice only bullshit.
                      If the public throw Gillard out it is well deserved.And then some.

                      Like

                    • doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

                      There is no choice! Get it through your thick head : Abbott is totally unacceptable.

                      Like

                • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

                  You better ask Ranjini jailed for life under a Gillard law if she and her kids think Gillard is any good.

                  Like

                • Catherine White April 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

                  We were doing well. I was enjoying your comments until your comment Abbott left a pregnant girl. After the media storm [when the so called mother came forward] with shocking blowback on Abbott’s family, a DNA test showed he could could not have been the child’s father. Get your facts straight. It was very embarrassing for the media, as much as the Abbott family. SMH — stopped reading.

                  Like

                  • Jennifer Wilson April 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

                    You don’t think it’s at all relevant that Abbott considered it a very strong possibility that he had fathered a child he’d taken no responsibility for?

                    Like

                    • paul walter April 11, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

                      Hooray..game, set and match!

                      Like

            • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

              I have never said Gillard gives a stuff about anyone but Gillard.

              And I know about the babies being taken away, I was a 20 year old unmarried mother in 1973 and the hospital tried for 5 months to convince me to give them my daughter and even took her for 8 hours without my consent the day she was born.

              My step-mother had to come and stop them stealing her from me.

              WE have the two dimwits in Bali again today trying to convince the neighbours to jail refugees for us, we look like the complete racist fools that we are.

              No other country on earth does this sort of thing, just who the fuck do we think we are.

              Like

              • helvityni April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

                Why haven’t the feminists and other women made more fuss about this horrible inhumane practice…

                Like

                • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

                  Why haven’t Gillard and all her female members helped refugee women and children?
                  Wouldn’t Wong be the one to speak up?
                  Plibersek?
                  Macklin?
                  The new women on the front bench?
                  Oh no,they are immune from criticism, aren’t they?

                  You speak as though union blokes are not running the govt from Gillard down.
                  Time for a reality check.

                  Like

              • gerard oosterman April 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm #

                I can’t imagine the horror of thinking your baby was being taken away even if only for 8 hours.
                You confirm again what I felt was one possible explanation of why Australia was often so callous and ‘unfeeling’ towards foreigners. I also understand your anger and appreciate your strong dislike of Gillard and her position on boatpeople.
                My parents decided to return after the terrible and inhumane treatment of their son here at the (lack of) hands of mental health. It was something out of the dark ages. Holland was poor in the 1950’s but its people did have empathy and did ‘feel’ for others.
                I feel, that our historic treatment of women with babies has to be one reason we are still knocking at the front-gate of considering ditching our xenophobia.
                Again, I repeat. Under Abbott it will be worse. Try and see that Gillard ( albeit far from perfect) is a better option. (Abbott left a pregnant woman)

                Like

                • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

                  Bob Hawke betrayed his wife.Shall we form a lynch mob?

                  Like

                  • helvityni April 2, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

                    That what happens every day between husbands and wives, between partners ,people stop loving each other, to take babies from their mothers forcible is a crime.

                    Like

                    • Hypocritophobe April 3, 2013 at 10:34 am #

                      I know Helvi.
                      That was my point.
                      But apparently Abbott is the first person on earth to leave a pregnant woman.
                      So let’s build the gallows and hang them all.Those evil cads.

                      Like

                    • helvityni April 3, 2013 at 11:47 am #

                      Our leaders don’t need to be saints, I’ll judge them by how much good they do the country and its citizens.
                      Funnily enough, Finland’s best President ever has been Urho Kekkonen, who had a long-lasting affair whilst in office. He was married to a pastor’s daughter who wrote poetry.. they stayed together.

                      He achieved to keep Finland neutral in difficult times, he managed to keep Finland independent, Russia did not swallow it up like it did with so many other surrounding small countries…
                      An amazing politician, leader and diplomat….and I suppose an excellent lover….. 🙂

                      Like

  11. paul walter April 2, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    I disagree a bit with most of you about Anne Summers.
    She is an orthodox Laborite because she has seen the ringing in of the years and recognises that over the long haul Labor is a slightly better bet than the Tories, for the average person on the street.
    She perhaps also recognises that too much of a media driven landslide the conservatives way could give them eventual control of both houses and that too much of what has been put together by Australian communities since ww2 could be stripped away so quickly, from women’s rights to the social security net to even half reasonable workplace conditions, to critical components of the voting system itself.
    Maybe Summers realises also that in a neolib, globalised environment there is not always a lot a country like Australia can do as to some things when assailed by foreign pressures, trade treaties, alliances etc.
    Don’t to be too eager to throw out the current lot because they fall short of perfect and stick your collective heads into what looks a lions mouth.
    Aussies take their fortune so for granted, but one day when it’s gone, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth in the world won’t bring back what was ceded so casually in a little fit of pique.

    Like

    • helvityni April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

      Throw out the current lot and get something much worse in its place. Don’t people know Abbott, Pyne and Morrison yet, they are hardly new comers, anymore than Abetz, Brandis, Mirabella and the rest of the horrors are.

      Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      After all you said, and some I agree with,you have to admit,Labor has had more than enough chances to listen to the public about their behaviour and Gillards leadership.It is not about MSM campaigns.It is about what people are saying.Even intellectual,life time Labor folk, who boycott the MSM.

      Like

  12. doug quixote April 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    I try to ignore Marilyn’s insults because I think her heart is in the right place (no, not just between her lungs) but the carping about Gillard wears a little thin. She and Hypo form a lovely couple, who should meet up and spend a few days swapping hate-speech about Gillard.

    At the end of it, they might ponder the peculiar coincidence that they share their opinions with Alan Jones, Bolt, Albrechtsen, and Heffernan.

    This article is recommended reading :

    http://theaimn.com/2013/03/26/getting-gillard-with-the-pincer-movement/

    Like

    • Marilyn April 2, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

      You sad pathetic dimwit.

      Like

      • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

        Marilyn,
        He is a gutless sock puppet with deep connections to the Labor Party, and puts that allegiance before the wellbeing Australian community.Ditto Gillard and her yellow bellied caucus.
        He is not a tilter at windmills, he’s a traitorous windbag.

        I couldn’t give a toss if Jones,Evans and even Pell concur Gillard and the Howe controlled faux Labor scum are a pox on us, because I wholeheartedly agree.

        That said I feel sad pathetic dimwit is generous.
        Troll or sock puppet should suffice.

        Hopefully Crean can be the catalyst which begins to inflict the last fatal blow.
        Blowing is something DQ is an obvious authority on.

        “He shall decide who comes here and under what circumstances they come”

        DQ/ (Little Johnny’s other love child) said it here and I can cut and paste it and link it to the context if you like.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

          BTW and when I say ‘Labor Party’,(above) I refer to the pusilanimous shit stain that is faux Labor.

          Like

        • doug quixote April 4, 2013 at 8:42 am #

          As long as you quote it accurately. The crucial word is “We” as in “We the Australian People” for that is my meaning in using the phrase.

          My meaning was probably not the same as the meaning that the unflushable turd John Howard intended. The turd took a perfectly acceptable motherhood statement and twisted it, or had it twisted, to suit his own purposes.

          In my view, “We decide who comes here and the circumstances under which they come” means that the Australian people do the deciding, and no-one else.

          Like

          • Marilyn April 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

            But it’s bullshit, we don’t decide any such thing and we never have.

            Some ignoramus public servant does.

            Like

      • Hypocritophobe April 2, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

        BTW 2
        The site is rife with comments from a single sock puppet.Just like the Drum.

        Like

        • redjos April 3, 2013 at 12:15 am #

          There is a new political party called the Wikileaks Party and they are looking for members.

          Mannie

          Like

          • hudsongodfrey April 3, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

            http://www.wikileaksparty.org.au/

            In case anyone is interested in reading whatever they have to say. We’ve had some longish discussions about alternatives to the major parties, and I’m sure this won’t be the least controversial of them.

            Like

            • zerograv1 April 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm #

              Wikileaks rate themselves a senate chance, personally I think they are 20/1 or more, They just dont capture the general publics imagination

              Like

              • helvityni April 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

                What catches your imagination, zero, Abbott and co?

                Like

                • zerograv1 April 3, 2013 at 10:59 pm #

                  Nah, they are Neanderthal in their thinking, I’m probably going to sit out on voting…no one looks the goods to me

                  Like

              • hudsongodfrey April 3, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

                I think their existence is defined by Julian Assange’s tilt at a Senate seat. He may be trying to get onto the top line of the ballot in order to make it easier for people to vote for him.

                On whether they will I get the sense that he polarises opinion roughly about 50/50 or perhaps a little less favourably than that. With a bit of a campaign that might just about get him over the line, bizarre as that may seem.

                Like

                • zerograv1 April 4, 2013 at 9:59 am #

                  Although I agree with your 50/50 split, I think come election day, people wont see his affairs as an election issue. Sure it may get wide coverage but like a few other issues I an think of, its not something relevant to the ballot box and I believe a much stronger debate about which of the majors to favor (or oppose) will be foremost in peoples minds. Look at all the single issue minor parties who, no matter how worthy the cause, lose their deposit? Assange is in that category I think. He may well get his deposit refunded but that will be about it. What’s the quota in Victoria? 16.7%? If so, no hope of getting that or I beleive making up enough preferences from the preferences distribution for which he will be competing with the Greens and the 3rd on the ticket from the majors.. Only MHO though.

                  Like

                  • hudsongodfrey April 4, 2013 at 11:28 am #

                    Yes the States each have 12 Senate seats but in all but double dissolution elections only half of the seats are on offer so I imagine 1/6th is the correct answer to your quota question.

                    In general the Senate is also a little off the radar, perhaps even slightly boring in modern elections. Parties campaigns focus so heavily on their leaders in the lower house that we rarely even get to see Senate candidates. Assange for all his faults is both well known and interesting. If his name makes it to the ballot then voters will probably at least have to make some kind of decision about his candidacy based on what they think about him and about Wikileaks. Most of the time that doesn’t even happen with the major parties at least, given that for convenience sake people are voting parties above the line.

                    Like

                    • zerograv1 April 4, 2013 at 7:52 pm #

                      Correct me If I’m wrong but I think the quota will be 1/7th not 1/6th (plus one vote) based on the (100/(all the seats up for re-election + 1)) + one extra vote formula. Even so at the lower 14.3% quota, I don’t think people care that much about his issue to get him into the Senate or is it hotly debated enough to make it a matter for selecting the future government. Assange’s stand on Secrecy, Security, Open Government, Support of citizenry etc definately goes in the same tray as “Should we be a republic?” “Should we have a Bill of Rights?” and other aligned issues that are politically related but not matters concerned with electing parliamentary leadership….again just my humble opinion. Sadly injustices abound in the interest group oriented way Australian Parliaments make legislation and his issues just add to the list. Did you see for instance this? http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/australia-backflips-welfare-changes-expat-kiwis-5395054

                      I disappeared from commenting here for a number of weeks as I was holidaying in NZ and my cousin made much of the unfairness of the treatment of NZ’rs here when Aussies there dont need visas and have access to the NZ system. I had to agree, she was right and its just wrong…but the perception that NZ’rs just come here to get on the dole is the same mindlessly believed misrepresented “wisdom” as prevails in the “boat people” arguments.

                      Like

                    • hudsongodfrey April 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

                      I don’t mind New Zealanders, and I’ve always thought closer ties would be preferable. But then why don’t we argue this similarly for Indonesians? I guess that’s just one of the problems we’re going to have to get our heads around eventually.

                      On Bills of Rights I’m circumspect. I believe in making law on the basis that everything is assumed to be permissible until the law states otherwise. Thus people like the UN coming along to tell me what my “self-evident” rights are seem pretty redundant to me. Human rights are something we need to identify and state in principle so that we can use those ideals to build better societies. But we need to be careful that we don’t end up defining rights in a way that becomes the minimum standard for permissible behaviour when we ought to be aspiring to a maximum level of human well-being.

                      A guaranteed freedom of speech after the American Model may seem like a good thing, it may even be a good thing, but even they only apply it within a narrow domestic context which they happily and wantonly ignore when it comes to how they’ve behaved outside American soil.

                      So while I don’t think people are particularly concerned with Assange’s agenda I do think there are a few who’d react favourably to something that seems both impactful and genuinely alternative to more of the same from the two major parties acting as almost carbon copied of one another. I think he has a kind of celebrity appeal that may well be shallow but could also be worthwhile in some ways to represent a proper challenge to the status quo.

                      Like

                • zerograv1 April 4, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

                  I agree that the way political discourse is currently conducted in this country that a fresh approach might have some appeal. The current bickering between the two majors often misses the mark on what is important to the wider electorate and is frankly stale, unresolved often, frequently results in flawed loopholed legislation and only of value as an insomnia cure. Assange at least will give some fresh and hopefully intelligent subject matter to the same tired old “issues that arent really issues just dog whistles for the masses”

                  Like

                  • hudsongodfrey April 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

                    And I’m also sure in the Assange case that somebody will ably point out that if we’re simply replacing one kind of dog whistle with another then it doesn’t matter how much we like the newer shinier model its utility is still limited to promoting divisive populism.

                    Like

  13. Hypocritophobe April 3, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    Readers may have noticed our eltite feminist PM has changed glasses again.
    She now has the edges softened,obviously at the behest of the AWU spin doctors and highly paid image and body language consultants.Gone are the oblong power specs.(I doubt that there is any prescription glass inside them anyway)
    Further, I sense some random baby cuddling, a surprise visit to Afghanistan and aged care facilities.
    Followed by a rise in the dole, a back-flip softening in single parents payment and another 45 announcements about, air-jew-kay-shern.

    Like

  14. doug quixote April 3, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    Is that the best you two Gillard haters can do? I suggested you go off together and swap Gillard hate speech for a few days, and that’s all you can come up with? Go to the Alan Jones songbook and pick up some hints, or try the anti-Obama sites. I’m sure you can do better.

    And by the way, I have no links with the ALP whatsoever. Nor do I comment under any other name.

    Rupert is laughing at the useful idiots helping his cause.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 3, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Do you approve of stopping boats and allowing Gillard and the TWU to short circuit,abuse and devalue the 457 visa system too, Mr Moral High Ground?

      Piss in my ear DQ.
      If you donated $1 for all your other pseudonyms across the net, you could sponsor a refugee for a year.

      Keep weaving.

      Like

      • doug quixote April 3, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

        I’d like to piss in your ear if it would only piss some sense into your deranged mind

        Your Gillard hatred has unhinged you.

        I do not try to occupy the high ground, you fool. Realpolitik rules the world, and it is the art of the possible.

        What I would like and what is possible are two different things, a lesson you should learn.

        I tell you the plain unadorned truth and you give me deceptive and duplicitous in return, when you can spare a second from the spewing of Gillard hate.

        Like

        • Hypocritophobe April 4, 2013 at 12:01 am #

          You call me unhinged and duplicitous?
          Pathetic and predictable weaselling.

          Explain and justify this you rock ape.
          ***
          The Transport Workers Union has confirmed that three of its senior staff are on 457 visas, despite boss Tony Sheldon recently declaring that employers should train Australians first.

          The Federal Government is promising to crack down on the use of 457 visas, arguing that Australian workers should be prioritised over foreign labour.

          During an interview with the ABC earlier this year, Mr Sheldon took aim at the use of 457 visas.

          “They should be brought in where there’s real shortages,” he said.

          “Employers should be obliged to turn around and train Australians first and give jobs to Australians first.”

          But the union has now confirmed three staff in its national office are employed on 457 visas.

          Mr Sheldon has defended the decision, saying in a written statement that the staff were employed because the union was unable to find local staff for the positions.

          He says the problem with 457 visas has always been “unscrupulous employers taking advantage of loopholes in the system”.

          He has declined the ABC’s request for an interview.

          Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s communications director John McTernan is also on a 457 visa.

          Liberal Senator Eric Abetz says the latest revelations involving the TWU undermine Labor’s campaign.

          “He (Mr McTernan) and Tony Sheldon are now head and head, competing for hypocrite of the year award,” he said.

          Ms Gillard has rejected accusations the Government is being racist in its determination to crack down on the use of 457 visas.

          Media mogul Rupert Murdoch yesterday said the Government’s language around the issue was “pretty disgraceful and racist”.
          ***

          And try to answer one question thrown at you about the political whore you keep defending instead of hiding behind Shakespearean rhetoric, just once in your insignificant life.
          You have whimpered away from almost every question going to the crux of the Gillard/Rudd/Howe era.
          “Do you approve of stopping boats and allowing Gillard and the TWU to short circuit,abuse and devalue the 457 visa system too, Mr Moral High Ground?”

          You are possibly equally as spineless and devoid of principle as your heroine.
          As are you army of sock puppet personas across the net.
          You can’t polish a turd, no matter how many fake ID’s you print out to do it.

          Like

          • Hypocritophobe April 4, 2013 at 12:40 am #

            And before you play the “misogynist attack card” ,”Political whore” (applicable to any political player, male or female) who sells out to the ACL,and tricking for the unions,big business,foreign miners and multinationals who control the energy sector. (Or anyone else who can deliver the political result required.)

            My apologies to any sex workers who make take offence at the terminology.

            Like

      • doug quixote April 4, 2013 at 8:27 am #

        That was actually a serious question :

        “Do you approve of stopping boats and allowing Gillard and the TWU to short circuit,abuse and devalue the 457 visa system too, Mr Moral High Ground?”

        The answers are that the activities of people smugglers should be curtailed, as was recently agreed in Bali by the Asia/Pacific nations.

        “Stop the Boats” is an absurd slogan which has no meaning and cannot work without regional cooperation.

        As for the 457 visas, what is all the fuss about? Any system is open to abuses, and the government has signalled that the use of the system has to be revised. Simply the ongoing business of government.

        Do you have a supplementary question?

        (PS I’ll keep it civil if you do.)

        Like

        • Marilyn April 6, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

          You babbling moron, there are not people smugglers to be curtailed, that is a peculiar Australian lie.

          Everyone has the right to seek asylum and it is no-one’s business who they pay to do so.

          Australia does not want to curtail smuggling, they want no asylum seekers ever to come here and would prefer they all die somewhere else.

          Like

          • zerograv1 April 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

            While I generally agree with your passion for decriminalising asylum seekers (themsleves), in no way can I support your contention that there are no people smugglers (who combine a mixture of the gullible, some innocent, some opportunistic poor and some just plain evil (and yes if you like criminal) people pirates) – the facts fly in the face of your statement and I believe you have let your emotions run away with you on that one. Its the same logic that denies there are some that arent really economic refugees – recent evidence – ie voluntarily deciding to go elsewhere proves that some make spurious claims for asylum but those committed to the asylum cause are blind to that.

            Like

  15. Hypocritophobe April 4, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    I am no longer a watcher of Q & A, but next weeks show line up might interest some of you.
    Monday, 8 April 2013

    Brooke Magnanti – Research Scientist and Author – Belle de Jour
    Germaine Greer – Feminist icon and provocateur
    Mia Freedman – Mamamia founder and director
    Deborah Cheetham – Indigenous opera singer
    Janet Albrechtsen – Opinion columnist for The Australian

    Like

  16. paul walter April 5, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    If you wont watch it, I won’t.

    Like

    • Hypocritophobe April 5, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Deal.
      I think I have toenails to pull out that night.
      Far less painful.

      Like

    • doug quixote April 5, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

      Thankfully, Monday nights I play Bridge, and only review Qanda if something actually happens, or the guests are outstanding. Not all that often lately.

      Jones always annoys me with his snide comments. And then there are those fucking tweets! I read someone (many) recommending a piece of cardboard placed across the bottom of ther screen . . .

      Like

      • helvityni April 5, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

        I don’t like Jones, and not very often his choice of guests. Tweets are often the best par of the show, who and even look let alone listen to Abetz ,Barnaby, Mirabella or Kelly O’Dwyer….
        Have not got much time for Sales and Uhlmann either.

        Like

        • helvityni April 5, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

          edit: who would want to watch, let alone listen to….

          Like

          • paul walter April 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

            O’Dwyer represents an assault on the sensibilities.

            Like

  17. Juliar Blowhard April 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    SAY NO TO SAME SEX MARRIAGE.

    Like

  18. paul walter April 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    why?

    Like

  19. doug quixote April 7, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    It appears a troll has wandered in. Does anyone have some trollicide?

    Like

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  1. The 60th Down Under Feminists Carnival | the news with nipples - May 4, 2013

    […] Is the corpse of feminism revived and stirring? by Tatum Street at lipmag. Elite feminism. Who is it good for? by Jennifer at No Place For Sheep. The fantasy of women’s collective historical identity by […]

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