The Convoy of Cleavage. In which the breast strikes back.

17 Jun

After a week of astounding personal attacks on Prime Minister Julia Gillard, some of us Twitter women have decided we’re done with this shit, and we’re not taking it anymore.

The last straw (at least up to this morning) came yesterday, when AFR columnist and industrial relations consultant Grace Collier complained on ABC Radio National’s Sunday Extra that Ms Gillard had, offensively, according to Collier, revealed cleavage in the House of Representatives.

The PM had displayed too much flesh, Ms Collier declared, and in her professional opinion cleavage is inappropriate in the work place.

Bind your breasts, sisters, lest they cause any man or woman to be distracted from their tasks by that enemy of capitalism, desire.

It seems to me that if we are to stamp out this irrational horror of the female breast, (see DSM-V: Horror of and Repulsion Towards the Female Breast, A Disorder in Both Genders) we have little choice but to use immersion therapy, in which we expose Ms Collier and fellow sufferers to images of that which they so fear, in the informed hope that they may become desensitised, and return to their normal, hinged lives.

With this in mind I tweeted that obviously we must all post images of our cleavage on Twitter. This suggestion was enthusiastically received by one @MsBaileyWoof, herself a deceptively ditzy blonde with attitude who likes to sleep on picnic tables. In an astonishingly short time Ms Bailey Woof created the hash tag #convoyofcleavage which in turn was taken up by racy Twitter women who believe it’s time everyone accepted that women have breasts and got over it, to the best of their ability.

As MPs return to Canberra today, we hope women all over Australia will join us in our Convoy of Cleavage by posting images of yours, remembering of course to use the hash tag. The Convoy will be led by myself and women who have pledged to join me. (Don’t leave me hanging out there on my own, sisters. You won’t, will you?)

They didn’t!

Update: As I have now unveiled my breasts on Twitter, it seems cowardly not to do the same here. In solidarity with Ms Gillard, this is No Place for Sheep’s contribution to #ConvoyofCleavage


But wait! There’s more! Understandably there will be women who do not feel comfortable making intimate images public. However, it appears that almost every one of Ms Gillard’s physical characteristics have been fair game for the loons. Please feel free to tweet images of your fingernails,your ear lobes, your hair, your glasses, your jackets, or, if you feel like it, your arse. Do use the same hash tag, in the interests of order.

Yes, this exercise is entirely frivolous and will achieve nothing. Yes, I expect we will be gored by Helen Razer (after Baudrillard) for our mindless capitulation to empty symbolism. Though as that lady recently posted an image of her own cleavage, struggling to escape an appallingly tasteless pink brassiere as she held aloft the dripping carcass of a Peking duck, maybe not.

For any of you who are uncertain about cleavage etiquette, here’s an excerpt from Seinfeld, in which Jerry instructs George on how to behave when two breasts loom.

Enjoy your day.

195 Responses to “The Convoy of Cleavage. In which the breast strikes back.”

  1. gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    Turkish Delights.
    You’ve got to hand it to the Turks though, day in day out; they are manning the ramparts at Gezi park fighting to preserve 600 trees to be razed to the ground making room for a mosque which the pro-Islamic government is hell-bent in building.
    The daily sight here on Australian TV with water cannons toppling protesters does not endear the present Turkish PM. What is endearing though is the number of both female and male protestors trying to make their voices heard. Secularism is what the people want, and we want it now, they are shouting. The Turkish people want change!

    You sometimes wonder what it would take to get some people on the streets in Australia. I would have thought with the latest batch of misogyny rearing its head, some might think, enough is enough. There is war being waged against women. How could it not be shown any clearer? On TV, on Radio, in the media and in parliament, women are continuously being berated, slandered, belittled, vilified and degraded. What happened to all the ‘workshops’, the ‘male bonding’ groups, the ‘counseling’ that was supposed to have been undertaken by society in order to rectify this behavior.

    It’s almost as if the efforts to educate men (and women) into accepting women as equals have been given fresh oxygen, rich mixtures of well rotted misogyny manure instead.
    Perhaps we reconcile ourselves that it happens elsewhere as well. Nigella Lawson was attacked by her husband and even though it was noticed by passersby and the photographer, who took multiple shots of the attack, not a single person took action. We seem to be more than mortified by attacks against females in India but we seem to ignore what is happening here in good old Aussie-land.

    The attack by a radio presenter questioning on whether Julia Gillard’s has a bone fide hetero male partner was just about the pits. It was a slur on gays but also on a woman living with a hairdresser. Are all women who are nurses and own cats lesbians? This could conceivably be expected to be asked next… What about radio announcers? Are they all child molesters or dog stranglers?

    Sisters, ‘we must reclaim the night’ wrote someone in huge white lettering on a rail bridge at Glebe some thirty years ago. Some wit changed it in ‘reclaim the knight.’
    Women were always creatures to be cared for, admired, adored and loved, regardless of sexual preference. I can’t see how people are now changed into hatred for those with breasts and vaginas. Are they perhaps also the same who loath the asylum seekers swept on our shores or the climate change deniers, skeptics?

    I suspect they are. I have yet to hear a person on the ALP side of the fence making derogatory remarks about women. No doubt they are lurking in the undergrowth of our suburban landscape as well, in any case they seem less in numbers.

    But as the people are fighting in Turkey for the rights of a public park, where are the people fighting for the rights of women not to be put down in Australia?

    Where are the water cannons on our streets?


    • zerograv1 June 17, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      It’s politics, we already knew the HOR operates like a schoolroom with an absent teacher….did anyone expect anything less? Gillard is wrong to drag this into the Federal parliament, there are plenty of funds, committees, public awareness campaigns, laws, workplace policies etc around to attend to the issue, we simply don’t need her tactic of trying to distract the media away from leadership change reporting.This mornings news media showed the tactic failed and it was largely perceived (primarily by men) to be a desperate beat up to garner polling support from women, – the whole menu thing happened AFTER the RANT – it was an unprovoked fact-less attack and it looked like cheap shot ie it didn’t work…..back to new policy and running the country please! Gillard might be a powerful advocate in her new found feminism for addressing these sexist(?) mysoginist(?) ills but please if this is all you have to offer, do it from the back benches Julia! (It works for Kevin!)


      • Annie June 17, 2013 at 9:15 am #

        Beats me why she was not supposed to mention gender in a speech for women. The event was about women in politics and she’s not supposed to mention gender. Have we all gone mad?


        • zerograv1 June 17, 2013 at 9:40 am #

          It was a tactic pure and simple borrowed from the “Women for Obama” campaign. It’s not so much about women, its an excuse for some media soundbites and publicity – only 100 turned up and according to reports they squirmed in their seats when Gillard let fly. Gillard needs to be a Prime Minister and fast! This sort of stuff belongs in online blogs but it aint leadership or running the country material! Check the link on how it went over…


          • gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 10:09 am #

            Wants to be prime Minister?

            I’ll give you some inkling that she is doing pretty well.
            1. There are 960,000 more jobs in Australia than in 2007.
            2. Since 2007 our economy has grown 13%. Compare that to the US economy which has grown by 2.25% and the European economy which has shrunk by 2%.
            3. Australia has one of the lowest levels of debt in the world, the equivalent of a $12,000 mortgage for someone earning $100,000 per year. That’s why we have a AAA Credit Rating from the three key ratings agencies.
            Interest rates have fallen from 6.75% to 2.75% since 2007 – the lowest rates on record. A family with a $300,000 mortgage is saving more than $5,000 a year


            • zerograv1 June 17, 2013 at 10:26 am #

              And none of it Julia’s doing


              • gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 10:36 am #

                Negative, negative, negative.
                How about education, disabled care,carbon tax, lower unemployment, increased pensions, 4-0 win over Jordan?
                Cheer up dear.Your cleavage is showing.


              • zerograv1 June 17, 2013 at 10:40 am #

                She has a “male problem”, and has only about 55% support among women, Julia of Arc she may be, but its time she started acting like a PM don’t you think?
                Most of Autralia’s so clled economic achievements had little to do with anything the Federal Government has done and are pretty much tied to China’s insatiable demand for our resources. Oh and a little FYI – Interest Rates falling and a dropping dollar arent good economic indicators… Still the ALP are unlikely to replace her with Rudd given their feelings on him and the challenge he put to senior ministers to own up to leadership change….so Julia battles on, loses gloriously and her message gets lost….or as I said earlier she makes more effective loud noises from the backbenches, the press loves quoting an EX-PM. IF the ALP are fair dinkum they really need to tap her on the shoulder, and she needs to step up and admit like Hayden did that it’s time to move on


                • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 11:17 am #

                  In some Liberal polling, Turnbull gets 62 against Abbott’s 32, so Tony is well suited to the backbenches as well by looks of it…


                  • hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

                    Well noted Helvi.

                    It’s also interesting to note that people who say that they’d vote for Rudd over Gillard seem in roughly equal numbers to say that they wouldn’t welcome her dumping.


                • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

                  Perhaps it’s time the Australian People grew up, instead, instead of carrying on like aristocrats at a banquet..
                  “Eww, I don’t like this crayfish, it doesn’t have jewels up its arse, throw it in a bin and get another one.
                  One day, this country will be like India is now.
                  Australians may then wonder, as they sit in their particular piece of gutter starving, holding back their dose of Delhi-belly and scratching their head lice and fleas, what even a middling democratic government rather than an austerity regime would be like.


              • doug quixote June 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

                Pathetic. If you want to blame her for every perceived error you should also give her credit for he achievements.

                She is a leader who presides over a collegiate cabinet, where the ministers are allowed to run their own ministries without the constant interference from a PM like Rudd.

                Decisions and policies are made collectively : she is primus inter pares – first among equals, and not a dictator.

                She appoints the ministers; she is entitled to credit for their policies and programs.


            • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

              You have clearly forgotten that the population has risen by over 3 million since 2006 so 960,000 jobs is not many.

              What are the other more than 2 million people doing.

              And personal debt is one of the highest in the world with $1.6 trillion owed to the world by private people.


          • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 10:44 am #

            You miss the point zerograv.
            The entire opposition attack is based on alleged deficiencies of the PM, related to gender.
            Most of the “roonation” Abbott talks about is illusory, we are one of the richest and most debt free nations in the world, but he must have some thing to campaign on so we have a stack of alleged problems developed on the basis of a silly woman (is there other?) usurping the Lodge, when sensible people like Abbott And Brandies should be there.
            What we have is an evolved version, this time involving a woman, of what used to happen with blue collar men at the hands of Tories in parliament, as the affront of having plebs in the hallowed halls of the Born to rule is exorcised.


            • zerograv1 June 17, 2013 at 11:20 am #

              I dont agree, most of these “attacks” were created by the Gillard speechwriters themselves, sure there are examples here and there, but most of it reeks of embattled PM paranoia, and makes for excellent soundbites. Don’t be so easily fooled! The whole abortion speech was a distraction from her leadership woes, Abortion is a State government matter – red herring much?

              Also there are just as many examples of economic problems within Australia as there are gains but these have been wallpapered over. Seen the homelessness rate? What about housing affordability? Are your taxes lower? Have your energy costs stayed within the normal raise in inflation rates? Wages kept up? Cost of living same or lower? Tried renting lately? And how are your petroleum prices? Anywhere near US or other countries world prices? Thought not. The macro indicators everyone is fond of quoting as evidence of “what a good job the ALP have done” are not government initiated. True the Libs will also take credit for them should they win power but they are largely beyond government control. The Exchange rate for instance has already been admitted to be “nothing we can do about it” and it directly affects interest rates and the exchange rate through the carry trade….well outside government control. Figures about employment growth, unless you have a burgeoning public sector are also not within Government achievements, What is the total size of the PS, 22% is it? That job growth came from private industry – yet the government tries to steal the credit for it? Getting back to my earlier point though, if the ALP wants to prevent Abbott taking over, they need to encourage Gillard to step down, Rudd isn’t exactly ideal, but if he learns to delegate there is a chance that they can prevent Work choices Mark II from entering employed life


              • Kerryn Goldsworthy June 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

                ‘most of these “attacks” were created by the Gillard speechwriters themselves’

                I’m beginning to understand your nom de net, zerograv1. You are apparently from some other planet.


                • zerograv1 June 17, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

                  Evidence please?


                  • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 4:37 am #

                    The antenna, space ship hidden in the garage and green, scaly skin.


                    • zerograv1 June 18, 2013 at 6:23 am #

                      You have none then?


                    • helvityni June 18, 2013 at 9:52 am #

                      Kerryn is not saying that Paul is from some other planet.


                    • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 10:30 am #

                      What? Antenna? Only for the teev.


                • Saaq Madiq June 18, 2013 at 10:29 am #

                  She is obviously from Uranus. Also why the words, right wing and fruit loop go together. They have an absolute terror of facts. They just can not handle them or the truth.


                  • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

                    What a charming pseudonym! You really must be kidding if you expect to be treated other than as a troll with a name and sentiments like those!


                  • doug quixote June 18, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

                    Certainly seems to be from someone’s anus. 🙂


            • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

              She is not being attacked because she is a woman, jesus Paul grow up.


              • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

                Fuck off, Marilyn.


          • Ray (novelactivist) June 17, 2013 at 10:52 am #


            And what about the women these ALP hacks excluded?

            Single mothers pushed into poverty.

            Gay women denied the right to marry.

            Female refugees locked up in appalling conditions.


            • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 11:24 am #

              Don’t worry Ray, Abbott will take them all back to Indonesia, he has not yet heard what the Indonesian Foreign Minister said…He’ll also help the well to do women…as for Lesbians that is going to be tricky for him…


              • Ray (novelactivist) June 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

                As if the only other option are the Libs!


                • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

                  The way things are, unfortunately.
                  Thanks for mentioning that, Helvi. It was the one thing I left out of my most recent longer post; Abbott being schoolboyed by Yudohoyono on “towing them back” again last week.
                  Iron man, indeed!


                  • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

                    The point is that Gillard is actually doing far worse with her forced illegal deportations of Sri Lankans without due process.
                    Hundreds, including children are in Negombo prison, many have been tortured and whether they are sailed back to Indonesia (which cannot happen) or flown back to Sri Lanka in this way is irrelevant because Gillard has given the order that Sri Lankans must be flown straight home.


                    • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

                      Yes, if only the Opposition had been prepared to pressure the government to act more thoughtfully instead of being obstructionist and inflammatory, maybe Labor would have reacted differently.


                    • doug quixote June 18, 2013 at 7:25 pm #



          • Annie June 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm #

            It was a lunch for women. It is ludicrous to expect the conversation not to go there. The coalition are keen to jump on the single abortion comment with they claim there is no chance they’ll change it, we have moved beyond that, they say.

            They should tell the Tassie LegCo who have delayed the passing of a bill to remove abortion from the CRIMINAL Code. The Tassie LegCo refused a woman chair of committee in favour of an anti-choice male.

            And people keep telling me there is no risk. I think they’re dreaming.


          • gorgeousdunny1 June 18, 2013 at 7:14 am #

            Talking of bringing out cards, zerograv1, do you also deplore Morrison bringing out the xenophobia card whenever a leaky boat lands or sinks near our shores?

            Or Abbott and Morrison’s constant and wrongful referring to such Boat People as “Illegals’?


            • zerograv1 June 18, 2013 at 8:05 am #

              Yes I do, Morrison and Abbott’s attitudes to boat people is as shameful – almost as shameful as Gillards decision to not recover the bodies of drowned Sri Lankans!!! But this is another “seagulls at a chip” issue, – want to get the masses squawking? Just throw a “Stop the boats” or “Mysogyny” verbal chip into the squawking mob of beachside seagulls and watch the reaction. Its about the same mentality Collingwood cheer squad leaders use to stir up an easily lead crowdthink. If Gillard was serious about sexism she would a) Walk the talk on the so called Tampon Tax – still there despite her virulent pre-GST speech, b) Put single mothers back on an affordable but meagre allowance where justified c) Stop pretending to be a feminist since she avowed to serve for all when acquiring the PM’s office – it was only her recent desperation that even tactically decided to play to the old school feminists to shore up her vote. She gained a whole 1% increase in women’s support (Now at 34% instead of 33%) but in the meantime reduced her support among men to an all time low of 24%. If she was fair dinkum about sexism, she would apologise to all the men she has offended. She so badly needs to practice what she preaches…..It wasnt the right side of politics that commenced detaining children in detention centres, that all happened with the asylum policy reversal when Labor won office – are these people totally heartless?


            • Saaq Madiq June 18, 2013 at 10:33 am #

              No Zero has xenophobia for breakfast, lunch and tea and obviously in large amounts.


              • zerograv1 June 18, 2013 at 11:14 am #

                What a feeble bunch of responses I got, all of them resorted to childish name calling and tagging, branding etc, Not one sound argument in reply! Really people I expected better – and Im still waiting for someone to back their assertions with a little evidence….I’m quite open to listen to anything well argued and rsearched….I havent got a single response of that type yet though


                • samjandwich June 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

                  Well for what it’s worth zerograv, I think you’re making a very good point about the PM’s approach to feminism, not to mention common human decency, being not particularly competent or consistent.

                  My take on why is almost entirely based on intuition though, rather than research. I simply see her as a flawed human being, with too many disparate voices in here ear, and not enough unified thinking or background knowledge to figure out who to believe.


                • doug quixote June 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

                  Evidence of what? All we get from you is unsupported assertions, all contrary to the objective facts.


              • Paul June 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

                Probably think you are funny but Zerograv is having you for breakfast contribution wise.


                • helvityni June 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

                  Paul, or should I say Zero…ah, forget about it, no use fighting some silly windmills, or are they called trolls these days…


                  • Paul June 18, 2013 at 5:15 pm #


                    You still playing the troll card whenever anyone not of your view appears?

                    Zerograv was right – your response is another feeble attempt to dismiss.


                    • helvityni June 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

                      Whatever, dear girl….
                      Please no more from you to me. You sound like the one who was imitating me as hevltine and helvi on ABC Drum, not very clever…
                      ABC Mods are onto you.


                    • Paul June 18, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

                      Another bullshit Helvityni post – usual formula, no deviation here. Need a new act helvityni as yours is as stale as a warm bottle of piss and about as appealing.
                      “The ABC mods are onto you” – I think someone is just a bit of a drama queen eh Helvi.


            • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

              Yes, but Gillard says they are illegal and should not have special privileges that hard working Aussies don’t get.

              Somehow she equates the greed of Aussies with the plight of Hazara refugees fleeing genocide.

              Then she plunges more Aussies into dire poverty to pay for the refugee prisons.


              • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 6:00 pm #

                Paul, stop being a goose and say some thing on the actual topic instead of attacking other posters.


                • Paul June 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

                  A point was made and bollocks followed hence replied in kind. Note you said not a damm thing against the fave’s and the usual lies. Kindly stay out if you cannot see this.


          • cowper133 June 18, 2013 at 9:38 am #

            The footage I saw showed women applauding the PMs speech. There was no squirming in seats because the women were on their feet ie a standing ovation! Most of the criticism of the PMs speech came from men. What does that tell you about attitudes in this country? Try to pay attention here, women speaking about women’s issues at a gathering for women is nothing new. We do it with our girlfriends all the time. Oh, wait you thought we were talking about men??No, we talk about our issues and problems and very occasionally we throw in a joke, sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, sometimes about men, and yes, sometimes about men in blue ties!!


            • zerograv1 June 18, 2013 at 9:46 am #

              So sexism is ok as long as it wears a dress – is that it?


            • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

              But mainly respectfully.


            • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

              You are aware that many of those female ALP members got pre-selected only because they are women aren’t you? Emily’s list is the most anti-democratic sexist policy in the country dear.


              • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

                I disagree Marilyn. While there’s no denying that a girl’s club that excludes blokes is sexist there’s also no denying that the term affirmative action would probably be used to justify it after a fashion we can’t be entirely dismissive of while quite a few of the establishment boy’s clubs still persist in excluding women.

                It would be better that nobody was sexist and two wrongs weren’t seemingly being called upon to make a right, but I’d have to submit that if you take the Emily’s list voice out of public discourse then a lot of the opinions that group represents would be vastly diminished in the political discourse.

                I know that it could be argued that the views of establishment men’s clubs are also valuable, but as a matter of opinion I think I prefer the women’s views on the whole.


        • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 10:16 am #

          I think we have gone mad; we do not talk about education (Gonski) , not about the disabled care, not about our triple A rating, not about our low unemployment rates…we concentrate on PM’s clothes, her hair, her partner, and now her cleavage…

          What next…maybe she is found to a lesbian, on top of all her other ‘sins’, she is atheist, not married, no children….
          This is Australia, we can’t cope with all that…


          • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 10:16 am #

            my post is a reply to Annie.


          • suzanne altman June 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

            Call me cynical, but I thought that was the point of the radio wanker’s question. We are meant to infer that, if JG’s partner is gay, then the likely conclusion is that she must be too.


            • Annie June 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

              Rubbish, they had just discussed her and Tim’s living arrangements. The bullying about Tim was nothing but an irrelevant attack.


          • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

            Crap Helvi. I am not married either, I had two kids to two different men without marrying either of them and that was in 1973 and 1980.

            I was though called a lesbian in 1967 when I had a Mia Farrow crew cut and some 15 year old boys called me that.

            I have never in my life played the poor widdle woman card.


        • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 10:25 am #

          It would all have upset Alan, Piers and Howard.


          • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 10:53 am #

            What would upset Alan, Piers and Howard, Paul? Cleavage?


    • Marilyn June 17, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Well are all men in blue ties the new bogeymen we teach our kids to avoid in case they interfere with their reproductive processes?

      Sexism cuts both ways.

      We pick on Abbott’s budgie smugglers, his lycra, his big ears, we call him the mad monk and we abuse Rudd in ways that make no sense as the abusive things we claim he did only come from the small group of white men who deposed him with Gillards’ knife in his back.

      I find it astounding that Fairfax sacked Sattler over this when they should have sacked him years ago for his ranting racist attacks on refugees.

      Seems that sexism is bad, racism is good.

      The media need to examine just why it is they hire these racist, bigoted fools. They serve no purpose other than to inflame hate and abuse.

      Sloppy Joe has been abused for years as the fat man in parliament, we abuse Sophie Mirabella with abandon, ridicule Bronny and Julie Bishop alike but don’t say anything nasty about the most racist PM we have had since Billy Hughes?

      Roma Mitchell granted me a divorce in 1978, why are we whining now about a PM who just happens to be a woman as if being a woman is what it is about?


      • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

        He’s a bloke, he’s supposed to cop that sort of stuff, in a blokey way. No one ever left him in the lurch after they thought they’d duffed him, or had him subjected to a medical after having him set up in the courts, or smeared him or his wife or their sexuality simply because they were in a relation ship with each other.
        And am astonished you are surprised that Fairfax sacked the fascist bastard.
        Next you’ll be boasting about your Alan Jones T-shirt!
        Catch Insiders, watch sleazy Ackerman and Farr, and finally grasp the agenda in macro, my lost friend.


        • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

          I am not astonished that they sacked him. Read it again – I said I am astonished they sacked him over that when he should have been sacked decades ago for that and his racism.

          Akerman is not a man I would ever listen to.

          I loathe and don’t listen to Alan Jones.

          What bullshit you speak Paul.


  2. Ray (novelactivist) June 17, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Just showing your cleavage will do nothing. The change that is required needs to be far more radical than that.

    I think I’m repeating myself but many of my friends are second wave feminists of the bra burning era. The intention was to liberate the breast and to de-sexualise it. It succeeded to a point and I was reminded of this in a cutaway shot during the recent ABC Paper Giants TV series that showed rows of topless women on Bondi during the mid 80’s. It happened, I was there.

    Not any more. Women have covered up. Not because of men, but because of pressure from other women and because they think their breasts aren’t pretty enough.

    Seriously, when you can go to your local newsagent as look in either the men’s or women’s fashion magazines there are bare breasts galore.

    It is up to women to continue the liberation of the breast by not participating in their sexualisation and the best way to achieve that is to make the naked breast so normal nobody notices any more.

    But then, women want men to notice don’t they?


    • Ray (novelactivist) June 17, 2013 at 9:53 am #

      Forgot to add that double standards abound in this area.

      The general rule seems to be: look when I want you to look, don’t look when I don’t want you to look.

      Thus we have fashion designed to emphasise the breast: plunging necklines, push-up bras, side cleavage (just no nipples please – the one thing women have in common with men, lol, what a joke – and it is a joke). BUT, even though I might emphasise the breast and play a game of peek-a-boo, don’t look too much.

      A bit like young children who think if they can’t see you, you can’t see them.


    • hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 10:55 am #

      I don’t know that I want to de-sexualise the breast, or any other part of the woman though.

      I can’t see what would be gained by doing that.

      I can however see what would be gained by some blokes having better manners than to complain about it.


      • Ray (novelactivist) June 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

        But isn’t about the ‘whole’ person anyway? Not just body parts? And aren’t breasts especially sexualised?


        • hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

          I suppose the question would have to be about whether a body part is inherently sexy or requires some process of sexualisation to become “sexualised”.

          I would say that in my experience a good deal of those decisions were kind of made for me long before I had anything to say on the matter. After all the mere fact that those body parts that are most alluring because access to them is most frequently denied occurs to me at least partly as an environmental factor of the social milieu into which I was born.

          I’m not complaining about this by the way. I’m just saying that social attitudes change and the woman who seemed to take some exception to JG’s cleavage was completely out of step.

          I think she’s only doing it in order to argue that politicians should be gender neutral to take gender off the table because she supports Abbott.


          • Marilyn June 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

            Oh for god’s sake, we girls dress ourselves like sluts when it suits us. So what. Since when is sex not sexualised.

            If it was not sexualised it would be simply fucking a rubber doll or a knot in the tree.


            • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm #



            • hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

              I’m not sure that to be sexual we have to be “sexualised”.

              Or should I say that I take the word sexualise to mean making something more sexual, which infers that it may not have been sexual to start with. We can get into arguments about some things being sexual and others not at from time to time or context to context, but I feel pretty sure that human beings are, or would be, at least somewhat innately sexual without too much embellishment.

              As a matter of fact embellishment may have more to do with social conditioning to fight our natural urges than any real need for encouragement. If you take away the war paint, the fancy dress and the Victoria’s Secret knickers then it may very well form part of a narrative that is very much headed towards the bedroom rather than away from it.

              And if you’re going to abuse trees I’m told its best to check for goannas first!


              • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

                You mean, that knot in the tree may have scales and teeth?


                • hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

                  According to an old joke about Dad and Dave and Mabel, Yes!


              • Ray (novelactivist) June 18, 2013 at 10:29 am #

                My understanding is that the ‘ise’ on any word implies a process, ie globalise. Thus sexualise is a process of making something that is not inherently sexual sexual, or more sexual.

                I maintain that the breast is designed to feed children and that there are many cultures that do not give it any secondary sexual meaning.

                In other words, it is a choice and we can choose not to give the breast any special sexual meaning.

                But here is where I become cynical and suggest that it is women who perpetuate the sexualisation of the breast because they use it as a lure and a tease.

                I mean, isn’t it technically ‘first base’? If I like you I might let you feel my breasts? Wow.

                I wonder what would happen if men refused to play along and simply said ‘big deal, so what?’


                • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 11:07 am #

                  Yep, I can go along with most of the cultural foundations as to how and why we got to this point. But we don’t live in a culture where the breast is demystified and I’m not entirely sure that we want to. The big argument as to whether we’ve “sexualised” the breast tends to lose sight of the notion that if we don’t want to hype up sexual politics to drown out the merit of some other better arguments nor should we try to desexualise women in order to deliberately undervalue a diversity of opinion in Australian political life.


                  • Ray (novelactivist) June 18, 2013 at 11:16 am #


                    I think the meaningful distinction here is between sexual and indecent/obscene. There are many parts of the body that both sexes find sexy/beautiful but would not consider in the least bit obscene.

                    Me, I’m a leg man and I get to see lots of naked legs everyday.

                    In fact there is a bizarre list of body parts ranked from not the least bit indecent to very indecent. A cheeky bare bottom is ranked less indecent than a bare breast.

                    Go figure.


                    • Ray (novelactivist) June 18, 2013 at 12:44 pm #


                      I just remembered, as an example, the iconic 70’s poster of the model on the tennis court, her free hand lifting her skirt and placed on a bare bottom. Very popular and almost ubiquitous.

                      But a different story if it had been a breast.


                    • Ray (novelactivist) June 18, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

                      A bit of nostalgia


                    • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

                      The distinction between sexual and indecent/obscene is a good one to make in that it helps the conversation along by acknowledging where some of the problems lie.

                      I suspect I’m correct though in saying that whatever those problems are few of us here seem to endorse puritanical positions that conflate sexuality with indecency. Instead we’re pretty well united in a sense of outrage that some people seem to want to trample our sexual freedoms having perhaps harboured the hope that the sexual revolution would continue to progress away from the kinds of hang ups that tend to inform utterances from the finger waving classes.

                      Or as I said. It could be more of a political gambit than anything else. Designed to limit the impact of gender politics on the upcoming election.


                    • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

                      P.S. Yes I remember Tennis Girl. It was ubiquitous workplaces throughout the length and breadth of the land before most such things were banned.

                      I appreciate that the line had to be drawn somewhere, but I thought she was an unfortunate casualty of changing times. Not quite dignified enough to be arty, and not quite naked enough to be pornographic, and yet there is cleverness skill and talent behind any image that achieves what I would say was almost an iconic status.


  3. helvityni June 17, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Julia had some cleavage showing, and it happened in the House of Representatives…..!

    Better to keep quiet about this, don’t tweet about it; we don’t want any Danes carking it when laughing at way we do things in OZ…all the good publicity the Misogyny speech created for Australia, might be wiped out might in one swish tweet…

    PS. who bloody well cares what Helen Razer and Grace Collier think…I can’t wait to see what’s happening in Borgen, hope not too much cleavage…


    • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 9:33 am #

      Jennifer, good on you…

      My tweet ‘ban’ is only meant for Grace Collier’s comments, NOT for your or anyone’s cleavage,if you got it flaunt it 🙂


  4. gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    At least in Enland the police does something when a female gets attacked, husbands or not.


  5. paul walter June 17, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Very enjoyed Gerard’s post, but query whether or not social conservatism is a problem with the ALP.
    What if what comes out of the mouths of the louts is what many on the ALP right think on social issues, but keep mum on in public.
    Rupert Murdoch and John Howard knew how to work the “battlers”, who are disaffected working class people, creations themselves of the system. These were originally ALP supporters disenfranchised by globalisation and neoliberalism, particularly through de- industrialisation, having been subjected to the media and press massage of their fears and insecurities, to the extent that they blamed the left, and minorities for their downfall, rather than the banks and the establishment.


    • gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      Yes Paul, but I don’t see the disparaging insulting comments coming from the other side of politics. The radio announcers, politicians,almost all have been made by the progressive sides. Perhaps the soccer coach and the oblong footballer brawlers might be APp inclined. The same with the klimate skeptics.Mainly all from the conservatives. That’s why they are conservatives. Maintain the status quo, women in the kitchen men in the bar or up a donkey, or whatever.


      • gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 11:45 am #

        progressive sides. Hmm I mean ‘conservative’ sides.


      • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

        Sorry, not sure what you mean, Gerard. Disparaging comments from the progressive side?
        It is true that progressives have attacked Labor for being too timid on social and cultural policies and usually rightly so- on the issues rather than the opposing people (although Marilyn and others have made a mistake in exclusively going for Gillard and personally, when this the sort of person the system wants in all major parties).
        I never took the Murdochs, Jones etc to be “progressive” and it’s the right the mudslinging has come from, not the progressive side.
        Now, back to a brawl am having with erstwhile friends on FB about the Surveillance State.
        They are American democrats who cannot more believe or accept Obama’s betrayals on “security”- they are in denial- than we can forgive Labor for embracing neoliberalism.


        • gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

          I made a dreadful mistake and I tried to correct it underneath with disparaging remarks by the CONSERVATIVES”. So sorry, perhaps Jennifers attractive cleavage muddled me up, I feel so foolish. 🙂


          • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm #

            So it WAS Jennifer, was it?
            Not a bad package.
            Am glad I didn’t air my suspicions re (no) knickers.


            • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm #

              Actually Gerard, when I first spotted the header, I misread it as “Conroy of Cleavage” and did a double-take. And I so concur with you re the norks, they are superlative and should NOT be de-sexualised under ANY circumkstancs.


        • Marilyn June 17, 2013 at 5:35 pm #

          Gillard is the so-called PM Paul, she claims she is the leader ergo she must lead instead of stirring up race hate and sexism.

          As much as Maggie was awful did she whinge sexism when it suited her or did she simply lead?

          Did Benazir Bhutto cry sexism when she was PM of chauvinist Pakistan, or Corazon Aquino in the Philipines, or the many women in South America.

          Why is Gillard the only supposed leader who is allowed to whinge about sexism when it suits her?

          Howard was blamed for everything, people are happy to blame Rudd if the sun doesn’t shine today – because they are or were the leaders of the country.

          Ergo I blame Gillard for the increase in racism because she has stirred it up time and time again, the latest with making film to force hazara to stay home and die or we will punish them here with years in prison and steal their money.


          • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

            In some countries men are taught to respect women, in other countries women are seen as second class citizens by many…
            Angela Merkel’s policies are not liked by all Germans, but they don’t put it down to her being a woman, they don’t make fun of her looks, hairstyles, or her way of dressing.
            The Finnish President, Tarja Halonen was a single mum, dressed badly and looked plain, she had two terms in office.
            I never heard New Zealanders berating Helen Clarke for her looks or her dress sense.

            Marilyn, if Howard was your kind of leader, then you’ll be pleased to get more of the same with Abbott, or worse, after all Howard was not a misogynist.


            • Marilyn June 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

              You fucking moron Helvi, Just because I don’t like Gillard where does it say I liked Howard.

              Really when you run out of facts you trot out moronic bullshit.


              • zerograv1 June 22, 2013 at 9:59 am #

                Hear! Hear! Helivi trots out all sorts of rubbish when she doesnt have a rebuttal or decent argument in reply Favorites are accusations of having multiple ID’s, lecturing others on Ad Hominem attacks and asking that replies not contain any personal abuse, then proceeding to completely ignore her own post and yep- Abuse and use Ad Hominem against me and others….she rarely has an argument and any attempted rebuttals are paper thin (as are a lot of the fanclubs’ here)….I was hoping this place would retain its original pithy argument, enlightment and debate but its become tiresome and starting to sound like a Jerry Springer audience in its support for whatever the flavour of the month warcry is. Not my scene at all…..snore. Oh and good luck with Gillard those still on her bandwagon, I hope the Senate vote holds up under her sinking polls. There’s a real danger it wont and then you really WILL have something to howl about!


      • Paul June 18, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

        Absolute nonsense Gerard. You have never heard of disparaging comments from the “progressive side” (whatever that means)?

        Far too often that is all that is put forth – some excellent examples of the puerile insults that Abbott encounters every day right in this thread.


        • gerard oosterman June 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

          Go away Paul. Are you Zero’s sister? Don’t darken my doorstep again


          • Paul June 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

            Fuck off Gerard – who do you think you are to tell me where I may post? You type crap I am going to call you on it.


            • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 6:27 pm #


              Write a post here that states a case for your opinion or please disappear. You’ve now sniped at the heels of all and sundry without joining in constructive debate for quite long enough and that is as it should be regarded by most as an abuse of our host’s hospitality.


              • Paul June 19, 2013 at 9:08 am #

                Read the earlier post will you where I quite clearly address the ridiculous notion put forth that the vitriol flows from one side of politics. Both sides are to blame.

                Your one sided preaching is tiresome as is the predictable “alias” tack again propagated by H and PW.


                • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 10:10 am #

                  Nobody really expects that the vitriol flows exclusively from one side of politics, we all know that it can be a two way street. As can communication of ideas.

                  However if you repeatedly snipe at people however astutely then sooner or later you’ll be labelled and called out for it. To defend a position you have to take one, or at the very least to offer an opinion of one’s own and risk the critique of others.

                  Your work is all ahead of you to defend Abbott in these pages in some credible fashion that is open to debate. Otherwise personal attacks and baiting of others will and have already singled you out as a troll. If you’re not happy about that then you now know what to do!


                  • Paul June 19, 2013 at 10:18 am #

                    Thanks Reverend. Whoever said I was obligated to “defend Abbott”? Rather than setting benchmarks for others how about you and a few regulars live by what you preach. You can barely get a line here these days without a chorus line chiming in with their foregone conclusions.


                    • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 10:30 am #

                      The only statement in the whole thread I could find of yours to defend was to Gerard. “some excellent examples of the puerile insults that Abbott encounters every day right in this thread.” So I figure you want the opportunity to defend Abbott, because there’s not much chance I’ll be doing that for you.

                      How it works is that if you want to get a line in you go down to the bottom of the page and write a full and frank disposition on the joys of a prospective Abbott government if that’s what takes your fancy. I’m not stopping you!

                      And when you do I’ll take great pleasure in critiquing you for a change 🙂


                    • paul walter June 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

                      What is “real”? Not sure but whatever it is it will be whatever “Paul” DOESN’T talk about…


                    • helvityni June 19, 2013 at 2:22 pm #



                  • paul walter June 19, 2013 at 11:39 am #

                    Yes, but why does he never say anything real?


                    • Paul June 19, 2013 at 11:58 am #

                      Case in point. Paul Walter’s contribution …..? is to tell people to leave. Chimes in like an arse repeatedly.


                    • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

                      What is real?


                    • Paul June 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

                      We can talk about why Paul Walter is a real pain in the proverbial. Feel free to contribute Paul Walter – and keep it real!


                    • helvityni June 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

                      Paul Walter is a much valued contributor here, he’s real, honest, and sticks to the issues and does not resort to ad hominems. In other words a good role model for you Paul, and Zero.


            • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

              His crap sometimes end up at the Drum- where does yours end up?


              • Paul June 19, 2013 at 11:28 am #

                Hudson, Hudson , Hudson – you assume far too much and this just one reason I dislike your posting and generally read this blog rather than post.
                Assume that I don’t like blanket statements that attribute blame to one side. That is one assumption you are entitled to make. Your other assumptions are your own baggage and you should own it rather than telling others what they meant, who they are,etc.
                There will be no change from you as you have been “critiquing” (some may call it another name) my posts rather than reading since day one.


                • Paul June 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

                  Be great if you could read your observations Helvityni and apply them to yourself. Or would you rather post a few more baseless allegations of imitation and sock puppetry?

                  It is you and your ilk that engage in attacks on new posters here and prevent posting on topic.

                  That is now four of you that frequently belittle and insult without any involvement nor provocation – Helvityni, Hudson, Paul Walter and Gerard.


                • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

                  You don’t even know who you’re replying to… And you accuse others of being unoriginal! Try looking along the left side of the page (I know looking to the left of anything will test your willpower), but see who makes the original comments and where your comments are! You’re replying to us, generally in negative tones and in my view wholly without contributing to debate on the subject.

                  And I’m not really critiquing your posts because there’s no meat on the bones of your ideas to critique! I am instead having to point out, not for the first time the lamentable state of debate that occurs whenever pointless fools deign to comment.


                  • Paul June 19, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

                    Thanks for that Huddo – unfortunately my wordpress layout must not work quite as yours as regularly comments get jumbled – indeed it seems to happen others. But you say it’s my fault and of course it must be true.

                    As for the rest of your post – maybe if stopped posting orders and character evaluations every other minute then some meat might grow on them bones. God knows with the workout you get posting you must have sausages for fingers.


                    • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 10:39 pm #

                      You’re forgiven for having a jumbled layout. Presuming that is that absolution is within my powers. And just quietly I suspect wordpress gremlins anyway!

                      Meat doesn’t grow on bones by itself. If you want to be treated with respect then you’re going to have to do some of the work yourself. In the meantime I command thee state an original opinion of your own or be banished forever without trace.


  6. Heather June 17, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Good stuff. I hope Grace Collier gets inundated by breasts.


  7. paul walter June 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

    Just coming from further evidence of the impact this sexism issue involving the MSM, culture and politics is having just now.
    Gillard may have done everyone a favour by raising it again, although it already stood out like dog’s balls after Sattler and co last week, if not before.
    New Matilda has Julie Posetti presenting an article on media “framing” in an article just out there entitled, “What Happens When Women Aren’t In The Frame”, some thing that could easily apply to working people, Aborigines, Muslims (Posetti mentions Muslim women at length) and other “others”.
    We begin to see just how out of touch the old guard, the likes of Ackerman, Murdoch, Jones and co- the Alf Garnetts- are both with themselves and people in general. Piers and so forth; the neo cons, didn’t “get it” at all and just look ridiculous and thuggish in the way they have tried to make the PM and working class Australians look.


  8. hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    As a bloke I think I can honestly say without inferring any lewd double meanings that I’m damned if I can figure out why we should be complaining about this cleavage. If anyone of either gender finds it pleasing then they’re in luck and have no cause to complain, and if they don’t then it seems rude upon the point of being an insult.

    What I suspect she’s referring to, and it has to actually be said rather than assumed, is that breasts are an unacceptably sexual display that seem inappropriate to people who hold puritan attitudes towards them. They’re the kind of attitudes that stand out by being so completely out of step with the rest of Australian society, in a way that probably would probably be viewed in the reverse if Barnaby Joyce was refused entry to the chamber for turning up naked.

    As if Tony Abbott in the budgie smugglers wasn’t quite enough!

    I suppose we can only wonder whether she’d feel more at home in Saudi Arabia. Is she completely unfamiliar with Australian beaches? Or does the cynic in me merely suspect that this is a basically partisan inspired attack on the object of her ire for purely political reasons. One assumes Liberal party woman are henceforth on some kind of caution against showing the least glimpse of cleavage much less risking a dangerous hemline!

    I strongly suspect that this is a facile interpretation of the gender debate that we’ve been having by those who’d have us believe the only solution is that our politicians should be genderless! Bollocks to that!

    Seriously girls your breasts don’t matter, your political opinions do!


    • paul walter June 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

      Btw, marvellous raunchy woman in the blue dress, photo but what is this thing women have, taking photos of themselves?
      It’s ubiquitous on Facebook and it truly intrigues me.


      • hudsongodfrey June 17, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

        Okay? But then if blokes took all those shots of women that you say are of Facebook then would it be seen as the same thing?


      • helvityni June 17, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

        Both men and women know that women are the more attractive gender, therefore they all take photos of females….

        No need to protest, I’m only kidding…and there sure are plenty of handsome hunks about. I appreciate beauty in all its forms.


        • samjandwich June 17, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

          I’d like to buy Jennifer a new camera!

          Honestly though. while there might be a certain degree of cynicism and strategising in Julia Gillard’s responses to misogynistic slurs, I feel pretty uncomfortable with the whole thing having become an issue at all. Part incredulous, part angry. I think there is something more sinister than just political manoevering going on. Rather I’m feeling as though it’s the tip of a pretty nasty iceberg (yep, a nasty iceberg!).

          So I’ll support Jennifer’s stand on this, but I have a sense of foreboding about this whole thing being about to get worse before it gets better.

          Maybe that’s what we need anyway.


        • gerard oosterman June 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

          Thank you Helvi. One does one’s best.


  9. Marilyn June 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

    I wonder when it is going to occur to people that our gender is set in stone at about the 4 month period of gestation and there is fuck all anyone can do about it.

    Except be like my former divorce lawyer David who decided to be a woman in his old age.


  10. silkworm June 18, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    Gillard never showed her cleavage in parliament. This is a lie concocted by Grace Collier, a right-wing hack.


  11. lmrh5 June 18, 2013 at 6:52 am #

    Reblogged this on lmrh5.


  12. doug quixote June 18, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    Tits – they always seem to come in pairs, hunting in packs like ravening wolves.

    My late mother had an excellent set, of which she was proud; an aunt revealed that her nickname at school was “Tits”.

    Men have love/hate relationships with Tits just as they do with cunts, and women in general.

    It is just another stick used by the hateful and perhaps the envious to beat the opponents with, and should probably be contested and then ignored.


    • doug quixote June 18, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Women burned their bras in the 60s and 70s; perhaps a similar conflagration is needed now? 🙂


  13. samjandwich June 18, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    the SMH’s Sam de Brito has quite an interesting, mainstream view on all this, and his take on it is pretty pessimistic – which coming from the mainstream I find quite enlightening..


    • helvityni June 18, 2013 at 10:21 am #

      Thanks for that Sam, it’s pretty much as I see it. When I first I came to Oz, I felt very uncomfortable with the men here, I could not read them, or maybe they couldn’t read me. Visiting Gerard married friends,when the wife was not home, Gerard was offered a beer and I was more the told to go the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea…I never did, but said: I’ll have a beer as well….
      If I was friendly towards Aussie males (that’s my nature), many assumed that I was flirting, or after them ( 🙂 )
      Men shook G’s hand but left me standing there like a stunned mullet….

      I think the younger generation is different, the sexes are more comfortable with each other…but there’s still plenty of that old way of thinking there as well…


      • helvityni June 18, 2013 at 10:23 am #

        edit: Gerard’s married..
        I was more or less told….


  14. paul walter June 18, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    Anyway, back to the thread subject.
    What an arrogant piece of work Grace Collier must be. Another right wing middle class Nikki Savva type, running interference for the Tories?
    Frankly, the msm (yet again) ought to be pilloried for even contemplating running such a political and trivial piece of work and feminists must be outraged that this woman has been designated to speak for them (and again portray feminism as some thing petty), without any sense of an interest in what they’d actually think of such an attack on the PM.


    • hudsongodfrey June 18, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

      I’m disappointed that I’ve pointed out a couple of times that I think Collier’s looking to shut down Gillard’s use of the gender card, and yet nobody seems to have recognised that this too could be nothing more than a tactic in itself.

      I’ve heard a certain amount of reporting that Gillard’s stance on the gender issue is supposedly backfiring with men. Someone has to stand up at refute that claim. Even while acknowledging that if pursued too heavy handedly the issue of gender can be divisive, I honestly think any man who thinks that his gender is underrepresented or somehow marginalised in public life is either spineless, a liar or both!


      • paul walter June 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

        Probably good ol’ fashioned over-compensation, a la Sattler. Textor, Crosby,and the other house spooks at Menzies house and Murdoch press have worked long and hard to identify which buttons to press with blokes and how to use insecurity and conditioned-in lack of self reflexivity to make men look as ridiculous as cattle in a pen.


        • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 10:24 am #

          So what? Egotism meets no sense of common decency then?


      • zerograv1 June 19, 2013 at 10:05 am #

        “I honestly think any man who thinks that his gender is underrepresented or somehow marginalised in public life is either spineless, a liar or both!”

        No one is saying that, they are calling out Gillard on her equally sexist tactics and general hypocrisy in regards to her treatment of women. (See my earlier post above) – Ask Trish Crossin how fairly Gillard treated her!


        • Paul June 19, 2013 at 10:21 am #

          Watching Trish last night I thought she came across well in a difficult environment (re Roxon).


        • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 10:22 am #

          I think Trish Crossin has a very fair point to make, but she’s been allowed to make it and the judgement of Gillard’s peers and electors henceforth may flow from that.

          What you’ve quoted of mine can be read in the context of the post somewhere above. But surely men complaining about a woman’s sexism towards them are very much like the pot calling the kettle black. It’s not that they don’t have a point, it’s just that, given a history that has necessitated such a long struggle for women’s rights, nobody really believes them!


          • zerograv1 June 19, 2013 at 10:27 am #

            And given the rate of heavily male oriented teenage suicide rate – thats a tragedy….its time for a balanced debate on sexism not just the victim feminist side which seems to have exclusive rights to the media oxygen on this issue.


            • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 11:08 am #

              Yes I’m aware male suicide rates are high, about four times that of females over a sustained period on ABS statistics.

              But what are you saying here? That sexism towards men is what causes suicides?

              Or did you just think that you’d gain our sympathies or go unchallenged by citing an issue that we shouldn’t take lightly and generally don’t even like to discuss. I think we should be measured in what we say. Young gay men and indigenous Australians are variously identified by groups like Lifeline as having some elevated risk. Beyond that I can only say that I doubt that there’s too much to support introducing it into this discussion.


              • zerograv1 June 19, 2013 at 11:29 am #

                Fair point, it is off topic, tell me do you think dismissal of the collection of drowned Sri Lankans earns the same light dismissal as well?

                Gillard has to go – she is trecherous beyond belief as the ever growing body of Labor political corpses will attest….And she would have to be the worst poster woman for feminist goals that could be selected given her previously mentioned actions against women…..She even knifed another Emily’s lister in Crossin….lets not mention Rudd, Crean and the growing list of neutered male ALP politicians under her watch….but they don’t count really do they, there only men after all, ….right?


                • paul walter June 19, 2013 at 11:40 am #

                  Better if you went rather than Gillard.


                  • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 12:39 am #

                    You’ll have to do a lot better than that non answer


                • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 11:53 am #

                  I’d like to think that the men in blue ties would also come to be seen as unreformed climate change deniers, economic doom peddlers, harbingers of an industrial relations nightmare and panderers to the worst kind of racism. But I guess I’d like a lot of things including that we’d a government capable of credibly articulating all of those points as an alternative platform.

                  On a few of those issues they may have the ability if not yet the inclination to do so, but on some I have to agree they lack even the capacity to speak to desirable outcomes with any real credibility.

                  There is, is there not, in the imagery of the blue ties speech a sense of foreboding in the face of what almost appears to be capitulation to the unfettered forces of the right.


                  • doug quixote June 19, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

                    The writing is on the wall; if it is not to become set in stone we all need to continue the fight.


                    • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

                      You did everything there but to address me as either brother or comrade 🙂


                  • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 12:51 am #

                    And this is the whole point, men in blue ties are becoming a larger body of voters who are moving away from Gillard. I want the ALP to deliver what swept them into power in the first place. Alienating core voting blocks wont get them back into Government..(Single mothers, for a while superannuants, now men in blue ties? – The goal is to win over votes not lose them….the attacks have to stop and whoever leads the ALP has to re-acquire the perception of being a Government for all the people. Kicking various groups in the shins is EXACTLY the opposite of what they need to do and is proving to be disastrous strategy..Regardless of what you think of Gillard’s voicing of the gender debate its not winning votes to that end. In fact , if the polls are to be believed it resulted in a net loss of 6% of the populace….Given Gillard’s low electoral stocks the time for pragmatism over internal competition is at hand….and time is running out. Whichever way the leadership tensions are resolved the destabilizing effect is corrosive on the Labor vote, its needs to be a done deal quickly, cleanly and painlessly without rancour for the greater good of the party and the people who might vote for it. Hayden recognised the writing on the wall and the ascension of Hawke was bloodless, The current mob are turning it into a sour and better contest with truly no eventual winner given the tainting that will stick to either potential incumbent. I also suspect the men in blue ties line is a bit of a scare tactic and has been seen through for what it is by the wider electorate. Its not policy after all is it?


                    • hudsongodfrey June 20, 2013 at 10:44 am #

                      I will say this though that the men in blue ties line doesn’t just speak to women and feminists it also paints a picture of the opposition (and Rudd?) as conservatives. Now maybe I’m just saying the same as you from the opposite side of the fence but I think that the what “swept her into power”, or at least got her over the line in 2010, wasn’t the drift to the right in policy we’ve seen since. I know I voted for the exact opposite.

                      If you want to disagree or perhaps gloat over the fact the Labor’s constituency now seems very divided I can but remind you of the one thing that seems certain to make voters coalesce around a resolve to rebuild them would probably be life in the wilderness under an Abbott government.


                • samjandwich June 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

                  Zerograv, I think that it you are capable of making an intuitive leap from sexism to male suicide, then you should also be capable of seeing JG as a flawed human being who is out of her depth, rather than a calculating and sinister force.

                  If she were better at being calculating then she would be more popular. I’m increasingly coming to the view that she’s just lacking in sufficient competence, and that’s the reason behind her litany of failures.

                  Oh no, and this has nothing to do with sexism or Julia Gillard… but I have read that the rate of attempted suicide is actually higher amongst females. It’s just that males succeed more often because they’re better at it!


                  • doug quixote June 19, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

                    I hope you are joking.

                    I see Gillard as a fine, competent leader, one determined and collegiate, and who has mastered every brief ever given to her.

                    An example is foreign affairs, where from someone with very little interest and competence in the area now strides confidently across the world stage.

                    Another measure is the regard of her colleagues, who insist that she is the best person to lead the Labor Party and perforce be Prime Minister.


                  • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 1:19 am #

                    Reply to samjandwich : I see Gillard as a brilliant and competent Deputy, she has the skills to attract loyalty within the Caucus too, however she seriously fails to engage the electorate and rightly or wrongly is now an electoral liability for the ALP in terms of the election. Her political tactics are niave and poor and she is suffering the same sort of popularity Howard got when he was ignominiously booted from office when he didn’t recognize it was time to go as leader. She is completely oblivious to the need to serve the party and would gain a lot of respect from handing over the reins. She wont do it though and will likely suffer the same fate of all other previous PM’s too full of their own self worth to care too much how they are perceived or what people think of her. To that extent she is playing very dumb politics. The electorate for its own reasons polarizes the vote around who the leader is, If she truly has the ALP’s interests at heart she would recognise this, stand aside and allow her party some change of maintaining power or a significant opposition bench count. She would also step down with some dignity in the eyes of the electorate should she choose to do it…but she is vainglorious – Queen Julia – off with their head (or ministry) and is so on the nose pollwise you wouldn’t think there was an election 100 days away. She cannot change the mass public perception of her at this late stage no matter how worthy her latest policy pet project (Gonski) is hard-worked at. It’s time to stop neglecting the electorate and save the policy ideology for after the election. It’s almost as if shes forgotten there is one on!


                    • helvityni June 20, 2013 at 9:26 am #

                      Zero, you have certainly worked hard to get rid of her…pleased, are you.

                      Now tell us why anyone should vote for Abbott
                      Please no name-calling,


                    • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 10:03 am #

                      Reply to Helvi : Australians should be relieved that they don’t vote directly for the PM, only the party…the way things sit anyone in Caucus who continues to support Gillard is effectively voting to install Abbott as PM given the likely voting day outcome based on her current head to head polling. So if they want Abbott, keep Julia as ALP leader and current PM..its hands the PMship to Abbott on a very easy plate The maths are THAT simple. Don’t want Abbott? Replace her with some other leader that can take Abbott on and lessen his chance of gaining the Prime Ministership. It really is that simple.


                    • helvityni June 20, 2013 at 10:19 am #

                      I know I can’t directly vote for Abbott.

                      What I was asking and you know it: what are YOUR reasons wanting Abbott as Australian PM . Now please answer that.


                    • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

                      Reply to Helvi : I wont be supporting Abbott, so cant give you reasons….and that is precisely why I also wont support Gillard. She’s a defacto vote for
                      Abbott when the votes are counted on election day.


                    • helvityni June 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

                      Typical answer, as I expected a bob each way.


                    • silkworm June 20, 2013 at 12:53 pm #

                      So, zero, you won’t vote Labor and you won’t vote Liberal. You must be voting informal. Or else you do not understand how our voting system works.


                    • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

                      Reply to Silkworm : I have disclosed before on this blog several months ago that I am a typical disaffected voter and that I wouldn’t be supporting either party, Its no big secret. I will either look for an effective independent that possibly represents some of my views or alternatively simply turn up at the booth, get my name ticked off to fulfill my legal obligation and rule a line through the ballot thus expressing my opinions of the offered candidates. I’m still hoping for an emerging voice. There is some hope though, one of the members for the Citizens for NT (Facebook if interested) is standing in the Senate – they tend to be an anti-CLP (ie anti-conservative) group and I dont agree with all their positions but certainly have their heart in the right place on many social issues. He might get my vote. With Crossin gone thats a valid alternative, Peris isnt a valid choice for me. As far as the HOR goes, I fear I might need to vote informal at this stage.


                    • helvityni June 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

                      Zero, no you are not, you are all for Abbott, but you will not be honest about anything, not even about what side of politics you belong to.
                      I have never seen you to say anything critical about Abbott or any other Liberal.

                      No need to reply.


                    • zerograv1 June 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

                      My posts are manily about the ALP realsing that Gillard is a political liability, the Libs are far from ready for office and have no policy so cant be supported. I dont respond to anything Tony has said because he simply hasnt said anything worth replying to! More sadly, Its one of the penalties of the electorates strong preference for a two party system that if both fail to deliver then the voter is left disenfranchised. It wasn’t always so, the Nationals used to campaign separately, the DLP, Australian Democrats, even the Australia Party (South Australia 1970’s version not Katters mob) at least provided an alternative. Sadly its no longer the case.


                    • doug quixote June 20, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

                      What bullshit! A voter who isn’t going to vote wants us to believe he or she cares enough to debate the point with us?

                      Bullshit, zero.


                    • zerograv1 June 21, 2013 at 1:41 am #

                      Doug I hope you are not arguing that abstention isnt a valid option in a democracy, are you saying that we HAVE to vote, or as it reads in your post – we have to vote the way you approve of? Kind of makes the parliament pointless doesnt it? Choosing to record an informed abstention is just as valid a vote as any other IMHO


                    • doug quixote June 21, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

                      You can choose not to cast a valid vote; but who in that category cares to argue the toss? You pretend to have no preference!

                      Do you not dislike one Party more than the other? If you do, you should vote for the lesser evil.


                    • zerograv1 June 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

                      In a choice between Mussolini and Hitler, I would have marginally disliked Mussolini less, that doesn’t mean I would have voted that way because he was the slightly lesser evil.

                      Your pretext doesn’t hold up…these are my tax dollars they are using and If I don’t think either is suitable neither are deserving of my vote. I am also aware that a true democracy includes the representations of minor groups and independents regardless of whether I agree with them. In all it keeps the government in check even if some of the members don’t seem to be worthy (to me) of high office. They provide a counterbalance to modify legislation to broker it through and I’m all for that given both major parties have their share of hardliners that cant see beyond their own fixated mindset.


                    • hudsongodfrey June 21, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

                      So what you’re saying is that neither party really deserves a vote if its for the lesser of two evils, and nor do any of the minor parties or independence figure highly on the vote-worthiness scale!

                      So great we can sit about and moan, ain’t it awful for another few years until some kind of great white hope emerges?


                    • helvityni June 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

                      The more nonsense I see from you, the more convinced I am that you want a Mussolini/Hitler combination, which you will get with your Abbott but for some weird reason you are not able to show your colours openly, like most people here and everyr where else are able to do…you really are a silly woman, zero.


                    • zerograv1 June 22, 2013 at 10:23 am #

                      Reply to G : Yep pretty much you have it. There have been times in Australia’s political history when disengagement from the limited choices offered is appropriate for me. I do at least take a look around the minor parties and independents every election even when I have already decided which way to vote in case anything of value is suggested – hence my support of the Citizens for NT candidate in the Senate this time around. The self obsession displayed by both major parties this time around means that neither is focusing on electoral needs or engaging with the populace in any worthwhile way. A lot of the issues discussed are merely noise, not displays of what they intend to do in a macro sense for Australia’s future and sadly far to sensitive to media appeasement. No one seems to be thinking or have any vision. I simply can’t vote for that,


  15. paul walter June 19, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    Where IS the Wilson?
    Come on Jennifer, give us some feedback- have we grasped whatever it is you were trying to say.. any thing you could add that could help clarify if not?


    • doug quixote June 19, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      I saw both of her issues, but was unable to grasp them . . . 🙂

      I could raise a point in support!


      • paul walter June 19, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

        Cuddly, weren’t they..


  16. gerard oosterman June 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    I met someone recently who looked as if he had never eaten black pudding. His heart was in the right place though. As I got to know him better it came out he was a Liberal supporter because his dad was.(he told me coyly)
    I alreay knew there was some link between climate Skeptics, anti Boat people and misogyny; but lack of black pudding.? What next?
    Anyway, policies and LNP are an oxymoron.


  17. doug quixote June 19, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    Advice to Paul Walter, Gerard, Helvi and HG – please don’t feed the trolls. If you feel the need to reply, do it laterally – by replying to someone who might actually have a contribution to make. Ignore the trolls.

    They will either go somewhere else where they are loved, or can get a rise out of flaming genuine contributors. Until they get banned.


    • helvityni June 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      DQ, did I say the same to you on the Ellis blog, it was the same troll 🙂


      • doug quixote June 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

        I posted a reply that got lost somewhere in the ether . . .

        the idea was that we are all better at giving advice than taking it ourselves. 🙂


    • hudsongodfrey June 19, 2013 at 10:53 pm #

      Thanks Doug, a timely reminder methinks!

      And may I say congratulations to Jennifer now that this campaign has been picked up by a couple of major news outlets 🙂

      I hope people who are directed here through social media aren’t too perplexed by some of the odd commentary that they find. In fact I’d have hoped more might like to join us in offering their support here as well as on Twitter where I see the conversation taking on a completely different complexion.


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