Why I don’t care that there’s only one woman in cabinet.

18 Sep

Look. It’s not as if we didn’t know Prime Minister Abbott’s attitude to women before enough of us voted for him to lead the country.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a reminder.

Abbott on women

So it should come as no surprise that the new PM has only one woman, Julie Bishop, in his cabinet.

Anyone who can make the above observation is not going to apply the same merit test for women as he is for men.  Abbott claims the LNP promotes on merit, leading in this instance to a vast majority of males in positions of power and influence. He doesn’t reveal his criteria for assessing merit, but if he starts from the position that women are destined to exclusion from large numbers of areas because of our lady bits, one is inclined to think one of them is owning a penis.

It is, of course, shameful that in 2013 a first world country should be led by a man with such biologically determinist attitudes. I don’t believe for a minute there aren’t women in the LNP as worthy and capable as many of the men Abbott has chosen. However, I have no  sympathy and no respect for any of them, if they are content to stand silently by while their leader treats them with such contempt, simply because they have vaginas.

Although a willingness to be treated with contempt because vagina is likely a precondition of joining the LNP.

Neither do I believe that Abbott’s policies would be any different if his cabinet was crammed to the ceilings with women, so in that sense it doesn’t matter if they are present or not.

The PM has further enraged many by appointing himself the Prime Minister for Women.  He has done this because he can. He is taunting us. We should do our very best to ignore him.

There is certainly a gender issue in play here. However, it is one for Coalition women to fight, not me. Coalition women don’t give a toss about those of us who aren’t of their number. Why do I care if they have positions of seniority or not? They aren’t going to do anything I’d like with their power. So they can fight their own battles, and if they don’t, it won’t keep me up at night.

Abbott & daughters

43 Responses to “Why I don’t care that there’s only one woman in cabinet.”

  1. gerard oosterman September 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Norway just appointed its second female prime minister. Germany has a female chancellor Angela Merkel. Finland has 86 women in parliament which represents 43% of its 200 members.
    Bangladesh has a female PM as has Denmark. Iran’s Vice-President and Head of National Youth Organization Farahnaz Torkestani is a woman.

    Ahmadinejad appoints 4th woman to cabinet
    Afp, Tehran

    So, in summing up!

    Abbott is either incapable of seeing and recognizing capable women for his cabinet or ‘his women of merit’ women don’t want to have a bar of his present coterie of the sneering beady eyed males burrowing away in Canberra. Either way, it doesn’t speak well for the integrity of our present government led by Abbott.

    And cop this too Abbott.



    • doug quixote September 18, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

      I’ve seen you mention Ahmedinejad lately; have you noticed that he lost office in August 2013? The current President is Rouhani.


      • gerard oosterman September 19, 2013 at 8:32 am #

        Yes, you are right. Must update Iran’s history a bit better next time.


  2. doug quixote September 18, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    Only one? Everybody’s loyal deputy is the Foreign Minister. So when she is away, the boys can have a stag party in cabinet.

    Back to the future, Liberal women. I told you so.

    I am going to wear out those four words over the next year or so, so I’ll savour them once again : I told you so. 🙂

    Schadenfreude is such sweet stuff : suck it up female Liberal voters.


    • gerard oosterman September 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

      You mean forward to the past?


      • hudsongodfrey September 18, 2013 at 11:18 pm #


        As long as he doesn’t mean onward Christian soldiers then I’ll probably breathe a small sigh of relief!


  3. jane September 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    Frankly Liars women are just as incompetent, spiteful and lacking in principals as Liars men. Ya can’t tell ’em apart. And they and their voters have always known what an oaf Liesalot is.

    My other point is that we’re going to have a lot more to worry about than Liesalot’s misogyny now that he’s been let loose on the country.

    I echo Doug Quixote’s sentiments-suck it up female Liars voters.


  4. hudsongodfrey September 18, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    I guess the place I think we’re in at the moment is that brief hiatus between the election of somebody I didn’t favour and his government’s first major act in office. It’s a time when we’re really asking ourselves whether this government is going to represent all Australians, just those who voted for them, or none of the above…. probably whoever contributed most to their campaign coffers.

    There’s a reason why we care whether there are women in parliament is the same for the Liberals as it was for Labor. If we say that we believe in representative government then diversity matters because that’s what best reflects the makeup of the society we actually live in.

    Moreover the reason that’s so pertinent right at this moment is because who Abbott takes into his closest confidence reflects whether we’re likely to get the a more or less representative kind of government from his team.

    My expectations were always low….

    Okay so, it may be putting the cart before the horse to make the judgement on the basis that Kelly O’Dwyer didn’t get the guernsey that Sophie Mirabella vacated. Whether there’s “merit” in that or not being faaaar from a moot point according to Liberals. However the scant choice of women Tony Abbott was faced with is symptomatic of a party, unlike Labor, that has been ideologically opposed to inducting women into the ranks as a means to promoting much needed diversity on their side of politics.

    “No need for that”, say the libertarians over at the IPA.

    No need either for your daughters to flank you during the election campaign, but I digress….

    Just let me vent for a minute on coalition supporters, all freakin’ week telling us how lucky we now all are to have a return to “stable government”. No you’re wrong! Stable government something you have to achieve before you can claim it. As are all of Abbott’s putative policies yet to be. And half of them are things I sincerely hope he can’t get through the Senate. Come back to us when you’ve done something good before you crow about the smell of victory, you supercilious cluster of carbuncles in the backside of humanity……

    That’s better 🙂

    To murder a meme about whether vagina’s ought to prefigure selection to the LNP, it may be just perfume to you, but to me it smells like freedom!

    (somebody will tell me whether I got away with that closing line. I confess to finding it amusing).


    • doug quixote September 18, 2013 at 11:39 pm #

      I’m pleased to see you off that fence for a change. I would ask if it has splinters, but I think you’ve worn it smooth . . . 🙂


      • hudsongodfrey September 19, 2013 at 12:19 am #

        As Lenny Bruce put it, “If you can’t say fuck, then you can’t say fuck the government.”

        The government it seems are always the ones who have the imperative to avoid being ranted at if they wish.

        It is not my pleasure to rant at this new government’s deluded supporters, any more than it is to note that we spent too much of the recent years baring our teeth at their predecessors to forget that the choice was only the lesser of two evils. Either way we’d be sat somewhere uncomfortable if not by choice then, as it is now, under sufferance.

        IN other words, it may turn out that the part of me that has up with Abbott to put might yet consider the fence a comforting memory. Oh yeah Doug, hooray he’s off the fence!


        • doug quixote September 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

          As long as you don’t dismount like Humpty Dumpty.


          • hudsongodfrey September 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

            I’m working on my Olympic salute 🙂


    • Jennifer Wilson September 19, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      Loved it, HG.


      • samjandwich September 19, 2013 at 11:09 am #

        Mee too!


  5. Marilyn September 19, 2013 at 1:00 am #

    All those pathetic women in the parliament on both sides voted to jail, traffic, trade and torture innocent men, women and children to pander to the racists and our fucking lazy media still can’t stop whining about refugees.

    I loathe all the fucking cowards equally and I have a rule to ignore gross human rights violators no matter who they are or where they are.


    • doug quixote September 19, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      Run that last line by me again :

      “I have a rule to ignore gross human rights violators no matter who they are or where they are.”

      Would you care to rewrite that?


      • Marilyn September 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

        Not to vote for human rights violators no matter who they are.


        • paul walter September 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

          There is the problem.
          Australia is a resource province, effectively run from the real centres of power and capital, The message from the centre has been increasingly about their ownership of the economy, not ours. right down to politics and a concerned citizens right of engagement.and participation.
          They will do as they please. The more outrageous and illogical situation the better for them to prove their point that they have the whip hand,
          Kids, face it. Some where along the line that divides democracy from reaction a definitive change has occurred.


  6. samjandwich September 19, 2013 at 11:09 am #

    As for Abbott’s response to this, I can just imagine him saying: “we have plenty of powerful and capable women working in cabinet. I have personally ensured that the female staff in every Minister’s office knows how to make my tea just the way I like it”.

    And he’d think to himself “nice one Tone, that’s hit the nail on the head”.


    • doug quixote September 19, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

      Capable of making tea;
      And they are also powerful
      enough to polish his trophies.


      • samjandwich September 20, 2013 at 10:29 am #

        “polish his trophies” – aka “dress nicely (or tennis whites after hours) and put on make-up”. It never stops does it?

        Oh well, just in case you were wondering whether there are still any sensible people in this world, here’s a fabulous article from a man still some way off from wisdom, but certainly getting close: http://theconversation.com/julian-burnside-alienation-to-alien-nation-18290


        • hudsongodfrey September 20, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

          See if one of us can remember to post it here if ever they release an audio or YouTube version. It makes a great report but I think the original would be even better.


  7. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

    Just so everybody knows:


    • hudsongodfrey September 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Ah if only Clive Palmer was right and we could delete the election result just as easily…..


      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

        Speaking of Clive,


        • hudsongodfrey September 20, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

          I saw it was within 3 the other day. Who says late counting favours the incumbent?


          • doug quixote September 20, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

            Thankfully it did not save Wasabella.

            Clive may be entertaining in Parliament; there are many clowns in charge now, from Barnaby and Sloppy to the Mad Monk himself. (I haven’t called him that in years; I thought it too respectful. )

            But now he is PM, I may revert to the Mad Monk.

            Few now know that the most ugly term of abuse in the English language is to be called a tabbott. 🙂


            • hudsongodfrey September 21, 2013 at 10:51 am #

              Based on Palmer’s success if only we could get Gina and Rupert into parliament then a modern version of the Guy Fawkes plot starts to look attractive 🙂


        • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

          Looks like this is the final word, pending any recount or subsequent legal challenge as to the result.


  8. Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 21, 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Here is another interesting question, one I ran into on Jennifer’s Twitter @ mentions timeline the other day:

    Did anyone see this online poll actually on the NineMSN website as claimed in the tweet?

    The graphic of the response to the poll question ‘Are you happy to see Tony Abbott become PM?’ looks as if it MAY have been part of a screen capture, but there is not enough (any) screen scenery to possibly validate this.

    The purported NineMSM poll shows 66,502 saying ‘yes’, and 719,796 saying ‘no’, to that question.

    If a genuine online poll, it should be borne in mind that some who voted for Coalition candidates in Divisions other than Abbott’s own, may well have welcomed a chance to express an opinion upon the leadership, even though voting for a change in government.

    Can anyone shed any factual light, as distinct from speculative opinion, upon this reported event?


    • hudsongodfrey September 21, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Nope but I tuned up several mentions of it including this one…..


      A little optimistic perhaps?

      And she clearly wasn’t the only person following that poll


      • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 23, 2013 at 8:47 am #

        Thanks for that response, HG. It is interesting to see the format change in the two graphics from one tweet to the other.

        William Jones’ tweet (‘@william7424’) contains a graphic that is claimed in his tweet to have been taken at 9:50AM on Thursday 19 September. The totals for the number of responses to the poll in that graphic are greater than the totals displaying in the ‘@sallie6youtube’ tweet, which means those totals must have displayed, if the graphics were genuinely shown on the NineMSN site, some unspecified time earlier than 9:50AM Thursday 19 September.

        It would be interesting to know when the ‘@sallie6youtube’ version of the poll graphic was captured. There were 144,702 responses to the poll in the interval, however long (or short) it was, between the two screen captures of the graphic. That strikes me as being a lot of responses. Are these sorts of polls capable of being ‘gamed’ to such an extent? There is frequently a disclaimer that such polls are ‘not scientific’.

        Visually, the earlier graphic seems to me to be the more arresting of the attention. Perhaps NineMSN was trying to tone down the visual impact with the format change, before eventually deciding for whatever reason to pull the poll result from displaying on the site.


        • hudsongodfrey September 23, 2013 at 11:45 am #

          So I looked at polls on ninemsn today, some inconsequential question, and it looks like William Jones’ graphic. Why Angela was tweeting a poll from an earlier time later in the day beats me. Could it just be a retweet?


          • Forrest Gumpp (@ForrestGumpp) September 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

            Here is Angela’s response:

            I couldn’t see the graphic on the FaceBook page, but then again, I am not familiar with FB.


            • hudsongodfrey September 23, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

              Me either but I see no real reason to doubt her, or to speculate overmuch as to how ninemsn maintain their poll results. I’ve just always thought it was a fairly shoddy site not worth taking seriously as a genuine source of up to date information.


        • hudsongodfrey September 23, 2013 at 11:49 am #

          PS Forrest, Finding any kind of archive of ninemsn polls doesn’t seem possible. Maybe they just start a new one each day and that’s how the information from this one disappeared into the ether. I suspect some of these people are more concerned with data mining people’s opinions than engaging in the political debate.


    • paul walter September 22, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Yes, this is the way it is. Nuremberg Laws of some sort, next? Certainly rightist fantasies about “other” people and the world now have full rein and the opportunists running it relish fear and ignorance to keep their hold on the public’s imaginations..


  9. paul walter September 21, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

    How can I raise this without being sexist? Let’s put it this way. Is Bishop a “woman” in the sense that Judy Moylan, Kerry Nettle or Penny Wong are women? (woman as developed, responsible, adult personalities and characters.).
    Bishop is Abbott’s kindred spirit and this cancels out the gender affect in Abbott’s thinking, In Bishop’s case. She rises or falls on her predatory instincts which she shares with Abbott as a sort of “familiar”.They are both fundamentally anti-social.
    But I understand Jennifer Wilson’s pessimism, Not only are women numerically disadvantaged, but the plight is worsened by the lack of intelligent or un-brainwashed women involved.
    It’s a cowardly government as it its decisions over the climate change commission and more reactive policy behaviour on refugees demonstrates.
    There.something fundamentally wrong mentally with this government.


    • hudsongodfrey September 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

      I was just watching “The Best Offer” with Geoffrey Rush, a good film with a complex plot, but a simple theme. That of a man whose one weakness is the lack of a woman’s love.

      What you’re seeing in Julie Bishop may not really be an analysis of her character but an expression of your alienation from her politics. I suspect to the contrary that her weakness isn’t a thin skin borne of vulnerability to being treated as an “other”, an outsider from the select group that shares here political convictions. The famed “death stare” tells me she may even relish being underestimated in that vein. But were you instead to appeal to her as a woman whose solidarity could be appealed to then it seems to me that under the right circumstances the personal might actually be political in a very real sense.

      Any sense in which Abbott might in making horrible policy for women test her allegiances would be something I’d be passingly interested in were I say Malcolm Turnbull for instance.


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