Let’s talk about misogyny

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“Julia Gillard: Australian blokes have done their country down” – Telegraph UK

Julia Gillard has been driven out as Australia’s prime minister by a brutal and unfair misogynist culture

The UK media can comment on misogyny in Australia, but Australian society is not yet ready to look at itself. It seems the male owned media and the men of Australia, and women anti-feminists, many of whom are women who in more or less subtle ways look to male patronage, are not yet ready to go beyond reactive denial and face a very dark aspect of Australian culture.

I ask you to substitute race or disability or gender in your arguements about sexism and misogyny in Australia and discern if you feel any twinges of shame at the positions some of you are defending.

And is this list sophisticated enough to engage in this debate, or will it retreat to entrenched positions.

I also ask you to reread Henry Lawson The Drovers Wife and ask if we’ve progressed much since then. I fear we have edged forward very little.

And lets not be so cocky in our criticism of Islam, where the female victim of rape is punished for bringing shame to the reputation of men in the culture, and other so called ‘honour killings’. Germaine Greer once commented that one of the most important roles expected of ‘gatherers’ was to protect the ego of the ‘hunters’ in the socalled ‘hunter’ ‘gatherer’ view of gender roles.

I watched a documentary recently on corruption in Sumo wrestling in Japan where contests were rigged around betting scams. It took years to crack the corruption. One commentator put it down to 2 words for truth in Japan, one meaning the actual truth and one the convenient truth. Saving face for the deeply entrenched male sumo culture meant the actual truth could not be discussed, only the convenient truth that sumo heroism was incapable of negative behaviours and societal critism.

Mendacity requires scape goats on which to heap all that cannot be faced which must be driven out of the community so the convenient truth can continue.

The convenient truth that sexism and misogyny played no role in Julia’s demise displays an inability to challenge the blokey hegemony of Australian society. Are Australian men not up to challenges to their behaviours and their self image.

Julia is a typical scape goat, all that is blackest in Australian sexism and misogyny has been heaped on Julia’s head and now she’s been driven out, all can return to the convenient truth and the discussion about what we all just witnessed? – there’s powerful forces for no discussion but to take the easy path and just move on. The blood letting, the sacrifice has absolved us of self critique.

Well let’s challenge that. We’ve never had a better case study than the last 3 years of our first woman prime minister, one who put her faith for success as a woman in competance, which turned out not to be enough.

Lets not settle back into convenient truths. Do we have the guts to look sqarely at the behaviours of Abbotrt, Rudd, the media and give Ausrtralia the opportunity to become more sophisticated in its sexism debate. Like it has done with race and disability.

I ask the men on this list, how would you feel about Julia’s treatement if she was your daughter?

And don’t forget the misogyny in the Armed forces revealed the same week as Julia’s demise, and the Royal Commission into sexual abuse which is breaking through the convenient truths of the Catholic Church, and other institutions.



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